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Are you FIT to be a doctor? A word of caution from med student.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by StudentX, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. To the younger pre-meds, here's some advice I posted on the Allopathic site in response to a thread about dropping out of med school. I think this would be very helpful for you as well:

    Consider the medical profession as an all-or-none venture (much like an action potential for you students of physiology). In my opinion, surviving and succeeding as a physician requires 1) genuine passion for the PROFESSION in spite of the enormous stresses you face, and 2) superb personal resources to help you manage those stresses. Those who lack both will inevitably drop out. Most will experience intense depression, and some, suicidal ideations. I know pre-meds, fellow med students, interns, and physicians who are on their way out or have already dropped specifically for these reasons. My 40-something UCSF-trained preceptor is already burnt out and about to check out.

    So from my experience, one cannot hope to merely "stick it out" as a pre-med, physician in training, or practitioner, as no such "medium" level of dedication and survival capacity viable in the medical career exists. Those who think they can "just do the job they don't really like and come home and live life", as is truly the case with many other jobs, are very mistaken. For medicine is no mere job. It indeed lives up to its cliches as a "calling", "way of life" and "career demanding passion and dedication of its practitioner."

    For the sake of those who are having serious doubts, spoken or unspoken, about their ability to survive the brutality of this profession, consider the following as cardinal signs of trouble for you:

    That you are pushing yourself to stay in PRIMARILY because of one or more of the following reasons:

    1) you don't want to waste the time/energy/money you've spent to get this far
    2) you hope this will all pay off somehow in the end
    3) you fear disappointing someone, and this might be yourself
    4) you think you have no choice but to shoot for medicine.

    Any of the above will indicate that you are not passionate enough for medicine, aka not in it for the right motivation, and/or you are not fit to survive its intense demands....all of which will lead inevitably to a spiral of depression, burnout, and dropping out.

    So, for you younger (AND older premeds), think very carefully if this is right for you.

    -X
     
  2. Adapt

    Adapt 2K Member
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    I thought about it. It's right for me. :thumbup:
     
  3. It will be "fun," but I think I am ready for it.
     
  4. nibrocli

    nibrocli Senior Member
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    StudentX,
    are you having doubts? regrets? what are your plans for the future?
    thanks for your insight from a med student's perspective
     
  5. CalBeE

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    That is something that crossed my mind...and I haven't even started med school yet. I even had this crazy thought of withdrawing all my acceptances and apply to Public Health schools instead, cause that should be relatively less stressful and is something I am interested in.

    I mentioned this over and over again...one of my interviewers said, "You won't really know how being a doctor is unless you're one...shadowing, volunteering, etc. can't show you that" (He graduated from med school and was in his first year of residency)
     
  6. Odaroloc

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    I would say that anyone considering medicine/practicing medicine that doesnt have doubts or fears or fleeting feelings of regret is fooling themselves...we are all human and I would say these things are a natural part of the process and not a good indicator of passion for the field. It is that part of us that enables us to heal others and ourselves, because if we lose our doubts and fears and ignore our hesitations we also lose empathy...just my .02 cents
     
  7. Chirurgien

    Chirurgien Member
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    When I first saw the subject line of the OP's post, I thought FIT was related to being physically fit for a career in medicine. Now, in all seriousness, I've seen some med students with big muscles during my med school interviews and honestly, I think being physically strong is important for some specialties in medicine. Take for example, surgery. Sometimes the surgeon has to be able to apply force (I don't know, like maybe pulling ribs apart in an emergency to save someone's life). I think being physically muscular will help out in these aspects of medicine. It makes me want to start lifting weights because I'm rail thin and bony - so unattractive.
     
  8. DrBodacious

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    I think it is normal to have underlying subconscious doubts, however, I also agree with the OP in that you have to evaluate the severity of these doubts and think about your coping abilities. If these doubts are strong enough that they will evolve into chronic insecurities and a lack of passion when you eventually take on the responsibilites of a physician, you'll undoubtedly be misearble.

    Are you going to truly enjoy being a doctor and embrace all the hardships that come along with the job, or are you going to allow those hardships to eat away at you for the rest of your miserable career as a physician?

    For myself, I don't think I'll be 100% certain either way untill I go through medical school. If I find out that I am not cut out for the stress that will inevidebly be involved, I can at least say I made a damn good effort at pursuing a life long dream of mine.
     
  9. mackaikai

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    Yes. It's for me. And it better be :)
     
  10. SaltySqueegee

    SaltySqueegee El Rey de Salsa
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    I'm in it for the money, because medicine is full of money...


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  11. SaltySqueegee

    SaltySqueegee El Rey de Salsa
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    No, but really. I find it funny how many people actually think there is money in being a medical doctor. With malpractice through the roof, and medical school tuition hikes. I'm thinking about getting my MD/JD, so that I can sue other MD's to make a living! ;)

    StudentX, you speaka' da' truth.
     
  12. skypilot

    skypilot 2K Member
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    Although I appreciate your post I think that statistically the vast majority of students will make it through medical school. And once they are doctors most will remain in the profession for the rest of their careers. So they must be finding ways to cope with the stress and strain of the profession. And the profession is so broad that there is a place for most people. Consider the difference between a Family Practice doctor, a Psychiatrist, an Anesthesiologist, and a Surgeon. These are all very different careers which may work for different types of people.
     
  13. DrPharaohX

    DrPharaohX Free...your...mind...
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    I think any significant career choice carries with it certain degrees of unsatisfaction, frustration, stress, and annoyance. If medicine has more of these things, then c'est la vie. I think a lot of us, myself included, have thought about these things and have at times become concerned by them. This is natural and actually expected. I don't think any of us will feel nothing when we hear about soaring malpractice rates or ungodly resident work hours, for instance. These things are by their nature inductive of the concerns that we get.

    However: as for myself, and I imagine for others too, there are also other things we've thought about, and those include the original reasons why we want to do medicine and the effects we can have on others and that they can have on us as their doctors/caretakers.

    At the end of the day if someone comes spewing at me all the reasons I shouldn't do medicine or all the things wrong with the field, I just think about why I wanted it in the first place and understand that despite all the negativities, it's still something I want.

    These views may sound idealistic but I don't think they can be anything else but that, because there is one thing that still holds: I don't know how much I will enjoy being a doctor or how much the stresses of the field will get to me until I actually am a doctor. I do know that I have enough reasons to choose this career, and that nothing that sounds seemingly harrowing will ever change that choice for me :)
     
  14. premed

    premed Senior Member
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    I just had a similar conversation with a friend last night so I think I will voice my opinions...

    I personally think the outstanding students that have never had a B with a 35+ MCAT are the ones who have never thought those questions through. They just go through life with no worries, get to medical school because its the thing for people with stats like them to do and then it hits them. They hate it, realize its not for them and drop like flies. On the other hand, I am almost positive that a reapplicant has adequately thought over the questions mentioned above. I have met alot of students on SDN who have struggled through 3 MCATs, several post-bacs, and masters programs to get into medical school. To go through all that, and keep hacking away at it really inspires me. I have faith that these guys will make far better physicians than someone who has never faced any difficulty in his/her life. Someone who posts a thread on SDN about how he was only accepted into Stanford and is having a bad year because he didn't get any acceptances in 2004 is a _____. Just my $1-$0.98...
     
  15. stomper627

    stomper627 Go Cougs!!!
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    OP great post....
    I agree....
    Not sure if Id still do it again....probably, but then again..??? BUT many of my classmates and interns/residents/and attendings I have worked with, have stated they would never have gotten involved if they knew what medicine was really like. Hmmm.....could it be I just havent completely got there yet? Im hoping it doesnt hit until at least PGY-1.
    Anyway....Im too far in now....too much money.
    I really think that schools should have premeds shadow interns for a week.....solid. Be there when they are there, same schedule etc....might deter some....might not....but will make many more aware of what is to come....not the job so many think they know (the one we see everyweek on TV)
    stomper
     
  16. Nvr Ending Jrny

    Nvr Ending Jrny Senior Member
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    thanks OP, for the post. Honestly, I don't know if I can handle med school/residency etc. I don't have any doctors in my family or circle of friends and I only see the entire profession from the outside for the most part.

    The question I have is that if so many people say that medicine is not good for a lot of reasons then why do so many children of physcians pursue medicine with the encouragement of their parents?

    Also, how can I find out if I can handle the pressures/stresses?
     
  17. Maxip

    Maxip Member
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    Premed, I think that your statement about people who get 4.0's and 35's may be a little ignorant. Keep in mind this is coming from soneone with a 3.0 overall undergrad...

    Those people who get grades and scores like that aren't waltzing through life. They are suffering from self-inflicted angst that you and I will never know. Whether or not its for the "right" reasons as they pertain to medicine, who knows? But, they have worked extremely hard to get where they are, and most likely because they are terrified out of their minds that they may not get accepted. As annoying as they can be, I regard that as a love for medicine that's just as admirable as a re-applicant who has done the MS and all of the other good stuff (me).

    Bottom line: cut them some slack, their life is no easier than yours. Its probably a hell of a lot worse :eek:
     
  18. dan0909

    dan0909 Senior Member
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    mann...i think i fit every one of those reasons...

    but ohw ell...medschool or bust...


    I think everyone has doubts...but that doesnt mean ur gonna be suicidal...comon
     
  19. Maxip

    Maxip Member
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    Also, for the OP... like some of the other people who have replied to this thread, I, as an incoming medical student, have moments of doubt. I don't want to be 100,000+ in debt, I don't necessarily want to devote 5+ years after getting a 4 year degree to insane hours and low pay, and I certainly don't want to lose time with my future family. In no way does that mean I'm not "cut out" to be a physician. I know that this profession will make me happier than any other, but not without its price tag. It's realism, not a lack of passion.

    Seems to me that your post is a little self-reverent, in the sense that only the "purist" physician will make it. Medicine IS like any other profession in many ways, not in the least of which that many different kinds of people will be doctors and will be good at it in their own ways. Don't be too quick to forget what its like to be a pre-med, or a medical student.

    My advice for the pre-meds out there: if you know in your heart that you want to do it, then keep going. Don't listen to people that try to dissuade you, they're most likely either jealous on some level, or too self-congratulatory.
     
  20. gmcsierra

    gmcsierra Member
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    OP-

    what do you mean by superb personal resources?

    thanks
     
  21. tautomer

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    to the op and to those in support of his ideas, I would just like to know, what is it that makes you second guess your decisions to go into medicine? Is it one specific thing? Is it that you thought that patients would be so greateful but turn out to be thankless? Is it "not what it used to be?" Is it the debt? Is it the stress? Is it the hard work? Is it the lack of dough?

    If it's any of the last four, then I'm not to worried, I know all about those and I'm STILL going for it!

    I understand what you are saying, and in some ways, it makes me fearful of my decision. But, everytime I see what doctors do, it makes me wanna do it even more.

    Please let me know.
     
  22. cardsurgguy

    cardsurgguy Senior Member
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    I agree with the OP. Medicine is a brutal and strenuous career. Unfortunately, however, at least from my experiences, most premeds don't have any clue about medicine. I obviously don't mean medicine in terms of what a creatinine value of 5.6 and a BUN value of 60 mean about a patient's kidney condition. I mean medicine in terms of the job itself.

    For example, when I'm asked about the several jobs I've had in health care in the summers home from school as a PCA on various floors and assisting with cardiac surgery in the OR, most premeds are amazed about the jobs themselves and what I got to do, but even more surprised to hear me say that I work 60-70, sometimes more hours per week. They are even more amazed, if not shocked that I work 16 hour shifts (7 AM-11 PM, with a 25-30 min commute), often 2 in a row, and not out of the ordinary 3 16 hour shifts in a row. They are shocked. I get reactions like "16 hours, all in a row?" or "2 in a row, 3 in a row??? That's gotta be hell to do"

    I laugh to myself when I think of the rude awakening these people are going to get their internship year...when working 16 hour shifts will be a short shift and something they'll be wishing for.

    One of the problems with far too many premeds is that many people are so heavy into research and do pathetic clinical experiences like volunteering (which isn't really clinical experience since you're basically running things around and paper filing) or shadowing (in which you only watch, but don't do anything). Research (unless you're going MD/PhD) is ABSOLUTELY USELESS in the practice of medicine. For example, I knew a premed friend of mine who sat in a lab for 8-9 hours doing enzyme assays, then hours more at home making enzyme kinetics graphs and figuring our Vmax and Km values. USELESS This doesn't give the person any experience in the practice of medicine whatsoever!

    Part of the problem is ridiculous college professors who are so pro-research and want everybody to do research, because they think it's somehow higher or somehow a more noble thing for people to do than clinical work, even though it's useless for future (non MD/PhD) physicians relatively speaking compared to clinical experience. An example of the type of professor I'm talking about is illustrated in the following situation...

    I was talking to him about getting a medical school rec and he was asking me questions so he could get a good idea about what to write. He asked me why I didn't have any research and I answered honestly which was because I didn't enjoy it compared to clinical experience. Sensing that he didn't like that answer, I just threw in that I was thinking of getting a position this summer in a research lab at the hospital I worked at doing cardiac research since that's what I liked (even though this was BS). He said that's good that I would doing research since "that's what people do here" (talking about research)

    That's what people do here?! I was amazed at the elitist attitude that he displayed, which is not uncommon for college professors. That quote almost suggests that it doesn't matter what you like to do, you have to do the pre-ordained path of academia. It's pathetic. I've also known students who have had professors try to talk them out of going to med school and go to grad school instead. I've also had professors who have criticized and made jokes about the medical field in class. Who knows, the jerks could just be jealous...

    Anyways, enough about my rant on the pathetic field of academia...:D
     
  23. dsblaha

    dsblaha Senior Member
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    I know what you mean, my job (I have been working in biotech for 3 years) is full of people, at all educational levels, who tried to get into medical school but didn't. I think a lot of them are bitter. Not all of course as some really love what they are doing. Maybe they feel as though they let themselves down?
     
  24. Samoa

    Physician Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

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    I am physically tired, mentally drained, short-tempered and seriously doubting my own ability to make it past Friday. But going to medical school is still the best decision I ever made.
     
  25. BerkeleyPremed

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    Regulars on SDN have already seen posts exactly like this dozens of time before. They also fit the same formulaic pattern and generally hit on the same points...Behold....the formula:

    (a)=your true motivation for doing medicine must be for the participation in this demanding field (not money, not parental pressure, etc)

    (b)=MANY PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU that have made it into medical school and into residency are now doubting themselves and thinking of dropping out ..."my UCSF-trained preceptor"....voila!!!

    (c)=medicine is not a "job"...it's a LIFESTYLE
    quote from the passage: "For medicine is no mere job. It indeed lives up to its cliches as a "calling", "way of life" and "career demanding passion and dedication of its practitioner." ....presto!!!

    Formula: a+b+c=d where (d)=yet another horribly trite post that serves as a "warning" to those premeds that the OP thinks are not dedicated enough to serve in this noble and honorable trade

    To the OP: I hate to burst your bubble...but other med students have already ventured in here to give us pearls of wisdom...just like the what you gave us above. Unfortunately, what you guys don't understand is that reading a post on an anonymous messageboard will not really make anyone change their minds about the course of their life, where they see themselves five or ten years down the line, or what they want to do with the rest of their lives. I'd like to thank you for your words of caution...but sorry...pre-allo folks have read posts exactly like this dozens of times before..and in all probability, if you're a premed....SOMEONE in your collegiate career has tried to talk you out of it ...be it a physician, a current medical student, a professor, a friend, or maybe even a parent...hold on....***thinking about the rest of my life on Earth***....ok, I decided that medicine is indeed for me

    To the rest of SDN: If everyone in pre-allo was given a nickel for every time a "caution/beware/you don't know what you're getting yourself into!!!" post was made in our forum...we'd all be rolling in it Donald Trump style...have a good one guys.
     
  26. sherman1

    sherman1 Senior Member
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    You are right, medicine is tough road but I know it is the right choice for me. Being the older non-traditional applicant I feel I have no illusions about what I'm about to get myself into...
    The fact that I have worked for 8 years since college and have experienced the unfullfilment of other jobs I know that medicine is the perfect career for me. Working in a cubicle the rest of my life is not for me.
    Friends of mine that have had serious doubts of staying in medical school and medicine are the ones who went to school right out of college. They feel they may have missed out on experiencing life in their 20's...My advice to anyone that has any doubts is to put off going to school for a while and work and try to experience other things...
     
  27. SarahGM

    SarahGM Senior Member
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    Samoa, that is incredibly poignant.

    May I quote you on that? :)
     
  28. abefromann

    abefromann Junior Member
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    "Friends of mine that have had serious doubts of staying in medical school and medicine are the ones who went to school right out of college. They feel they may have missed out on experiencing life in their 20's..."

    Exactly, Sherman. These people watch too much TV -- they think that if they had taken jobs in business and journalism and whatever, their lives would have been cool and fun and full of social brilliance. Anybody who's been out there after college and dissatisfied with the cubicle lifestyle knows that it's a sh&^ty world to be involved in, full of morons who talk about golf and beer exclusively and who ALSO work 60-70 hours a week with bullsh&t catty politics just in order to make 90 grand a year in a shaky economy. medicine is about having an interesting career and seeing different people everyday and forming healthy, helpful relationships with your patients and your (relative to other "professions") intellectual colleagues. What's an EASY profession where you can make anywhere near as much money and get the kind of instrinsic benefits you get as a physician? You want to get an MBA and worry about your job and do stupid paper-pushing for 65 hours a week, supporting corporations that are truly amoral with their accounting and damaging to the environment? You want to be a first-year associate like many of my friends and work 80 hours a week working on contracts? I think not.
     
  29. Celestron2000

    Celestron2000 Senior Member
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    First, I want to thank the OP what what they said. Contrary to what many seem to be assuming, I don't think that it was negative or trying to be dissuasive. I don't think OP is saying don't do it, as they don't express personal regret, but instead that it's not for everyone. If you go to medschool for the wrong reasons (ie. to make the big bucks or because it represents the pinnacle of sucess in our society) you will probably be miserable. There will be many times throughout the training process when we will feel tierd and drained beyond belief. We will ask ourselves, "why the He!! am I doing this?" If we don't have a good answer, we may seriously regret our decisions, but be so deep in debt and commitment that it's much harder to get out.

    I think most of us know that this is going to be VERY hard. We are driven by a passion for healing and a faith that because this is the right thing for us we WILL get through this and be stronger for it. I know that I can't even imaging walking this path without that, I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
     
  30. dsblaha

    dsblaha Senior Member
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    abefromann-

    I couldn't agree with you more. Taking a few years off was the smartest thing i have done. I have had a lot of opportunities to make money, travel, etc. But dear God is it miserable having an unfulfilling job. It is hard to walk away from a secure, comfortable life but I think it worth the risk.
     
  31. mosoriire

    mosoriire Senior Member
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    I think the OP is also ignoring the fact that not every one is going to be your sterotypical MD, which in my mind, is a great thing.

    We always complaining about how bad the health insurance/medicare/medicaid scene is, as patients, and/or as practitioners. Yet there is only 1 doctor in congress. In essence, we are leaving decisons about managed care up to MBAs and JDs who have no idea what kind of impact their business ethos and legslation (or lack of it) is having in emergency rooms and surgeries, and all that any one is doing about it is whine.

    Also, I know that there is a lot of bitterness about the whole research ting, with a lot fo people feeling that they were pushed to to participate in research opportunities bcos it was expected of them or whatever, but the truth is that there is more research going on now than there has ever been in human history. If we dont have MDs to help translate all that stuff into actual health interventions, its like pouring water in a basket, as far as I'm concerned.

    I have no problems stating that I dont intend to practice full time in the US, and I believe there are a lto of physicians who will end up like me. (Why do I think I'm opening myself for a big slaying here? :))

    All in all, I think the post was well intentioned, but a bit limited in perspective.
     
  32. DrBodacious

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    OK, there seems to be quite a few people stating that being a physician = immense and horribly burdensome time demands and responsibilities. This is certainly the case with some fields of practice, surgery for instance (especially cardiac surgery as cardsurgdude cited 3 consecutive 16 hour shifts!) But there is quite a bit you can do with an MD that doesn't require you to totally devote your life to the profession, is there not? At the very least, things do get better after residencies/fellowships do they not?

    I should state that in NO WAY am I expecting to find a low-stress career in medicine (acutally I'm interested in surgery). What I am saying (as I stated in my previous post, and as others have mentioned) is that we as pre-meds aren't likely to fully appreciate our capibilities for enduring the demands of our residency years. Moreover, we certainly don't have a grasp of the things that will make practicing worth while, e.g. SAVING SOMEONE'S LIFE! So don't get freaked out of going to med school by those subconscious doubts, or by the horror stories of spending 48 hrs straight on the job, if your motives are to be successful and to make a huge contribution to the world through healing. I'm going for it!
     
  33. medicomel

    medicomel Purveyor of short posts.
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    I am physically tired, mentally drained, short-tempered and seriously doubting my own ability to make it past Friday. But going to medical school is still the best decision I ever made.__________________

    Beautifully put, Samoa!
     
  34. tautomer

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    ahah. now I get it. If the main thing that questions your desire for medicine is the time commitment, then I'm fine then! heh. I wish EVERY pre-med in the country had access to this forum. Most people on here are typically the type that go out of their way to finding all the information possible about a career in medicine so they can make correctly informed decisions. I know myself stumbled across this website seeking out info on the medical career. We do it because we care about the field of medicine. We are excited about the prospect of healing. I know other premeds who are absolutely CLUELESS about what medicine is truly about- the work it entails and the amount of stress it can create on a daily basis. I wish they could see these kinds of posts so that they can be educated, because I know personally some people who expect medicine just to be some laid-back career in which to make a lot of money. They have no idea. However, BEING a person who does have an idea (although one that may be limited) it does give me an impression of what the medical profession is like, and IT IS those characteristics about it that keep me going. I work a 17-18 hour day NOW just so i can get into medical school. I love the prospect of a career as a physician so much, that I'm working hard now, just so i can work hard later! How rewarding it will feel to actually do it. I understand what you mean, I am open to all questions about my future. I have questioned the career, trust me. But, I'm telling you, I feel more prepared than most, and I can't wait to (hopefully) go to medical school to begin!

    Samoa put it so beautifully above! Thanks Samoa!
     
  35. sherman1

    sherman1 Senior Member
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    Well said...I have worked 50-60 hrs a week for the last four years at one of the largest healthcare/pharm companies and I have had enough.....
    All the cube life/corporate BS that you have to put up with is enough to drive a person insane...Plus the fact there is no job security whatsoever and you will have to struggle for 15-20 years to make 100k ...But definately the biggest reason to leave and finally pursue my dream of medicine is the constant intellectual stimulation that a career in medicine will offer and the opportunity to help someone every day. There is also tremendous flexibility as to where you can live/practice medicine
    It will be hard, at least 7 years of sweat..but it will be worth it
     
  36. cather

    cather Senior Member
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    Wow, these are some really insightful comments.
    I will be going to medical school right out of college.
     
  37. thewebthsp

    thewebthsp Shoobeedoowap
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    Almost any job is superior to a position in the corporate shark tank :)

    Constant intellectual challenge, a duty to help others, feeling happy that you made someone sick better... that's why I want to do this.

    Working like crazy, as long as it's for a good reason doesn't deter, I think.
     
  38. premed

    premed Senior Member
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    I am sorry, that 3.0 invalidates all my opinions. :(
     
  39. dsblaha

    dsblaha Senior Member
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    The worst thing about non-healthcare type jobs (including basic science research and pipetting all day long) is the lack of intensity. Anybody who is motivated enough to get into medical school must have a certain level of intensity and they won't find it outside of healthcare, except maybe professional sports.

    Let me tell you working 50-60 hrs a week at a normal job is tough but it not intense enough.
     
  40. premedmadness

    premedmadness Member
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    i feel like that's a very pessimistic point of view, even for people who are "fit" to be a doctor. for me, being a doctor is a "calling" <forgive the cliche>, but i still don't look at it as such an incredible burden as the OP describes. of course, i'm not in med school yet, but i think attitude is everything, and that post was unnecessarily depressing/discouraging.
     
  41. Maxip

    Maxip Member
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    ACTUALLY, it was a 3.08. Better? :D
     
  42. The JockDoc

    The JockDoc lighting up the court
    Physician 15+ Year Member

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    You are right in that research doesn't give an entire picture of medicine. But it's still good experience to have as a doctor. If you as a doctor see something that can be improved on, or something that is largely unexplored, you might find it helpful to augment your career by researching. It doesn't have to be your new career, although it could be, but it coincides with what you do in your job. If you have experience in publishing and writing grants, and so on, this will be easier than if you start up cold. Research is not a requirement to the career, but research is the primary way that medicine is improved.

    I've talked to plenty of docs who do research and practice at the same time, and I've talked to docs who do research exclusively. They've developed some great things that solve a problem experienced by the rest of the field. A few have created successful companies with breakthrough discoveries. They've done other research prior to their physician careers, and they all told me that they thought it was helpful background for their present research.

    Of course, not all research experience is similar, and sometimes people only see the gruntwork parts of research, like you suggest. That probably won't help out in a person's medical future. However, there are plenty of other people getting fantastic knowlege of the research world prior to medicine.
     
  43. I think that's very well said. I've always believed that you really need to have your own, personal inspirations and motivations for going into medicine. Trust me, when it's 4 in the morning, you still have a ton of work to do, and you haven't had a decent night's sleep in days, you'd better be self-motivated...because nothing else will drive you, at that point. Hopefully, you're not simply in it for the money, or because your parents wanted you to be a doc, or whatever.

    Medicine is an incredibly intense field, and as with many things in life, what you put into it is what you get out...having said that, it does take a certain type of person to be able to remain compassionate and empathetic through all of the stress and work and turmoil.

    Ah yes. :) Wait until some of the more brutal rotations in third or fourth year (especially in surgery or OB/GYN), when you commonly will work 90-100 hours a week, being on call every 3 days. Brutal, I tell you.

    That is a very succinct post, yet incredibly insightful! Very well-put! :clap:
     
  44. By the way, I'd argue that some degree of research (whether it be bench work, publications, presentations, whatever) is necessary for the more competitive residencies out there. Just something to consider...
     

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