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Am I making a mistake w/ my life?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by {:(, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. {:(

    {:( Member
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    We all know that the profundity of the internet is not quite at a point of trust when trying to make little life's decisions, nonetheless, I am curious about what other people think. I am on a path leading me to eventually going on to either an MSTP or a Ph.d in Neuroscience, but I realize that I simply enjoy what these titles entail. I get to discover new facts never known before or I get to help save millions of lives. The problem is am I good enough at this? Sure I can get a 4.0 in a science class at a competitive university, but does that actually qualify me for anything? Naturally, w/o the forces of a million or so flash cards pumped into my brain, I am an excellent leader who can articulate arguments and manipulate people. In high school I was a intern to a federal congressman and was actively interested in politics and the law because I enjoyed it. The problem with law, is that law itself is criminal because of the intentions of it, not to say that all law has evil intentions or even the majority. Law is a crime because we in the United States like money... I am assuming everyone whose opinions I care about will be able to follow what I just said w/o more of an explanation. I feel that law is basically meaningless, but I am great at and again naturally drawn to it. It comes down to this, I love law, but I feel that it is meaningless; I know I would be successful in it. I love the concept of being a scientist and I feel it will be meaningful; I do not know if I will be able to become successful in it. Any thoughts? What should I do? Go into law or medical science? Anyone else feel this way?
     
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  3. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS
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    First, I will be losing my SDN membership for revealing the great secret. The insecurity that you are expressing is something that we ALL feel from time to time. It is a part of life.

    That being said, what do you do about it? I would say use the "alarm clock" method of decision making. Which ultimate career choice would cause you to wake up in the morning before your alarm went off because you were so excited to go to work? If you don't know the answer, then get more exposure to more fields until you find your passion.

    Good luck.
     
  4. nimotsu

    nimotsu 荷物
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    Bottom line: Do what you enjoy

    Nobody is really successful in science. It takes much failure and repetition to come up with a meaningful result, and that result could just be one facet of a more complex puzzle. Science is frustating. You could try out research and see if you are good at it. Passing a science class with high marks is not necessarily going to correlate to a great experimentalist. It sounds like you feel that science is meaningful because it's more of a challenge than law. Legal matters do matter, and aspects of the legal system such as patent law play important roles in innovation. In fact, legal decisions and the people who fought for them have generated many markers in American history (from civil rights, interstate commerce regulations, etc). It all depends on what type of law you pursue. But titles are not going to get you anywhere. It doesn't matter how other people feel about you, it matters that you do what you enjoy because then it's not like going to a crappy job every day.
     
  5. nena

    nena Member
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    today i went to an interview for a job at a lawyers office. he looked over my resume an saw all of the medical exposure i had. he bluntly asked me why i had applied to a law office rather than clinics. and i told him that i always liked law and was drawn to it in high school but for some reason got into science. he went on to say that he thought that those who got into law should not only like it, but love it, and have a passion for it because that was going to lead to the person's success. he couldn't understand how premeds considered law as a backup because he felt that although both had some similarities, there was no way you could have a passion for both. so what it boils down to is what do you most have a passion for? remember what you choose is what you will do for the next ~40 years or so of your life. you have to wake up every morning looking forward to the days work, and knowing after those 40 years that you will be content with how you've spent it. so think about it, get more exposure as the other poster suggested. and even look to see if there may be a career field that you can use both. good luck and remember try to do without regretting later.

    btw..i don't think i got the job.. :D
     
  6. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna
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    Everybody feels insecure sometimes (some people more than others), but from the sound of it, you're obviously qualified. I think you should go for your dream, you can obviously do that too if you're getting a 4.0! Everybody has to study for science, you can't just reason things out like in law, etc. That's why the MCAT tests what you know, not your ability to learn (well at least ideally, some people just aren't good at standarized tests).
     
  7. Thundrstorm

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    If we all did what we were best at, instead of what we loved, I would have been a very successful but very unfulfilled English major. I totally understand where you're coming from, as I have some of the same thoughts myself, but the thing is, I'd prefer a challenge over guaranteed success if I knew that science and/or medicine were really my greatest passion. The poster who advised the alarm clock test is right; what will make you get up in the morning? I've worked in a law firm, where I was paid well and did a very good job, and yet, I dreaded going into work most days. I'm currently working in a lab, where I'm paid poorly and have to commute several hours a day, and it doesn't even feel like work. Although I may have natural talent as a scientist, my greatest talents lie elsewhere and had I just done what I was best at, I would have pursued a much different career. Instead, I'm in search of that great feeling I know I will have when I do manage to create or discover something that impacts the health of others. You need to ask yourself what really inspires you; if the answer isn't obvious, don't rush into one field or the other. I think you already know the answer; if you consider law ultimately meaningless, will success in law ever really give you satisfaction?
     
  8. {:(

    {:( Member
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    Thank you for all your responses. Many of you had some wonderful insight about my problem. It will take time and more exposure to finally decide, but you guys did make me feel better.
     
  9. Centinel

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    There's always the MD/JD for the terminally indecisive.



    :p :smuggrin:
     
  10. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I think he actually gave you good advice, albeit not a job. It's far more important to find something you really enjoy to do -- a career where you are not spending the week dreaming of the weekend, or dreading each Monday morning. Lots of people who are smart enough to go to med school could do reasonably well at law and vice versa, but without some level of interest or excitement in the field (either one) you would burn out pretty quickly.
    As for the OPs notion that law is "meaningless", there are certainly various public interest areas, such as environmental, or poverty law, or health regulatory law, which can have huge positive impacts in peoples lives. Even the more individual fields, your job is really largely to help people, to listen and advise. Thus it is a service industry not all that unlike medicine in a lot of ways, although usually without the life and death consequences.
    But my concern with those who are considering medicine versus law is that perhaps they don't really want to be either -- they just have the notion that they need to be a professional, or perhaps the perqs, status and respect such title brings. That is a recipe for being dissatisfied in whichever field you choose, and I would highly suggest spending a ton of time working in hospitals and as a paralegal so that you have a better feel for each position and decide if you would be happy in either. Good luck
     
  11. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    It's not impossible to change later if you make a mistake, either. So make your best choice and then if experience shows you made an error, reevaluate.
     
  12. medworm

    medworm Senior Member
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    Let me digress into a similar situation with definite parallels.

    A good friend of mine had the same dilemma early in his career. He's very insightful and strikes up the *most* thought-provoking conversations in global politics, current events, history, literature, arts, music, etc. I'm talking about a guy who's a walking encyclopedia and speaks like a columnist from the NY Times and New Yorker. Just an amazingly intelligent, well-read, and articulate man!

    So one day, I asked him if he had ever considered investigative journalism or freelance writing since he'd be great at it. To my surprise, his response was yes, he had considered it but didn't pursue it because it would be too easy for him. He'd also make a great lawyer of the "Robin Hood" or Washington type, but again he felt that the grounds there won't challenge him enough.
    So what did he end up doing instead? Architecture.

    Somehow he decided that he'd be much happier not to ride along with his biggest asset, but to refine a weaker skill and learn more about a field that he finds intriguing. He spent 3 years working his butt off to get his master's of architecture and countless more getting licensed. Now he designs these really cool and unique post-modern buildings and residences. Financially, he's better off than a journalist, but not as well off as a lawyer. But he's extremely happy and satisfied with his choice, and that's what matters.

    PS - to the OP, prior to committing to graduate studies my friend did get a good feel for architecture by doing design work in a similar environment.

    For you, you might just need to put in a summer internship to discover what you enjoy more.

    Good luck!
     

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