Any non-traditional students regretting going to medical school

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DO_or_Die

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I'm only an OMS1 but I'm already feeling very isolated in school from my friends/family and can see how long the road is ahead. I was a nurse for a few years prior to medical school so I'm not new to healthcare. I'm only 27, I feel like I shouldn't even be complaining as I have a handful of classmates older than me, although a majority of the class seems to be 20-24. I used to travel a lot, most of my friends are getting married, buying homes, traveling or having children and here I am stuck in a weird transitional time of my life until at least 34 (post residency).

I'm not sure where these feelings are coming from as med school is what I dreamed of and I thought I understood the sacrifice beforehand, but now that I'm here I just wish I was still making money to put towards my retirement and being able to buy a house/have kids. I apologize as this post might seem to come across as whiny/ungrateful. I suppose I just wanted my cake and to eat it, too. Any other non-trads feeling this way for one reason or another?
 
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Mr. Babe

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I didn't start school at 27, but I did start at 25. I taught high school before starting medicine. The idea of not making money for a while sucks. There's no getting around it.....you have to suck it up and play the game. Many doctors have for decades. Becoming a doctor is not easy. You don't understand the sacrifice until you're in it. But now what? Do you wanna quit? You can make a decent wage as a nurse. But if you want your dream to be a reality, play the game. This isn't a non-traditional discussion either. All students go through it whether you're 18 or 50. 34 is young.
 
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DO_or_Die

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I didn't start school at 27, but I did start at 25. I taught high school before starting medicine. The idea of not making money for a while sucks. There's no getting around it.....you have to suck it up and play the game. Many doctors have for decades. Becoming a doctor is not easy. You don't understand the sacrifice until you're in it. But now what? Do you wanna quit? You can make a decent wage as a nurse. But if you want your dream to be a reality, play the game. This isn't a non-traditional discussion either. All students go through it whether you're 18 or 50. 34 is young.
Thank you for the reality check! No, I don't want to quit. I'm going to hang in there. I think a part of me became depressed feeling when I quit my nursing job because I miss patient care. Sitting behind a desk for 2 years studying until I can get back into the hospitals is difficult for me. I dream of the day when rotations begin because working with patients is what I really love to do.
 
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Mr. Babe

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Thank you for the reality check! No, I don't want to quit. I'm going to hang in there. I think a part of me became depressed feeling when I quit my nursing job because I miss patient care. Sitting behind a desk for 2 years studying until I can get back into the hospitals is difficult for me. I dream of the day when rotations begin because working with patients is what I really love to do.
It's a long road for sure. 2 years in the classroom seems like forever, but there is an end. 3rd year will be a breath of fresh air when it comes around for you.
 
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wilhelmsa

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Your post made me think of this comic Two Brothers

Perhaps your friends have similar doubts about their path in life
 
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esob

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The first two years suck, but they go by reasonably quickly. I've absolutely hated 2nd year but medicine is a cabal and once you're on the inside, you can never go back to being unwoke about the fact that 90% of the people around you have no idea what is going on, lol
 
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DO2015CA

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I would say not second guessing your decision would be foolish. Med school is hard and a ton of stress. When we are stressed we become introspective of our situations. I had regrets mainly at the start and right before step 1. But as I’m on the other side, I can firmly say I am glad I didn’t quit. It’s worth it
 
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LimpSpatula

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I think the last year has made a lot of us reconsider our priorities. A lot of people are going to say it gets easier, but it doesn’t. You get more responsibility, more time invested, and more alienated with each year. It gets harder to not define yourself as a doctor. If you’re coming in this already having a life, prepare for that to be heavily disrupted. That’s the reality.

That being said, there’s a lot of growth in doing so, and you certainly will be more resilient for it. If you have a family I’d say it’s ok for you to lose yourself to this process, but don’t make them feel like they’ve lost you, if that makes sense. Make your family and friends your top priority. Check in continually, and don’t forget to include conversations about them rather than what your training is like.
 
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LimpSpatula

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Thank you for the reality check! No, I don't want to quit. I'm going to hang in there. I think a part of me became depressed feeling when I quit my nursing job because I miss patient care. Sitting behind a desk for 2 years studying until I can get back into the hospitals is difficult for me. I dream of the day when rotations begin because working with patients is what I really love to do.
Haha don’t worry man (or woman), there’ll be plenty of those. Enjoy medical school for what it is.
 

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Thank you for the reality check! No, I don't want to quit. I'm going to hang in there. I think a part of me became depressed feeling when I quit my nursing job because I miss patient care. Sitting behind a desk for 2 years studying until I can get back into the hospitals is difficult for me. I dream of the day when rotations begin because working with patients is what I really love to do.
I relate to this so much. I was an RN before medical school. I kept a PRN weekend job through M1. Looking back that wasn't the best idea, but I enjoyed having work friends and fulfillment from patient care. As you can imagine, that made M2 the worst year ever. I too hate being chained to a desk studying by myself. But now as an M4 who felt similarly to you, I can say that you will be so happy once you get to the clinical years.
 
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Rogert

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Thank you for the reality check! No, I don't want to quit. I'm going to hang in there. I think a part of me became depressed feeling when I quit my nursing job because I miss patient care. Sitting behind a desk for 2 years studying until I can get back into the hospitals is difficult for me. I dream of the day when rotations begin because working with patients is what I really love to do.
I can also relate to this. My background is social work and foster care, so I volunteered at a local school mentoring kids with behavioral issues and worked as a psych tech at a hospital. My grades absolutely suffered for it but I was happier as a human and got a lot of cool and relevant experience out of it.
 
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It only gets better when you’re an attending and not a financial slave to debt. Otherwise, the pain gets worse year by year.
 

DO2015CA

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It only gets better when you’re an attending and not a financial slave to debt. Otherwise, the pain gets worse year by year.

Can you explain what you mean? I did not having that experience. I’d say 1st year was the worst aside from step 1 studying and it slowly got better from there. There are bad days but it slowly gets better year by year. But hey I could just have Stockholm syndrome

Edit for spellcheck
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Can you explain what you mean? I am not having that experience. I’d say 1st year was the worst aside from step 1 studying and it’s slowly gotta better from there. There are bad days but it slowly gets better year by year. But hey I could just have Stockholm syndrome

It’s different for everyone. Med school has gotten better and better for me.
 
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Goro

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I'm only an OMS1 but I'm already feeling very isolated in school from my friends/family and can see how long the road is ahead. I was a nurse for a few years prior to medical school so I'm not new to healthcare. I'm only 27, I feel like I shouldn't even be complaining as I have a handful of classmates older than me, although a majority of the class seems to be 20-24. I used to travel a lot, most of my friends are getting married, buying homes, traveling or having children and here I am stuck in a weird transitional time of my life until at least 34 (post residency).

I'm not sure where these feelings are coming from as med school is what I dreamed of and I thought I understood the sacrifice beforehand, but now that I'm here I just wish I was still making money to put towards my retirement and being able to buy a house/have kids. I apologize as this post might seem to come across as whiny/ungrateful. I suppose I just wanted my cake and to eat it, too. Any other non-trads feeling this way for one reason or another?
Hang in there...I sense COVID stress is talking. You should be on campus this fall and then able to interact with your peers.
 
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Hang in there...I sense COVID stress is talking. You should be on campus this fall and then able to interact with your peers.
God I hope there is still remote learning.

OP: Take advantage of the extra time you have of not being in school and just chill. With covid, you dont even have to waste time in school and going to classes.
 
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Goro

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God I hope there is still remote learning.

OP: Take advantage of the extra time you have of not being in school and just chill. With covid, you dont even have to waste time in school and going to classes.
Unless your school has mandatory lectures, nearly all medical students don't go to lecture and can stay at home in their jammies. The only time you have to set foot on campuses for mandatory labs
 

DO2015CA

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Unless your school has mandatory lectures, nearly all medical students don't go to lecture and can stay at home in their jammies. The only time you have to set foot on campuses for mandatory labs

Ya but most of these new schools tend to be taking up mandatory attendance it seems
 
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DO2015CA

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I cannot imagine what could explain this pathology.

Nooda is taking it in the opposite direction, though

My dean said some research that was presented at the DO meded conference. Funny thing is when we asked for the data he would never present it.... So some shill giving bogus research at the conference deans go to is my guess
 
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LimpSpatula

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My dean said some research that was presented at the DO meded conference. Funny thing is when we asked for the data he would never present it.... So some shill giving bogus research at the conference deans go to is my guess
It’s probably to justify jobs.
 
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Goro

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My dean said some research that was presented at the DO meded conference. Funny thing is when we asked for the data he would never present it.... So some shill giving bogus research at the conference deans go to is my guess

Any data that says passive learning has a use in a medical school curriculum would be bogus in my eyes, given we have some 30+ years of data showing just the opposite.

It’s probably to justify jobs.
Doubtful. Why hire faculty to teach in a classroom when they could just as easily teach into a microphone and record a video? You need X Faculty as per COCA accreditation guidelines, you don't need extra to be in a classroom. The school will charge you the same tuition for, say ten preclinical PhDs as opposed to 15.

No, these people really believe it's 1980 and "the sage on the stage" is the way to go.
 
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DO2015CA

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Any data that says passive learning has a use in a medical school curriculum would be bogus in my eyes, given we have some 30+ years of data showing just the opposite.


Doubtful. Why hire faculty to teach in a classroom when they could just as easily teach into a microphone and record a video? You need X Faculty as per COCA accreditation guidelines, you don't need extra to be in a classroom. The school will charge you the same tuition for, say ten preclinical PhDs as opposed to 15.

No, these people really believe it's 1980 and "the sage on the stage" is the way to go.

I agree about the sage on the stage. It’s an ego thing. It hurts a lot of students every year
 
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Alkaidius

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Highest exam grade I have ever gotten was on one after 2 weeks of snow days. It was bliss just getting to rewind a few minutes when I zoned out, never mind studying when I’m actually awake. But I, personally, felt that the first block of attending all lectures was helpful because I was able to talk to other drowning students and we could share our misery, as well as, getting the chance to talk to students that adjusted quick and had it figured out for ideas. It helped build comradery! I feel like there’s room for having a mandatory first block allowing enough time to get acclimated and share/get ideas for efficient studying and then getting kicked out of our nests.
 

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Don't regret it at all and I'm 10 years older than you with kids. It doesn't matter how old you are if your end goal is becoming a physician. I couldn't see myself doing anything else after slogging away in the corporate world for over a decade. You can either be a doc at 40 or not. For me, if I had chosen not to attend, there would always be the constant voice in the back of my mind asking "what if?" In a way, I think its easier for non-trads to answer whether or not med school is right for us, as we know what it's like on the outside looking in.
 
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NontradICUdoc

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I know where you are coming from. When I was in medical school I felt very disconnected from my class who were much younger and with less children than I. But during that time I also felt very free. Since I was married, I had no one to impress. I raised my hand a lot, volunteered to answer questions, and was more focused. I did not go to the bar on Friday night like everyone else. I was not told about get togethers but you know what.....that was OK.

What did occur was that out of my classmates, two became great friends of mine. We are still in contact today and I could not be happier with them as my friends than if I had many of my classmates call me. It reduced distractions since I sacrificed my family's future for medical school and I needed to focus.

I can tell you that looking back, I would not change a thing. It will be over before you know it and you too will look back on it and realize that it was fine.
 
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DO_or_Die

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Ya but most of these new schools tend to be taking up mandatory attendance it seems
I chose my school specifically because no mandatory attendance! I feel like that would be horrible!
 
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arjusmc

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I get the isolation, I'm much older than 99% of my class and you can feel like a fish out of water. Covid restrictions aren't helping either, but that is what it is. I worked in healthcare prior to medical school as well. I think things will get much better after preclinical for me, and probably will for you too.
 
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I'm only an OMS1 but I'm already feeling very isolated in school from my friends/family and can see how long the road is ahead. I was a nurse for a few years prior to medical school so I'm not new to healthcare. I'm only 27, I feel like I shouldn't even be complaining as I have a handful of classmates older than me, although a majority of the class seems to be 20-24. I used to travel a lot, most of my friends are getting married, buying homes, traveling or having children and here I am stuck in a weird transitional time of my life until at least 34 (post residency).

I'm not sure where these feelings are coming from as med school is what I dreamed of and I thought I understood the sacrifice beforehand, but now that I'm here I just wish I was still making money to put towards my retirement and being able to buy a house/have kids. I apologize as this post might seem to come across as whiny/ungrateful. I suppose I just wanted my cake and to eat it, too. Any other non-trads feeling this way for one reason or another?
I'm only an OMS1 but I'm already feeling very isolated in school from my friends/family and can see how long the road is ahead. I was a nurse for a few years prior to medical school so I'm not new to healthcare. I'm only 27, I feel like I shouldn't even be complaining as I have a handful of classmates older than me, although a majority of the class seems to be 20-24. I used to travel a lot, most of my friends are getting married, buying homes, traveling or having children and here I am stuck in a weird transitional time of my life until at least 34 (post residency).

I'm not sure where these feelings are coming from as med school is what I dreamed of and I thought I understood the sacrifice beforehand, but now that I'm here I just wish I was still making money to put towards my retirement and being able to buy a house/have kids. I apologize as this post might seem to come across as whiny/ungrateful. I suppose I just wanted my cake and to eat it, too. Any other non-trads feeling this way for one reason or another?
Eh don't feel bad. I'm a first-year OMS at age 34...will be 35 in April haha. It is tough, but you're still young and have a lot of life ahead of you - best to be doing something you love right?
 
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SLC

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I started med school at 29, turned 30 during 2nd block of first year. I had 2 kids and a 3rd came in the second half of 1st year.

it was hard, but manageable.

2nd year was difficult, but again, manageable.

I struggled in 3rd year. It went fine, but I got a bit burned out trying to feign interest in rotations I had none in. Radiology, surgery, outpatient peds, psych. I was definitely going through the motions a lot in 3rd year. 4th year, more of the same.

residency is where things got really good for me. I thoroughly enjoyed my residency program. And now as an attending, I love what I do even more.

I’ll say that I don’t have regrets, now. But looking back at medical school, I’m not certain I’d sign up for it again.
 
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DO2015CA

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I started med school at 29, turned 30 during 2nd block of first year. I had 2 kids and a 3rd came in the second half of 1st year.

it was hard, but manageable.

2nd year was difficult, but again, manageable.

I struggled in 3rd year. It went fine, but I got a bit burned out trying to feign interest in rotations I had none in. Radiology, surgery, outpatient peds, psych. I was definitely going through the motions a lot in 3rd year. 4th year, more of the same.

residency is where things got really good for me. I thoroughly enjoyed my residency program. And now as an attending, I love what I do even more.

I’ll say that I don’t have regrets, now. But looking back at medical school, I’m not certain I’d sign up for it again.

Kinda funny to me you were bored by outpatient Peds, psych, rads then went into FM. I feel like all my friends in FM went FM is because they loved everything and couldn’t decide
 

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I feel ya! Started med school at 30; was also a nurse first.

Intermittently liked/disliked first and second years, depending on the day. I’ve had moments of third year that I’ve loved and moments, like some time this week, where I’ve absolutely hated med school more than anything I’ve ever done. Thought about dropping out at least 4-5x this week. It’s also been hard watching coworkers that started NP school the same year I started med school graduating with next to zero debt and going ahead and starting their “grown up” jobs while I’m going to languish with hundreds of thousands in debt for years.

Every time I’ve thought about dropping out, I’ve thought about all the things I disliked about being a nurse. All of those things would still be there if I go back, and I’d lose the opportunity to get a better job in the long run. That’s what I remember. Going to med school is absolutely not about having fun right now - that’s just a bonus if that happens.
 
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Your post made me think of this comic Two Brothers

Perhaps your friends have similar doubts about their path in life
While shadowing a doctor 2 years ago I got to know one of the PAs. He would talk about how sometimes he had the itch to go to medical school and quit PA. And part of him will always have that what if feeling and wants more autonomy in practice. Yeah he’s making money now but part of him wants to go to medical school.
 

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Kinda funny to me you were bored by outpatient Peds, psych, rads then went into FM. I feel like all my friends in FM went FM is because they loved everything and couldn’t decide

I napped a ton in Rads. It’s not that I don’t like reading imaging studies, I do; but I don’t like reading them ALL DAY LONG.

Same with psych, it got so boring shuffling the deck of medications all the time. Just too repetitive.

And in outpatient peds, it was a wealthy area, and I mostly just shadowed. Peds gets repetitive when you do it exclusively. Too many well checks on perfectly healthy kids. And pediatricians, as a group, are pretty anal retentive. Even in residency, the pediatrics department was full of high strung residents, being lead by (mostly) high strung attendings. Sometimes a runny nose is just a runny nose people!!!!

I think that’s why I settled into FM, because I get so much variety. Each day I get a healthy mix of wellness care, sick visits, injuries, office procedures. And being rural, I get a mix of all ages. I also get to do ER work when I want it, inpatient adult and pediatric work, newborn nursery. I did a prolonged, but successful resuscitation on a hypoxic newborn last weekend for example, then saw her in the clinic this week for her weight check.

I’m the on-call hospitalist this weekend and as I type this I’m being called in to admit a 32yo F in DKA. I have 5 others currently admitted for various reasons, and a healthy newborn in the newborn nursery as well. It never gets boring here.

I think I am just easily bored by repetitive things. Which is why I couldn’t be happy specializing or narrowing my scope.
 
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I'm only an OMS1 but I'm already feeling very isolated in school from my friends/family and can see how long the road is ahead. I was a nurse for a few years prior to medical school so I'm not new to healthcare. I'm only 27, I feel like I shouldn't even be complaining as I have a handful of classmates older than me, although a majority of the class seems to be 20-24. I used to travel a lot, most of my friends are getting married, buying homes, traveling or having children and here I am stuck in a weird transitional time of my life until at least 34 (post residency).

I'm not sure where these feelings are coming from as med school is what I dreamed of and I thought I understood the sacrifice beforehand, but now that I'm here I just wish I was still making money to put towards my retirement and being able to buy a house/have kids. I apologize as this post might seem to come across as whiny/ungrateful. I suppose I just wanted my cake and to eat it, too. Any other non-trads feeling this way for one reason or another?
nontrad second year here.

The first two years have been some of the most isolating and grueling years of my life... so I really hope it does pay off. The thing to realize is that you and your classmates are in the same boat regardless of age. There's no going back and wishing you could get years of your life back because they're gone. People in my class are having kids before I do and are getting married before I do... and you know what? It's okay. It's their life and not mine.

You're sacrificing multiple years of your life to have one of the most fulfilling and just downright cool careers on the planet. If you don't think medicine is the bees knees and can see yourself doing something different, then it may be time to change the game plan. But if it's all you want, keep going.

Getting a doctorate is not easy, even for some of the smartest people on the planet.... if it were, lots more people would do it.

Third and fourth years all tell me life gets significantly better after the first two years because you get some of your freedom back.
 

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I napped a ton in Rads. It’s not that I don’t like reading imaging studies, I do; but I don’t like reading them ALL DAY LONG.

Same with psych, it got so boring shuffling the deck of medications all the time. Just too repetitive.

And in outpatient peds, it was a wealthy area, and I mostly just shadowed. Peds gets repetitive when you do it exclusively. Too many well checks on perfectly healthy kids. And pediatricians, as a group, are pretty anal retentive. Even in residency, the pediatrics department was full of high strung residents, being lead by (mostly) high strung attendings. Sometimes a runny nose is just a runny nose people!!!!

I think that’s why I settled into FM, because I get so much variety. Each day I get a healthy mix of wellness care, sick visits, injuries, office procedures. And being rural, I get a mix of all ages. I also get to do ER work when I want it, inpatient adult and pediatric work, newborn nursery. I did a prolonged, but successful resuscitation on a hypoxic newborn last weekend for example, then saw her in the clinic this week for her weight check.

I’m the on-call hospitalist this weekend and as I type this I’m being called in to admit a 32yo F in DKA. I have 5 others currently admitted for various reasons, and a healthy newborn in the newborn nursery as well. It never gets boring here.

I think I am just easily bored by repetitive things. Which is why I couldn’t be happy specializing or narrowing my scope.


Ha ha maybe might be where you did peds. I’m not like that nor my program. But yes peds is very protective over their patients in general. I agree about outpatient peds in a wealthy area. Bores me less. Impoverished outpatient peds is so much more stimulating and not all normal wcc. Lots of path.
 
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Matriculated in my early 30's and it's definitely limited my choice in specialty... I find surgical fields interesting but don't want to waste my peak younger years stuck in training... as for regretting medical school, hell no. Imagine being stuck at a computer doing spreadsheets/outlook emails all day. Absorb all you can in year 1 and 2 because there won't be a second round of learning this information... clinical years will be a lot more stimulating and engaging, and in residency there are options to moonlight in certain specialties that can double or triple your salary depending on how sleep deprived you want to be.
 
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I went to Downstate at 39 yeasrs old. I graduated almost 25 years ago. I have to admit there were several times I wanted to quit (even during residency) I'm glad I stayed the course. Not many professions can offer the job security and good income that medicine can. It is a substanial profession. I know and you will know the sacrifice and hard work to earn the title doctor. It is something you should take pride in.
 
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Apr 27, 2021
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I didn’t start med school until I was 35. It is what it is.

Also there is zero reason you can’t get married and have kids just because you’re in med school.
Hi Matthew9Thirtyfive,
Completely unrelated to the thread. I'm a former rocket engineer, who wouldn't be starting med school until 32. Any regrets giving up "rocket science" for medicine?
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

Do it.
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Hi Matthew9Thirtyfive,
Completely unrelated to the thread. I'm a former rocket engineer, who wouldn't be starting med school until 32. Any regrets giving up "rocket science" for medicine?

I never really did anything in the field so I didn’t have anything to regret lol.
 
Aug 6, 2020
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Hang in there...I sense COVID stress is talking. You should be on campus this fall and then able to interact with your peers.
no idea what TUNCOM is planning (hopefully hybrid) but Touro CA is gonna be remote only in the Fall, including labs if possible
 
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