Jordan95

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Hi, my name is Jordan, I'm 21 and currently a junior in college with intentions of applying to medical or dental school in a couple of years. I want to start off by emphasizing; I have always wanted to be doctor. Ever since I can remember I've been obsessed with anything medicine. I can remember going to a physician's or dentist's office as a kid, and asking literally hundreds of questions (to the point of annoyance). I would read books, watch youtube videos, and take online courses on anything medical related. I was obsessed (still am). Which brings me to my main "question."

Am I interested in medicine for the wrong reasons?!

See, the thing is I don't know what the "why" factor is. Am I interested in medicine because of the ethos and money? Well... I'd be lying if I said NO. Is that wrong though? I mean, it's obviously not purely the reason why I'm interested in this field. But it's definitely a factor. I love working with people and genuinely feel like I was put on this earth to be a healer. But I feel like thats just too cliche of an answer, and frankly not good enough of an answer to pursue a career in medicine.

I mean is it normal to be in this state of mind while in college? Or, should I revaluate my life.

Thanks for any input,

Jordan
 

kingdomheart

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I'm pretty sure a lot of people have wanted to become doctors with a similar reason. If that is your reason, then honestly stick to it. No need to revaluate your life. Also, through shadowing and clinical volunteering, you may have picked up more reasons as to why you want to become a doctor, no?
 
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Law2Doc

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You have to realize that there are sustainable reasons to be interested in a field and superficial ones. A sustainable reason, such as really enjoying the day to day aspects of the job/role will be something that can stay with you and makes this a rewarding career, even during stressful times. If you don't hate going to work, it's not really work.

By contrast things like money and more nebulous "helping people" are not sustainable. Because either you'll see non-medicine peers making money earlier and with fewer overnights and you'll have a recurring mantra in your head saying "is this really worth it?" Or you'll see that the money isn't the MTV cribs kind of money you picture as a premed and at best you are working a lot harder than your peers just so you can drive a slightly newer model of the SAME car and your kids can have orthodontia to have slightly straighter teeth and they'll end up with a bit less tuition debt when THEY graduate college. Or you'll find more than a few days where you really aren't "helping people" the way you pictured, and nobody is appreciative of your efforts, and you end up mumbling that same mantra.

Everyone experiences angst but if you love the job function you'll get past that. If you don't, youll be suffering even if you push on, forever living for the weekends or the paychecks or that rare moment where the patient appreciates your work. So yes, I think there are better reasons to go into medicine and you need to do some soul searching and make sure this is really a job you'll enjoy day to day or whether you are mostly interested in the superficial reasons and trappings.
 
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Jordan95

Jordan95

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I'm pretty sure a lot of people have wanted to become doctors with a similar reason. If that is your reason, then honestly stick to it. No need to revaluate your life. Also, through shadowing and clinical volunteering, you may have picked up more reasons as to why you want to become a doctor, no?
Greetings!

Thanks for the reply. I'm definitely looking forward to shadowing a little more as I only have about 10 hours shadowing a dentist. About the clinical volunteering, how would I go about applying for a position like that?


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Law2Doc

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Greetings!

Thanks for the reply. I'm definitely looking forward to shadowing a little more as I only have about 10 hours shadowing a dentist. About the clinical volunteering, how would I go about applying for a position like that?
If you are looking at dentistry with equal interest, you probably should do that -- easier training, better hours, better per hour compensation. Only go into medicine if no other job sounds as appealing.
 
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Jordan95

Jordan95

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You have to realize that there are sustainable reasons to be interested in a field and superficial ones. A sustainable reason, such as really enjoying the day to day aspects of the job/role will be something that can stay with you and makes this a rewarding career, even during stressful times. If you don't hate going to work, it's not really work.

By contrast things like money and more nebulous "helping people" are not sustainable. Because either you'll see non-medicine peers making money earlier and with fewer overnights and you'll have a recurring mantra in your head saying "is this really worth it?" Or you'll see that the money isn't the MTV cribs kind of money you picture as a premed and at best you are working a lot harder than your peers just so you can drive a slightly newer model of the SAME car and your kids can have orthodontia to have slightly straighter teeth and they'll end up with a bit less tuition debt when THEY graduate college. Or you'll find more than a few days where you really aren't "helping people" the way you pictured, and nobody is appreciative of your efforts, and you end up mumbling that same mantra.

Everyone experiences angst but if you love the job function you'll get past that. If you don't, youll be suffering even if you push on, forever living for the weekends or the paychecks or that rare moment where the patient appreciates your work. So yes, I think there are better reasons to go into medicine and you need to do some soul searching and make sure this is really a job you'll enjoy day to day or whether you are mostly interested in the superficial reasons and trappings.
Thanks for the reply.

The day to day aspects of medicine IS what attracted me to the field in the first place. Hence being 7 and idolizing my PCP. I had no idea what doctors made back then I just knew I wanted to be one. I love the rigorous, methodical, fast paced environment that comes with being a physician. It's something I crave. I should have emphasized a little on the monetary aspects of the career. Money isn't my motive never has been, I simply look at it as a reward or a perk. In other words if physicians made what teachers made I probably would be a little reluctant to enter the field.


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Jordan95

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If you are looking at dentistry with equal interest, you probably should do that -- easier training, better hours, better per hour compensation. Only go into medicine if no other job sounds as appealing.
I feel like dentistry is too boring for me. It's sort of my back up plan.


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Technology

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Why does medicine excite you? Do you ever get the butterflies when shadowing a doctor, or by watching a clinical video? I think whatever career I go into should excite and 'fulfill' me ON THE DAILY. So far, medicine is the only field that fits these criteria. Do they fit yours?
 

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Idolizing your doctor when you were 7 and saying you feel like you were put on the Earth to be a healer is great and all but doesn't say anything if you'll actually enjoy being a physician. I haven't seen you mention if you've shadowed, volunteered in the healthcare sector, or really anything that would give you a better understanding of just what being a physician is like. Gaining experience will validate if being a doctor is right for you or if it's just something you've always wanted to do but haven't understood what it's like.

Edit: just read your post about shadowing. Go shadow, go volunteer; your app will need it anyway and it will give you way more insight than you currently have.
 
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DingoPingo

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We're always re-evaluating our lives. By the time you have your answer to all of your questions, it'll be too late. No matter how obsessed you are with medicine, there will be times where you think you made the wrong choice. But you will keep going. That's faith.
 

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Thanks for the reply.

The day to day aspects of medicine IS what attracted me to the field in the first place. Hence being 7 and idolizing my PCP. I had no idea what doctors made back then I just knew I wanted to be one. I love the rigorous, methodical, fast paced environment that comes with being a physician. It's something I crave. I should have emphasized a little on the monetary aspects of the career. Money isn't my motive never has been, I simply look at it as a reward or a perk. In other words if physicians made what teachers made I probably would be a little reluctant to enter the field.


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It is less rigorous and methodical than it is busy, tedious, and mundane 99% of the time.
 

FactorV

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Hi, my name is ***, I'm 21 and currently a junior in college with intentions of applying to medical or dental school in a couple of years. I want to start off by emphasizing; I have always wanted to be doctor.
I'm definitely looking forward to shadowing a little more as I only have about 10 hours shadowing a dentist
The day to day aspects of medicine IS what attracted me to the field in the first place. Hence being 7 and idolizing my PCP
Welcome to SDN. Before addressing anything else, I just want to point out that you may want to protect your anonymity on these forums. OK, now that that's done...

I get somewhat concerned when someone says "I've always wanted to be a doctor!" Have you actually considered any other career, health related or otherwise? If you want to be a healer, have you considered becoming a PA/NP, physical therapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, nurse, EMT, paramedic...? If you want to help people, have you considered becoming a social worker, psychologist, teacher, religious figure? There are multiple ways to fulfill being "a healer" or "helping people" outside of medicine. Why would medicine be the best fit for you?

You state that you're drawn to the day-to-day aspects of medicine. Then you state that you've only shadowed a dentist for 10 hours. These statements are not compatible in my mind, how do you know what the day-to-day activities of a physician are like? Experience as a patient only will not suffice here. Physicians do a lot of "behind the scenes" work that is unseen by patients, and these non-patient care activities make up the majority of many physicians' days. It doesn't sound like you've actually had exposure to that. Furthermore, physicians in different specialties will have drastically different day-to-day experiences. An anesthesiologist for example may never set foot in an outpatient clinic again in their professional career. A family physician may never set foot in the hospital (some will, I'm just going for contrast here).

I certainly don't mean to discourage you from pursuing medicine. It's a fulfilling career for the right person. I just want to challenge you to really think this over. You need to do some physician shadowing, in a couple of different specialties, and see if medicine would actually be a good fit for you.
 
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Jordan95

Jordan95

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Why does medicine excite you? Do you ever get the butterflies when shadowing a doctor, or by watching a clinical video? I think whatever career I go into should excite and 'fulfill' me ON THE DAILY. So far, medicine is the only field that fits these criteria. Do they fit yours?
Patient interaction, problem solving, deep thinking and life long learning are all aspects that excite me about medicine. Yes, I've been in tears watching surgeries. Yes.
 
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Jordan95

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Idolizing your doctor when you were 7 and saying you feel like you were put on the Earth to be a healer is great and all but doesn't say anything if you'll actually enjoy being a physician. I haven't seen you mention if you've shadowed, volunteered in the healthcare sector, or really anything that would give you a better understanding of just what being a physician is like. Gaining experience will validate if being a doctor is right for you or if it's just something you've always wanted to do but haven't understood what it's like.

Edit: just read your post about shadowing. Go shadow, go volunteer; your app will need it anyway and it will give you way more insight than you currently have.
You're right! I definitely need to get some more "hands on" experience to really form a better opinion on medicine.
 

Donald Juan

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Patient interaction, problem solving, deep thinking and life long learning are all aspects that excite me about medicine. Yes, I've been in tears watching surgeries. Yes.
It seems as if noone will talk you out of medicine. Are you going into medicine for the wrong reasons? Yeah, partly. But then, all of us did the same thing.
 

Mad Jack

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Patient interaction, problem solving, deep thinking and life long learning are all aspects that excite me about medicine. Yes, I've been in tears watching surgeries. Yes.
:wtf:
I've nearly been in tears watching surgery before. Tears of boredom. I mean this completely sincerely, don't ever mention this to interviewers or physicians, as you'll get some pretty weird looks and shaking of heads.
 

Azete

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The touchy-feely stuff fades for most people pretty early on, so I would argue that a genuine interest in medical science as well as enjoying interacting with people should supersede any innate altruistic motives. And, honestly, there's really nothing wrong (in my opinion) with entering medicine just for the job security -- there are easier ways to make more money for sure, but rarely will you find a profession as resistant to economic fluctuations.
 
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Jordan95

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Welcome to SDN. Before addressing anything else, I just want to point out that you may want to protect your anonymity on these forums. OK, now that that's done..

I get somewhat concerned when someone says "I've always wanted to be a doctor!" Have you actually considered any other career, health related or otherwise? If you want to be a healer, have you considered becoming a PA/NP, physical therapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, nurse, EMT, paramedic...? If you want to help people, have you considered becoming a social worker, psychologist, teacher, religious figure? There are multiple ways to fulfill being "a healer" or "helping people" outside of medicine. Why would medicine be the best fit for you?

You state that you're drawn to the day-to-day aspects of medicine. Then you state that you've only shadowed a dentist for 10 hours. These statements are not compatible in my mind, how do you know what the day-to-day activities of a physician are like? Experience as a patient only will not suffice here. Physicians do a lot of "behind the scenes" work that is unseen by patients, and these non-patient care activities make up the majority of many physicians' days. It doesn't sound like you've actually had exposure to that. Furthermore, physicians in different specialties will have drastically different day-to-day experiences. An anesthesiologist for example may never set foot in an outpatient clinic again in their professional career. A family physician may never set foot in the hospital (some will, I'm just going for contrast here).

I certainly don't mean to discourage you from pursuing medicine. It's a fulfilling career for the right person. I just want to challenge you to really think this over. You need to do some physician shadowing, in a couple of different specialties, and see if medicine would actually be a good fit for you.
Thanks for the warning Doc.

I figured my post would come off a little cliche. But to answer your first question: Yes, I've considered ALL other options, chiropractic, physical therapy, optometry, podiatry, they all seem too concentrated in one area for my taste. I like the diagnosing and treatment of patients in a broad clinal setting, IE: Family medicine, ER, orthopedics, etc...

Yes, you're right I definitely need more shadowing hours and clinal experience before coming to a conclusion. This is all in the works, it's just matter of finding a physician close enough to shadow for an extended period of time.

Certainly not discouraging in the slightest bit. I really appreciate the feedback.
 
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Jordan95

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:wtf:
I've nearly been in tears watching surgery before. Tears of boredom. I mean this completely sincerely, don't ever mention this to interviewers or physicians, as you'll get some pretty weird looks and shaking of heads.
I meant the surgeries on grey's anatomy.
 
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eteshoe

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Just wanted to say (maybe for future posters) it's totally fine if one wasn't always interested in being a doctor but found the motivation later in life (e.g. once they'd grown up and experienced it a bit more).
 
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It seems as if noone will talk you out of medicine. Are you going into medicine for the wrong reasons? Yeah, partly. But then, all of us did the same thing.
I don't think I can be talked out of it at this point. I'm too far in it mentally.
 
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Jordan95

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I still stand by every aspect of my statement.

I would strongly encourage you to get substantially more exposure to the profession. Television isn't real life, not by a long shot.
I knew I should have put "sarcasm" underneath that.


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Your state of mind is right on track considering your at the junior college level. Nobody at that point in time has a clear picture of why they want to do what they want to do! (if they even know what they want to do)
The important thing is that you've started making steps to try and figure out the why, that puts you ahead of 99% of your peers who want to do something because "it sounds cool".
Keep growing your application, keep your grades up, get that exposure. By the time your ready to apply you'll have a better understanding of not only what you want out of a career in general, but also what the day to day of a physician is like.

Also keep in mind that within medicine there are many different practice environments that can fit many different types of people. (Radiology vs. Surgery vs. Medicine).
So its not like you don't have any wiggle room
 
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Horse Apiece

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You have to realize that there are sustainable reasons to be interested in a field and superficial ones. A sustainable reason, such as really enjoying the day to day aspects of the job/role will be something that can stay with you and makes this a rewarding career, even during stressful times. If you don't hate going to work, it's not really work.

By contrast things like money and more nebulous "helping people" are not sustainable. Because either you'll see non-medicine peers making money earlier and with fewer overnights and you'll have a recurring mantra in your head saying "is this really worth it?" Or you'll see that the money isn't the MTV cribs kind of money you picture as a premed and at best you are working a lot harder than your peers just so you can drive a slightly newer model of the SAME car and your kids can have orthodontia to have slightly straighter teeth and they'll end up with a bit less tuition debt when THEY graduate college. Or you'll find more than a few days where you really aren't "helping people" the way you pictured, and nobody is appreciative of your efforts, and you end up mumbling that same mantra.

Everyone experiences angst but if you love the job function you'll get past that. If you don't, youll be suffering even if you push on, forever living for the weekends or the paychecks or that rare moment where the patient appreciates your work. So yes, I think there are better reasons to go into medicine and you need to do some soul searching and make sure this is really a job you'll enjoy day to day or whether you are mostly interested in the superficial reasons and trappings.
Probably the best way I have seen this articulated. OP being a curious 7 yro. is not the same as liking the day to day of a physicians JOB. Sure everyone is a bit wide-eyed, bushy tailed, and idealistic going in, but it gets really nauseating seeing people set themselves up for failure and disappointment by being too over the top without the actual experiences. The less you fantasize about being a physician and the more concrete understanding you get, the less eye rolling you'll get from your peers and advisers in the know.
 
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Jordan95

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Probably the best way I have seen this articulated. OP being a curious 7 yro. is not the same as liking the day to day of a physicians JOB. Sure everyone is a bit wide-eyed, bushy tailed, and idealistic going in, but it gets really nauseating seeing people set themselves up for failure and disappointment by being too over the top without the actual experiences. The less you fantasize about being a physician and the more concrete understanding you get, the less eye rolling you'll get from your peers and advisers in the know.
Right. But I'm pretty sure if you follow something for 14 years it's not simply a stage. Not disagreeing with you, I'm just saying.
 
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Jordan95

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I'm over analyzing again. (This happens at the end of every summer). Sigh


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Horse Apiece

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Right. But I'm pretty sure if you follow something for 14 years it's not simply a stage. Not disagreeing with you, I'm just saying.
Yeah being obsessed with a career you have put on a pedestal is not a stage, you're right. You just don't get the message meaning, and thats okay. Hopefully you look back one day and get "it."
 
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To follow up on my learned colleague's wise words, here are some thoughts I believe he wrote in a similar thread:

"No one here can tell you what you want to be when you grow up. In fact, if you have to ask the question, then the answer, at least for right now, at least for you, is a resounding no. This could be because you have decided subconsciously that medicine isn't worth it for yourself, or it could be because you haven't done enough due diligence to figure out the answer. If it's the latter, I suggest that you spend some time in a health care setting shadowing/volunteering/working so that you can gain some practical experience with the system and see what it's like working in it. This will help you decide whether medicine is worth it for YOU. "

If you are looking at dentistry with equal interest, you probably should do that -- easier training, better hours, better per hour compensation. Only go into medicine if no other job sounds as appealing.
 

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...And, honestly, there's really nothing wrong (in my opinion) with entering medicine just for the job security -- there are easier ways to make more money for sure, but rarely will you find a profession as resistant to economic fluctuations.
Agreed with the prior sentence, HATE this one. This is a recipe for a miserable life. Take it from a career changer, NEVER pick job security over a fulfilling career. You'll be an old and bitter sob well before your years. It's never worth it and is only a good path for less talented people who don't have as many doors open to them. Your job is how you'll spend most of the waking hours of your life -- pick one you really enjoy. You only get a finite time on this planet and job security won't translate into fulfillment.
 
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Jordan95

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Agreed with the prior sentence, HATE this one. This is a recipe for a miserable life. Take it from a career changer, NEVER pick job security over a fulfilling career. You'll be an old and bitter sob well before your years. It's never worth it and is only a good path for less talented people who don't have as many doors open to them. Your job is how you'll spend most of the waking hours of your life -- pick one you really enjoy. You only get a finite time on this planet and job security won't translate into fulfillment.
So are you happy with your career change?


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Azete

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Agreed with the prior sentence, HATE this one. This is a recipe for a miserable life. Take it from a career changer, NEVER pick job security over a fulfilling career. You'll be an old and bitter sob well before your years. It's never worth it and is only a good path for less talented people who don't have as many doors open to them. Your job is how you'll spend most of the waking hours of your life -- pick one you really enjoy. You only get a finite time on this planet and job security won't translate into fulfillment.
Agree 100%, but there are some people that will be miserable no matter what job they do. If you're going to be miserable anyway, and you're mentally capable of becoming a physician, it's not a bad career.
 

Tenk

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This is a job. It's a cool job but it's a job. How many jobs have you had? What aspects of them did you like? I used to work landscaping when I was younger and I knew very early that manual labor was not for me. I worked my ass off and got nearly nothing in return. To say people go into medicine not for the money but some other ideal is a bunch of crap. People do this job because of a multitude of reasons with money being very very very high up on that list. If you enjoy medicine from an intellectual and humanitarian perspective, all the more power to you. If I had to see abusive, hateful, drug seekers every day I worked until I retired I would still do this job. Why? Because it is a job. It pays better than most, but at the end of the day it's just a job.
 

Horse Apiece

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This is a job. It's a cool job but it's a job. How many jobs have you had? What aspects of them did you like? I used to work landscaping when I was younger and I knew very early that manual labor was not for me. I worked my ass off and got nearly nothing in return. To say people go into medicine not for the money but some other ideal is a bunch of crap. People do this job because of a multitude of reasons with money being very very very high up on that list. If you enjoy medicine from an intellectual and humanitarian perspective, all the more power to you. If I had to see abusive, hateful, drug seekers every day I worked until I retired I would still do this job. Why? Because it is a job. It pays better than most, but at the end of the day it's just a job.
I read this and I immediately thought "oh, he's in EM." Looked at your post history, yup EM, sounds just like the majority of EM docs I used to work with. Loved working with EM docs, had nothing but respect for my indirect employers and really brought the medical field into an all to very real perspective for me.
 
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I read this and I immediately thought "oh, he's in EM." Looked at your post history, yup EM, sounds just like the majority of EM docs I used to work with. Loved working with EM docs, had nothing but respect for my indirect employers and really brought the medical field into an all to very real perspective for me.
That's funny you said that, I just recently started watching this guy on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAuYYKWq7txPuft_jsowwUQ

Now, I know what is coming "watching a Youtube video isn't exposing you to the actual day to aspects of a physician." Which is true, but I really do feel like it gives me an idea of what to expect, as sort a behind the scenes look.
 

Tenk

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I read this and I immediately thought "oh, he's in EM." Looked at your post history, yup EM, sounds just like the majority of EM docs I used to work with. Loved working with EM docs, had nothing but respect for my indirect employers and really brought the medical field into an all to very real perspective for me.
I would have thought the abusive, hateful, drug seekers was a dead give away.
 

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i think you should make your decision aside from comparing the lifestyle, salary of a physician vs dentist, yes those factors are important but not having a real passion for the work you do will not give you a happy lifestyle even if you are making loads of $$$$
 
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i think you should make your decision aside from comparing the lifestyle, salary of a physician vs dentist, yes those factors are important but not having a real passion for the work you do will not give you a happy lifestyle even if you are making loads of $$$$
Eh, I just can't see myself messing around with teeth all freaking day for the next 30 years. The dentist I shadowed sort of discouraged me from the get go. I remember walking into his office that morning, and the first thing he said (with extreme sarcasm) was: "So, you THINK you want to be a dentist, huh." LOL.
 
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Law2Doc

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So are you happy with your career change?...
Absolutely. But that's more about me and what I personal find fulfilling and enjoyable rather than the career being "better". It's a great path for some but certainly not a good path for everyone.
 
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Eh, I just can't see myself messing around with teeth all freaking day for the next 30 years. The dentist I shadowed sort of discouraged me from the get go. I remember walking into his office that morning, and the first thing he said (with extreme sarcasm) was: "So, you THINK you want to be a dentist, huh." LOL.
exactly my point, when i go see the dentist i just see him confined in his office all day with such mundane day-to-day activities

however working with my PI who is also a surgeon, i feel his days are more dynamic and diverse- he sees patients, does research, presents at conferences, teaches at the med school-->he's a doctor, researcher, speaker and teacher (all jobs that I would love to be) that's more of the lifestyle I envision to have

i personally would rather work in the diverse hospital setting rather than a private practice/office
 
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Horse Apiece

2+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2015
194
230
Status
Pre-Medical
I would have thought the abusive, hateful, drug seekers was a dead give away.
True, but also the job mentality. Drug seekers could also be pain medicine, FM from what little I've seen. Seemed to be mostly realists in the ED with a type of personality I enjoyed.
 
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