The discussion about losing empathy especially peaked my interest. Obviously the ER is not a hand-holding, pillow-fluffing environment, but I wonder if starting out here puts me on a fast track to cynicism? I love working in the ER, and right now can't see myself doing anything but Emergency Medicine. I enjoy the unpredictability, I'm excited to be part of the fast saves, and I love (no matter how much I complain here) the wide variety of people that pass through. But at the same time, you can only take care of so many drunks and manipulative drug addicts before you start to get jaded.
Still, my focus will be on getting into a school before I start worrying about burning out. In the meantime, however, it's stories like these that make me pretty sure it's going to be worth it.