pej722

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Hey everyone, I took MCATs in April and I am currently in the process of applying to schools. Looking back on my experience with the MCAT, I'm not so sure anymore that I want to go to medical school. I was under constant stress from working/classes/MCAT studying. I had very little time to socialize or take time for myself. In medicals school it will only get worse. And then ten times that in residency. Although once you are licensed it gets easier, most doctors still work 50-60 hours a week. I know that I would enjoy being a physician very much, but at the same time I want to be able to come home at a reasonable hour and not live my life in a constant stressed/sleep-deprived state. Anyone else torn with their desire to practice medicine, but at the same time wanting somewhat of a normal life?...Ideas on what to do?
 

starflower

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I know exactly how you feel. At times during ochem 2, I would start thinking that I should just do something else, when I haven't even started studying from the mcat yet. However, I hear that mcat studying is supposed to give you an idea of what studying is like in med school. And it will go by really fast. It's going to be terrible for a few years, but after the internship, things get a lot better, from what I hear. Most doctors say that they love what they do, but if they had to go through the medical school process again, they probably wouldn't be able to do it. If you really want to be a doctor, then push yourself for the next few years, and you will be really happy when it's all over. You can pick a specialty that does not require you to be sleep deprived. If you don't have the desire to be a doctor, I would look into dentistry. I know lots of dentists, and in most cases, they work fewer hours than doctors, and usually make more money.
 

Law2Doc

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pej722 said:
Hey everyone, I took MCATs in April and I am currently in the process of applying to schools. Looking back on my experience with the MCAT, I'm not so sure anymore that I want to go to medical school. I was under constant stress from working/classes/MCAT studying. I had very little time to socialize or take time for myself. In medicals school it will only get worse. And then ten times that in residency. Although once you are licensed it gets easier, most doctors still work 50-60 hours a week. I know that I would enjoy being a physician very much, but at the same time I want to be able to come home at a reasonable hour and not live my life in a constant stressed/sleep-deprived state. Anyone else torn with their desire to practice medicine, but at the same time wanting somewhat of a normal life?...Ideas on what to do?
It's very difficult to be a young professional and expect to move up the food chain without putting in long hours. That probably means even more than the 60 hours you suggest for quite a few years beyond residency. You will do this in medicine, law, business, and most other high yield professions. But if it's something you love, the hours are not that big an issue. So your task is to see as much as you can in the profession to see if it is something you really want to do 24/7. If you want a normal life, you get a normal job.
 
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zach1201

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It may be miserable, but it will be a happy intrinsically driven misery.
 

chewsnuffles

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Here is one way to think about it:
People who want to make it big in the financial discrict move to a major trading hub at 23 and work a terrible job annalyzing stacks of paper for something like 80 hrs/week. If they live through this after 2 years they begin to move up... "begin" key word here
Doctor is the same thing, maybe you'll study 80 hrs a week, maybe MORE! But come on, its such a great job, and ya gotta admit, its a bit better than pushing papers.
 

durfen

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pej722 said:
Hey everyone, I took MCATs in April and I am currently in the process of applying to schools. Looking back on my experience with the MCAT, I'm not so sure anymore that I want to go to medical school. I was under constant stress from working/classes/MCAT studying. I had very little time to socialize or take time for myself. In medicals school it will only get worse. And then ten times that in residency. Although once you are licensed it gets easier, most doctors still work 50-60 hours a week. I know that I would enjoy being a physician very much, but at the same time I want to be able to come home at a reasonable hour and not live my life in a constant stressed/sleep-deprived state. Anyone else torn with their desire to practice medicine, but at the same time wanting somewhat of a normal life?...Ideas on what to do?
There are ways to balance. For example, some surgeons have it such that they are on call for a week then totally free for another week. Otherwise choose rad, rad onc, derm, ent etc.
 

Law2Doc

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durfen said:
There are ways to balance. For example, some surgeons have it such that they are on call for a week then totally free for another week. Otherwise choose rad, rad onc, derm, ent etc.
None of those specialties other than derm are going to work less than 50-60 hours a week, and most will work more. Suggesting someone should go into derm is somewhat akin to suggesting they win the lottery -- wanting it so rarely makes it happen.
As for surgery, that is generally the practice area with the longest hours, and if there are those with alternating off weeks, that is a rarity. I'm pretty sure your use of "on call" is not correct, which may be contributing to confusion -- you may be not "on call" and yet still be working normal hours (60 hours per week) -- on call usually connotes overnights above and beyond the normal hours. Most doctors have to do call shifts in addition to normal work hours. Specialties like surgery tend to have call more frequently.
 

MedChic

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I feel that way too, pej.

On top of everything, once you decide on med school you're in debt 200K, and then you will always have to worry about malpractice suits, not making life threatening mistakes, insurance hassles, getting enough publications in your name etc. etc.

Not to mention not spending enough time with family/friends/kids/spouse

But hey at least the retirement will be nice....but then I wonder, do I really want to work this hard just to have a nice 10-15 years?
 

Orthodoc40

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One of the biggest mistakes people make is feeling like "I've come this far, I can't/shouldn't/better not stop now" for whatever reasons or fears they have about it, and they don't re-evaluate what they're doing and why. Believing that you've come too far to change what you're doing is a fallicy. There's ALWAYS a chance to change your direction in life, if that's what you want to do. You can do it more than once.
Medical training is a huge investment of your energies, time, money. There's no harm in taking a step back and looking at what you want it for and why. You can continue with the application process while doing that. You could also decide to take a year or two and apply later, or :eek: God forbid! decide it's not the way you want to go. Better off coming to that decision now than when you're a third year resident, totally miserable, feeling really trapped (but again, you never really are...) and wondering "What if?" you'd reconsidered back during that application time frame!
Should you decide to carry on in your current direction, you'll have a renewed sense of why you're doing what you're doing, which can only help you. So it never hurts.
 

Frank Hardy

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pej722 said:
Hey everyone, I took MCATs in April and I am currently in the process of applying to schools. Looking back on my experience with the MCAT, I'm not so sure anymore that I want to go to medical school. I was under constant stress from working/classes/MCAT studying. I had very little time to socialize or take time for myself. In medicals school it will only get worse. And then ten times that in residency. Although once you are licensed it gets easier, most doctors still work 50-60 hours a week. I know that I would enjoy being a physician very much, but at the same time I want to be able to come home at a reasonable hour and not live my life in a constant stressed/sleep-deprived state. Anyone else torn with their desire to practice medicine, but at the same time wanting somewhat of a normal life?...Ideas on what to do?
What would you do otherwise? I couldn't imagine myself in another career.
 
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