the glamorous life of a doctor

posted on: Tuesday, January 31, 2012


lately i haven't felt much like blogging.

over the past few weeks
a lot of the bloggers i read have all been experiencing the same existential crisis
blogging was becoming addicting
and then it was this great global connector that served to build incredible friendships
and then it was driving a wedge between husbands and wives
and for me, it was a reminder that i exist outside of the internet
and need to focus on my "real" life too

all of this discussion made me respect and admire the bloggers i read even more.
i loved them for taking the time to live well-examined lives
and for articulating it all so beautifully for all to savor
i love the relationships i've built, and the people i've met,
and i've loved sharing in their stories.
i've loved having my friends and family say, "loved your blog post today"
it felt good to be part of the internet community in my own little way.


then the bad thoughts began.
i'm type A.
comparison is the name of my game.
and oh did i ever compare.
my blog didn't have as many followers as hers (most bloggers are ladies. it's a fact.)
my post didn't get as many comments as hers
should i have replied directly to that comment?
am i making my followers feel ignored by choosing not to respond to them?
should i be investing more time into blogging?

i felt completely unoriginal
and redundant.

not to mention the flak i began to get from friends of mine who thought blogging was odd.

i'm sure i'm not alone in these thoughts and feelings
but at this juncture, maybe a little perspective would be helpful:
i'm an intern.
an Emergency Medicine intern.
my whole life is about people telling me how i need to be better
read more. study more.
try not to kill anyone. (no pressure.)
do this procedure THIS way, not that way.
"you're a danger to yourself and most of your patients" (yes. that happened.)
stand in the middle of a group of 20 people and answer this question immediately before someone yells at you or makes fun of you for not knowing (this happens daily.)
i'm constantly reminded of how far i have to go.
my superiors are constantly putting me in my place.
putting me down.

not to mention,
i'm an Air Force Officer.
they own me.
they tell me what to wear.
how to wear my hair.
which nail polish i can wear.
how much makeup i can wear.
how to walk. WHERE to walk.
when to stand, sit, pee, salute.
creativity and individuality is not an option.

[i tried to get creative with an outfit on a day i was allowed to wear civvies
and it did not go over well.
let's just say the military and i have very different definitions of "business casual"
and that i'll be wearing my uniform from now on]

it just got to be too much.
i couldn't stand to be beating myself up about blogging
when i was getting beat up from so many other angles.
the blog used to be a place for me to be a creative individual
when the military wouldn't let me express that side of myself
but eventually i began to get paranoid that getting inspiration from other bloggers
was beginning to look a lot like plagiarism
and the vicious cycle repeated itself: unoriginal, unsuccessful, etc.

so i took a hiatus.

i don't know if you missed me,
but i missed you.
and i'm thankful for the few who've asked me where i've been
and encouraged me to come back.
i'd like to think i would've been brave enough to come back regardless of what you think
but it sure feels nice to be wanted.

did you know that doctors feel small too?
well, we do.
at least this one does.


  1. This was a beautifully written post. I'm sorry that things are so rough for you on a daily basis. You blog seems great though, so I'd try not to stress so much. I'm sure your followers will love you no matter what. :]

  2. I feel you girl. I can't imagine what it must be liked to have a full time big girl job (especially one of your caliber) AND ALSO feel pressure about blogging. That is no bueno.

    I met another doctor/blogger a couple nights ago (who's moving to Austin very soon! you guys would get along SO GOOD), and she said she just likes blogging because it allows her to be creative and expressive in a world where that isn't much a part of her life on a daily basis.

    And I think for you, like her, blogging is a more of a side dish of life. Something to complement your life, but certainly not to become the main course.

    I, personally, have given it more attention because I CAN. And the amount of time I'm willing to put into it has been directly proportional to my "success" so far. But each and every blogger has to assess their situation based on THEIR reality, not someone elses. Comparing is normal, but I know you are a very reational and intelligent girl, and sense will win that battle. :)

    I think you're amazing and I always love reading what you have to say. You are so witty and fun. I hardly ever comment on blogs anymore, but I just wanted you to know that I appreciate what you have to say and I'm proud to call you both my blog friend and, now, real life friend.


    Has this comment gotten long? Oops. Well, one last thing: let's definitely get drinks in SA sometime soon. I would love to see you again. :)

  3. This post was truly great. I think a lot of bloggers have been going through some weird stuff right now.. I know I have... trying to balance normal and necessary day to day activities while trying to keep up with a blog is weighing me down as well. I'm so glad you are able to voice your feelings so eloquently and smoothly... I have come to realize I have a tough time doing that, especially on my blog..

    I hope I'm not selfish to say I hope you keep your blog going.. I really enjoy it very much, and I know there are so many more out there who love you blog too :)

  4. i feel like the whole blogosphere has been going through some sort of what am i doing? crisis. just know that i love it when your blog pops up in my reader. i love reading your (very original) words. and even if you don't continue with this blog, or blogging in general, i hope you find a place where you can be creative and wacky and completely you. (not sayin' you're wacky. i just like the word :)

  5. Em, I heart you! You are amazing and successful and most definitely wanted. You could post once a week or once a month and I would still be around to read whatever you have to say!

  6. Found this blog through Debbie Jo and I'm glad I did! I'm amazed by your balancing abilities!

    You might be interested in checking out The Young, Married Life. Another great way to connect with people who understand the little blog world!

  7. who gives a shit what everyone else thinks- be you & do what you want to do. :)

  8. Trying to keep up with the Joneses in the blog world is a real bitch. I try to act like I am way more evolved than that, but clearly it gets to me too (I've blogged about this in the past). Sometimes a little blog break is all ya need. I enjoy your words. And while I live a life completely different from yours I imagine you as someone I could sit across a table with and have some decent, good conversation with. Not sure if this is said everywhere, but here in Minnesota we say, "you're good people". And you are. Keep it up. Keep writing. It's all good in the hood.

  9. Em you are an amazing woman and so inspiring. I hate the "comparison game," its weird how it just sneaks up on you and you dont even know it. As cheeseball as it sounds, you are special just as you are. Your radiant smile could brighten any room and I am so glad I get to read your insightful, hilarious, beautiful words through this blog. Keep being your wonderful self! xoxo

  10. Ditto what Jenni said. Except the part about the Austin Dr. Blogger. I don't know her. I did miss you. Even us Advertising Executives feel like crappy bloggers and I don't even come close to have an important job. Just one that takes all of my time.

  11. i think we all feel like this... no worries, girl! do what you want to do and don't apologize for anything. do your thing. your followers will still be here. : )

  12. This post is amazing- so honest and true! I definitely know what you mean, i'm a type-A person too, and it gets rough sometimes. But, I do LOVE your blog, no matter how many followers your have! Basically, ditto what Aimee Marie says :)

  13. Hi, never commented before but I did miss you! I can't ever keep up on blogging with 2 kids so its nice to know that life happens, and people put people first instead of blogging (the internet etc...) love what you have to say and your outfits :)

  14. Way to scare a girl... I was so afraid your "but" was about to be pulling the plug on blogging. I can deal with blogging breaks and lack of motivation and inspiration, but to stop - well that just can't happen! I like to live vicariously through your ER adventures as I used to live where you live and now work in an ER West of there where there are no hot residents intubating! We rely on glidescopes to assist our seasoned MD's - though we are grateful to have the latest technology and seasoned MD's in small-town Texas where people drive from Florida to Cali at 85mph with cruise control on come hail, rain, or ice on an 18 Wheeler oil slicked down I-10 and end up in our ER! Though you moved here in a drought, any increment weather makes for interesting shifts in the ER! Wow - word vomit! Sorry! Keep on keepin' on - we'll be here sippin' sweet tea waiting on ya!

    PS - I had plans to be a big blogger but I keep reading and not writing... Prolly best 'cos round here I'd be one post shy of a big 'ol HIPAA violation!

  15. I love your blog, but I don't comment fact, I'm not sure that I've ever commented.. But I just thought I would say that you're not alone. I think most bloggers have, at one point or another, experienced these same feelings. I'm always so impressed by your posts...that as a doctor working the hours that you do and having a life outside your career, that you still find time to blog and entertain your followers. I hope that you will continue to find ways that allow you to be your creative, fun self whether that includes blogging or not!

  16. So i just had this whole long thing written out, but then it was just going in circles, which is exactly how I feel about blogs and blogging. There are so many great things about blogging and so many not-so-great things. You just have to do your own thing and not worry about other blogs, followers, comments, etc. Because the fact of the matter is there will always be another blog out there with more followers, more comments, better pictures, etc. So if that's the race we're in, we'll never win. And that is just depressing. So just keep on keepin' on. I personally love your blog and miss you when you don't post. But I know when you don't you're just busy living your life. All I can hope for is you fill us in on what you've been up to when you get back :)

  17. I started following your blog just recently and I just love it!

    And one of the things I like most about it is that you actually have a real life going on besides bloging. you should be proud of yourself. cause hello! you are a doctor! you are actually doing something real.
    i love reading blogs, but there is much pretending, embellishing, all the pictures make people's lives look beyond perfect (and yours does too by the way). but like i said before. you are doing something very important with your life. that is great. you are great.

    and everytime you need a break. take one. life is not waiting for you. this blog and you followers do!

    thank you for being so honest. now i love you even more! :)

  18. I think it's easy to get wrapped up in the multitude of blogs that are out there that in your mind are "better" than yours but I think it's important to keep your feet on the ground and see how it can fit into your life. If it's only once a week? I'll read that 1 post of yours. More than once? I'll read. I love reading your posts because I feel they are real, honest and something I would read from a HUMAN. We aren't all perfect and don't always have times to complete x,y,z, ESPECIALLY while in medical school, not to mention the Air Force. You go, girl. I definitely missed your posts, but that doesn't mean I don't expect more from you - I just enjoy them when they come around.

  19. Glad you are back! I think your blog is always fun.

  20. Agree with what Jenni said above. If i were a doctor...i probably wouldnt even blog if i was being honest..because working long hours and waking up early would probably put me straight into the loony bin..for sure..where they probably wouldnt let me have a computer..

    i think you are a remarkable human being..i admire you in sooo many ways. and i feel incredibly lucky and blessed to call you a friends.

  21. You certainly have been missed. But seriously, you have SO MUCH going on. You're a doctor, a hero! The fact that you even get on here at all is pretty impressive. So chin up. I think you are pretty amazing!

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  23. Your blog has been missed, and I am so glad that you are back! Not to mention, you came back with all of the candor that makes people fall in love with your writing. You are an insanely talented and inspiring girl. I'm lucky to call you my friend. :)

  24. I was just telling Cam the very exact things last night. And I've come to the same conclusions that there has to be balance and it should be an enjoyable thing for us to do. AND whether you realize it or not, so many of us LOVE your blog and count it as one of our favorites. You're such a great writer and hilarious to boot. Really do hope I can meet you in person one day!

  25. agreed with manda. have always loved your blog and you are hilarious. i can't imagine how busy you are, but i just want you to know that i appreciate every post from doc em.

  26. I completely understand! I'm a definite Type A person too, and always want to do a good job. But I definitely realized lately that comparison is the enemy of good. :) I really like your blog (although I just recently dicovered it), because I can relate. My life is about to become ten times busier as I start back to a PA program, career change, move, all that stuff. And since I want to do emergency medicine and currently work in one, I understand how hectic your life is as an intern. Keep up the good work. :)

  27. Hey, I always read (and love) your blog but I'm always too scared to comment haha. But this was such a beautiful post, I love how honest you are. Take breaks, write when you want, respond when you want. This isn't your job and you shouldn't compare yourself to other people. Haha, I don't really know what to say, but please keep blogging. I know you often make my day a little bit brighter. Once a week/month/year haha, I don't care. Hoping to push a bit of support your way :) Thank you <3

  28. Judging by the medical professionals I've met so far on my little journey, I think you are the rare doctor that also happens to be incredibly creative. I work in medical research, and also consider myself creative, and if I didn't have a blog or some other creative outlet I would go absolutely insane -- and I think you would too, especially given the strict lifestyle imposed upon you by the AF!

    I definitely don't think you should stop blogging, but if you do, I hope you can keep finding ways to be inspired and [this sounds cheesy] cultivate creativity because a)you need to stay sane and b) the world needs more inspired doctors like you!

  29. I don't comment a lot, but I follow your story. As a blogger who owns a business, I can completely understand how sometimes the blogging can fall behind.... And how you can compare yourself with others.

    Hang in there. The whole military owning you won't last forever (hey! I used to be in the Israeli Army, I understand). You won't always be able to blog frequently, it doesn't mean that those who follow your blog will savor the posts any less.

    Sending hugs from NJ

  30. ive never commented on your posts, but i read each and every one of them. im a new attorney and even tho peoples lives arent literally in my hands, oftentimes their futures are and we often get put in our place in a similar way so i totally understand. i dont blog (i want to but havent taken the plung yet), but i love reading yours. seeing someone else "do it all" gives me hope. hang in there lady! i love your posts and you are not unoriginal or boring!

  31. Ugh, seriously. Amen! I mean, I don't get it from all the angles you do, but I do compare myself to other blogs and just end up thinking, I can't be as good as these people because I don't want to take the time to know how or make it happen, so why bother blogging at all? I blogged once in January...ONCE. Gotta get my mojo back.

  32. I just stumbled across your blog (I'm currently avoiding cleaning up after dinner...) and your words spoke to me more than the other blog posts I stumbled across. Your words are real and not about presenting a perfect life or a skewed version of your life. I've felt the same insecurities as yours too, and I'm sure many do too, although many would not be honest enough to admit it. You just earnt yourself a new follower :) Fi x

  33. holy shit.

    wait. can I say that on here? I don't know.. but I think it deserves it. So there. I said it.

    those are a lot of thoughts. and well-deserved, honest, generally also thought by other people kind of thoughts.

    other people being... me.

    So thank you? for your honesty? and for coming back. because I for one, did indeed miss you.


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