SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

38yo, VERY non-traditional... your thoughts on my situation?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by RomaniGypsy, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. RomaniGypsy

    RomaniGypsy

    15
    0
    Jan 4, 2018
    Okay y'all... giving this a shot for my first thread. I've "lurked" for a while, searched a bunch of threads... can't find something all that close to my situation, so here goes.

    Turning 38 in the end of this month. BS in Applied Physics / Computer Software w/minor in mathematics, graduated 2001 w/3.36 GPA (3.39 major GPA). 24 credits of college work since then with As in all classes, to bring cumulative GPA close to 3.5. "Old" SAT 1470, SAT II writing 800, LECOM said I'm comfortably above the mimimum academic index for admission. No MCAT (yet).

    Married, one newborn child, wife (33yo) has always had an affinity for things medical (to the point where people have told her for years that she should be a nurse or a paramedic). She is probably going to nursing school soon.

    I've spent most of my working life as a professional musician. My wife and I have worked primarily as performing musicians for "senior facilities" (nursing homes, assisted living homes, senior centers, etc) for the past almost 5 years and prior to that I spent several years as a private teacher of music lessons. Prior to getting with me, my wife worked office jobs. She has no education beyond high school.

    This will be a dramatic career change, for sure!

    So why medicine for me?

    1) My wife had three major surgeries in 2015 and there were many times when I was not impressed with the "bedside manner" of the doctors. Obviously they were competent, but they seemed somewhat uncaring beyond that. For example, I had a ton of questions and they didn't seem all that interested in answering them.

    2) My wife and I have an "end goal" comprising the following, in no particular order:
    -ability to travel when we want, and stay put when we want (we've been full time RVers and our next RV is currently parked in our back yard, awaiting transformation from its current incarnation as a school bus)
    -ability to help people in need (we'd love to be able to do disaster relief, among other things, and I figure that being a doctor will provide not only necessary skills for such, but also enough money to be able to help needy people in other ways even if not medically)
    -establishing a "commune" for the purposes of seeding some real change in the world (that requires money, and also it would be a huge draw if we could tell people "there's a doctor on site")... okay, I'm a hippie, I admit it!
    -providing a good childhood for our son and whatever other children we may have in the future

    3) I have the intelligence to handle it. Without bragging, let's just say that I recently saw an infographic on IQ distribution for medical doctors and I am significantly above the 90th percentile line. Also, my strength is natural science. (The other sciences, while legitimate, seem too abstract for my brain.)

    4) I'm a rather "young" 38, and I anticipate living a long life. It seems like everyone in my family, on both sides, who doesn't smoke nor get killed tragically lives a life of above-average length. So, even if I can't practice until I'm in my mid-40s, I'll still have plenty of time.

    5) Being a doctor seems to provide the ability to travel, especially if you are a family practice doctor willing to serve "underserved" populations. Those are my people. I've always been an "underserved" person myself, in many ways, and yet I grew up in an area that might best be called "overserved". I know the contrast, and I know what I like. Many years ago, I chose to get out of where I grew up and go to more rural places. So when I read that there is a high demand for doctors in rural areas, I realized that I wouldn't be short on work were I to go into this field. (Not to mention, I could do "locum tenens" work. There appears to be no shortage of such opportunities!)

    6) I believe I'd prefer family practice. I have nothing against specialists, but I can't see myself going to a hurricane-ravaged area and saying "I can help; I'm a radiologist" or "I can help; I'm a dermatologist". It would seem that "jack of all trades" family doctors would be of the most use at times like that because a wide variety of people are going to have a wide variety of medical needs. (The only specialty I can see being useful to the end goal is emergency medicine, so that's still on the table for now at least.) Since that's an area of "critical need" in the medical profession (at least now), it'd seem that there's room for me.

    7) I've always been a bit of a hypochondriac, and my dad is even worse. People generally fear going to the doctor because they think they're going to get bad news. I believe I can deliver bad news in a way that people would be more likely to accept. Does that mean that they'll like getting it? No, but if you want to get better, you need to hear it. Having been the guy who is afraid of going to the doctor, and having known people who are worse, I could treat people accordingly.

    8) I really want to be respected. Yes, there is a bit of vanity in this for me, but how many people go into a career field entirely altruistically? I've always been the type to work hard and become the best at what I do, and if I do that and still don't get respect (which is the way I have felt for years in my current profession), it's going to burn me out. At least when you're a doctor, generally speaking, people come to you because they want you to improve their health... so they're willing to listen to you. Are there some who don't listen? Sure. I've known a few. But they seem the exception rather than the rule.

    This is becoming long-winded, isn't it? I'll probably have to break this up into multiple topic-specific threads. I'm leaning toward DO instead of MD, because I like the "holistic" approach to medicine and I've also been known, for many years, to give good massages. (Chalk it up to my strong hands from over 30 years of piano playing.) Further, I recently interviewed my primary care doctor (an internal medicine MD) and he said that not only is his practice style more like that of a DO, but he'd go the route of a DO if he had his career to do over again (he had no choice but to be an MD, studying medicine in India in the 1970s) and he has two children who are DOs. I knew I liked his style, and now I know why.

    So what do you think thus far?
     
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. AnotherLawyer

    AnotherLawyer Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    770
    716
    Apr 9, 2014
    Welcome. This is obviously a big decision and it is natural to have a lot on your mind, but resist the temptation to get ahead of yourself. Step 1 is making yourself a competitive applicant: Keep getting A's, finishing any outstanding pre-reqs, shadow (including a DO if you're going to be applying to DO schools), do a bunch of clinical and non-clinical volunteering, do well on the MCAT.
     
  4. RomaniGypsy

    RomaniGypsy

    15
    0
    Jan 4, 2018
    It would seem awkward, would it not, to contact a DO out of the blue and say "Hey, can I come in and hang around you as you go about your day's work, so that I can see what you do?".....?

    As for volunteering, why is it necessary? I don't really have time for that, between working, keeping up a house, doing my part to raise my son, and now taking classes for prerequisites. Why would I have to "work for nothing" just to get into a medical school? (Besides, since I spend my entire working life in medical facilities, wouldn't that count for something as far as seeing how it works?)
     
  5. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Moderator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    20,382
    29,692
    Nov 4, 2011
    Alta California
    DO's know that a DO letter is expected, so it is not awkward. They may not acquiesce, but it is not awkward.
    A commitment to service is a core competency. How would you demonstrate this if not by volunteerism?
     
    PastorDoc likes this.
  6. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Moderator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    20,382
    29,692
    Nov 4, 2011
    Alta California
    I would like to point out that this is not a real difference between the two degrees, although I completely respect the choice to apply DO.
     
    PastorDoc, Trollest, Goro and 2 others like this.
  7. Dullhead

    Dullhead 5+ Year Member

    872
    1,335
    Jun 14, 2012
    Yes, it would, but you still have to do it.

    Checkboxing is checkboxing. You won't be able to do without it. No exceptions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
    PastorDoc and frosted2 like this.
  8. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Snow fox. 2+ Year Member

    5,104
    7,232
    Jan 10, 2016
    You are trying to enter a service profession. They want to see that you are willing to serve others. You have to do it.

    As far as time, you can find time to volunteer 2-4 hours per week. I have a 3 year old and a 2 year old. When they were 1 and 2, I was taking 12 credits/semester, working 70 hours/week, raising them, and volunteering 4 hours per week. You can make time if you try.
     
  9. workaholic181

    workaholic181

    950
    493
    May 29, 2017
    I found all the DOs I shadowed to be incredibly accommodating to my requests. It’s always awkward to reach out initially but I’m sure you’ll find success.

    Your GPAs are fine for most DO programs now pending MCAT. You have an upward trend and tour old grades were from so long ago you should be good.

    38 is definitely not too old OP you’re not the first to do this. I would caution you to consider that the attitude those docs treating your wife held is gonna be found in all ranks of med students and residents also so prepare yourself to habitually encounter this. I’m also not convinced a life in primary care will allow you to travel at will in your RV but you can absolutely practice in an underserved community which I’ve been told by docs who have rotated through such places is incredibly challenging and rewarding.

    Long story short, you’re in good shape just a question of mcat. Good luck!
     
  10. arcus

    arcus

    196
    177
    Nov 30, 2017
    Priceless.
     
  11. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

    39,174
    51,931
    Jun 10, 2010
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    My wife had three major surgeries in 2015 and there were many times when I was not impressed with the "bedside manner" of the doctors. Obviously they were competent, but they seemed somewhat uncaring beyond that. For example, I had a ton of questions and they didn't seem all that interested in answering them.

    I would not call this a good reason to become a doctor. It is OK as a model for the doctor you do NOt want to be!

    -ability to help people in need (we'd love to be able to do disaster relief, among other things, and I figure that being a doctor will provide not only necessary skills for such, but also enough money to be able to help needy people in other ways even if not medically)


    You can do this without having to be a doctor.


    -establishing a "commune" for the purposes of seeding some real change in the world (that requires money, and also it would be a huge draw if we could tell people "there's a doctor on site")... okay, I'm a hippie, I admit it!
    -providing a good childhood for our son and whatever other children we may have in the future

    I'm trying to say this in the nicest possible way:
    You're going to have to do better than this. Having a good lifestyle and making bank is the baseline for going into Medicine. Plus, the ego in your reason is off-putting. If I heard you say that in interview, I'd reject you outright.

    3) I have the intelligence to handle it. Without bragging, let's just say that I recently saw an infographic on IQ distribution for medical doctors and I am significantly above the 90th percentile line. Also, my strength is natural science. (The other sciences, while legitimate, seem too abstract for my brain.)
    This is all well and good, but you do need to avoid the hubris and ego.


    4) I'm a rather "young" 38, and I anticipate living a long life. It seems like everyone in my family, on both sides, who doesn't smoke nor get killed tragically lives a life of above-average length. So, even if I can't practice until I'm in my mid-40s, I'll still have plenty of time.
    Some of my all time best students have been in their 30s and 40s.


    6) I believe I'd prefer family practice. I have nothing against specialists, but I can't see myself going to a hurricane-ravaged area and saying "I can help; I'm a radiologist" or "I can help; I'm a dermatologist". It would seem that "jack of all trades" family doctors would be of the most use at times like that because a wide variety of people are going to have a wide variety of medical needs. (The only specialty I can see being useful to the end goal is emergency medicine, so that's still on the table for now at least.) Since that's an area of "critical need" in the medical profession (at least now), it'd seem that there's room for me.

    This is all well and good, but get into medical school first.


    8) I really want to be respected. Yes, there is a bit of vanity in this for me, but how many people go into a career field entirely altruistically? I've always been the type to work hard and become the best at what I do, and if I do that and still don't get respect (which is the way I have felt for years in my current profession), it's going to burn me out.
    Reject time with this motivation.

    At least when you're a doctor, generally speaking, people come to you because they want you to improve their health... so they're willing to listen to you. Are there some who don't listen? Sure. I've known a few. But they seem the exception rather than the rule.
    Look up the term "non-compliant patient"

    This is becoming long-winded, isn't it? I'll probably have to break this up into multiple topic-specific threads. I'm leaning toward DO instead of MD, because I like the "holistic" approach to medicine
    Even though I'm on faculty at a DO school, it's insulting to our MD colleagues to imply that they don't practice holistic medicine.


    and I've also been known, for many years, to give good massages. (Chalk it up to my strong hands from over 30 years of piano playing.)
    Please, please do some more research into Osteopathy before uttering stuff like this, which will also lead to you being rejected before you leave the interview room, not just by me, by my students on the interview panel, much less my DO colleagues.


    As for volunteering, why is it necessary? I don't really have time for that, between working, keeping up a house, doing my part to raise my son, and now taking classes for prerequisites. Why would I have to "work for nothing" just to get into a medical school? (Besides, since I spend my entire working life in medical facilities, wouldn't that count for something as far as seeing how it works?)

    You wanna be a doctor? Make time.
    I can't sugar coat this. What are you going to say when asked how you know you are suited for a life of caring for the sick and suffering? “That you just know”? Imagine how that will go over!

    From the wise LizzyM: I am always reminded of a certain frequent poster of a few years ago. He was adamant about not volunteering as he did not want to give his services for free and he was busy and helping others was inconvenient. He matriculated to a medical school and lasted less than one year. He's now in school to become an accountant.

    So here's the deal: You need to show AdComs that you know what you're getting into, and show off your altruistic, humanistic side. We need to know that you're going to like being around sick or injured people for the next 40 years.

    Here's another way of looking at it: would you buy a new car without test driving it? Buy a new suit or dress without trying it on??

    We're also not looking for merely for good medical students, we're looking for people who will make good doctors, and 4.0 GPA robots are a dime-a-dozen.

    I've seen plenty of posts here from high GPA/high MCAT candidates who were rejected because they had little patient contact experience.

    Not all volunteering needs to be in a hospital. Think hospice, Planned Parenthood, nursing homes, rehab facilities, crisis hotlines, camps for sick children, or clinics.

    Some types of volunteer activities are more appealing than others. Volunteering in a nice suburban hospital is all very well and good and all, but doesn't show that you're willing to dig in and get your hands dirty in the same way that working with the developmentally disabled (or homeless, the dying, or Alzheimers or mentally ill or elderly or ESL or domestic, rural impoverished) does. The uncomfortable situations are the ones that really demonstrate your altruism and get you 'brownie points'. Plus, they frankly teach you more -- they develop your compassion and humanity in ways comfortable situations can't.


    Service need not be "unique". If you can alleviate suffering in your community through service to the poor, homeless, illiterate, fatherless, etc, you are meeting an otherwise unmet need and learning more about the lives of the people (or types of people) who will someday be your patients. Check out your local houses of worship for volunteer opportunities. The key thing is service to others less fortunate than you.

    Examples include: Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Humane Society, crisis hotlines, soup kitchen, food pantry, homeless or women’s shelter, after-school tutoring for students or coaching a sport in a poor school district, teaching ESL to adults at a community center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or Meals on Wheels.

    You're also going to have to get the needed ECs in. So, start thinking about shadowing and doing patient contact volunteer work. You have to do that at the same time as your coursework, or your employment, to show us you can walk and chew gum at the same time. Medicine is a service profession.
     
  12. JustPlainBill

    JustPlainBill Attending Physician 10+ Year Member

    2,308
    2,620
    Jan 5, 2007
    Thank you @Goro for your kind/well written post -- I don't think I'd have been as gentle. Seen more than a few of this type of deal come and go -- if they're fortunate enough to get selected into med school, usually they get dealt with before they hit clinical rotations. Otherwise, they usually get slapped down, hard, in front of their peers during rotations.

    And we no longer say "non-compliant" -- we say "non-adherent" or "not adherent with the therapeutic plan" -- less traumatic emotionally for the patient....
     
  13. AnotherLawyer

    AnotherLawyer Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    770
    716
    Apr 9, 2014
    Lot's of non-trads think the box check requirements are unreasonable or shouldn't apply given their personal circumstances. But what you think doesn't matter, even if you are right. There are things you need to do to maximize your odds of getting an acceptance. Just accept that and drive on.
     
  14. operaman

    operaman Physician 7+ Year Member

    1,511
    2,966
    Jun 7, 2010
    Welcome fellow musician! You're not actually as non-traditional as you'd think! Lots of things to say but let me just start by saying that your music background will serve you well in medicine. It can be hard for non-musicians to totally buy into this, but I can assure you that every day I use more of what I learned as a musician than what I learned in medical school. It really does develop and refine so many skills that end up being so vitally important to doing this job.

    I'm going to go out on a limb right now and call it that you're going to land in EM. Just a feeling. I have a hard time seeing FM being as compatible with all the other things you list above. I would consider planning your path like you're heading for the much more competitive entry into EM, and then if you do end up deciding FM is your jam, well you're set up to go anywhere you want.

    Ok so first things first:
    1) Have you done all the pre-reqs? If not, do them. Get As. All As. Your GPA might even be a touch higher when it's all said and done, but >3.5 should at least get you past auto-screens and get real eyeballs on your application.

    2) Your MCAT score is going to be everything for you. Don't take this until you know you will score highly. It is a tough exam and this isn't like prior standardized tests where they just take your highest score. If you have a high IQ and are good at these things, then you're lucky, but don't underestimate this test. There are good practice exams from the AAMC, so when you're ready, take them under test-like conditions and let that guide your study.

    3) Medical schools are VERY risk averse. The last thing they want to do is bring a young family like yours in and have you drop out or flunk out with an extra $100k+ in debt and no degree. As such, many of the hoops and all the scrutiny are there to ensure that whoever gets in will stay in and finish. This really isn't done out of any financial interest of the school, but purely because students do come and end up dropping out and it hurts to see young lives and young families permanently damaged by a failed attempt at medical school. I don't think I understood this when I was an applicant; it took a few years into school as a saw people flunk out or drop out and what it did to their lives and how personally and emotionally our admins took it.

    4) You've gotta jump through the hoops. You can ask why and think it makes no sense, but in the end you have to do them. Welcome to medicine. Once you do those, the LCME and NBME will hand you more hoops (and fees) to jump through. After you graduate, the ACGME and your specialty will hand you more hoops -- those are the ones I'm currently jumping through. After that, licensing boards and insurance companies and federal regulators will hand you more. Lots of things in medicine make no sense. Some things make no sense to YOU but do to others. Regardless, if you want to take care of sick people, this is what we have to do.

    5) Shadowing is critical, especially for non-trads. You can probably ignore that crazy number of shadowing hours you'll see some pre-meds list, but you have to do enough to convince people that you really know what you're getting yourself in to. Every physician had to do it so no it isn't awkward to receive such requests from prospective applicants. One of your biggest assets as a non-trad is your maturity, so cold calling people and/or dropping in and asking was very effective for me. I've known people who got in despite a low GPA or a low MCAT or any number of things, but I've never known of someone who got in without any clinical exposure.

    6) Your prior work as a musician in medical facilities will absolutely not count at all toward any of these requirements. Being paid to play the piano for seniors is not clinical. You were maybe in the building with people who were having clinical experiences, but you were playing the piano. It can work as part of your story and what led you to medicine, but it's not even in the same zip code as actual clinical exposure.

    6.5) Why not volunteer to start a music therapy style program where you teach piano and singing and whatnot to seniors? I actually did something like this back in the day for people with dementia and found it very rewarding.

    7) You have to volunteer. Why? Because medicine is populated by pragmatic scientific people, so when an applicant like you comes in and says he wants to serve the suffering, they want to see how much serving you've been doing already. Past behavior remains the best predictor of future behavior. You have more time now for volunteerism and service than you will ever have as a physician, so if you don't do any now, your story of wanting to serve underserved people and the like is not going to be taken seriously. Furthermore, this is one of the hoops you absolutely have to jump through. Yes it's annoying and takes time, but it will be a deal breaker for admissions.

    8) Wow yeah so Goro said much of what else I was going to say at the same time I was writing this. Agree 110% with everything he's written above.

    9) SDN is known for a lot of things, tough love being one of them. It's not for the faint of heart! Just be glad you're seeing this feedback here rather than in a mysterious rejection after you'd already gone through an application cycle. You just have some thinking and adjusting to do, not a big deal.

    10) As noted above, many things in your reasoning come across very sophomoric to those in the trenches (ie. giving bad news is arguably one of the worst most heart-wrenching parts of the job. Nobody is good at it. It sucks. You do it because it's the right thing to do for the patient, but it will break your heart every time to look at a sweet scared little old face surrounded by their spouse and children and tell them they have cancer or that there are no more curative options -- that hurts! If it doesn't, you shouldn't be in medicine).

    11) Are there some patients who don't listen? HA! I think there was a study where they provided medication free of charge to patients and tracked how many actually took it: 30%. So 70% of patients won't even take a pill when it's prescribed by their doctor for a diagnosed medical condition and provided free of charge. Do you think more or less people listen and follow through with weight loss? Smoking cessation? Health screening? Ha!

    Well this reply is getting pretty longwinded too so I'll wrap it up here. You're getting some great feedback above from posters who are highly regarded as adcoms who mentor many students here as they go through the process. Take the tough love gracefully and make adjustments and you'll do well.
     
    Stagg737, Fidelio17, ADSigMel and 2 others like this.
  15. Phil McCracken

    Phil McCracken Banned Banned Account on Hold

    42
    20
    Jan 11, 2018
    I stopped reading at "no MCAT."
     
  16. JustPlainBill

    JustPlainBill Attending Physician 10+ Year Member

    2,308
    2,620
    Jan 5, 2007
    <snip>

    So why medicine for me?

    1) My wife had three major surgeries in 2015 and there were many times when I was not impressed with the "bedside manner" of the doctors. Obviously they were competent, but they seemed somewhat uncaring beyond that. For example, I had a ton of questions and they didn't seem all that interested in answering them.

    So -- newflash -- your wife was likely not the only patient they were seeing and surgeon's are not known for bedside manner in the first place. Most physicians now don't have the time for General Foods International Coffees moments with their patients and we recognize that most patients aren't going to do what we tell them to do anyway. Family member questions? Right -- most of those are based off of "my research" aka Google Search and trying to string together some form of logical thought and making it apply to medicine. I'll be polite and listen to some of it but when it gets into a long discussion -- yeah, not so much. If it goes on too long, it tends to make me want to turn on the "I'm discussing this with a colleague" mode and I start asking for journal titles to search pubmed databases, questioning NNT/NNH, and all sorts of fun stuff before I go into the microhistology of the associated disease process -- I resist the urge most of the time....

    2) My wife and I have an "end goal" comprising the following, in no particular order:
    -ability to travel when we want, and stay put when we want (we've been full time RVers and our next RV is currently parked in our back yard, awaiting transformation from its current incarnation as a school bus)
    -ability to help people in need (we'd love to be able to do disaster relief, among other things, and I figure that being a doctor will provide not only necessary skills for such, but also enough money to be able to help needy people in other ways even if not medically)
    -establishing a "commune" for the purposes of seeding some real change in the world (that requires money, and also it would be a huge draw if we could tell people "there's a doctor on site")... okay, I'm a hippie, I admit it!
    -providing a good childhood for our son and whatever other children we may have in the future

    Sounds like this is becoming more about you and yours....

    3) I have the intelligence to handle it. Without bragging, let's just say that I recently saw an infographic on IQ distribution for medical doctors and I am significantly above the 90th percentile line. Also, my strength is natural science. (The other sciences, while legitimate, seem too abstract for my brain.)

    And the most intelligent, highest MCAT/GPA person in my class is now a biology teacher because they couldn't pass a practical exam and had no people skills...another one with people skills and a Ph.D couldn't get through an anatomy class and is now working for a phama company.....intelligence is no lead pipe cinch.

    4) I'm a rather "young" 38, and I anticipate living a long life. It seems like everyone in my family, on both sides, who doesn't smoke nor get killed tragically lives a life of above-average length. So, even if I can't practice until I'm in my mid-40s, I'll still have plenty of time.

    Good for you.

    5) Being a doctor seems to provide the ability to travel, especially if you are a family practice doctor willing to serve "underserved" populations. Those are my people. I've always been an "underserved" person myself, in many ways, and yet I grew up in an area that might best be called "overserved". I know the contrast, and I know what I like. Many years ago, I chose to get out of where I grew up and go to more rural places. So when I read that there is a high demand for doctors in rural areas, I realized that I wouldn't be short on work were I to go into this field. (Not to mention, I could do "locum tenens" work. There appears to be no shortage of such opportunities!)

    So does the Peace Corps, Boy Scouts and USAID...or the US military -- at 38, you can still do it --

    6) I believe I'd prefer family practice. I have nothing against specialists, but I can't see myself going to a hurricane-ravaged area and saying "I can help; I'm a radiologist" or "I can help; I'm a dermatologist". It would seem that "jack of all trades" family doctors would be of the most use at times like that because a wide variety of people are going to have a wide variety of medical needs. (The only specialty I can see being useful to the end goal is emergency medicine, so that's still on the table for now at least.) Since that's an area of "critical need" in the medical profession (at least now), it'd seem that there's room for me.

    Please -- let's just see if you can get into medical school first, survive Step 1 and then start down the road to clinical rotations before you start picking residencies, mmkay?

    7) I've always been a bit of a hypochondriac, and my dad is even worse. People generally fear going to the doctor because they think they're going to get bad news. I believe I can deliver bad news in a way that people would be more likely to accept. Does that mean that they'll like getting it? No, but if you want to get better, you need to hear it. Having been the guy who is afraid of going to the doctor, and having known people who are worse, I could treat people accordingly.

    There is no good way to look someone in the eyes and deliver a life altering diagnosis -- and no one is really good at it -- and it never gets any easier -- until you've done it a few times, you don't know f-all about it.

    8) I really want to be respected. Yes, there is a bit of vanity in this for me, but how many people go into a career field entirely altruistically? I've always been the type to work hard and become the best at what I do, and if I do that and still don't get respect (which is the way I have felt for years in my current profession), it's going to burn me out. At least when you're a doctor, generally speaking, people come to you because they want you to improve their health... so they're willing to listen to you. Are there some who don't listen? Sure. I've known a few. But they seem the exception rather than the rule.

    So now the truth comes out --- everyone wants to be respected --- if you want to be respected, go be a lawyer or priest -- if you've done any of your homework, you'll know that FM docs are least likely to be respected -- hell , there's even NPs that have determined they're on par with FM attendings, if not better. Physicians are losing respect in general and we've got admins/patient family and everyone else telling us where to get off -- if you're going into this to fulfill some inner child need for respect, you're going in to the wrong business for the wrong reasons....

    My advice -- find another career or at least do some of your homework and some soul searching first ----

    Truthfully, I'd reject your app.
     
  17. RomaniGypsy

    RomaniGypsy

    15
    0
    Jan 4, 2018
    Did you also have time to sleep 7 - 8 hours a night? I've known people who do fine on 4 hours a night... that was never me.

    I guess I'll never know unless I try. Apparently I have to get a better feel for the difference between allopathic and osteopathic medicine, however. I've looked up numerous articles and web pages about that and if I don't understand it now, I'm not sure I will unless I set up an appointment or interview with a DO.

    I imagine that it'd be unwise to take the MCAT before I have completed certain prerequisite courses such as biology, organic chemistry, etc. I haven't looked into practice MCAT questions but I have read that those topics are covered.

    I'm sure I would encounter it in colleagues, but what control do I have over that? Also, would it really affect me that much? Maybe it would, but I don't see there being any way that I could change anyone's bedside manner.

    As for traveling, I'm not necessarily looking to travel "at will"... I know there's a certain lag time in any type of traveling... but I just haven't seemed to be able to settle down in one place for all that long before getting the itch to travel again, even if only on a part time basis. Some people seem to be able to live in the same place for their whole lives... not me. My mom chalks it up to my gypsy heritage.



    It was but one of the reasons. Does anyone who goes into medicine do so, successfully, with one single motivating reason?


    Again, just one more reason. You can do each and every one of the things I mentioned without being a doctor, but it seems that that's what falls into the intersection of all of the circles on the Venn diagram.

    I may not be understanding this part of your post, but at least part of it seems to be flying in the face of what my primary care doctor told me when I interviewed him last week. I asked him to finish the following sentence: "Do NOT become a doctor if you are the type of person who....." - and without missing a beat he said "...is only in it for the money". So if you're telling me that my baseline reasoning for going into medicine should be to have a good lifestyle and make bank, at the very least the opinions are out of consensus.

    As for the commune thing, I just worded it like that for basic understanding of everyone on an online forum. I have no intention of bringing that up in an interview because right now it's too nebulous a concept... and furthermore, I know that any plan to change the world to that extent is going to take longer than my lifetime. On top of that, very few people currently share that desire... which does strike me as odd, given how many people seem to want to help their fellow humans (what better way to help them than by changing the system that brings them down in the first place?), but I do know that that's where people generally stand. So, you wouldn't have to worry about hearing me say that in an interview.



    Would it be seen as self-deprecating if I said that one of the challenges I faced was having an IQ test rating that put me below the 10th percentile line? All I'm doing is stating the truth in an online forum. This is another piece of information that probably wouldn't make a difference in an interview... I put it on a forum so that everyone reading what I have to say wouldn't have to think "is this guy intellectually up to the challenge?". If I were really egotistical, I could have worded this in a far more self-aggrandizing way. Don't mistake honesty for hubris.

    I'm a far better student now than I was in my younger years, for sure. I believe I have distilled the differences down to "I have a true love for learning now, and I really didn't when I was younger". Makes me question the whole notion of choosing your career track when you're in your mid-teens... I'd lay odds that few people really know what they want to do with the rest of their lives when they're 16.

    My true first step must be wading through all of the available information to figure out if this is a good pursuit for me... hence my presence here. I've spent countless hours researching the medical profession and the various branches thereof, online, and I did already interview my doctor and call two medical schools. Next week I begin three prerequisite classes, which is the second step... I have approximately 26 credits' worth of prerequisites to complete before I can apply. I think the soonest I could hope to get into medical school would be the fall semester of 2019... so I have some time, and I intend to use that time to make sure that I'm doing the right thing. I can't imagine that becoming a doctor is for the faint of heart, so I have to do what I can to make the "deal-breakers", if there are any, rise to the surface.

    Again, I know that this is not something you say in an interview. I've always aced interviews, and I have never had to be dishonest in even the slightest way to do so. The last interview I aced was for a teaching job about ten years ago... and I didn't tell the school principal that a major motivator behind wanting to get that teaching job was that I was almost dead broke and I needed some money fast. I'm sure that would have been a "reject time" motivator... but I got the job and I did well at it. I didn't like the working conditions, so I left after only one year... but my students never accused me of having become a teacher for any of "the wrong reasons".

    I already said that I figured some patients would not follow what their doctors tell them to do. I've known some such people personally. I always felt they would be the exception to the rule... but maybe I'm wrong. A later respondent said that a study he read showed that 70% of patients were non-compliant... I'll get to that later. Is patient non-compliance a major source of negativity and frustration for doctors? If yes, is that experienced more acutely in certain medical specialties than others?

    I'm only parroting what I read, here. The truth is that I'm rather ignorant of the differences between the two. Further research after having interviewed my doctor gave me a bit more insight into why that is, and the generalized reason is because the two philosophies of practice (allopathic and osteopathic) have been converging more and more as time has gone on. My parents see several doctors for various medical issues, and one is a DO. My mom told me that she hasn't picked up on any difference in that doctor's style of practice (which couldn't be attributed to her medical specialty) compared to the MDs. My MD definitely practices a holistic approach to medicine. Maybe there isn't as much of a difference as some of the articles I've read have stated. In all honesty, I only started looking into osteopathic medicine because the closest medical school to my location is LECOM... and I was curious about how a DO differed from an MD.

    I read that Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine is a hands-on method of slight adjustments to certain bones including the lower spine (to address lower back pain) and wrists (to address carpal tunnel syndrome), among others. It struck me as incorporating some of the principles of massage and perhaps chiropractic medicine (though, having watched a chiropractor work once, it seems that a visit to the chiropractor is likely to involve noticeably more "violent" adjustments to bone alignment than a visit to the osteopathic physician).

    Good answer... but what I didn't say at the same time was that I have actually already begun the process of establishing a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization aimed at helping people. (I met with the lawyer back in the summertime, so it's not like this is a recent thing.) I doubt I'll be able to do much for the sick given that I'm not a medical practitioner (and given that even places like nursing homes won't let you near a sick resident), but there are suffering people all over the place. I intend to throttle up my volunteering as soon as we get all of the paperwork settled. I think there will be a certain amount of credibility to be found in having established a volunteering organization, if I end up needing that credibility.

    (Here's an interesting question for you, though. You keep talking about not coming off sounding like I have an inflated ego. Yet, every website I've read which talks about how to develop a good application for medical school emphasizes that you have to "stand out from the crowd" if you want the best chance to get in. How would one do that without risking being accused of boasting by emphasizing what he/she has done or can offer, which most others likely haven't done / can't offer?)

    I really don't mind giving my services for free. The problem is that I don't make much money as it is right now, and the time I have available to volunteer is usually inconvenient time. I'd be happy to volunteer after getting home from an evening show at like 9:30 or 10:00 PM... but who wants or needs a volunteer at that time, you know?

    However, I do believe and accept that with a little creativity, I ought to be able to figure something out.

    Well, I've worked in the service of people whose health is badly deteriorated for the past 16 years, give or take a bit. I wouldn't call them "sick" in the traditional sense because few of them carried transmissible diseases, but some people would call someone with Alzheimer's or cancer "sick", so if they are "sick", then I've worked in the service of sick people... and injured people... after all, injuries are one of the biggest reasons why people end up in nursing homes.

    I'm willing to call general practitioner doctors of all types (family medicine, internal medicine, MD, DO, etc) to see if they're willing to let me shadow them. However, the one specialty I think would work into our long-term plan is emergency medicine, and I have to ask - in an emergency department, are they really going to accept some guy with no medical credentials watching the doctors do their jobs? People could come in with life-threatening conditions, it happens all the time, wouldn't I just be in the way even if I did my best to stand back?

    Would it count as volunteering, for medical school applications, if I were to go to nursing homes and the like, and just talk with the residents? I got into entertaining for nursing homes when I was working at a nursing home as a maintenance guy. It struck me in short order that many of the residents operated as though they had nobody with whom to hold a conversation. I'd come in to clean their air conditioner filter and it was not uncommon that the resident would chat me up, and I'd be in there for an hour. If there's one thing those people need, in addition to the entertainment I currently provide, it's conversation.

    Maybe you and I don't see "getting your hands dirty" in the same way. As an entertainer, I LOVE MRDD homes and dementia units. Those are often the best audiences, for the same reasons - most MRDD people, and most early-stage dementia patients, have no inhibitions / "self-consciousness". They'll dance, sing, hoot and holler, and they don't have the slightest care about who might see them doing it. My biggest question would be... since these places are all fully staffed (usually because the state mandates it), what room would there be in the schedule or the plans for a volunteer to do anything beyond mundane tasks? As an entertainer, I've seen many a volunteer in the activities departments of nursing homes and assisted living homes, but they never seem to do much beyond mundane tasks because "I'm only a volunteer".

    There is a good bit of suffering around here, for sure. I have some good contacts at the local human resources center (they've hired me and my wife to perform several shows) and they could probably point me in the right direction.

    Do I dare ask.... what are "ECs"? Extracurriculars?
     
  18. RomaniGypsy

    RomaniGypsy

    15
    0
    Jan 4, 2018
    I could see using my ability to read people (can't survive as a musician if you can't read your crowd, and even down to the individual person within the crowd) and my entertaining personality (a light mood at the doctor's office can't be a bad thing, especially when there's a predisposition to dread a doctor visit). Who knows what else I'd have to use... but those two elements stick out right away.

    I'm going to look into it. I'm good at figuring out solutions to problems quickly. I've thought that I would make a good surgeon because I have excellent fine motor control (I can write in such small print that most people have to put the paper really close to their eyes to read it)... but I don't know if being a surgeon would work into the long-term plan that my wife and I have. I need to refine my knowledge of the difference between an emergency medicine doctor and a surgeon.

    I'll do the best I can. Since graduating college in 2001, I've taken 8 classes and have scored high As in each. That said, I didn't find them as tricky as I'd likely find an upper-level science, and I wasn't taking as many at once... so all I can say is that I'll do the best I can and hopefully I'll get As. Some upper-level sciences just never worked for me... like quantum mechanics. It didn't matter how hard I studied, how long I worked, how many times I went to the professor for help... I couldn't "get" quantum mechanics. (But, interestingly enough, the first sentence in the textbook was "It's safe to say that nobody truly understands quantum mechanics." - - - so maybe I was more the rule than the exception!)

    Point taken... but I found out something rather interesting not long ago. LECOM doesn't require the MCAT if your GPA and SATs are high enough. Is that the only medical school that doesn't have an MCAT requirement? I don't mind taking a test... tests don't bother me... but if it isn't _necessary_, one would think it'd be to my advantage to save the time and money and not take the test.

    Why did those people flunk out? Really, it seems to me that medical schools try to admit only the cream of the crop... so one would think that the admitted students have the academic chops to handle medical school. Did they flunk out because they couldn't handle it no matter how badly they wanted to, or because they decided at some point along the way that medicine was not for them and they just stopped trying?

    Can I at least get explanations for why the stuff makes sense to "them" if I ask "them" (or someone else comparatively "in the know") for such? I admit to having a strong distaste for asking "why" of someone who knows the answer (or by all means SHOULD know the answer) and getting a response of "because that's just the way it is". That's not an answer, as it gives rise to the obvious follow-up question of "well, WHY is that the way it is?". I may still think the reason is dumb, but at least if I can GET the reason, I'll be satisfied.

    That's fine by me. I could imagine that the only potential problem would be doing clinical shadowing with a doctor who is treating a bunch of people who have transmissible illnesses and picking up something myself. That'd be bad news right now. If I get sick, I can't perform... even if I'm still CAPABLE of performing, they won't want me at nursing homes and the like if I'm sick. There goes another chunk of our already meager income... not to mention I now have to stay away from my wife and son lest I risk getting HIM sick. (SHE could handle it. HE is still too young, and I don't want him catching anything.)

    I asked about that because a prior respondent said that volunteer hours should be both clinical and non-clinical. Figured that might count in some way for "non-clinical".

    I kind of already do that, with singing at least. How else could you get people with dementia singing, but to sing songs for them which they already know and get them to sing along with you? I've been doing that for 11 years now, to the point where more than once have I been approached at the end of a show by a teary-eyed adult child of a resident who told me that for the first time in X years, words actually came out of his/her parent's mouth when said parent / resident started singing along with one of my songs.

    Teaching piano to seniors... well... yeah, I can do that, because I taught music lessons for years... but how would that qualify as relevant experience if what I already do does not qualify?

    I'm glad that people are that honest here. I may just find myself among kindred spirits if that's the case... after all, I bear the distinction of having been called "the most honest person I've ever known", by my ex-wife AFTER we got divorced! I think that says more than anything else could. I can certainly handle "tough love"... and I'm known to dish it out when needed. Better that I get some tough love, than to waste countless hours researching stuff online only to come to maybe the same conclusion. People with firsthand experience are still the best source of information.

    Heck, if I can make "sophomoric" at this early level, I think I'm doing alright, because in my mind I feel more "freshmanic". :) I am certainly not downplaying the inevitable experience of having to deliver bad news to a patient or the family of a patient. Truth be told, I wouldn't bet a penny on the assertion that I would never tear up / choke up while delivering that news. When I say I would be "good at it", here's an example of what I mean. Two nights ago as I was driving home from the day's shows, I was listening to a radio station where a lady was talking about an experience she had at the hospital. Her newborn son had some medical problems, he had to go through surgery four days after he was born, and after the surgery was done, a doctor came in and told her - and this was apparently a direct quote - "Your son is blind. Sorry." - and on that, he left the room. The lady went on for a little while about how callous and unfeeling the doctor's response was. My knee-jerk reaction was to imagine what I would have said to them had I been the doctor who had to deliver the news. I could see myself walking in and saying something like "Mrs. [name], your son came through the surgery and is heading toward recovery now. However... I have to bear some news that I imagine no parents ever want to hear, and since I know there is no pleasant way of doing that, I'm just going to give it to you straight, as I'd want the doctor to do for me if it were my child. Your son is totally blind, and we can't guarantee that he will ever be able to see anything." (At this point I would wait to see the parents' reaction. There is a fine line to be toed between telling parents that their child has a severe disability, and devaluing or otherwise dehumanizing people who have that disability. I've been around parents of disabled children enough to know that they don't always see the disability as a bad thing... sometimes they say that it makes the child positive in a way that few "normal" children are, and that it has made them better parents and people as a result. People view disabilities differently, and while most parents are likely to be devastated by the news, some might just take it in stride for any of many reasons.)

    Assuming that the parents reacted in a way that showed that they were devastated, I'd likely continue with something like "I know that there's nothing I can say right now which is going to take away the shock you're feeling now, but for whatever it's worth, you can ask me any questions you think of, whether now or later on, and I will do my best to get you connected with the best resources out there for blind children. There are doctors working on getting blind people to be able to see, and I'll give you all of the information I have on them so you can contact them and see what they might be able to do for him. Just realize that this is not the end of the world. He may not be able to see, but, for example, he will be able to hear better than you do because he'll have to focus on what he hears to compensate for what he can't see. And here are some names to keep in mind: Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Andrea Bocelli. If he doesn't want to be a musician, blind people have climbed Mount Everest, acted, danced, painted, practiced law, worked for social justice, written, taught, and most importantly, loved others, and been loved. I can't say it's going to be easy raising him, but I'd bet my next month's pay that he will 'see with his heart', colloquially speaking, even if he is never able to see with his eyes, and he'll bring happiness into your lives in unexpected ways."

    Or something like that. Can anyone ever know for sure how a situation will play out? That's just a guess.

    But if there's one thing I do well... perhaps too well... it's empathy. Here's another tidbit about me... I have autism. I was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at age 32. One characteristic of Asperger's, that they're just now figuring out (not like I haven't known this for my entire life!!), is that people with Asperger's feel emotions, and empathize, significantly more strongly than "neurotypical" (non-autistic) people. I can feel what other people are feeling, often just by a quick glance at their faces. So... when I say I would be "good" at delivering bad news, that doesn't mean that I could make it sound like good news. It means that I could make the recipients of the bad news understand, without question, that I grasp the gravity of the bad news and that I wish it didn't have to be that way, and that I didn't have to tell them the bad news, even though I had no choice. I could get them to realize that I "get it"... such that if any of them were ever to go on the radio to discuss the exchange they had with their doctor when he told them some bad news, they'd say something like "nobody ever wants to hear that, but the doctor seemed like he really understood how it would make us feel, he took the time to answer all the questions we had, and he gave us all of the information he had to help us move forward".

    It's that bad, is it? Well, perhaps that gives rise to two questions.

    1) Is this known to frustrate doctors a lot, or are there mitigating conditions which seem to help them not be bothered by it (such as the fact that they're well paid, or generally well respected by other patients who do take their advice, etc)?

    2) If this is such an issue, one would think it stomps on the passion of those who go into the medical field to help the sick and suffering... how do they reconcile this?

    What's an "adcom"? (I should probably know this...)

    That doesn't mean I will _never_ take the MCAT... just that I haven't finished enough prerequisite classes to be confident in my ability to perform well on the MCAT.

    If most patients aren't going to do what you tell them to do, I have to ask you the same question I posed above. Doesn't that stomp on the passion of those in the medical profession to help the sick and suffering? If it's endemic to the profession, one would think it's bad for the mental health of doctors.

    And honestly, I think I could deal with a doctor going into the microhistology of the disease process or whatever. That's the way I roll. If I don't understand what he/she is telling me, fine, at that point I'll stop questioning. I am the type to answer all of the questions though. I've taught music lessons for many years and more times than I can count, I've had students ask me questions whose answers I know they won't understand. I give them the answers anyway, and preface it with "I don't think you're going to understand this yet, but here's your answer". Usually they look at me with a blank stare when I'm done, but at least they trust that I did my best to answer their questions. If a doctor did that for me, even if I didn't understand the answers, I'd take it.



    Does anyone ever go into a profession ENTIRELY altruistically? I highly doubt it. There's always something in it for them. So, the fact that there's something in it for "me and mine"... yes there is... and I don't understand why that's a problem...



    Naturally. Again as I said above, I just put that out there so that nobody would have to ask if I thought I was intellectually up to the task. I've known people who claim to have IQs significantly higher than mine, who live their lives in such a way that nobody would ever think they had more than two brain cells to rub together.



    The Peace Corps doesn't pay, as I understand. Boy Scouts - yeah, I aged out of that two decades ago... USAID - never heard of it, or so I think... and you can't enlist in the US military after age 35. But that isn't the point, is it? As I said earlier, the traveling thing is one aspect of it. If it were the ONLY aspect, yes, there are many opportunities out there. I'm here because medicine was in the central intersection of every circle on the Venn diagram.



    For something that's this much of a commitment, one must have a strong long-term plan. Besides, if you're going into a primary care specialty and you have that chosen prior to applying to medical school, some schools offer an accelerated three-year program that gets you into residency one year sooner. If one is to apply to that type of program, he/she must have selected a primary care specialty early on. Those who do as you suggest must enter four year programs... not that that's a bad thing, but given my age, if I did decide on primary care (which is a top contender), I'd want to do a three year program. As it is, even if I did that, I still wouldn't be able to practice "on my own" until age 45 at the earliest.



    Naturally. I can only guess, for now. But see the story I told above, in response to "operaman", to get a better idea of what I meant.

    You took all of the reasons I stated and categorically rejected the rest in favor of considering this one to be the entire explanation?

    Truthfully, I'd probably pick up on a likely difficulty in getting along with you if you were my interviewer, and for me that would reflect upon the entire program at your school (just as the pleasant and helpful admissions counselor at LECOM reflected positively upon the entire school and the unpleasant and inconvenienced-sounding admissions counselor at a different school which I called immediately thereafter reflected negatively upon the entire school)... so I would probably walk out thinking "yeah, if they do accept me and at least one other school does, I'm probably going to the other school". I can do sarcasm as well as the next guy, but if your goal is to give me tough "love", know that I won't read that in sarcasm, "mmkay"?
     
  19. operaman

    operaman Physician 7+ Year Member

    1,511
    2,966
    Jun 7, 2010
    Forgive the short response to your lengthy post above but I’m tired and the longer I type the less coherent this will be.

    I think your heart is in the right place but you have no idea how you are coming across. You have a very straightforward and blunt honesty that can be helpful to you IF you accept the feedback it generates as coming from a genuine place. Maybe it’s late, but my sleepy read of your post suggests a lot of explanation without much introspection. Something that may save you a lot of grief both now and in the future: for every point above, truly ask yourself if you might be wrong. This is a time to do a lot of listening and come to that listening with the idea that your assumptions may all be flawed. At the moment you come across more defensive than you probably are and people will quickly grow tired of trying to help you if they feel nothing is really changing.

    I think it’s hard for an applicant to have any concept of just how much you don’t know yet. I was the same way so no judgement here, just - wow - it looks so different from this side of the journey. You’re a gifted writer and certainly know how to craft a narrative; your bad news delivery would score about a 15% correct in my book. It started well and then ran into a deep rabbit hole from which it never recovered and left me wishing for a really good awkward emoji to sum it up. Again, that’s ok, you’ll learn how to do this, but while you’re learning you might be better served to focus on what you actually have right now rather than trying to extrapolate how you might be in the future.

    Focus on your heart for sacrifice and service (and volunteer to prove it), how you thrive on those deeply human connections like you have sometimes while singing with those seniors and their families. Talk about how you feel most fulfilled when you’re giving selflessly to others like that and how you feel drawn to medicine because it really is the ultimate service profession.

    I think a lot of shadowing would do you good. Does non-adherence and the like stomp on the passion for the profession? Uh, heck yeah it does. I’ll bet our primary care folks could add a whole litany of other things like meaningful use and the burden of documentation and phone battles with insurance companies and yes, through it all, the patients will often not even follow your advice. Why do you think physician burnout and suicide are so high? Why do you think admission committees (Adcoms) are so hypervigilant about finding people with pure altruistic motives and a demonstrated desire to serve others even for no pay at all? It’s because the journey and destination are not as rosy as they seem at the outset, yet through it all you do still have a long line of sick and suffering people and if you really derive joy from serving them and taking care of them, then it’s worth it.

    If you really want a stable and sizeable income, time for family and travel, and a way to be of service when disaster strikes, then medicine may not be what you’re looking for. It’s definitely worth your time to spend many hours with physicians living the day to day before you devote your life and your family to this thing. As others have suggested, there may be better ways to create the life you want.
     
    PastorDoc, Goro, Meridian32 and 2 others like this.
  20. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Snow fox. 2+ Year Member

    5,104
    7,232
    Jan 10, 2016
    I prefer to sleep 7 hours per night, but it’s not always possible. I’m not sure if you have kids, but they usually wake up a couple times at night for a while. My oldest woke up every 2 hours for 9 months. I actually slept more when I was on duty than when I was at home during that time.

    You don’t need to sacrifice much if any sleep. My point is that if I can squeeze in a few hours per week with all that going on and still go to bed by 2200, you can fit it in if you make it a priority. It really doesn’t take much time to drive for meals on wheels or tutor some kids.

    And yeah, I get it that volunteering with organizations like that isn’t for everyone. But again, you are trying to enter a profession where you are serving the public, often people who are significantly worse off that you. Adcoms want to see that you have done that, since past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. You want to get into med school? Suck it up and do it.
     
    Shotapp, Goro and ptm33 like this.
  21. Magus5454

    Magus5454 2+ Year Member

    228
    149
    Feb 23, 2015
    @Goro isn't saying these things to hurt you. He's being very truthful.

    Also the 8 hours of sleep thing made me laugh. Residency will not be your friend
     
    PastorDoc, njtrimed, Shotapp and 5 others like this.
  22. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Snow fox. 2+ Year Member

    5,104
    7,232
    Jan 10, 2016
    Most people who say they need 7-8 hours of sleep have never had to function on less for prolonged periods of time. When you get 3-4 hours of sleep for months on end, you adapt.
     
    Robin-jay, Shotapp, HomeSkool and 2 others like this.
  23. RomaniGypsy

    RomaniGypsy

    15
    0
    Jan 4, 2018
    I can accept that when the feedback is comparably straightforward and blunt. I only start getting mad when stuff like sarcasm is entered into the mix. That isn't informative and it has no purpose but to irritate... so when someone is being purposefully and unnecessarily irritating, I'm going to be disinclined to believe the person is also being genuine. In my world, they're mutually exclusive.

    Can you imagine how long my posts would be if I included all of the introspective moments therein? When I say that I want to effect positive change in the world, you should know, among other things, that I have written a 200-page book about essentially that. I highly doubt that people on this forum, especially doctors with tight schedules, are going to want to read all of the minutiae involved in my introspection. In essence, I'm hoping y'all will trust me on that one.

    I don't need to ask myself if I might be wrong, because I already accept that it's quite likely. The reason why I'm here is to distill everything down and figure out if / where / how / why I am wrong. I'm not going to figure that out by reading articles. If it turns out that my assumptions are badly flawed, and I wouldn't like the reality of the situation, then I stand ready and willing to adjust my course accordingly. But people have to understand that communication is a two-way street. In theory and hopefully in practice, we're all here either to get information, give information, or otherwise help others get information. Give me information and facts, and I won't be defensive no matter how much I don't like them. Give me sarcasm and my entertainer's instinct to return fire for a laugh from the crowd kicks in. Since this isn't the place to do that, all that's going to happen is that I'm going to get mad and become defensive. People don't have to consider me fragile, but I do expect respect when I haven't done nor said anything personal toward anyone.

    Well, you may be right, but then again, in the past few years I have been shocked at the recognition of just how much I don't know... so I figure that there's a whole world of information that I haven't encountered yet. Just last night I tried some practice MCAT questions on three different sites... I aced one, got 6/7 on another, and missed about 2/3 of the questions on the third. Which one is most accurate to the actual MCAT? I don't know! So this is how bad it is - I know there's a lot that I don't know, but I don't know how to figure out exactly what I don't know! That's why I'm here.

    Was it just because I was giving the hypothetical "parents" too much of the benefit of the doubt in terms of how they'd react? If so, I believe I already addressed that possibility. One can only guess at how these situations will play out, and even the most experienced doctors probably guess wrong at times. All I can say is that I've been well-known since my mid-teenage years for being good at understanding people, their problems, and their emotional states, and operating accordingly. A relatively dispassionate post on an online forum is never going to convey that... so for now, you'll just have to trust me.

    One would think that ought to be easy (but for scheduling issues at times)... after all, if I really wanted to make a fortune without caring a hoot about other people, I could turn that aforementioned ability to understand people to "the dark side" and manipulate them up one side and down the other so that I could make millions as a sleazy salesperson, businessperson, or something. I can't bring myself to do that. I may sound like a communist when I say this but one of what I consider to be the four ideal principles for living a good life is "give according to your ability, and take only what you need". I try to do that whenever I can. I don't have much, but I give what I can when I see legitimate need. I'm on Medicaid, but I did purchase and deliver food to people whose houses were destroyed by a tornado that recently came through near where I live. Many nights have I stayed up much too late trying to help people through some problem they're having (to widely varying degrees of success). I'm that guy who has a hard time saying "no" if someone asks me to help him/her out.

    Okay, so here's a question you may not hear all that often. If a person wants to benefit others in a significant and meaningful way, in a manner that is not going to raise his/her risk of: 1) bankruptcy / starving, 2) burnout / suicide, 3) any other form of mental problem, is there a better way than becoming a doctor?

    If that's the case, I'd have two questions:

    1) What are they?

    2) Why then have these people chosen to be doctors rather than going the route of any of those "better ways"?

    I have an almost-6-week-old. But my wife can handle him...

    I figure that if I look hard enough, I should be able to find SOMETHING... and if I can't, well, I wasn't kidding about how I've already begun the process of establishing a non-profit. One would think that that would provide me the freedom to create opportunities (that fit into my schedule) where none previously existed.

    I know that. He wasn't the one to whom the "sarcasm" response was directed. I'm fine with his style and others similar to it.

    I CAN handle going on low amounts of sleep (did it in college) but my question would be this - why MUST people do that as residents? What is it about the medical profession which makes it such an apparently common thing that newly minted doctors work >16 hours per day for multiple days on end? At the very least, doesn't that raise the risk of burnout and costly and/or devastating medical mistakes?
     
  24. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Snow fox. 2+ Year Member

    5,104
    7,232
    Jan 10, 2016
    You don't get up at all to help your wife? My wife would have smothered me if I made her wake up every single time.

    It is really not hard to find something. Meals on Wheels. BBBS. Special Olympics. A nearby church/synagogue/mosque. A local elementary/middle/high school. Voly fire-rescue. For Meals on Wheels, I set up a partnership between MoW and my last command, where we had 20+ Sailors volunteering. It was super easy, so one person calling and volunteering to drive would be very simple. If I had to recommend one of them, I'd recommend that. It was a very enjoyable experience, provides a needed service, and you can do it for 1-2 hours per week.

    Do some reading on resident education. You can start with the FIRST trial (papers here: the FIRST trial - Home Page, but spoiler alert, there was no statistical difference in length of stay or outcomes with longer or shorter hours), which tbf looked only at surgical residents. But, the point is that to really learn how to be a doctor, you need to see as much of a patient's course as possible. If you are only working 40 hour weeks, you will either not get the exposure required to be competent, or you will have to train for more years to make up the lost experience. Most people would rather suck it up for a few years than extend residency, especially since there aren't any work hour restrictions as an attending.
     
  25. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

    39,174
    51,931
    Jun 10, 2010
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    OP, you appear to be unteachable. Multiple people offer you reasonable advice (and some tough love heads-up) and your response is to write a Supreme Court brief refuting everyone's comments and concerns. You state you have multiple noble intentions, yet the very first things you write about your motivations for a career in Medicine are either naive, starry-eyed, or dripping with hubris and ego.

    I and others have interviewed candidates like you and they got rejected outright. Not accepted; not wait-listed, but rejected. That's no mean feat.

    These are my last comments in this thread: I think the following schools would be perfect for you: LUCOM, Touro-NY, CNU, SABA, Ross, AUA or SGU.
     
  26. HomeSkool

    HomeSkool Excelsior! Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    1,064
    3,479
    Sep 13, 2013
    Floating in the ether
    This is a momentous occasion, OP! @Goro reserves those recommendations for just a few select premeds!
     
  27. frosted2

    frosted2 I need Cuban coffee!

    232
    160
    Jun 12, 2016
    The Urgent Clinic
    The evolution of this thread makes me laugh so hard :laugh:
     
    PastorDoc, Windpt21, drlemons and 5 others like this.
  28. Shotapp

    Shotapp 2+ Year Member

    768
    662
    Jan 1, 2015
    GA
    I had a good chuckle at this.
     
  29. HomeSkool

    HomeSkool Excelsior! Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    1,064
    3,479
    Sep 13, 2013
    Floating in the ether
    OK, OP, I'm going to keep this as short and sweet as I can.

    1) You type way too much. If I wanted to read a book, it would not be written by you. (No offense.)

    2) Your first post absolutely reeks of naivete, hubris, ego, arrogance, and a total misunderstanding of the profession and practice of medicine. It is easily the most narcissistic thing I've read on here in at least the several months; your inability to let a single thought go untyped goes right along with that. You need a good, hard reality check. My esteemed colleague and friend @Goro attempted to provide you with such a thing (much more gently than I've seen him give those in the past; perhaps it's his birthday!) (Happy Birthday, Goro!) (unless it's not your birthday!) but you attempted to rebut every one of his points in the longest internet post on any forum, ever.

    3) Do you really think EM are the only ones with something to offer when the crap hits the fan? No role for anesthesiologists and surgeons? None for ID specialists, cardiologists, radiologists, or anyone else? And why in the world would you think you've got your future specialty figured out, anyway? You've already decided you want to shift your career in a major way; why would you think you're immune to doing the same again?

    4) You want to be a DO because MDs don't practice holistic medicine? You should apologize to MDs everywhere. Talk about offensive.

    5) You want to be a DO because you give good massages? You should apologize to DOs everywhere. Talk about offensive.

    6) If you need your beauty sleep, medicine is not the field for you. How do you think you'll handle 28 consecutive hours on your feet? Because that's what residents do, over and over and over and over...

    7) You may not agree with everything Goro says, but you're an absolute fool if you don't think his advice has a huge amount of value. The man sits on an admissions committee at a DO medical school and makes decisions on applications like yours for a living! Your n of applications, if you get that far, will be 1. Goro's n is thousands. He's telling you not just his own opinions, but the conglomerate opinions of scores of other adcoms with whom he's worked. Ignore Goro's advice at your own peril.

    As much as I'd like to offer you more counsel, I just spent the last twelve hours having my butt kicked in a very busy OR suite, and your posts are so absurdly long that I don't have the patience to read them when I'm this tired. You need a good, hard reality check. From what I read of these posts, you've got all the makings of an epic premed fail.

    EDIT: Rereading this, I just realized I inadvertently used the same phrase twice. I guess I must have really meant it. Let's go for the hat trick: you need a good, hard reality check.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  30. RNthenDoc

    RNthenDoc

    169
    238
    Nov 7, 2017
    Made it half way through the list before I broke out in laughter
     
    drlemons, frosted2, Shotapp and 2 others like this.
  31. frosted2

    frosted2 I need Cuban coffee!

    232
    160
    Jun 12, 2016
    The Urgent Clinic
    I personally would like an interventional cardiologist when my coronaries inevitably clot off :laugh:
     
  32. Magus5454

    Magus5454 2+ Year Member

    228
    149
    Feb 23, 2015
    The list was pretty epic
     
    Goro likes this.
  33. RomaniGypsy

    RomaniGypsy

    15
    0
    Jan 4, 2018
    It's no stretch to say that I got an unusually good woman... it is herein evinced by how it was actually her idea for us to sleep in separate rooms (she with the baby, me by myself) so that I could get a full night's sleep. Of course, that's because I'm mostly doing the shows by myself while she stays home with the baby if she's too tired... but the fact remains that it was never on the radar screen for me to be forced or coerced into getting up with the baby at times. I tried giving her a "night off" recently, taking the baby into the room where I was sleeping because she was exhausted for the entire previous day... didn't work. Oh, I handled the baby's needs... but she didn't get a full night's sleep because she still got up periodically throughout the night and even said that at one point she almost came downstairs to peek into the master bedroom and see if the baby was okay. I guess that's what they call "motherly instinct". Sometimes I still sleep in the nursery with her, and take at least one session with the baby each night... if there's no compelling reason why I need a full night's uninterrupted sleep that night. I just know her well enough to know that if I were working so hard that I didn't have much (if any) free time, she'd take all of the baby duties and let me sleep.

    I thumbed through the various pages of that site... didn't see anything more than a brief summary of the results of each study... but perhaps there are other links I could find therein which would provide more in-depth information. I don't have to work only 40 hours in a week. Theoretically, a person could handle 14 hours of work per day every day, assuming he/she didn't have a long commute and did have someone at home to "hold down the fort", and still get 8 hours of sleep per night if the only things the person did were wash, eat, work, and sleep. That'd work out to 98 hours total per week, though I imagine even that schedule would constitute "burning the candle at both ends" after a while. Is there any credible source of information on how many hours per day or week are worked by the average resident in each medical specialty?

    I went back and re-read my entire response to you. I did not pick up one single "refutation" of anything you said. At no point did I say nor even imply that anything you said was wrong. What I DID do was respond to certain individual things you said, most often with clarifying statements and questions (not one of which you answered, leading me to the obvious question of - did you even read them?).

    I am, however, disinclined to accept your hasty evaluation of me as unteachable. One who is unteachable would surely fail any class he took, and would surely fail at developing a skill that someone tried to teach him. I can count on one hand the number of times those have been true in my entire life. Nearly all the time, if I seek instruction from someone, I learn what I sought to learn... meaning that I am actually teachable. Perhaps if you'd taken the time to read that long post, which I put up because I felt it necessary (not because I love to watch myself type until almost 1:00 AM on a night when I'll be helping my wife with the baby, we have to be awake by 7:00 AM, and I know I will be working all day), you would have seen things differently. If you don't have the time to read such a long post, fine, but don't make hasty evaluations if you haven't read every word.

    I would like you, or anyone else reading this for that matter, to go back to my response to you and point out just one time when I REFUTED something you said.

    Fine. As part of an admissions committee, that's your prerogative. But I find it difficult to reconcile this tendency to reject people for this reason, that reason, and some other reason (when they seem to be academically strong enough to handle medical training) with the frequently-reported shortage of doctors in this country, especially in primary care. I know that the USA imports a lot of doctors from other countries - do you think their medical schools are so picky? I can't disagree with at least some degree of all of the admissions qualifications that have been stated thus far, but given what I've seen from a lot of doctors I've encountered, I think it wouldn't be much of a leap to conclude that medical schools in other countries aren't so strict about personality types and history of philanthropic service as prerequisites for admission.

    Though you may not respond, given that you said it'd be your last comment, I can't help but think that I missed a joke here. Given the responses from some other people later on, my first thought was "did this guy just make up seven schools?"... but then I looked them up and the first four all checked out as legitimate medical schools, so I figured all seven were legitimate. If I'm missing something, I'd like to know what it is... because I see no humor in this. Taken as written, this is a recommendation to examine seven medical schools... doesn't seem like comedy-act material.

    "Atlas Shrugged" is over 1,000 pages and is quite popular. The best-selling book ever is the Christian bible, which measures in at over 2,000 pages. I write only as many words as are necessary. (And if you're still going to accuse me of using too many words, remember they also accused Mozart of using too many notes...)

    So what? Did I not make it abundantly clear that I'm quite green where this is concerned, and I'm seeking information? Anyone looking into any profession is going to have certain preconceived notions about it, many of which will probably prove wrong. What's the problem with that? Are you seriously saying that I'm the only person who has ever had such preconceived notions? I find that hard to believe, given that "doctor" is one of those gold standard professions to which a lot of people look up.

    If you're looking for me to apologize for knowing myself well and stating the truth, you're going to be disappointed. Humanity gains nothing by de-emphasizing the good and only focusing on the bad. I don't like how people are essentially bullied into downplaying their strengths, so I fight that by being what I would like everyone to be. I'm a smart guy. That's a FACT. It doesn't make me narcissistic any more than saying I can't swim (which is also a fact) makes me defeatist. If you rarely encounter people who are so forthcoming about their strengths, blame the system which tells people to build up their strengths and then be less than honest about them when speaking of them to others.

    Fine. But make it simply factual, and relevant to the profession. Where I'm wrong, tell me what the truth is. Where I'm right, say so. I don't need valueless insults about being narcissistic. If you think I am misinformed, give me the correct information... don't affix labels to a stranger. You don't know me, and you're not going to change my personality.

    Not the longest post I've ever put up. But I give you now, the same challenge I posed to Goro above (even though I imagine he is not likely to respond to it). Reread my original response to the first post Goro made on this thread, and show me just one time when I "rebutted" something he said. (Even that wouldn't attest to me having rebutted "every one of his points"... but I'll be satisfied with one, as I didn't see any when I reread it myself.)

    I'm sure they all have something to offer, but to me it's more a consideration of who is most ubiquitous and therefore most likely to be of use in a variety of different situations. Maybe I'm drawing from only a very small sample here (size = 1), but the most recent encounters with doctors that I've had have been with the obstetricians who worked with my wife prior to giving birth to our son and then during and immediately after the delivery. I asked one of them some questions about what to do with the baby now and she said something nearly identical to "that's not my realm; you'll have to call a pediatrician". It struck me as a rather abrupt cut-off... as in, the obstetrician's training makes him/her feel qualified to handle a pregnant woman and a delivery, but as soon as the baby is released from the hospital, that's it, hard break, shift straight over to pediatrics. If that's the way it works, fine, but it does attest to specialties having hard boundaries which would make specialists less ubiquitous.

    I do not think I have my future specialty figured out. I have it narrowed down, but it's not figured out. I believe I made that clear in earlier posts.

    And, truthfully, one of my biggest fears is the fear of another possible desire to shift careers later on. I have done so, too many times for comfort. Thus far, if you don't count stopgap jobs I held for short periods of time, I'm on my third "career" already and the reason for so many changes has been encountering, in each career, a level of negativity which exceeds what I consider acceptable. This is why I'm here. This is why I make such huge posts. This is why I'm looking for information, not insults. Just the facts, please.

    When I was four years old, I called the mother of a nursery school friend "really fat". Was she offended? No, because I didn't realize that that was declared by society to be an offensive remark. Likewise, I believe I made it very clear that I don't know much about the difference between DOs and MDs, and that the line (if any) was further blurred by the outcome of my interview of my primary care doctor. Some websites say that the practice styles of DOs and MDs are nearly identical to the point where most patients won't tell a difference. Some (usually those focusing on osteopathic medicine) state differences in much more drastic terminology. I present the following two examples:

    -Search "become a doctor of osteopathic medicine" and take the first page that comes up (from AACOM). It won't let me post the link.
    -Search "difference between MD and DO" and take the first page that comes up (from "WiseGeek"). Again, won't let me post the link.

    Can you really blame someone like me, who hasn't had any firsthand experience with the difference between the two, for thinking that there is such a difference when I read stuff like this?

    I can tell you, for whatever it's worth, that my MD wasn't offended at all.

    If osteopathic medicine involves manipulating bones and muscles through touch, it's not much of a leap to consider that someone who has strong hands and is already known for giving good (though untrained) massages would be a good fit for that type of medical practice. Anyone who would be offended by this assertion from someone not in the industry needs to grow up.

    As long as I'm moving, I'm awake. Some people have said that I appear to have limitless energy, though that's never truly the case for anyone. But as I've said before, the issue really isn't so much the effect that it'd have on me... it's the effect that it'd have on anyone else who has entrusted any part of his/her medical care to me under those conditions. I'd be a lot more bothered by making a mistake on account of being sleep-deprived that I would be by being sleep-deprived. Really, this strikes me as being a bad idea across the boards for any person. I doubt I could find even one medical professional of any type who would say that it's a good idea to go 28 hours without sleep. Everything I've ever read about the subject says that you ought to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and even the most generous evaluations say that the only way people get themselves to be able to function on 4 or 5 hours of sleep per night is if they get the exact same 4 or 5 hours, every night, for long enough to train the body to sleep deeply during that time. (If the hours differ from day to day, it's not enough sleep.)

    Find me one example of where I devalued his advice in any way. If anything, I said, after reading his initial response, that I liked his style.

    You mean "too long for me to be able to give them the consideration a person's words deserve when I'm this tired". To call them absurdly long is to accuse me of wasting time typing unnecessary words. There are no good reasons for me to do that, and therefore, I don't do it.

    Y'all, let's get one thing straight here. I'm looking for facts and information, not insults, jokes at my expense, name-calling sessions, whatever. That stuff casts a very bad light on the medical profession. If you're going to be ambassadors for the profession, then take a guy like me who by virtue of never having been a doctor knows very little about what it means to be one, and impart the wisdom of experience. If you were high school biology teachers, you wouldn't insult students who came into your classes with misconceptions about certain key biological concepts; so don't break propriety here either. State the facts and be done with it. Stop short of the insults. It makes you look bad... much worse than my ignorance makes me look. We're all born ignorant, but meanness is a choice.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  34. drlemons

    drlemons

    169
    107
    Dec 30, 2016
    Texas
    Dying


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
     
    Goro likes this.
  35. RomaniGypsy

    RomaniGypsy

    15
    0
    Jan 4, 2018
    Would y'all mind explaining what's so funny about that list of medical schools?
     
  36. AlbinoHawk DO

    AlbinoHawk DO Student Osteopath 2+ Year Member

    4,357
    4,475
    Oct 19, 2013
    I think it's fairly obvious that this thread has become counterproductive to you, OP.

    The one advice I'll give you is that if you want to go to medical school you will have to play by the rules of the game.
     
    PastorDoc, njtrimed and ptm33 like this.
  37. ptm33

    ptm33

    25
    7
    Sep 11, 2017
    Have you ever considered the following?:

    - Write a book about overcoming autism / asperger's? Address how it's like to have it diagnosed in adulthood.

    - Look into taking the LSAT and see how you fair and explore going into law? Law schools are not cheap but passionate graduates can turn the knowledge into numerous ways of helping others AND make a good living for himself and his family at the same time. You are very eloquent and has the tenacity to rebut every little details you deem incorrect or misunderstood. If you can harness these qualities and energy, I think there is a good path for you. Good lawyers are respected and would be needed in your dream "commune", too. Plus, you can set up a nonprofit all by yourself.

    - Look into the field of Audiology and research / study (hard) the growing field of helping deaf people hear (so that they can enjoy music). This is just something I'm interested in as a musician myself so just throwing it out there.

    - Set up music therapy group / care in your home.

    The schools @Goro listed are deemed "undesirable" to many and considered "last resort" for those who may not be otherwise qualified to get acceptances in other more positively-reviewed schools but still wants to get into medicine. They are not reputable.

    Also, try to relax and not take others' comments too offensively and personally. As you said yourself, none of us knows you so the comments you dislike don't have to affect you or apply to you if you don't let them.

    Your baby and your wife needs you more than internet forum members right now in ways you have no idea about - no idea. Try to help her in any capacity possible - there are many needs that she may not have voiced or even know herself that she actually needs them. You can investigate and orient your passion into taking care of this tiny life and being the best parent that you can be, at least for now. You may gain so much knowledge in the process and aspire to become a pediatrician! (Did you know that babies' brains develop optimally through consistent exposure to music? Imagine, LIVE music that you can provide!) The most respected people starts changing the world by doing their best to care for the one living and breathing the same air as them. Being a doctor is among these people, but so are caring, devoted, and creative fathers. I'm not saying you aren't the kind of father I listed above but just a reminder you have a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in front of you here. You can't change the way people feel about you, much less internet strangers, but you can make a huge impact on your wife and baby during one of the most vulnerable times of their lives right now. Shut down the computer and give this laser focus attention and the gift you possess to the two lives in your house. You will be raising a human, you are already set to change the world.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
    Meridian32 likes this.
  38. HomeSkool

    HomeSkool Excelsior! Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    1,064
    3,479
    Sep 13, 2013
    Floating in the ether
    Did you seriously just compare yourself to Ayn Rand, Mozart, and God? All rolled into one, descended from on high to grace the SDN message boards? Looks like "narcissism" doesn't even begin to describe it.

    OP, you're unteachable. I'm done with this thread.
     
  39. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Snow fox. 2+ Year Member

    5,104
    7,232
    Jan 10, 2016
    It makes sense if he actually was diagnosed with Asperger’s.
     
  40. operaman

    operaman Physician 7+ Year Member

    1,511
    2,966
    Jun 7, 2010
    I’d like to point out that when Mozart got accused of too many notes it was after the premiere of Marriage of Figaro. As someone who has sung 4 different roles from that opera in multiple productions, it most definitely has too many darn notes! Almost all professional productions take some pretty good cuts. Don’t even get me started on some of his other operas like Cosi fan tutte — director cut the bejeezus our of that sucker.

    So if even Mozart needs someone to take a buzzsaw to his works occasionally, OP can suck it up and pare down the epistles.
     
    cj_cregg and Goro like this.
  41. RomaniGypsy

    RomaniGypsy

    15
    0
    Jan 4, 2018
    I've considered it but I'm not convinced that I have "overcome" Asperger's. There are few days that aren't struggles for me, given that in most situations I have to put on a disguise and act "normal". I've often said that I'd make a lousy actor... maybe that isn't true. I act every day, and I've managed to fool pretty much everyone into thinking that I'm "normal". In my experience thus far, it would seem that the most I've achieved is functionality. I can't say I've achieved a sufficient level of overall happiness. When I tell people that I'm really smart, what I usually hide is a belief that that is more often a curse than a blessing. The way the system works now, I certainly wouldn't put my wholehearted recommendation behind being this smart, were it a choice people could make at birth. Ignorance really is bliss, and when I examine the times in my life when I was the happiest, they were also in many ways the times when I was the most ignorant. Why then would I seek to overcome ignorance? Because my ignorance is broken down in spite of myself by undeniable happenstances which I experience without having sought them out, but over which I have no control. Something happens and instantly some of my ignorance falls because now I have been shown something I didn't know before, and rather than have a Swiss cheese profile of ignorance vs. knowledge, I naturally seek out the whole truth of any situation once it becomes clear that I don't know everything about it. The alternative is to have a partial story... like having only every fifth page of a book. At best that's troubling, at worst it's dangerous.

    Truthfully, I have considered that in the past. Many a person has said that this very characteristic would make me a fantastic lawyer. One of my friends once told me "I love you, but I'd hate being married to you... because it's impossible to win an argument against you!"... if true, that would be quite beneficial to a lawyer. The one time I was up against a lawyer in court, I won the argument with nothing but the application of scientific knowledge. Maybe I should start looking into it... I just never saw myself as the type of person to wear a suit and tie every day. There is a recently retired lawyer in my wife's family and she's one of the people I like the most from her side of the family... she'd probably have plenty of stories, though she worked for an insurance company and I'm fairly certain that I wouldn't want to be in that same position even if I were a lawyer. I wonder if there are travel opportunities for lawyers...

    While noble undertakings, I'm not sure how they'd work into the master plan. Are there lots of work opportunities for traveling audiologists? (I already know that work opportunities for traveling musicians, while quite numerous, are stubbornly difficult to "land", and pay next to nothing unless you're in like the top 1% of musicians whom the powerful music companies choose to promote for their own gain.)

    I kind of figured it had something to do with that but when I looked up "worst medical schools" and other related search terms, not only did I not find a list including those schools, but a common thread was that there is no such thing as a bad medical school as long as it is accredited. I read that because every accredited medical school has a program which, when completed, bestows upon you a license to practice medicine, equivalent to the license bestowed upon graduates of even the most prestigious medical schools, none can be considered truly "bad". All I could find about what constitutes a bad medical school is that some have lower average GPA / MCAT scores for matriculants, and that some have unpleasant / lazy people in the admissions departments. Is there more to what makes those schools "bad" than this? (The only other thing I can think of seems to apply only to LUCOM, that being that Liberty University is an avowedly religious school, likely to infuse its education with religious dogma of dubious professional relevance and scientific truth.)

    I can tell "intent" from people's words. Two people can convey the same message and one can be offensive while the other isn't. It's all about the person's intent. Unpleasant messages don't bother me; unpleasant intent does. Now, is it possible that some people are simply mean-spirited because of some other conditions totally irrelevant to medicine, this forum, my words, etc.? Yes. It happens all the time. Our wonderful system takes people, all of whom are born naturally kind and innocent, and corrupts them into callous, mean, greedy individuals. The depth of sadness I feel when looking at my newborn son and realizing that that's what this very same system is going to try to do to him, for naught but the gain of a few who don't need it, is unfathomable to those who for one reason or another haven't yet come to full realization of what the system is all about. When people are mean, they're expressing unhappiness that they feel in other areas of their lives. I recognize this, but I also know that adults do have the ability to suppress that to enough of an extent that their desire to be as human as possible shows through to even the most casual observer. It's not too much to expect that they "try", because such effort always shows through.

    For example, you are telling me that you think I'm barking up the wrong tree when it comes to medicine. But look at how you're going about it. You're providing alternate suggestions, explaining why you think I'd be a good fit for those tracks based upon a dispassionate read of what I've written, and steering clear of the name-calling and insults. Others who have responded also believe that I'm barking up the wrong tree but they have gone about conveying that message in a nasty and uninformative manner. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out which method is more likely to be effective and helpful.

    I do what I can. The investigations that led me here are all about a long-term goal of providing a better life for the entire family, and leaving the world a better place for my having been in it than it would've likely been without my influence. (To what higher calling than that can any human aspire?) We have recognized that the path down which we have traveled for years has become untenable for a variety of reasons and could prove itself even more undesirable later on in our son's life. I can see no other logical course of action at that point of realization than to determine, as quickly as possible, the best path to pursue thenceforth.

    If true, my son is going to be the smartest person ever to walk the face of the planet... he experienced hundreds of our shows in utero and comes to some of them even now... but for now, at least, it seems that he tends to be lulled to sleep by our music. A few days ago we did a show of nothing but Elvis music (read: mostly uptempo rock 'n' roll) and he slept through the whole thing. Two minutes after the show was done, the activities director came over to see him and was like "aww, how CUTE!"... she wasn't even that loud, yet THAT woke him up! Go figure.

    I intend no offense to you nor anyone by saying this but I see the phrase "change the world" differently than most people do. From where I stand, you haven't changed the world, no matter how positively you've affected one life or even a few lives, if after all is said and done there is still rampant poverty, crime, disease, unhappiness, squalor, etc. It'd be like pointing a running fan against the howling wind of a storm. Can you change the effect of the wind in a small area thereby? Yes, but you haven't stopped the storm. I have lofty aspirations when it comes to changing the world, due to having what I consider good reason to believe that not only does everyone want to see at least "many" of the changes I believe are necessary, but also because a simple future projection of our recent course as a human race leads to the inescapable conclusion that we're barreling toward obliterating ourselves. Long-term viability of humankind is dependent upon significant change to the way we live such that our course veers sharply away from imminent self-destruction.

    That change includes changing the way we treat each other. This is another of the reasons why it bothers me when people are unnecessarily nasty - I look at them and think "as physicians, you are tasked with improving the physical condition of human beings, but yet you worsen the mental condition of humankind as a whole with this as your attitude".

    In the interest of full disclosure, I will state for the record that I had given significant consideration to becoming a psychological counselor or psychologist. That's something I've believed I could do well, for about 21 years now, and I still believe I could do it well. There are traveling opportunities there too. The one major sticking point I can see would be that I tend to be personally bothered by failure when I'm trying to help people. (Maybe that'd be alleviated if I only worked remotely, such that I wouldn't necessarily have to see it or otherwise experience it if any client of mine elected not to follow my suggestions...) There are at least two people alive today because I singlehandedly talked them out of suicide in times past. I take great pride in knowing that I was able to do that, because that means I improved the condition of some people in an observable and undeniable way. But, for every one "success" I've had, I've had several "failures" - people who refused to take my advice to a significant extent and by at least some observable metrics, ended up worse off (or at least not improved) on account thereof. When someone tells me, essentially, "I can't possibly say that you're wrong, but I simply don't want to do what you're suggesting even if it's what I should do", it bothers me. It's like... I'm trying to help you here... I've led you to water, you know you're thirsty, now drink! It drives me crazy when people do things like that, which means I probably have the right "heart condition" to be a psychologist / counselor, but if it were to be at the expense of my own sanity... seems counterproductive, does it not?

    I've also looked into being a psychiatrist... now there's a medical doctor who works with the mind... but, at the risk of again being thrown to the lions here, I don't believe that most of what we term "mental illness" really is legitimate illness. I have known people who were diagnosed mentally ill and I've called BS on every last one of them based upon my foreknowledge of the way they are as people. I have a friend right now who has been in and out of the mental hospital within the last year or two and has a litany of diagnoses... she'd be perfectly fine if she would just get out of her living situation. I've known her for 14 years, she hasn't changed, she wasn't mentally ill then (nor even accused of it), and she's not mentally ill now. She got herself into a bad situation through having made some bad decisions, and it has blown up in her face multiple times. She's had a lot to deal with, and that's cracked people stronger than she is. I couldn't see myself working in a capacity where I'd be expected to prescribe psychoactive medications to people who are acting oddly. My instinct is to get to the root cause of the problem, kill that, and then watch as everything else improves naturally. (To give a simple example, if someone who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day came to me for relief from breathing problems, my first inclination would not be to prescribe inhalers and breathing treatments. I'd say "stop smoking, and all of your problems are likely to vanish! If they don't, THEN I will see if you need medications and treatments, because even if you do, they're likely to be different once you stop hammering your respiratory tract with cigarette smoke.") It's happened many times before and it'll keep happening like that long after I'm gone.

    Ayn Rand was a human being. She came into the world from within an adult female human as did I, she put her pants on one leg at a time as do I, and when she came out of the bathroom, it stunk as badly as it stinks after I come out of the bathroom. She was not immortal, nor am I. The same is true of Mozart - human being. So to compare myself to them is comparing human to human, and there is nothing illogical nor improper about that. However, that's not what I was doing. My point was not so much to compare myself to famous human beings as to cite an example of how extreme length is no hard barrier to the success of a book, and how accusations of "writing too much" are no hard barrier to the success of what you write. The conclusion is that it's illogical to accuse someone of writing too much, unless you can cite certain passages that are totally irrelevant and meaningless, and convince the author of such. Unless you think that I enjoy staying up really late, losing sleep in the process, just to put my words out there so I can get shredded by the lions in the den, there's no reason to accuse me of writing too much no matter how long my posts are in comparison to the average. (And if you think that that last description describes me, it's astounding how one can go all the way to being a physician yet have so little understanding of humanity... especially when there seems to be a common thread of having a strong philanthropic servant's heart being an inescapable prerequisite for physician training.)

    As for "God", the general consensus appears to be that there is no concrete evidence attesting to the current existence of a god nor the nature / identity of that god even if one does exist (sorry, Matthew9Thirtyfive... no offense intended to you... I've found you to be decidedly above average in "pleasantness" here, judging by the content of your responses)... so I don't believe in a god. Therefore, it is impossible for me to equate myself with a god, unless you are an atheist and you believe that humans are the highest of living physical creatures, in which case we're all the closest thing to "gods" in existence. I did once believe in a god. I was religious for over 30 years. The most glaring example of how I actually AM teachable, and how I won't deny even the most distasteful concrete evidence, is found in how I was shoved away from religion by a heavy dose of reality... but y'all didn't know that until now.

    (I wouldn't have to write so much if those of you who constitute the metaphorical "lions in the den" would simply trust what I'm saying and trust that I'm actually a good person, as is the basic nature of all human beings. Over the years I have "evolved" to write a lot and say a lot because I am badly misunderstood with a frequency no less than shocking. I really don't LIKE doing it... it's more a necessity.)

    My point in bringing up the Christian bible was to cite another example of how the extreme length of a written volume is no hard barrier to its economic success. From where I sit, it was written and promoted by humans, making its authors and purveyors equal to me in the same ways as I mentioned above, and more.

    And I was... almost six years ago... got the papers to prove it. Kind of stinks that when I was a kid, nobody even knew about this. Asperger's wasn't in the DSM until its fourth edition revision in 1994... by which point I was already 14 years old. I didn't even hear about it for the first time until I was in my mid-twenties.
     
  42. RomaniGypsy

    RomaniGypsy

    15
    0
    Jan 4, 2018
    Say what you will, but since Mozart lived and wrote in the 1700s, the fact that you're singing "The Marriage of Figaro" today (and that it's still so well known) shows that no accusations, past or present, of that opera having too many notes stood in the way of it becoming successful and legendary. It might be cut for various reasons these days but was that always necessary to its long-term success? I suppose that'd be an interesting historical study, if information sufficient to develop a conclusion exists.

    And then of course the question becomes... does Mozart NEED someone to take a buzzsaw to his works occasionally, or are we arbitrarily chopping them down to a smaller size because, for example, our modern lives are so fast-paced that we've developed an aversion to doing naught but listen to music for four hours or that we feel ourselves incapable of devoting that much time to a non-productive endeavor? (I'm guilty of both of those, but I don't WANT to be! It can't be good for anyone to feel THAT pressured to "do stuff" continuously.)

    I watched the movie "Amadeus", and while movies are not automatically 100% factual, surely something like that is rooted in historical fact. If one tells Mozart that he writes too many notes and Mozart says "I write only as many notes as I need", who is right? At the very least, with there being arguments on both sides, there's no clear answer to that question.
     
  43. xffan624

    xffan624 5+ Year Member

    1,750
    1,858
    Jan 6, 2013
    OP, I would never have described you as having "overcome" your asperger's. The salient points made in this thread have sailed right over your head. Until you can check your ego and actually read and understand the points that have been made instead of arguing with them, you will be a straight reject in medical school interviews. This is assuming that you get offered interviews, which if you come off the same way in your essays as you do in this thread, and an ADCOM reads them prior to an interview offer, you won't even get past that hurdle. Your attitude reeks of arrogance, egoism, and unteachability, coupled with an odd need to overexplain every aspect of yourself.

    I wish you luck in life, but honestly, I don't think you would do well in medical school or residency and can't recommend that path. I'm sure academically you could perform the necessary tasks, but in patient interactions and the humbleness required in learning from more experienced residents and doctors you will most likely not be able to succeed in this.
     
  44. sb247

    sb247 wait...you mean I got in? 5+ Year Member

    15,630
    20,556
    Jul 5, 2012
    Galt's Gulch
    I’ll bite. How does a doc working part time in a commune change the world?
     
    Forever Geebs and Goro like this.
  45. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Snow fox. 2+ Year Member

    5,104
    7,232
    Jan 10, 2016
    That’s between you and God. Doesn’t affect my faith. :)

    Also, @HomeSkool Ayn Rand is terrible.
     
    Goro likes this.
  46. Lawper

    Lawper under the sea Rocket Scientist 2+ Year Member

    8,839
    16,073
    Jun 17, 2014
    New World
  47. Phil McCracken

    Phil McCracken Banned Banned Account on Hold

    42
    20
    Jan 11, 2018
    The effort you are putting into your posts should be redirected to your "No MCAT Yet" studies. Seriously.
     
  48. JustPlainBill

    JustPlainBill Attending Physician 10+ Year Member

    2,308
    2,620
    Jan 5, 2007
    After briefly glancing through the never ending, lengthy posts of the OP along with the reasoned retorts from people who are trying to help this young man, it's become apparent that the OP really doesn't want any help, just for someone to stroke his massive ego and tell him that he's a great candidate, the medical field should feel very fortunate that he's even bothering to grace us with his presence and perhaps he should be given a guaranteed slot the the school of his choice.

    For the OP -- you have several people, some of whom have actually walked the path that you are considering from a far worse position that you are in, made it and are now practicing attending physicians, to say nothing of the professors of pre-clinical years who actually sit on an adcom (hint: Admissions Committee) who are telling you that the path you are on now, given the amount of narcissism, stubbornness and arrogance you are displaying, will get you outright rejected at best or kicked out of school or fired from residency at worst (given the $35K/year worth of debt you'll rack up). Perhaps you should shut up and pay attention.

    In the medical field, we call this a clue. Wise people pay attention....

    Do yourself, and those of us who are already medical professionals a favor, find a different career choice. With your current attitude, my concern is that you would be danger to patients, assuming you get that far.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  49. Stagg737

    Stagg737 2+ Year Member

    3,542
    4,386
    Jul 2, 2013
    Decapod 10
    Insane number of responses and length of posts already, some of which have already been addressed, but some I think could use further explanation (not just for OP, but for other pre-meds reading this thread) as they are important points to understand about the medical profession and pathway to get there.

    He's saying that good money, job stability, and being able to provide for yourself and your family are obvious reasons for pursuing medicine that everyone has. Further, if these "baseline" reasons are the only reason you're pursuing medicine, then your reasons aren't good enough. You said you had other reasons, some of which are much better (though seemingly misguided), beyond that baseline, so there's no reason to mention something so obvious that every one already knows as a primary reason. Beyond the "baseline" reasons already stated, some others are "because I want to help people" and "because I enjoy science". They show a shallow thought-process, are non-specific, and do not convey any actual understanding of the field of medicine or why you actually want to do it. That's why he said "it's not good enough". It also explains why the doc told you not to go into medicine if money is the only reason, as there are plenty of other less stressful and shorter paths to 6 figures than medicine.

    Yes and yes. Patient non-compliance is a significant issue for all physicians who see patients. The fields where this is less of an issue are those that don't deal with directly treating patients. Path, rads, gas are the ones which immediately come to mind, though gas will have some issues (patients eating before procedures, not reporting conditions/meds impacting effectiveness of anesthesia, etc). Non-compliance in some form (intentional, accidental, patient not understanding how they're supposed to take meds, etc) is the norm, 100% compliance is the exception to the rule.

    Yes, because most of the patients in the ED aren't emergencies at all. I had around 200 hours of ED volunteering hours before med school and I'd estimate that less than 10 of those hours I saw actual emergencies (not exaggerating here). This will vary from ED to ED, but other than a very select number of hospitals nationwide, chances are the majority of patients you will see there aren't emergencies at all. If you're really in the way, they'll let you know instantly. Additionally, most of the things you do in the ED as a volunteer probably won't involve medical care at all (getting a patient blanket or cup of water, escorting families to the patient's room, running errands for nurses, etc). It might sound tedious, because it is, but the further along you get the more medical responsibility you will get.

    This is literally the only med school in the U.S. I am aware of that doesn't require the MCAT. If you're going to apply to medical school, you're going to need an MCAT score. Period.

    You can try, but if an attending tells you "because that's the way it is", it typically means one of 3 things:

    1. The answer is so obvious they don't feel the need to explain. Usually when this is the case they'll tell the reason though.

    2. They genuinely don't know or don't understand why. Sometimes this is the case, especially when it's just some seemingly arbitrary administrative policy.

    3. They know the answer, but it's complex enough that they don't want to spend hours explaining it to you. I feel like this is most commonly the case, as I've gotten into these discussions with some of my attendings when they were bored and we literally did talk for hours about them. There's nothing wrong with asking those questions so long as you're doing them at the appropriate time and place. Asking arbitrarily, especially when asking someone who is extremely busy, will yield no productive answers and only serves to make you look bad. You may not like that, but that's part of the politics and social aspect of medicine. The sooner you understand that, the better.

    You seem to be under the impression that there is a "right way" to deliver bad news when in reality there is no right way, only ways that are better than others. Even when you do everything correct, you will still have patients or family members who can't be consoled/communicated with effectively, aren't capable of accepting that news, or just don't care about your compassion. That's reality. I've seen patients tell docs and nurses to "go f*** themselves" because they didn't like the news. That's just how it is, and no method of delivering that news will change it.

    There are also times when trying to convey that "you get it" is completely inappropriate and will only make the situation worse. You cannot relate to someone who has been repeatedly raped unless you also have been. You can't relate to someone who beat cancer only to find out it's back and terminal this time unless you've been through it. The best you can do is empathize and let them know you will do what you can for them. But you can't truly "get it", no matter how much you think you can.

    1) Yes, but eventually you realize that you can only do what you can, and what will be will be. You can ruminate on how frustrating it is, or just do your best and understand that beyond that it's out of your control.

    2) It obviously does, the fact that you don't know this shows how much farther you have to go in terms of research and understanding of the career. Some docs don't handle it and burnout. Many of them just lose their empathy and look at medicine as a job (maybe this is what happened with the surgeon you initially described, certainly possible). Others may just fire patients when they become non-compliant to a certain degree. Others may just see a smaller sub-set of patients with certain conditions requiring less compliance. Some simply decide to enter fields/change careers to non-clinical duties so they don't have to deal with patients at all. Most are well-adjusted enough to understand that they can just do what they can and beyond that let it go.

    Of course. Being a mid-level pays very well with a much shorter path to practice, less liability, and still very good pay. PA's and NP's can both make 6 figures, even regular RNs can easily pull in 60k/year and work less than 40 hour weeks. Plenty of business/corporate positions do just fine as well. Accounting, analysts, etc. Won't make physician money, but still do well (60k+) with far less training and less weekly hours. Yes, the 150k+ salary is significantly more than many of those careers, but they also don't require 8+ extra years of training and taking on 250K+ in debt.

    Google is your friend, plenty of data out there. To be blunt, there are very, very few specialties where working less than 65 hours/week is the norm. In some fields, 100/wk was the norm before the ACGME implemented the 80 hour rule, and I've heard attendings who were in residency 10+ years ago say that 120+ hour weeks weren't uncommon in residency (surgical fields). Even in the least rigorous fields, there are still hellish hours at times and residency programs don't always abide by that 80 hour/wk rule.

    You're not going to find accurate lists of "good" or "bad" medical schools, but the people in the field know. Carib schools are bad because they have high attrition rates, low match rates (some near 50%), poor board score averages, and weak match lists. Goro and many others dislike LUCOM because of their religious affiliation and policies of the parent school (Liberty), but I reserve those judgments for after they've put out a few classes into the match. There are other, established schools I'd rank well below them due to poor pass rates for boards, match rates, etc., but knowing which schools that includes requires more research and familiarity with specific schools. There is no comprehensive source for that info.

    Additionally, Asperger's has been removed from the DSM-V. So while that is part of your medical record, it is no longer a valid diagnosis per DSM guidelines and is simply part of "autism spectrum disorder" per current guidelines.
     
    RomaniGypsy and Goro like this.
  50. RomaniGypsy

    RomaniGypsy

    15
    0
    Jan 4, 2018
    Not true. Given that you can't see into my mind, this is an assumption, and you know what happens when you assume. As for overcoming my Asperger's, I can no sooner do that than you can overcome your height or any other genetically determined condition you have. So whether you're a doctor or not, how about a little understanding here... this is a genetic condition, I didn't ask for it, and I play the hand I was dealt as well as I can. Yes, I'm going to miss certain things from time to time (usually "salient points" don't escape me), and I am going to state things in ways not commonly seen from neurotypical human beings. That does not mean that I am [insert pejorative term such as "narcissistic" here]. It means that I see things and say things differently. It's inappropriate to get on my case for this unless it can be proven that I am being dishonest. Let's say that you had a genetic condition which made your walking gait odd, though functional and not dangerous. Would you want to be picked on for that? Probably not. So for as much as you may think I need to check my ego, I think you need to check your aggression and insensitivity. (And this goes for a few others posting on this thread as well. By now we all know whom they are... or at least we should.)

    Questioning does not equal arguing. Argumentative statements end in periods or exclamation points. If it ends in a question mark, it's an interrogative statement / question.

    Funny. My primary care doctor finished our little interview thinking that I was in a fine place to begin medical study. He did ask me some questions.

    Maybe it's not the right career path. One never knows without investigation. Another main motivator for the entire medical field, though not necessarily becoming a doctor, is to be there with my wife. She's always been inclined toward the "action" part of medicine while I've always been inclined toward the "knowledge" part of it. So, she's gunning for nursing school, and has stated that she doesn't want to be a doctor. I figure I could go for any spot in the medical field, and I have been investigating all of them. More on this later...

    Whew... how to make this brief... well, first of all, you need to know that I believe the process of this change is going to take an amount of time exceeding the years remaining in my life even if I live to be a ripe old age. Therefore, one main motivator is figuring out what I'm going to do with the rest of my working years _before_ such change is completed. The establishment of the commune (which, again, is just a convenient term... one I realize is going to conjure up all kinds of inaccurate mental images in the minds of those who have not yet read my book) is not going to be a hard break from society at first. The break will come gradually over a period of years. Sadly, people will still be tied to the current money system for quite some time, and we all need to eat. So, really, the work in the medical field is still mostly for the "here and now" aspect of providing for the family. How it relates to the commune is that it would be a plus for people who'd be thinking about joining... they wouldn't have to worry so much about how they'd get medical treatment. This is an issue for people who live "unconventional" lives. My wife and I were full-time RVers for a while and they have the same problem... how to get medical care when they're constantly in different places and infrequently (if ever) near their "primary" doctor.

    Perhaps... by this do you mean that even someone who completes all prerequisite courses which cover the material tested on the MCAT, receives all "A" grades in those classes, and then takes the MCAT relatively soon after finishing the classes (such that the material doesn't have much of a chance to "go stale" and be forgotten), and has always been a "good test taker", STILL runs such a high risk of performing poorly on the MCAT that it's a wise use of time to begin studying for it even before starting the classes containing the material that the MCAT covers?

    Mistake count: 1. My posts do, in fact, end.

    Mistake count: 2. If I didn't want help, I wouldn't ask for it because that would be a complete waste of time for myself and everyone who'd respond.

    Swing and a miss for strike 3. (Good thing you're not a baseball player.) My ego isn't massive; I speak only the truth with no exaggeration nor diminution thereof. If we all did this, the world would be a much more pleasant and honest place, and nobody would strike anyone else as being either egotistical or lacking in self-esteem. And if all I wanted was someone who thinks I'm a great candidate, my primary care doctor already does... so why would I have to look for another one?

    Cracks like this make me feel sorry for your patients. If you're doing this to show me what a terrible attitude people tend to develop after being doctors for a long time, well, you're succeeding wildly. I certainly don't want to get into a field, no matter how well it pays, which would turn me into a cynical, aggressive, mean-spirited, negative individual.

    And what do you recommend I say? I'm actually being dead serious with this question - no sarcasm at all. I would like you (and/or anyone else reading this who thinks as you do) to cherry-pick some of what you consider to be my most "narcissistic" / "stubborn" / "arrogant" statements (exact word-for-word quotes please, not paraphrases), and reword them to sound like something that would not do me harm were I to say it to an admissions committee. In so doing, you will show me the kind of person who does well as a doctor, and if I cannot see myself being that person, I will bow out gracefully before making a huge and expensive mistake.

    You certainly seem to understand exactly what I was looking for in terms of responses - dispassionate factual answers to my questions. You sound like the kind of person I'd want to be my doctor if I lived in your area... so "keep it up", as they say.

    You're not the only person who has said what I quoted you as saying. I read an article last night which, when boiled down, comes out as "if you don't have a true burning passion for medicine, you will hate being a doctor because it's a crappy job in many ways". Combining all this with what I've heard from some people about how they never wanted to be doctors (though they did become PAs or high-level nurses), I have to ask - if there are so many negatives about being a doctor, and you can still work in medicine by being a PA / NP / nurse / et al., why do people become doctors instead of "stopping short" at the "mid-level" of being a PA / NP, or maybe even a lower level than that by being a non-practitioner nurse?

    I wouldn't be bothered by unintentional non-compliance. The only thing that ever bothers me is intent. (This is universal for me. If I'm stuck in a traffic jam, I'm mad about the intent of the driver who caused the accident through his/her unsafe driving, or the intent of the person in authority at the department of transportation who thought it would be acceptable to do road work at peak traffic times on a well-traveled road. I get mad about a bunch of things but it always boils down to the intent of the person or people who caused the distasteful situations. When intent is purely honorable, bad stuff usually doesn't happen, but if and when it does, I'm not bothered by it.)

    I'd imagine that failure to understand how to take prescribed medication would be due to ignorance of the patient (not intent), failure to ask the pharmacist how to take the medication, failure to ask the doctor all relevant questions, etc. Accidental - I don't blame people for "oops moments" because we all have them.

    I guess that measures up closely to my ED experiences. I've been to an ED seven times (once as the patient, six times accompanying the patient) and not once was it for a life-threatening emergency... the worst situation could best be described as "this condition is not getting better, if it gets much worse it could be a real problem, we should get it addressed as soon as possible, but even if it continues for another day or two on its current trajectory, it's not likely to result in death".

    But there are those times when the ambulance comes zooming into the hospital with lights on and sirens blaring... it'd seem that, at those times, a volunteer would likely be in the way.

    Not surprising. When I asked the admissions counselor why they don't require the MCAT, she said that they did a study recently and determined that their "academic index" was a better predictor of performance in medical school, on the required tests such as the COMLEX, and "on the job", than was an MCAT score. I figured that maybe the MCAT is starting to go the way of the GRE. I once thought that every graduate program required the GRE, but so many of them are saying that GRE scores are not required. I guess I'll have to watch to see what happens over the years... the winds of change have been blowing in education as a whole, for some time now.

    I hate politics. I wonder if there is any occupation that's free from "work politics".

    Reason #1 - obvious to them, perhaps not to me, hopefully they would give the reason.

    Reason #2 - if THEY don't know, I'd have to wonder how they're sure that it's a good thing. Just because someone tells you to do something, doesn't mean it's any good for anyone.

    I could accept that #3 reason as long as it came accompanied by a promise to take an honest stab at the real explanation when next we both have the time for it to be given. My mom says that I've been asking "why" since I was one year old... it must be deep within my nature. I may sometimes have to tell my son "because I said so", but I expect that he'll accept that from me a lot better than I ever accepted it from my parents, because he'll know that the full explanation will come at the first possible moment.

    Seems a mere semantic difference. To me the "right way" is the "best way", even if there is no truly palatable way for people to receive bad news.

    In that case, what can you do? If you're forced to deliver bad news, you do it and if the recipient won't accept it, at least you tried. I have issues with doctors who don't give bad news when there is relevant bad news. For example, last week we found out that my wife's grandmother was diagnosed with metastatic bone cancer after landing herself in the hospital from having fallen at her house. The news hopped along the degrees of separation and got to me, but yet the grandmother herself had not yet been told... and as far as I know, she STILL has not yet been told! (She's experiencing a bit of senescence in her old age, but she'd still understand it in its entirety were it to be told to her.) The way I see it - at SOME point, she'll have to find out... why wait, you know?

    By "I get it", what I meant was "I get how bad this news is and how you are likely to feel about its revelation", not that I understand every aspect of the situation. I wouldn't have to tell a woman that she'd been raped... she'd already know, or at least strongly suspect, that that were true if it happened. I wouldn't try to claim that I understand what it's like to have cancer. All I'd aim for is conveying the notion that I understand what a devastating blow it is to anyone, to learn that you have a condition that is as severe as terminal cancer.

    Well, to me it appeared obvious, but I've been insulted and accused of all kinds of stuff on this forum for daring to believe obvious things that others find erroneous. Apparently there's a "right way" and a "wrong way" to conduct this research and try to develop this understanding. Far it is from all too many humans to respond to requests for information as you have.

    That has to be one heck of a situation... going through medical school and residency, amassing all of that debt... and then burning out. I can only imagine what those people must think. But... it's good to know why they burn out. I don't think I could ever lose my empathy... I'd burn out before that happened. And I don't think I'd be inclined to fire patients when they become non-compliant... I've never fired a music student even for the most egregious non-compliance, because I figure that as long as that student is mine, I have the chance to affect positive change, either in attitude or musical ability, in that student. If I drop him/her, I lose that chance and there's no telling whether or not the person will seek a different teacher, much less one who would do better than I did at getting him/her to practice properly and have the right attitude. Generally, I keep my students because I don't want to lose the income that I get from teaching them... and because teaching even the most non-compliant student who is still willing to sit through a lesson really isn't a taxing experience. I could see operating the same way as a doctor. At least when you're a doctor, there are always more clients out there. Can't really say the same for music teachers. Everyone gets sick; not everyone aspires to learn music.

    The information I've gotten on this subject has been so widely varied that I have yet to establish a consensus... hence why I keep looking for more. I'll never forget an adult student I had who was a PA, and he told me that not only did he have no desire to be a doctor, but also that many of the doctors with whom he worked said that they wished they were PAs. I read recently that NPs are soon to be required to get the DNP degree in order to be able to "practice"... do you think that the industry is going to shift even further, to the point where PAs and DNPs will be required to complete a residency where they're working insane hours in order to be able to practice to whatever extent they're permitted?

    Yeah, too much of it... hence why I asked about a credible source. Internet searches tend to yield sources of widely varying credibility.

    Are you referring to full-fledged practice, or residency?

    Truthfully, this would probably be a deal-breaker for me. I need to be around for my son. Plus, my wife wants to have at least one more child, and we have no idea if / when that will happen (it took six years of "joy in the journey" to get the first one)... so whether it's one child or more than one, I can't be spending all of my quality time "at work" and arriving home exhausted with no time to spend with my kid(s). I've done 80 hours a week in the past and lived to tell the tale, but I was single.

    By this do you mean schools that are located in Caribbean countries? And is it student attrition rates (meaning a lot of dropping out) or faculty attrition / turnover rates?

    Tell me about this "match rate" thing. As I understand thus far, "matching" is where a medical school and a facility such as a hospital come to an agreement to place a student from that school who is soon to graduate or has already graduated, into a residency opportunity available at that hospital. Regardless of the accuracy of that understanding, does a "match rate" of 50% mean that only half of graduating students get placed in a residency? If yes, how would the "unmatched" graduates ever get a residency?

    I did read that around the time that it happened. Personally I don't like that change, because people on the autism spectrum have so many different types of abnormal characteristics that it'd seem difficult to know how to treat someone if he had only the label of autism. It strikes me like a person asking for a prescription from a "telemedicine" doctor, and only telling the doctor that he's "sick". Okay, that's a start, but what kind of "sick" are you? What are your symptoms? The label of Asperger's helped people mentally select a subset of autistic characteristics that the person is likely to possess, and treat him/her accordingly. I don't see that term disappearing anytime soon, even if it doesn't get reintroduced when they go to DSM-VI (whenever that may be).
     
  51. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Snow fox. 2+ Year Member

    5,104
    7,232
    Jan 10, 2016
    Not sure why people are bothering to respond to this anymore. OP clearly cannot accept that he is wrong about anything and will only respond by posting inappropriately long diatribes about why you are wrong. You’re just wasting your time. There is nothing you can say that he won’t have an answer to.
     

About the ads

Share This Page