Mar 17, 2010
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Pre-Medical
Hello all:

I have found a few posts related to this, but haven't found much to help with my unique situation.

I am 5-6 months into my graduate program. It is mainly thesis-based, (with course requirements).

I spoke to a school counsellor for the first time ever today. I've noticed a change in my personality, sleeping patterns, participation in extracurriculars, etc. I am unhappy. I am stressed out. At first I attributed it to a transition from undergrad to the less structured graduate life. I thought I was simply becoming more mature and making "sacrifices" to further myself. I brushed it aside and told myself to rise above, to work harder.

It simply hasn't gotten better. I have lost a lot of the confidence and zeast I once had. It's hard to talk to other students because most of them joke about depression amongst graduate students and I feel that none of them are in the same boat I am.

I've been instructed to talk to a few advisors in my department, and will do so - it's just difficult cause many of them encouraged me to go into graduate research in the first place. They (and my supervisor) knew that I wanted to eventually pursue a medicine-related path, and some advisors even told me to "try it out, and in the worst case scenario - if you dislike it, leave" when I voiced my concerns and apprehensions after being offered a position and before accepting it myself. I have yet to talk to my actual supervisor, but plan to do so once I talk with a few others and get some further advice / comments.

I've been looking into podiatry for a while now, ever since my podiatrist told me (a second time) to consider it (he knew I wanted to go into medicine). What caught my attention were his pro-pod arguments and his genuine happiness with what he does. I am in contact with him now, with plans of shadowing. I've also made arrangements to write the MCAT (prior to this blowing up) and if I were to drop out of my current program, will have a lot more time to focus on this. If shadowing goes well, I am seriously considering applying to podiatry for the next cycle, starting early in Sept. My gpa as it stand currenty is should be above average for pod matriculants.

Now, I've considered the idea that I am simply just lazy and not wanting to complete this. But I did go into this with NO prior experience (was told to try it, I'd love it). I genuinely dislike going in daily, and completing my obligations. I, right now, do not see myself happily finishing this off in the 2-3 yrs which is the average duration of the program. However, I do not wish to give up so easily. I do not wish to let all those who thought I could do this (including my supervisor) down. I do not wish to do something that will hurt my chances to pursue other acedmic routes down the road. Thoughts? Tips? Comments?

Thanks!
 

Shireiqiang

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Sounds like a really rough predicament. In my opinion the best thing you can do at this point is to keep doing your best where you are. Don't slack or let up in your graduate program. You need to find out what you really want to do. Don't quit what you are doing, but definately do some shadowing. Don't just shadow a podiatrist either. Look into the other fields in healthcare that could possibly interest you. Talk to someone who cares about you, someone who has your best interests at heart and also someone who really knows you personally. Good luck.
 

catchburns

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Jun 16, 2008
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Sounds like a really rough predicament. In my opinion the best thing you can do at this point is to keep doing your best where you are. Don't slack or let up in your graduate program. You need to find out what you really want to do. Don't quit what you are doing, but definately do some shadowing. Don't just shadow a podiatrist either. Look into the other fields in healthcare that could possibly interest you. Talk to someone who cares about you, someone who has your best interests at heart and also someone who really knows you personally. Good luck.
Totally agree. I wouldn't jump ship just yet. What's to say that you'll like the podiatry curriculum any better? I'd take some time to seriously evaluate why you're unhappy and get some advice from people who know you that won't just say nice things to you and will give you their non-buttered-up opinions. Maybe you are just lazy... or maybe your not. But don't move too quick on this one. Its an expensive and difficult decision that should take quite an investment of time and effort before you move on it. Like Shireiqiang said, look at other professions too. If podiatry ends up being your choice, then great. But maybe you'd be just as unhappy here.
 

hyperpodia

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Mar 6, 2008
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Now, I've considered the idea that I am simply just lazy and not wanting to complete this. But I did go into this with NO prior experience (was told to try it, I'd love it). I genuinely dislike going in daily, and completing my obligations. I, right now, do not see myself happily finishing this off in the 2-3 yrs which is the average duration of the program. However, I do not wish to give up so easily. I do not wish to let all those who thought I could do this (including my supervisor) down. I do not wish to do something that will hurt my chances to pursue other acedmic routes down the road. Thoughts? Tips? Comments?

Thanks!
There are some students in Pod school who have graduate degrees. Not helpful for admission but may be valuable in the future. (it does not hurt to know more than the next guy)

If I was in your position I would have done the Post bac programs that help you get into Med school. Have you considered doing these programs? some give you a masters degree upon completion plus you get to do very similar or exact same courses as in med or pod school.

Advice to all pre med or pre pod students, if you are not ready for med school by senior year do a post bac program. then apply next year, IMO this is the best thing to do. In short, try to get into a post bac program instead of wasting time in field you will never be happy pursuing
 
Mar 17, 2010
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Pre-Medical
Thanks all for the replies, it's helping a lot. Also bear in mind I'm running on very little / low quality sleep at the moment.

I should make it clear that my Master's research / thesis based. There are courses to fufill a credit requirement, but this is not the point of the degree. I've begun studying for the MCAT and realized that I still yearn for the structured info-loading curriculum that ugrad provided. I am coming under the impression that open-ended research in a lab may not be for me. It is adversely affecting my mental health amongst other things.

My main concerns are applying for admissions into a health-related professional school (I'm interested in pod for many reasons) but this is general and I may need time to sit down and really think about it.

I do realize pod / medicine comes with a residency at the end, that may be seen as analogous to the "real world", or where the pod curriculum "counts"; i.e. as grad school was to my bachelor's degree. But as the days drag on, I'm increasingly becoming disillusioned with grad school and my research.

I guess what I'm trying to get it is - I made the wrong decision. I am leaning towards leaving my current program. I would like to explore other professional health-related programs. These schools will offer something I believe I can do well in as oppposed to research. BUT will my decision to leave this current program affect my admissions into these other programs / and how much will it come into play.
 

spo01

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Most of my classmates I know are non-traditional students, myself included. It won't affect your admission and may even help in some cases. Many of us graduated, did something, hated it, then decided to change paths. There's nothing wrong with changing career paths but there is something wrong doing something that makes you miserable. But don't rush into anything just to get away from your current program or else we will see another post from you in 2 years with the same problem. Do more research and shadowing of health fields, including podiatry, then do what *you* want.