Yes, I said fuck.
And yes. I have a dream job. It's everything I've ever wanted. Except that I never wanted to be a solo veterinarian working as part of a group practice. Essentially, that's what I am. Sometimes I wonder how I could be duped into taking a job without knowing the full extent of what I would have to go through. Truthfully, it could be much, much worse. I could be on call all the time (oh wait...). Or I could have no real time off to myself (oh wait...). I could feel burdened unnecessarily and needlessly by clients because I'm unable to set boundries that will protect my emotional and mental health (again, oh wait...).
It's still a dream job. I work with (mostly) wonderful clients. I have a super supportive partner in crime, my technician K (I would have fallen apart long ago without her). I have an awesome apartment that I love (and can be quite cold because I still don't make enough money to pay for a $200 energy bill). I managed to meet a wonderful guy (albeit a bit complicated, but who isn't) and feel like I've actually found someone who will challenge and support me in ways I didn't know I needed.
But yet, burnout has still reared it's ugly head.
I've been on call the majority of the last 6 and a half months. And when I say majority, I'm talking 90-95% of the time. So when I say I have no downtime, or minimal downtime, I'm not kidding. I try to step away, or at least compartmentalize, but it can be downright impossible. I have had difficult clients drive me through a wall and leave me with no emotion left to give them: sadness, anger or otherwise. I find myself getting angry at every little text from a client simply because I can't deal with their questions at 7am on a Saturday morning. My client care has wavered, and I feel like I'm not in control of my own life. Explaining all this to the people who run the practice now? I've tried. I explained, and waited for 3 months for something to come through. And it's still only maybe 1 weekend off a month, and I feel like a burden to my per diem counterpart.
It's suffocating, it's frustrating, and it's overwhelming. And I feel like no one is listening.
This is veterinary medicine as I see it. Can I leave? Probably not. I owe so much money, and I can't even imagine how I can pay it back without incurring a massive tax on the discharged balance in 20 years.
Can I try and do something else within the profession that doesn't involve me being a primary care? Fucking right. That's the plan. If only I could figure out a way to actually get time to get it done and pay for it at the same time.
I thought these days of extreme burnout were behind me, but I was wrong. I used to love veterinary medicine. Now I wish I had never read James Herriot.