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Anyone HAPPY in medschool?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Nanon, Jul 24, 2002.

  1. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth. 10+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2000
    Anyone? Because all of my friends in med school (most of them are in their first or second year) seem miserable. Almost all of them have tried to discourage me from applying, siting their own misery and dismay with the process. I'm starting to wonder if anyone enjoys it, even a little bit...

    Feeling somewhat dismayed myself,

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  3. Whisker Barrel Cortex

    Whisker Barrel Cortex 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2001
    Hey Nanon,

    I greatly enjoyed the majority of my medical school experience and so did most others in my class. Of course there are aspects that are difficult and frustrating, but I found I had plenty of time to enjoy myself.

    The preclinical years (1st and 2nd) can be frustrating at times because there is a lot of information thrown at you with comparatively little practical application. However, I found that after the getting used to the routine and learning how my time management works, I could go out with friends often without sacrificing my grades.

    The third year rotations bring a whole new challenge. The demands on my time were much greater during this and outside activities were somewhat limited during some rotations (medicine, surgery, OB/GYN, peds). However, I greatly enjoyed the practical hands on learning of the hospital and clinics, despite all of the long hours.

    Fourth year was by far the best year (especially the second half of the year). At that point I began to see how much I had learned and how competent I had become at tasks that had seemed daunting and unmanagable early in thrid year. Along with that satisfaction was the lighter schedule I had for the last 8 months of the year. Needless to say I had a great time during the final months of med school.

    Don't let malcontents diminish your excitement about medical school. It is a great experience with many tough and frustating aspects but even more rewarding aspects. Always remember to save time for fun!
  4. wfu2005

    wfu2005 Member 7+ Year Member

    May 8, 2002
    I think it's great. Honestly I love it. If you don't think a lot of this stuff is cool, then maybe you should go into something else. Don't get me wrong, it's hard, and you have to work like a beast, but you have more time than you think. Now, a lot of people on these boards are of the high-stress persuasion, and feel like going to a school that isn't ranked top 5 is a major blow to their future careers as physicians....these are the kinds of people you want to avoid. They are high stress, low fun, and don't stop to see just how cool the human body is while they are studying until their eyes bleed.
  5. mikegoal

    mikegoal rebmeM 10+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2001
    i love medical school
    makes many of my clasmmates think im crazy
  6. 8744

    8744 Guest

    Dec 7, 2001
    I love being in medical school. No matter what, it beats working at a real job.

    In fact, the worst day of medical school is better than the best day at a nine-to-five job.

    Most people feel the same way...but everybody complains and whines (including me) because it is expected.
  7. Darth Vader

    Darth Vader Banned Banned

    I really enjoyed my first 2 yrs of med school. It's just like college, you have a surplus of free time and your only obligation is that you study for a test once a month or so. Don't listen to those who tell you not to apply, they are just bitter or something. Next time someone in med school tells you not to apply, tell them that it's not too late for them to drop out and that should shut them up.
  8. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth. 10+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2000
    Thank you for your replies! Most of my friends don't seem to mind working hard (a few complain about how much harder it is to do well, though). But many have issues with the single-mindedness of it, or that it's not as intellectually stimulating as they thought it would be, or that the lectures are completely irrelevant... etc, etc. As far as quitting goes, two of my friends have said they would if they weren't so far in debt already.

    It upsets me some, because I really respect all of these people - they're hard working, brilliant, caring folks. And it freaks me out that they think that I won't be happy in medical school, when I can't imagine anything that would make me happier.

    So thank you for restoring my faith, and keep it going...

  9. souljah1

    souljah1 Attending 10+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2002

    I think some of your friends that you are speaking of are mine as well. Do you think that is true? 'Miss Silly' tried to deter me from the application process, but I think she just finds satisfaction is telling people that she is doing exceptionally well in something that is exceptionally difficult. When I told her about UCSF, she said I was 'f*&*^d'. The thing is..I don't think she would rather be doing anything else. I think that in medical school many people lose sight of the end as the process the means. I expect to be baraged with endless fine-point details that I will think are irrelevant to what I want to do, but I also expect to be incredibly competent and much closer to acheiving my goals by the time I graduate. Yeah, parts of it will be hard as hell...but the question is whether or not you really want to do it. If the answer is yes, then it will be worth it.

    Maybe you are not talking about our lady C, but she did try and give me that whole bit about how much med school sucks, how busy she is, and how it is so different from what she thought it would be. BUT, i also notice that she can't stop talking about what she is learning, smiling when she says how much it sucks, etc..It seems to be a normal occurrence in the field. A hazing if you will. "Oh, are you sure you want to do it..It really does suck..blah blah blah"

    Anyway...I hope you are doing well. Perhaps I'll see you at some Bay Area parties.


  10. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth. 10+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2000
    souljah: I definitely wasn't thinking about Lady C when I wrote that post. She does complain sometimes, but by the same token, she's always been my biggest cheerleader.

    I think you're probably right about it being a kind of hazing process of sorts. At least I hope so, because it distressed me to see these people so unhappy.

    You MUST PM me, souljah... it's driving me NUTS trying to guess who you are, although I have a pretty good idea.

  11. souljah1

    souljah1 Attending 10+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2002
    Yes, C has been a great support for me as well, but she has joked around with me and said that I should get out why I can. You don't know who I am? Before I give it away, I'll give you some hints.

    I was in Dr. Herrmann's ochem with toto, c, kev, e, etc..

    I tutored 101b and 212a.

    Graduated from Berkeley in 2001

    I am a white male..

    I drank that whisky punch with you and your husband at C's party in Berkeley last summer..

    We spoke about the admissions game with Erin and Christy.

    And if that isn't good initials are in my above post...

    If you still don't know who I am...screw you ;)
  12. sanfilippo

    sanfilippo El Gaucho Misterioso 10+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2002
    North Country
    i think for the most part i am happy having chosen to go to med school and the med school i've chosen to attend.

    yes, we bitch often and have to deal with tons of red tape and sometimes feel that this is an autocratic stronghold with no room for levity, but it's not like that all the time.

    if someone is miserable day in, day out, then i agree with the previous post that person may have gone into medicine for the wrong reasons.

    if you have a passion to learn medicine and to become a physician, then all these obstacles seem frivolous (yet tedious) and you surmount them without much scarring.

    there is something always to remind you why you've chosen this path and that you're heading in the right can be a compliment from an attending, a smile on a patient's face, or a thank-you from a nurse or someone from transport. those reminders efface some of that dejected feeling i think we all get, that things are too rough, that there's no way to juggle every task assigned, no way to make your domestic and social life compatible with your medical life.

    look around for the reminders, the sources of reassurance, which may often be subtle. when you find them, then struggle seems lighter, maybe now just a challenge, but not an impossibility.

  13. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat 7+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2002
    Man, people complain about EVERYTHING. Every gripe you hear from med school people is just like all the gripes you used to hear (or vocalize yourself) when in college. Complaining is what people do when they have nothing better to talk about or when they want to relieve stress.

    You'll have a blact. Probably.
  14. salsadoc44

    salsadoc44 vote for pedro 7+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    i love it! :cool:
  15. kd

    kd Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 2, 2001
    I love it! I'm about to start second year and couldn't be happier. Perhaps it helps that I'm older than most of my classmates- I was 30 when I started. So far, I have no doubt in my mind that I made the right decision. I say this even though I actually didn't like a lot of things about first year- we had some new curricular changes and I hated sitting in lecture for 7 hours a day. Nonetheless, I still enjoy med school way more than I did working in the real world- it's worth it when we actually get to work with patients or when we actually learn something clinically relevant in class...I'm told it only gets better second year, since that's when we cover all the disease processes- I'm really looking forward to it!
    Personally, I just haven't found med school to be that stressful so far...Getting in was several orders of magnitude more stressful- I had to apply 3 times! It's all in the attitude you take towards it. I really don't care about trying to be near the top of my class, so I don't get caught up in the gunner mentality. I think some of the people in my class have put undue stress upon themselves by thinking they need to make A's in everything (we have a traditional A-F grading system.) Oh, and by the way, I was pregnant my entire first year and gave birth 2 weeks before final exams- but that's another story altogether ;-)
    Yes, you CAN be happy in med school! You just have to be absolutely certain that this is REALLY what you want to do! Don't let it run your life- realize that you're doing this because YOU want to and just don't let other people's stress get to you, ok?
    Now, that said- let me qualify this by adding that I haven't made it to 3rd year yet, so ask me next year and maybe I'll be of an entirely different opinion. We'll cross that bridge when we get there...
  16. wfu2005

    wfu2005 Member 7+ Year Member

    May 8, 2002
    yeah, the people who complain the most are the people who haven't been outside and working or doing something else. they're mainly the people straight out of college with no experience other than wanting to get into med school. I would say a good 25% of people go into medicine b/c it's really hard to get in and hard to succeed, so they pick it b/c it's tough.

    To be honest, it isn't that bad. there is a ton of info, but it isn't conceptually challenging. People use the drinking from a fire hydrant analogy when talking about the amount of information we need to know. It's true, but at least it's just water coming out of the hydrant, and not a hypothetical substance that may or may not exist but you can prove with a few theories of relativity.

    only you can decide if you want to do it and be happy. screw everyone else. if you actually like this stuff, then go for it. if you don't, do something else.
  17. genieinabottle

    genieinabottle Crazy 'bout the Boards 10+ Year Member

    Feb 10, 2000
    Washington, DC
    I will say I am pretty happy in medschool. I am far from home, on the opposite coast, but I guess that is my only real complaint. I am doing and learning what I want to do with the rest of my life. It's a lot of hard work, but you have gotta love the material. It's interesting at least! People are always going to be unhappy at times. Let me tell you, I was "hating" the interior of our library by the end of the school year, but when you master the material and learn it - you feel really good! You work so hard to get there, I think it's hard not to like it!
  18. Kenny

    Kenny Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2002
    I am currently studying in RCSI in Dublin

    My past two years at RCSI is NORMAL, compared to the three years of life in Melbourne Uni, studying Art/Sc. There, I got to know that happiness is not compulsory for life. There, I got to know that hope is exactly the thing that is unnecessary. There, I got to know that if you want to travel further, don't follow any stars in space, follow that dark emptiness, then I end up studying in Ireland! However, now, I hope I can bring some happiness to mankind. I am not making much sense, but I still breath, the theory worked!!!!!
  19. Mango

    Mango Very Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    You have gotten some great replies, and I agree with all of them. Med school can be a lot of fun. I've enjoyed the hell out of it. You will meet people that you have everything in common with, and people with whom the only thing you share in common is the school you attend. But (at least here), you will feel a strong sense of camaraderie with the people in your class. A sort of "group suffering" mentality develops. And by suffering, I mean at most a hard week every 4 or 5 weeks. You get through it toghether, and then when that week ends, you all go out and celebrate. Or you celebrate because it's Tuesday (whatever)! I have had a blast in med school.

    I will agree that those who don't enjoy it fall into a few broad categories:

    1. They are far from home/loved ones.
    2. They've had blinders on their whole lives and just followed their "dream" of becoming a doctor without ever really knowing what that meant, or if it was what's right for them.
    3. They are huge gunners who have never taken time to enjoy life and are majorly burned out.
    4. They attend a school with a crappy environment full of backstabbers and professors/faculty that could care less about students.

    That?s just my take on it, having seen very few people in my class who are actually unhappy.
  20. DOtobe

    DOtobe 10+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I agree with Mango and the other posters who replied - I really enjoyed my first year of med school. I got to meet a lot of great people, and although the work was challenging, all the material I learned interested me so I was able to get myself to study pretty easily. There is time for fun in med school, even if that just includes going out to lunch with friends once in a while.

    I hope my second year of med school goes as well as my first year did! :clap:
  21. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth. 10+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2000
    Thanks to everyone who replied! I think I was getting a little overwhelmed by the opinions of a very, very small sample of medical students. The more I think about it, the more I think that perhaps the location of the schools they're going to, and the schools themselves, are having a pretty negative impact on my group of friends learning experience. (I won't devulge - lets just say, I'd probably be somewhat depressed, too.)

    All the same, it's gratifying to know that there ARE people out there who are loving the heck out of med school. Being the kind of person who takes Netter's off the shelf a couple of times a week just to look at the pretty pictures, I was a little surprised that my friends weren't at least amused...

    And by the way, souljah, I know EXACTLY who you are. The whole lot of us need to get together before school starts. Have you found a place yet?

  22. souljah1

    souljah1 Attending 10+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2002
    It is about time that you have solved the mystery. Yeah, I actually just signed a lease tonight. I'm still living on the east coast, but managed to find a nice flat in the upper Haight (Ashberry Heights sounds better) on Central and Oak/Page. Pretty nice locale. I'll be living with a good friend of mine who is starting at Hastings. The honey has another year of school on the E coast, so that'll be a pain in the arse. She's excited to return to Cali next year and start working (and supporting me ;) ). You met her at C's once. Anyway, a get together is in doubt.

    Hope you and your man are doing lovely.

    I'm still pinching myself over where I'll be for the next four years. Give me a PM if you want the details of my amcas experience.
  23. Bikini Princess

    Bikini Princess 7+ Year Member

    May 26, 2002
    Nice riposte, vader. :)
  24. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2001
    Pre-clinical years suck.

    3rd year is a rude awakening.

    In order to enjoy med school, you gotta avoid hanging out or sitting next to gunners because they would stress you out and make it contagious. You should also need to like working with people and always have a smile on your face. Lastly, you need to find every single excuse possible to go out and do something (often a significant other works well in that role). There is always more you can do to memorize the never-ending details and more you can do to help your team on theward. But there is a limit to everything; you just need to find the right excuse to pull yourself away from the work.

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