Coping w/ the isolation

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    I know this website is for mainly for moms in medicine, but I wonder if there are any single women in medicine on this site. I am going through my 2nd year of anesthesiology and it is rough. Some days are so emotionally and physically strenuous and then I come home to an empty house. In some ways I feel very lucky that I don’t have a lot of outside responsibilities on top of my responsibilities at work, but in other ways I feel very lonely. It doesn’t help that I’m at a very malignant hospital where I’m abused pretty much on a daily basis (and this is in ANESTHESIA!). I have thought about quitting A LOT, but there is some weird drive in me pushing me to finish what I’ve started. I just feel like I’m really missing out on life. I’m not married and I’m almost 30, working 13-14 hours every day, taking call, and feeling pretty down. I wondered if there were other women out there w/ similar woes. I feel so burnt at the end of the day I can’t go spend time with people, and this makes me feel isolated. How are other people coping w/ this?

    EM momEM mom

    Although a mom and a wife, I can still relate to the deep feeling of isolation that comes with residency. I was married (sans baby) when starting residency and I was so depressed by my first Christmas that I wasn’t sure what would be worse, quitting without a plan and being so broke I couldn’t buy groceries, or sticking it out and feeling suicidal every day (well that may be a slight exaggeration as I never had any intent for all of you starting to worry…). It ended up being the 3 year prepayment penalty on my mortgage for my new house (a riduculous thing to have agreed to!) that kept me going on as I just couldn’t afford to move back! Surprisingly enough, even being married didn’t help with the isolation, mainly because he (as hard as he tried) just didn’t understand! I found that the thing that helped me the most to was to be as involved as possible in my program…ie being involved in the interview process, going out with fellow residents (the statement misery loves company is SO true!), finding a mentor, and trying to spend my one day off a week doing something completely non-medical related. I had wanted to find some non-medical friends, but found that when I did this made me feel MORE isolated, they just didn’t understand the schedule or more importantly, WHY I would be putting up with the abuse and the crazy system…Becoming a mom made this isolation even worse since now I really didn’t fit into a “category”-I was the only female surgery resident with a baby and in the daycare circle I was the “doctor” (ha-ha!).
    All I can say is good luck, it doesn’t last forever (hopefully!) and know you can find a lot of support here!

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