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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Bagster, Jul 24, 2006.
How much will it cost you to get your second degree? How much will it cost you to apply to a handful of schools? All said and done leaving your program and getting another acceptance will likely cost you thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars. (Don't forget the opportunity cost of delay in becoming a wage-earning physician.) Plus, the chances of getting a better deal that what you have is pretty slim. A bird in the hand, my friend, a bird in the hand. $75K ain't so bad, anyway. I know a few physicians sitting on $200K of debt.
Take it. TAKE IT. TAAAAAAAAAAAAKE IT.
$75K in loans for medical school is very low. With your stats, what are the odds of you getting a half-tuition scholarship? Very uncertain.
You have a great GPA and great MCAT. Will you probably get into better med schools (I don't think any of the top 20 have 6 year BA/MD programs)? Quite possibly. Will you get a better scholarship offer? VERY uncertain.
So if you want to open up your possibilities, apply away. But keep in mind that while you may (or may not) get into a better medical school, scholarships are very rare things.
Congratulations. These are good concerns to have.
Bagster- you're not alone in this. Abbreviated BA/MD programs are a racket. They attract promising young students who are willing to give up the opportunity of going to undergrad schools with better academic reputations for their BA for the sake of saving a year and application to get in to medical school.
What happens, often as not, is that promising students like yourself find yourself with great stats and realize that you can get in to a better medical school.
I have a real problem with these programs. But that's just me.
Especially since you're young, why not take a year off and do something intersting: travel, peace-corp, etc. Enjoy life for a while before launching into med school? What's the hurry?
Personally, if this was just an issue of money, I wouldn't bother pulling out. From what I've seen, scholarships are VERY rare in medical school, and it doesn't sound like you'll be having too much hardship anyway. I'll probably end up with around $150K in debt, so you'll only have half the debt of me. Besides, like someone else said, if you pull out, you face having to pay for all the fees and travel to get into another school, and then might not get anything better in terms of money for another school. And you could end up paying a whole lot more for med school.
Now, if you are debating whether or not to actually go to the med school itself, that's a whole other story. If you think there are other schools out there that you'd be happier at, then by all means, take some time out, get your other degree or take a year off to travel the world or whatever, while reapplying to some schools you think fit you better.
Stick with it. 75k is LOW - grab an MSAR and check out the average graduating student debt for each school. If this is really only a financing issue, you would be taking a HUGE risk to bail out now. Despite your numbers, merit based scholarships are hard to come by.
OK here is the deal: if this is an issue with the money, don't worry about it because most of us are going to be facing much higher debts than 75K. I think the average debt is 120K or smt like that. However, if this is another issue, like you wanting to go to a better shool because you think you got the stats, then that's a whole different story. So out with it now, which is it?
Even if you are talking about 75K+ a year (which I wasn't sure if you meant total since you're at a private school or per year) you are in need of seriously considering how much money you will MAKE doing this. You are starting med school at a young age therefore you will be MAKING money before most people are even starting residency. Plus you have to consider although they may have lied to you, money is just money. You will pay it back eventually and you have this opportunity now, I'd use it.
Also, if you meant $75K/year sometimes those budgets are blown WAY out of proportion and you can live on a lot less than what their "budget" is.
If you meant $75K+ total, the average med student might have $150K-$200K in debt so I wouldn't worry too much about that. Most people I know will have debt of at least $200-$250K at private schools. I know it seems alot at first but you have to remember you will have YEARS to pay that off.
Ok,first thing. It costs me nothing to get the 2nd degree (I haven't officially finished my 1st degree). I actually get paid around $4,000 for the year if I go back to undergrad.
Thanks for the advice!
Are scholarships really that rare? That is what I am trying to figure out...I mean obviously I have something guaranteed on one hand versus an unknown...but it frustrates me to think that I am settling, know what I mean?
BTW, I dislike the BS/MD program as well...the only reason I applied to it was that I was leaving my high school early, I was too young to leave home, and it was the best program at my hometown university...in retrospect I am glad I left high school but a little peeved by how my good stats are sort of "wasted".
I do want to be independent in a short time and support myself, start a new life, move to a different city etc. Plus, taking a year off is not going to go over well with my family, and I really wouldn't mind going back to college another year.
To all the rest of the posts (which talk about my motivation and the costs...):
thanks for the replies!
This is primarily the dilemma I face.
On the one hand, I could go to med school. It is a decent school, it just got a nice endowment, my father worked there for years so people are nice to me there, and it is close to home, so I can help my mom (who is widowed) out with my two younger kids. The cost isn't bad compared to most people, but it frustrates me because part of the reason I chose a lesser-known school was that I hoped to come off financially better, and this may or may not be the case.
On the other hand, if the cost is similar (meaning it is likely to get a merit scholarship elsewhere) I could attend a better institution, with more qualified people around me, live in a new city, be independent.
From what you are telling me, it is not likely to get a merit scholarship elsewhere....so I guess that means I just have to stick with what I have. Oh well...it just frustrates me that people who scored 5-6 pts lower on their MCATs got the same deal I did. And I guess I will more than make it up when I start earning.
P.S. I got a mailing from Wash U today saying they give out up to 16 full-merit scholarships every year...is this common among the major schools? I assume they are very competitive of course. BTW, I am PBK as well.
merit scholarships for medical school are exceedingly rare! there's too many highly qualified candidates in this game!
Your age will likely hurt you for getting a merit scholarship elsewhere. You have the objective numbers to compete for one, but at age 18, you're maturity will be much more in question. You'll be competing with 22 and up year-olds with more interesting (and longer term) experiences which will make them seem like amazing candidates. I'd go with whats sure right now.
That's arrogant. I made just about the same score on the mcat as you did, but I don't think that gives me an entitlement compared to someone who made a 35 or 36 on the test, especially for a scholarship. Just because you can ace a standardized test means nothing for your earning potential as a physician. That skill we have may (key word is may, usmle scores are only a part of the match process) get us into higher paying specialties, but earning money as a physician is often about making connections and partnerships along with being a skilled businessperson.
I think you should talk to the program at your school, and explain the situation to them. See if you can convince them to help you somehow. Also, I'd say, think of it not as settling, but as giving for your family.
That being siad, even if you have to pay 75 grand, it's not a big deal. So you'll be able to work a few more years if you want. You'll probably make up the 75k in one year of working.
Also, it's clear that you are a top student. Your choice of med school isn't going to matter, because you'll most likely be at the top of your class and have very high scores on the Step 1. So you'll get into the competitive residency of your choice, if that's what you're pursuing.
PS: I'm glad there was finally someone with high stats who started a worthwhile discussion, and wasn't trolling.
Of course, I am sorry if I am came across as arrogant. Standardized testing can often be a meaningless judge of ability (and usually is). My school's situation is somewhat different, however, they had a huge donation for scholarships this year to attract the best students...and they wound up splitting the money into several multiple smaller scholarships. Of course it benefits the most people...but for example I have a friend who got a 33, didn't study hard for his MCAT, and got 3/4 of what I got. Whatever.
I will post more later but I g2g run.
Yeah, unfortunately age always does seem to be an issue...I don't understand why people assume automatically that age and maturity are correllated...people always assume I am older than I really am (I usually don't correct them anyways) just because I don't act immature and stupid.
Thanks for the compliments! I have contacted my school (did so a few weeks ago) and I am waiting for a response. They haven't seemed too positive tho...their attitude is more like "Yeah with a score like that you probably deserve more but I can't help you".
And I guess I just have to see it positively...and I am doing good by my family
Assuming an invariant age of retirement, you are effectively paying $200,000 (your estimated annunal income in the peak of your career) to delay matriculation. That figure dwarfs $75,000, so stop whining and go cure cancer.
This kid is more transparent than...um...this butterfly!
You're 18 now?! Or 18 when you got in?! So confused?!
I will be 18 in a week.
You may not be ready for medical school and this is your way of getting off the train. Stop, do a couple more years of undergrad and make a mature decision a couple of years from now as to whether you want a career in medicine or whether something else would be more satisfying.
I wish I finished high school early like you did. But I'll try to finish college in 3 years.
I think it would be extremely beneficial for you to take one year off and apply to other schools. I would take some lighter courses, maybe get a fun minor, and really just relax. I know this sounds like advice you may not want to hear, but trust me, life as a physician is not easy. You may regret later on not waiting just a bit longer to mature (and I am not saying you're immature, I'm just saying that with time comes experience, which results in maturity...). You'll most likely get into another school, although your age may be something held against you. If I were you, I'd talk to the school to see if you have a good chance of getting in next year, since you want to take a year off for personal reasons. Just chill!! Life is short. And please enjoy it while you can.
It is a big and neccessary step to get out on your own. At the same time, you sound like a family oriented person, and you'll end up finding when you're older that family is even more important than you think when you're young (although you sound you may already have that figured out).
Everyone says to go out and experience life. Entering Med School at 18 IS a life experience that most people will never have. Honestly, I wish I had my life as together as you do at 18. Depending on what kind of person you are, you may not need to take time off etc. when you already know what you want to do and have a sweet deal.
For the second issue of going to another school, I think staying where you are is a no-brainer. 75 grand is not crazy debt for a doctor and you'll be a doctor at 22, making bank by 25ish when most are starting med school. You'll be at the top of your class, so you'll be just as successful as you would going to a higher ranking shcool. You've got your life set at 18, be happy and go for it.
This post really struck me...and made me think WHY I wanted to be a doctor...the truth is I wanted to go to med school...I was bored in undergrad and looking forward to learning new things and helping other people.
Anyways (bringing closure to this thread), I had made up my mind to stay and be happy (and getting all excited for orientation this week) when I received a pleasant surprise. My school (out of nowhere) decided to give me more financial support...now I will have only $45,000 dollars in debt...I can't get over how extremely fortunate I am (especially after reading so many posts on here concerning finances).
Thanks for all your help, and may all your days be Bagalicious!
Just wanted to give an update almost three months into med school:
1) I LOVE IT! Best decision I ever made! People are great, classes are interesting, even anatomy lab turned out to be pretty cool (so far ;-) )
2) I was ready...I am scoring near the top of my class...and I get along well with most people, plus I am happier than I was last year in undergrad. Another year probably would have been a waste of my time.
3) After meeting so many different people in medical school (with such diverse experiences) I have come to realization that I have had a truly unique life...and an unique opportunity to do something special.
4) My financial situation is EXCELLENT compared to most people...and it would have been stupid of me to leave it.
5) Even if my school isn't a "name school" I like it here, people are nice, weather is great, it takes me 30 minutes to get to school, and I am doing great academically. Assuming I do well on the boards I should be fine no matter what specialty I apply for.
GoodDoctor...hit it right on the head
You do far more "living" in college than med school. Med school is mostly studying, learning, and while it is sometimes fun and always challenging, it is no substitute for some of the "coming of age" you get in college. To sacrifice college to get to med school so early is a fool's gambit. Sure, you will get to gainful employment quicker. But you won't have the same kind of fond memories and good times from the 4 years of college, which, if used well, tend to be the best 4 years of your life. And you will be working at your job for the rest of your life, and so whether that means 45 years or 50, it is still a long time -- you won't miss out on that end if you enjoy your youth. Just my opinion.
I think the OP was a TROLL. 18 years old, 40 MCAT, 4.0 GPA, and pissy about having to take on debt? Then bragging about how much money he's getting going to medical school when he said he knew nothing about the admissions process 3 months ago? If he's for real, then he's pretty arrogant.
We have a winner.
First of all, I am not a troll. My stats and age are legit.
Second of all, I apologize if it seems I was "bragging" about the money I was getting. I was very ignorant at the time of posting about the average amount of debt incurred by a med school student; after going to school and talking with people I realized how fortunate I was (even if I had just received the 1/3 scholarship). I wished to merely express my gratitude to some of the people who gave me advice because they gave me very good advice.
Finally, the reason I knew NOTHING (and still know virtually nothing) about the admissions process is because I was a 6-year B.S./M.D. and I decided to go to med school this past January (originally planning to pursue a different degree). I apologize for my ignorance.
If you were originally planning to pursue a different degree, it sounds like you are basing your decision to go to medical school because of the money you'll get to go. Besides, do you know what a "financially-based crisis" really is? If this is a crisis, you won't know what to do with a patient that truly has a life crisis where they can't afford to healthcare, drugs, or to even put food in their mouths.
Sorry, but reading the title of the thread, I expected to read about somebody struggling to pay for school, having to endure hard times to pay for secondaries and travel for interviews. What I found was a teenager complaining that he didn't get a full ride to medical school, and he wasn't sure if he even should go to medical school because he wasn't getting enough money. That's the ultimate in arrogance to think that your "crisis" is something that compares to almost everyone on here, less a large chunk of the population of the USA and most of the world.
And I apologize for the title...I would edit it if I could because it is melodramatic and inappropriate. It is the first thing that struck my mind when I saw this thread in my history today; after volunteering in the hospital and meeting some many people with bigger problems than I will ever have. It is crass and immature to a huge extent; I guess two months makes a big difference...
Anyways there is no reason to reply anymore to this thread...I just wanted to conclude the subject and thank everyone for dealing with my immaturity appropriately and giving me solid advice.
My father is a trial lawyer who graduated from a state school. He told me that there are four lawyers in our small city (100,000) who graduated from Harvard law school. One of these lawyers has been very successful and the other three have had very mediocre legal careers...their business skills and people skills were subpar and the Harvard degree did not help when they regularly got their butts kicked bad in front of juries. Street smarts and personality and people skills will count alot more than a few extra few points on the MCAT which no one cares about after you get admitted to medical or law school (LSAT). The real world is very different from a written test. Do not fall in love with your MCAT score because it will not love you back. Your patients will never even have heard of the MCAT. Can you relate to people and run a business. That is what will make you successful unless you want to simply be an academic.