Serving the People
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Jun 25, 2008
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Well folks, it's official. The department of commerce has officially declared that we've been in a recession since late 2007 and that our economy has shed over 500,000 jobs last month. At this rate, we are set to lose almost 2 million jobs this quarter while unemployment will hit a 16 year high.

From what I'm hearing, the law firm where I used to work is on the verge of bankruptcy and most of the lateral staff are being laid-off. A lot of my friends who used to work at Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley are unemployed and living with their parents. Right now, I feel like I've dodged a bullet because I managed to find a job at a hospital right before the economy imploded. Smart move on my part, even though it doesn't pay as much as my old job, I would have probably been laid off by now if I had stuck with it.

Given the fact that there are millions of our skilled, highly educated colleagues out in the workforce with no job prospects or use for their hard-earned JDs, MBAs, and Master's, has this thought ever occurred to you: aren't you glad you decided to switch careers? I mean, sure we are looking at a ten-year training during which time, we'll be forking over $200,000 for the privilege of working for minimum wage. But it's times like these that I feel downright smart for having choosen this path instead of the alternatives.
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Perpetual Student
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2004
Somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
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  1. Medical Student
One of the perks of medicine is it's relatively good job security. That said, I'm surprised how hard the current recession has been on people. People that I thought would never find be unemployed---namely the elite JD and MBA people---are out on the streets. I guess no one is truly 'safe'. But that's the risk they take for picking a career with more salary potential than medicine, they also incur more risk.

I'm not sure I'm "glad" that I switched careers because of the recession, but I am glad I'm in a career which is more recession-proof than my old one.


10+ Year Member
May 15, 2008
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  1. Attending Physician
There might be more medical school applicants starting in a year (or three) due to people opting for a "safer" career in medicine vs. those crazy high flying finance jobs. This might make admissions a little more difficult.


Will Hug Without Warning
10+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2008
Columbus, OH
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I'm happy for the change but my decision was based on the amount of personal satisfaction I am lacking in my current career.


10+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2008
my own little world
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Would agree, I too am looking to change more for personal satisfaction than any other reason.

My experience - having substantial, specialized experience, I did not have difficulty finding a great, fulfilling, position within a few months of starting a search. Yes some sectors will get (or are getting) hammered, but there are plenty of infrastructure type positions that are actually pretty secure -- I'd never want this position, but think accounting manager -- per a recruiter, these guys are gold if they've got a few years experience; very short supply due to limited entrants around the enron time period.

I've found the same thing for a number of similar business infrastructure roles..but Im' still glad to go into medicine!


The Ultimate Blindian
10+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2007
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I agree with all of you in that I turned to medicine to find more personal satisfaction than what I had as an I-banker. However, as I look back over the 3 years that it took me to get through the postbac I attended and now medical school, I really gave up a lot. I essentially repeated my undergrad, gave up a fantastic guy because we just couldn't move to be near each other because we both started our journey to our careers late, and am now giving up my sanity for something that I hope will be worth it. I spent two years doing clinical research which confirmed that I'm in the right field but when I sit drawing out the TCA cycle for the 10th time while trying to get over a breakup and watching all my other friends have babies and get married, it just doesn't seem worth it. Maybe because I'm in the mood to sulk, but it's hard to see perspective when you feel like all your other friends, seem to be moving forward with your life while you try and learn minutae that may or may not ever help your patients. So when my friends talk about coming home and relaxing with their sig others while watching TV or going out to the bar for happy hour, it's hard to understand what all of this sacrifice is for.

But then again, I wouldn't give up this for another day on the trading floor, for just about anything.....


10+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2008
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I completely agree. After one year of law school, I am now enrolled at SFSU for my postbac. To quote my former coworker,
"I had to make a choice between two men, a JD and an MD. Even though he was not as charismatic nor handsome, I married the latter because there are unemployed attorneys, but I have never seen a doctor on EDD."
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