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are you all happy with the decision you've taken?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by amena, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. amena

    amena blusH
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    hey - im a junior, and funny thing is - that as a bio major, im still confused about whether or not id like to be a doc or not ; i think asking people, both professionals and students, really screwed me up. That said, i figured if i wanted to have a little insight as to how people feel once in, i should ask you all med students.

    So how is it? A lot like you expected, worse, or better? Are you truly happy with the decision you took in college to go to med school?
    Thanks for taking the time to read my query let alone answer it -
    GOOD LUCK! (o ya and id reaaaally love to hear from you;)
     
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  3. rpkall

    rpkall Darwin Award Winner
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    I took 3 years off after college because I was confused. I wasn't sure I had it in me to go to school for 8+ more years, and I wasn't sure I was going to LOVE medicine. So I did a nuclear medicine program (1 yr), and then worked for a couple years, and then wound up at PA school (again, not sure if I could do too much school). I wound up not liking PA school very much, and going on to med school.

    Currently, I'm an MS1 at my state school, and I'm very happy with it. It's definitely competitive, but the workload is doable--and for me, it's really hard. Doing well feels like the biggest accomplishment of my life. Hell, even passing is a big accomplishment, because my class is so bright (I can't imagine what Harvard is like ahaha).

    It feels good. There are times when I get bored, anxious, pissed, etc--but on the whole, I don't think I could be studying anything else.

    If that's how you feel--like you can't see yourself studying anything else but medicine--then you should do it. And don't do it for the money; that's the dumbest reason to go to med school. Even if you pull it off, you'll be miserable eventually, and you certainly won't be doing your patients any favors.

    Hope that helps a little. Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions, but keep in mind, I only just started this past fall... I bet the MS2,3,4 people can help you out too.

    Good luck.
     
  4. yellowcat322

    yellowcat322 Senior Member
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    I'm an MS 1 as well and so far med school has been even better than I expected. I graduated college a semester early and worked for half a year. Though half a year doesn't seem like that much time, I was REALLY looking forward to school and it has been so great so far. Don't get me wrong, it's not like you'll be enthralled every minute that you sit there and memorize random stuff, but the overall feel of being in medicine, learning relevant information and getting patient interaction is amazing. That said, not all of my friends who went to med school are having the same experience and a couple of them said that they regret going into medicine (however, these were people that were on the fence about med school in the first place). My advice is, if you're not sure, don't rush it. Take a year off, shadow docs, volunteer in ER if you haven't yet. These are things that will put you into close contact with medical profession so you can see what it's really all about. Remember, it's not about being happy in medical school - it's about being happy with your career for the rest of your life. Try making a list of all your pros and cons about medicine and go from there.
     
  5. robotsonic

    robotsonic Senior Member
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    I'm an MS4. All I can say is that you won't know if you made the right decision until after you have made it. Such is life. Medicine is very broad, though, so there are many different careers that you can choose from once you have an MD (surgery vs. medicine, etc).

    Anyway, read this thread: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=195799
     
  6. mules05

    mules05 Member
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    The one really good piece of advice I got before I applied was to be absolutely sure this was what I wanted to do with my life before I committed to it. What it came down to was that I couldn't imagine doing anything else with my life.

    I also talked with people who were in the medical field...almost across the board, people told me to get out before I got in, but when I asked them what else they wish they were doing with their lives, I got this "what, are you crazy?" look, and none of them could tell me anything else they'd rather do as a career. Even as a med student, I can see where that comes from- if you're not 100% into it, medicine is hell. Long hours, dealing with sick people, massive debt coming out of school...but none of that matters if you're doing what you love to do. Don't rely on anyone else's opinion on med school or being a doctor...I personally would never tell someone to put himself through this. But I also wouldn't want to do anything else myself.
     
  7. yellowcat322

    yellowcat322 Senior Member
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    You know, after hearing so many different opinions on the merits and demerits of med school, you realize that it's just a matter of spin. I could write a post and make it sound like the worst profession in the world and write another one that'll make you want to drop everything and apply NOW. The point is I think it's good to be aware of the negative aspects of medicine right now and really process what they mean and if you're still ok with it then go ahead. I remember when I volunteered in the ER it was a shock to me what kind of patients we would get, but at least I'm not going into medicine with my eyes closed now. Try to avoid as much idealization of the field as possible to prevent disappointment but also try not to succumb to the massive balck hole of negativity that some disgruntled students will weave into their post. The good and the bad usually balance out to provide a pretty rewarding career IMHO
     
  8. jllander

    jllander Senior Member
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    I am not one of those students who knew that they wanted to be a doctor since they were 5 years old. Just like you, I decided my junior year in college. I decided the month before my MCAT prep course started actually. I took the MCAT's four months later in April, filled out my primary by the first week of July and began interviewing in late September. Before I knew it I had been accepted to medical school and still wasn't sure it was the right choice. But at the time, I had no other options. I didn't want to research and I didn't want to do dentistry or pharmacy. So I was sort of at a loss. All I could figure was, after getting an MD, there are tons of fields I could practice in, I could always teach, and push comes to shove, I could research. That's the beauty of an MD: lots of options.

    After beginning the process, I had long long talks with my parents. They forced me to come up with a plan B in case I didn't get in. But they also reassured me that if I began medical school and didn't like it, I could always leave. That is so important to remember. If you don't like it, that's ok. Life is too short to be unhappy. And I kept telling myself that as I packed my bags. When I got to orientation though, my feelings started to change. After my first week of classes, I was sure. This was where I was supposed to be and I have never looked back.

    It's a hard feeling to describe. I am so happy and content with where I am and what I'm doing. I've never been more challenged in my life and my mind never stops running. I have found my passion and I am so thankful that I took that blind jump junior year. For me, it worked out. I know of others where they made the wrong choice. But like other posters have said, you won't know until you try. Right now, 4 months into school, I can say that I want to do medicine and become a great doctor and teacher. A year and four months ago, I couldn't have said the same thing. Will it be the same for you? <shrug> But that's life. What have you got to lose? Good luck with whatever you do!!!
     
  9. zeloc

    zeloc Senior Member
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    Medical school is much worse than I imagined. M2 year is better than M1, though. I think once I start seeing patients it will all be much better. The only thing I regret is not accomplishing more in college because now in med school I have hardly any free time, but I would not change my decision to go to med school although I thought about whether I made the right decision or not a lot during M1 year. If you have a chance to sample different careers, for example a co-op or an internship, I would take advantage of it just to see what's out there.
     
  10. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member
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    This link is really good, helped me to decide that I m gonna take a year off before med school (gonna defer if I get accepted this year) to have as much fun as I can.

    Med school is a regret for so many people, I dont want to be one of those people. Every doctor I have talked to (spoken with many of them bc my parents are docs) hates medicine and wishes they did something else. I still want to do medicine but there are a few things i want to do before i commit so much time. :thumbup:
     
  11. quideam

    quideam Too tired to complain
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    To be quite honest, although I don't hate medical school, i'm definetely not a big fan of it. However, that doesn't mean I don't want to be a doctor - I can tolerate being in the clinic, and I really like EM, so all I have to do is get through the next two and a half years :p.

    Adding to what one of the above posters said though, definetely make sure you take advantage of all of your free time in college. Maybe even take off a year before med school and travel or do some cool internship or anything EXCEPT studying science minutia. Med school really does beat you down, but if you keep your mind on the goal, it's bearable (not fun - just bearable). But that's just my view, and I'm someone who was never a huge fan of science - I went into medicine because I loved doing EMS work and want to travel and do medicine abroad, and this is the best way.

    Ask me again in a few years. :D.

    Q
     
  12. rockdoc

    rockdoc MSIV
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    I can't say I'm "happy" because sitting in front of the computer and notes for 8 hours a day (non-exam week) does not particularly bring me happiness. BUT if something I'm studying finally makes sense, it gets a little closer to "happiness."

    Would I do it again? I would like to say yes... but right now, with today as my first 8 hour sleep in a month, it's a little hard to completely say that without a shadow of a doubt.

    Good luck in your decision.
     
  13. marr

    marr Senior Member
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    Take this from a L1 students a few months into med school. I don't regret the decision to be in med school since I can't imagine doing anything else that is this meaningful and positive. At the same time, the dedication to learning medicine is truly vast and deep that only you could experience it for yourself. Otherwise, I'm enjoying the stuff so far. Take care and Good Luck in your decision.
     
  14. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member
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    I m guessing an M1 probably isnt too far into the education to know what the real pain of med school is?
     
  15. Simonster

    Simonster Member
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    There's a lot to adjust to but it all feels worth it. I'm happy :)
     
  16. Mike59

    Mike59 Sweatshop FP in Ontario
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    Sadly, I was once one of the naive idealistic students but it's all come crashing down months before I finish med school. I starting to HATE clinical medicine and am anxious to just finish my intern year, get my license and leave this terrible profession behind for good... In the grand scheme of things, I'm finding somewhere between 2 and 5% of all my patient interactions to be worthwhile experiences where I actually help someone. That's way too low yield to be in this for the long haul when combined with the lack of patient compliance and risk of legal implications...

    That's not say I regret going to med school, it's been a great time overall and I have a versatile degree with which I can springboard into a successful career. Ah well, live and learn :(
     
  17. JackPB

    JackPB Fire, and lots of it!
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    Hell yes. I am four years into my residency and am very glad to be in medicine.

    My MS-1 year was shockingly difficult, but I still enjoyed it. Since then, every year has been better than the last. As a medical student, I learned more and more interesting and applicable stuff. As an intern, I was exhausted all the time, but I was finally a damned doctor. As residency progressed, I enjoyed more responsibility. I see stuff that very few people see, and it's just cool.

    It is a long road, but worth it.
     
  18. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member
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    What type of residency are you doing?
     
  19. thackl

    thackl 1K Member
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    Med School --> sometimes sucks.... but overall OK and you survive it.
    Being A Doctor --> :cool:
     
  20. coastal

    coastal Member
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    I'm kind of ambivalent towards med school right now. Exams for this semster (M2) are three weeks a day and I find myself searching for ways to waste my time and avoid studying. My friends are all busy with studying and my gf refuses to be complicit in my avoidance, so I end up wasting the hours in loserish solitary pursuits I usually make fun of like computer games. I like learning things, I just don't like spending most of, or, a good chunk of, every day trying to put information in my head. If I could work in a clinic 4 hours and then go home and study that same material for 4 hours I think I would be in (academic) heaven. Thing is, preclinical years don't work like that and I get bored bored bored. I don't go to any classes or small group sessions that are not explicitly stated as mandatory. My school is pass/fail, I'm not a gunner, and I know I will do very well in clerkship, so I feel no need (beyond ego which should never be underestimated) to know more/do better than my classmates right now.

    But.....I'm still really excited to become a doctor. I'm not naive about being able to truly help even one out of every 4 patients that comes in the door (want to do emerg), but I think it is cool that I will know a heck of alot about what's going on with them, and can have an impact sometimes. I'm also looking forward to the portability of the MD, and working internationally. I took a few years off during and after university so medicine was a pretty well-thought through choice for me. And, I think I'm going to be happy with it.
     
  21. ucsb101

    ucsb101 Senior Member
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    I am completely exhausted 99% of the time
    My school reminds me of high school
    I feel like I am never caught up
    Depression takes its toll everyonce in a while
    I dont get enough sleep
    Forget dating anyone of the oppostie sex
    and the list goes on... :(










    I cannot imagine being anything else than a physician :)
     
  22. pillowhead

    pillowhead Senior Member
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    I second this sentiment and suggest reading the above thread.

    There's really not a whole lot of point to reading answers to your question from people who are still M1s and M2s because what they're doing right now in no way represents what you will actually do when you practice medicine (except maaaybe if you are going into pathology). Nothing in the world can let you know how you feel about medicine until you're actually in there practicing 80 hours a week unfortunately. After having a handful of rotations under my belt, I can honestly say that if all fields of medicine were like practicing surgery, I would probably drop out of medical school. On the other hand, the long hours and time away from my family haven't seemed so bad on internal medicine because I enjoy it more. Obviously there are plenty of people who feel the exact opposite from me (which is a good thing!)

    Do all the shadowing and volunteering, maybe take a year to work in a health care related field. But ultimately, the decision to go to medical school must to a large extent be taken as a leap of faith.
     
  23. closertofine

    closertofine Emerging from hibernation
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    Anyone else spend lots of time in MS2 (or MS1) worrying about what MS3 and beyond will be like? I'm pretty happy as an MS2 and feel like I can handle the work all right (get to set my own schedule to some degree, etc)... but from what I hear, if you kind of like the preclinical years, you'll hate the clinical ones...I don't know how I'll manage working 80 hours a week in any case... :scared: :(

    sorry if this post isn't completely relevant to the thread, wasn't sure where to post it.
     
  24. skypilot

    skypilot 2K Member
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    You just kind of slog through the first two years. Its third year through internship year where the rubber hits the road and you decide whether you made the right decision or not.
     
  25. PoorMD

    PoorMD Senior Member
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    I was an engineering student during undergrad, enjoyed it for the most part, and did an internship for approximately 1 year in Texas before going to medical school. The internship was OK I guess, good money, interesting projects, but man I looked at some of the older guys and thought to myself "Geez do I want to make ethylene and propylene for the rest of my life for some big chemical company like these guys?" ... My answer was a resounding NO!

    Likewise, as I packed my bags for medical school later that year, I asked myself "Do I want to deal with the throng of walking wounded and be a 'combat medic' trying to heal back the sickened masses for the rest of my life? " .... My answer was still a resounding NOO!!!

    I asked everyone, my entire family sensed my doubt and told me to stay in engineering because it was "stable, pays well, and engineers make good husbands." I said you've got to be f*cking kidding me, kissed engineering goodbye and took the "leap of faith" if you will and started medicine this fall. The point is I ignored everything my doubtful, yet loving family members said.

    Since taking that leap, it has been the absolute best decision I ever made. I jumped ship and found myself swimming in luke warm water (surrounded by sharks, mind you).
     
  26. pratik7

    pratik7 Senior Member
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    Med school doesnt require a lot of brain power when compared to the applied math and sciences. Some people find helping other people to be rewarding and some find the satisfaction of finishing a computer program or other project even more rewarding. Find out where you are on the spectrum.

    Eventhough I dont love or hate my first year...i really dont know what else i would be doing if i wasnt in medical school.
     
  27. ruler

    ruler Member
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    about my self Iam very happy about that because medicine is avery nice work to have
     
  28. TX_Longhorn

    TX_Longhorn OU sucks
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    Are you sure about that?... :D
     
  29. xanthines

    xanthines decaying organic matter
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    I can't wait to get to the M3/4 years! This didactic learning stuff is old and busted. I took 5 years off between college and med school and now realize that working is pretty cool. I'm sure you'll be fine during the clinical years. Just sleep whenever you can and try to stay organized (mentally, that is). I'm just an M1, so feel free to ignore the above!

    -X

     

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