I’ve had the "pleasure" of being harassed in the OR by a couple surgeons who feel I’m “wasting my natural talent with Anesthesia” or that I’ve “gone to the dark side” of the curtain. I’ve also received similar remarks from other physicians in Internal Med and Family Med when asked what field I decided to enter.
In some ways it feels good that a reaction such as this is generated when people find out that I’m not pursuing their field. It means that they felt I might have made a good cutter or were desirous for me to pursue a residency and become their colleague. I was wanted.
What is upsetting, however, is the underlying insult that Anesthesiology is a weaker field. Whatever the reason (perhaps seeing people getting to eat and sit while surgeons starve and stand for hours on end has something to do with it) Anesthesia is an exciting field that is very misunderstood. I understand this to some degree and have begun to accept the fact that others will always consider me a lesser doctor (hell, part of my personal statement discusses this very thing).
Despite this, however, I’ve taken these comments (backhanded though some might be) and thanked the surgeon, Internist, Family doc, etc. for their praise. Because that’s what it is – praise for a job well done over last year. I’m grateful for it, in whatever form it takes, and will hope to only continue to impress as I continue my career.
Now I just have to grow thicker skin…