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You Better Love Your Job. Here’s why ==>

December 5, 2009 3 comments


(Needless to say this mug is not in my kitchen cupboard)

Of course, work should not be the core of one’s life where you love it to the exclusion of everything else. Medicinesux is all about striking a balance between work and personal time. However, work IS an important component of one’s life and does provide one a sense of purpose. To deny that fact is outlandish. As a physician, you will easily spend more than half your waking hours on the job. Let’s do the math to drive this point home:

There are 168 hours in a week. You “should” spend 33% of that time asleep to maintain sound body and mind (56 hours a week), roughly 36% “on the job” (60 hours a week for avg physician), and 31% “off the job” (52 hours a week). Please keep in mind that when you are pulling ten hour days, you have to factor in such things as waking up at the crack of dawn, showering, shaving, primping, getting dressed, making breakfast, COMMUTING all which can take away 1-2 hrs every day out of your precious 52 hours of “off the job” time. And then you need to factor in time at the end of the day where you get to languish in traffic again or take the train (“meat cart”) and also the countless hours you need to recuperate after going to battle for the day. This is yet another 2-3 hrs that you can subtract from “off the job” time. And let’s not forget all the extra hours where you need to be constantly reading medically relevant literature to keep yourself up to date on your field and not turn into a medical numb nut. Now revising our numbers, we can STEAL 20 hours out of “off the job” time and ship it right on over to “on the job” time. Doing this new math we have the following:

80 hrs involved with “job related activities” (48%)

32 hrs of “free time” (19%)

56 hrs asleep (33%)

If we just count the time we are awake, then you are roughly spending a whopping 71% of your time (80 out of 112 hours) performing physician related activities!!!

Also, ask yourself if you are able to keep those 32 hours of “free time” unadulterated, where you are able to completely divorce your mind and NOT think for a second about work? Good luck on that one.

So the driving point from this analysis is that you damn better pick a profession that you are going to enjoy and be happy doing. Is any amount of money worth being miserable, discontent, or just biding time 70% of your waking hours for the next 30-40 years??? Or to put in other words, how much a year would you be willing to pay to be happy 70% of your waking hours? Everything in this world has a price. How much is happiness worth to you?

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