The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Another Side of Medicine: A Young Physician’s Struggle With Mental Illness

Dr. Kyle Bradford Jones talks about self-care in medicine, why you should consider medicine, and the challenges medical students face in training.

  • [00:33] Getting to Know Dr. Kyle Bradford Jones
  • [06:18] Challenges Faced by Medical Students During Training
  • [08:38] Self-Care in Medicine
  • [11:05] Is Medicine Really for you?
  • [14:40] Why Dr. Jones Decided to Write his Book
  • [21:32] How to Change the Negative Cultures in Medicine

Why Family Medicine?

Before medical school and well into clinical rotations, students are often advised to consider all available options before specializing. Although this makes sense, the decision-making process is usually centered around the medical branches that guarantee faster clearance of student loans or family expectations. Unfortunately, family medicine never seems to satisfy these two pain points. Dr. Jones faced the same dilemma too. He almost became a pediatric oncologist but soon realized his passion was in family medicine. He’s passionate about the idea of developing a continuing relationship with a patient while holistically taking care of them. Moreover, he believes that the only way you can experience the transactional side of medicine or take up a leadership position is through family medicine.

Challenges Faced by Medical Students During Training

First, getting accepted into medical school is no easy feat. Recent statistics point to an increase in the number of medical school applicants that don’t compare to the number of slots available in medical schools. With that, most people claim that the hardest part of medical school is actually getting in. What most people don’t realize is that becoming a doctor can be harder than getting in. After pre-med studies and four years in medical school, M.D.s must then spend three to seven years of residency training.

Furthermore, resident doctors are expected to spend up to 80 hours a week and experience single shifts that can last up to 28 hours. These tight schedules become even harder when you throw a kid into the picture. Dr. Jones believes that the only way to get through this is to have a genuine love for medicine.

Is Medicine Really for You?

People have different reasons for wanting to pursue medicine. From family pressure, personal calling to lucrative financial gain. However, studying medicine is a long-term commitment and a decision that should be made after extensive soul searching and research. To help you in the decision-making process Dr. Jones recommends several things that include:

  1. What do you like doing? Think about the medical field that gives you the most satisfaction even after enduring a 20-hour shift.
  2. The feedback you have received from friends, colleagues, and classmates about your skills and preferences.
  3. The thing that matters most. Do you enjoy having responsibility, variety, people contact, or a good work-life balance?

These three questions can help both before medical school and when choosing your area of expertise.

Links and Resources

Dr. Jones’s Instagram

Dr. Jones’s Website

Grab a copy of Dr. Jones’s latest book Fallible 

Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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