cutemom2012

5+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2013
12
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Pre-Medical
Hi all!
After mannnnnny hours of trolling, I am finally posting. :)

Background:
BA from 4 year university
MS in Occupational therapy

Undergrad GPA: 3.94, MS: 4.0

The long and short of it: I've wanted to be a doctor my whole life. I have always been fascinated by medicine and helping people. I got married and moved States and applied for OT haphazardly, because I wanted to start school right away, everyone else convinced me that this was the right profession for me, etc, etc. Well, I hated grad school from day 1, worked as an OT for less than a month and hated it. Decided that I should purse my dream of always wanting to be a doctor.

I started looking into signing up for pre-reqs. I also started volunteering in the ER which absolutely sucks because I hate all the humbling tasks (so maybe I wouldn't survive medical school and residency?) and I just want to be on the "other side" already. Another drawback is that we live in a state where we have no friends or family, as my husband is here doing a residency and that's the sole reason why we live here. So he's pretty much never around. Oh, did I mention I have 2 kids under age 3?

I just feel overwhelmed at the prospect of going to medical school. I THINK it's what I want, but now I'm not so sure. Do I want 7+ years of sheer stress with an absentee husband and 2 kids to be raised by a nanny? Everyone keeps telling me "only YOU can make this decision". Well gee...thanks. If it was so easy, I would have decided already.

SO fellow student doctor friends, please help me make up my mind. I am so confused and overwhelmed, I just feel like throwing in the towel. Oh, and NP or PA not happening...if I do it, I'm going all the way.

Thanks in advance!
 

katiemaude

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Apr 5, 2010
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You are still a long way off from applying to medical school, so you have time to carefully evaluate your decision. And the majority of the prereqs you take will also count for PA school, should you change your mind later.

I don't think it's anyone else's job to persuade or dissuade you from medical school. Taking the prereqs, volunteering and shadowing will give you more insight but the one thing that convinced me I wanted med school or bust was working in a hospital as a nursing assistant - if you can do it while working as an OT, all the better for you! So I'm recommending working in a hospital while you contemplate your navel. I have worked with physicians of myriad specialties and PAs, and doing so has helped me conclude that they are both great jobs but very different and there are pluses and minuses. (The pluses/minuses tipped me toward medical school, but we are not in the same situation.) Search though some of the PA vs MD threads for more insight if you need it.

That said, I would have probably gone PA if I had two young kids at home. I've always wanted a family and for whatever reason that is not where my life went... I am doing this without a husband or children to take with me. Personally, I'd rather have more time for my kids in that case. But that's a purely PERSONAL assessment. Medical students, residents and physicians who are women give birth and raise children, too. Maybe check out their stories for more insight on that level. Don't take it from my n=1.

It seems like you want to be a physician or... nothing? I don't think it's an all-or-nothing choice. There are lots of jobs in healthcare that are fulfilling that don't require you to be a doctor. Some of the CRNAs I know are among the happiest people I know. Same for some PAs (one is an orthopedic PA, the other works in family practice). I am not mentioning NP or CRNA as alternative only because it requires a different set of prereqs and nursing experience.
 
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mspeedwagon

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Oct 20, 2009
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Your plan of attack is very simple. Take the pre-reqs, take the MCAT and, if you still want to do it, go for it and apply. You'll forever regret not taking the risk if this is something you really want to do. That said, is you don't want to do menial tasks and just be on the other side immediately, medicine is not the profession for you. The PI I work with retired and in his last year he used to say, "I'm completing my 30th year of fellowship." You are looking at doing menial tasks for at least a decade, if not longer. Also, don't worry too much about the kids. You'll be ready for med school when your kids are ready for school, so the timing can work.
 
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didymus

5+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2013
447
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Midwestern, US
I think a semester of pre-reqs is in order to help you decide. Jump into your first set of classes: Physics 1, Bio 1, and Chem 1, and see how it goes. In the midst of this first semester, shadow a family doctor (or a few of them), aiming to get 3-5 shifts of shadowing in (or knock out a week of it over Spring Break), and maybe consider keeping your volunteer gig. This will expose you straight away to how busy you can expect to be for the next many years of your life. It will put you back into studying full-time, which is essential, and also give you some insight into what being a doctor looks like (although, did you say your husband is a medical resident?).

At the very least, do the full-time class thing for one semester and shadow a PCP. If you find yourself doing well, enjoying science, and liking what you see in a no-nonsense family medicine setting, rinse and repeat.
 
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Jay K

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1) pursue your desire, be a physician
2) +/- stay married to current spouse
3) your children will survive

I don't see how you'll be happy otherwise, and as the adage goes... "unhappy wife, unhappy life..."
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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No, you should not go to medical school. Yeah, you want it, but you want it the same way that I wanted to be an astronaut: in my dreams. I didn't want to have to deal with the training, have surgery to correct my vision, take medication to overcome the motion sickness, etc. I loved the idea of being an astronaut (still do, FWIW), but I wasn't willing to do what it would take to make my dream a reality. Neither are you.

Medical training sucks. You don't like eating the proverbial s*** hotdog as an ED volunteer, but you think you're going to somehow go through 7+ years of medical training and feel like you're living your life's dream? That ain't how it works. Medicine is a strict hierarchy. You start at the bottom, you pay your dues, and you advance slowly up the chain. All of those years while you're at the bottom or in the middle, you do the "humbling tasks." Every day. And when you reach the top, you still do them. Like I tell the patients when they make a face about getting a rectal exam, hey, it ain't so great being on this end of the finger either. But us both feeling unexcited about the prospect of me sticking my finger where their sun don't shine doesn't change the fact that they still need the exam done. So drop them drawers and let's get on with it.

Before you waste another minute of your time or a cent of your money on a post bac, I'd suggest doing a lot more shadowing and/or volunteering in a clinical setting. Because you have to really want to be a physician in order to suck up the decade of training (including post bac) it's going to take until you "reach the other side already." You're luckier than most though; you have a husband who is a resident. Why don't you try shadowing him? Besides seeing what medical training is really like, it might give you some additional appreciation for what his day to day challenges are like.
 

ObLaDi

Now back to the good part
7+ Year Member
Jun 1, 2010
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OP, I'm curious what it was you hated so much about being an OT only a month after you started working...
 

cutemom2012

5+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2013
12
2
Status
Pre-Medical
I so appreciate everyone's replies.
To clarify:
What I disliked about OT is that it's pretty "fluffy" and didn't seem scientific to me. E.g. Improving cutting skills by 3/4"??? Really? And in acute/sub-acute rehab, I didn't feel fulfilled helping patients with activities of daily living -- i.e. why did I do a full-time Master's degree to help someone get dressed or get on the toilet? Even settings like mental health, I felt like a glorified rec. therapist. (Not to knock them, just wasn't for me).

I always felt "at home" in a clinic or hospital setting. I do feel a "calling" for medicine but when I read blogs and forums like this, the driven-me suddenly backs down. My husband can't understand why I would want this...he hates the endless hours he spends at the hospital as a resident. I have shadowed doctors, I come from a family of doctors. No one would be disappointed if I didn't pursue medicine -- just myself. I don't want to waste time taking pre-reqs if I don't end up going.

I feel so torn because I'm scared to take the plunge, knowing all the sacrifices that come along with this lifestyle and 7+ years of stress. Anyone here have regrets or advise against going? It seems like 50% of the docs love it, 50% say choose something else. <sigh> WHAT to do.........
 

didymus

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Nov 3, 2013
447
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Listen, sister--with all due respect--you may never make it to become a doctor. So to say you don't want to do any pre-reqs if it isn't going to happen is an incredibly ludicrous thing to say.

You are participating on a forum where a huge number of us have put in a significant amount of work to pursue this dream of ours, and so few of us "know it will happen." We hope and pray it will, we work hard to achieve this incredible goal, but we also do it with a huge slice of humility.

In your two posts, you have already made it very clear that this is not something you should be going until you take a large step back and get some perspective. I'm normally very nice with folks, but I have a lesser amount of patience for someone with two posts on here acting incredulously towards people with actual knowledge and experience.
 

cutemom2012

5+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2013
12
2
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Pre-Medical
I meant, I don't want to take the pre-reqs if I decide NOT to pursue this. Of course I'm aware that with all the pre-reqs, a solid MCAT, excellent EC's, research experience, grades, etc. I may STILL get rejected...My question is whether or not to continue to TRY and pursue this dream. I have put in a lot of effort thus far with my ECs, having taken 1/2 of the pre-reqs, etc. I am simply wondering if it's really worth all of the stress and sacrifices for myself and for my family.
 

ObLaDi

Now back to the good part
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Jun 1, 2010
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If you are questioning the path this much, dislike grunt work/jumping through hoops, and find no fulfillment in "humbling" tasks like stocking gowns or helping someone to the toilet, I seriously doubt that you will be able to make it through the seven year slog. What is it about medicine in particular that you find appealing?
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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What I disliked about OT is that it's pretty "fluffy" and didn't seem scientific to me. E.g. Improving cutting skills by 3/4"??? Really? And in acute/sub-acute rehab, I didn't feel fulfilled helping patients with activities of daily living -- i.e. why did I do a full-time Master's degree to help someone get dressed or get on the toilet? Even settings like mental health, I felt like a glorified rec. therapist. (Not to knock them, just wasn't for me).
I was a chemist for ten years before I went to medical school. One of the things that most shocked me when I started my rotations the third year of med school was how unscientific medicine really is. People can talk about evidence-based medicine all they want, but fact remains that much of what we do in medicine is based on experience, anecdote, theory, and personal preference.

I always felt "at home" in a clinic or hospital setting. I do feel a "calling" for medicine but when I read blogs and forums like this, the driven-me suddenly backs down. My husband can't understand why I would want this...he hates the endless hours he spends at the hospital as a resident. I have shadowed doctors, I come from a family of doctors. No one would be disappointed if I didn't pursue medicine -- just myself. I don't want to waste time taking pre-reqs if I don't end up going.
Like I said before, you don't want the reality of "this." You want the dream of this.

I feel so torn because I'm scared to take the plunge, knowing all the sacrifices that come along with this lifestyle and 7+ years of stress. Anyone here have regrets or advise against going? It seems like 50% of the docs love it, 50% say choose something else. <sigh> WHAT to do.........
If I could do it all again, I'd have done pharmacy instead. Would have knocked years off my training time, could still do the kind of work I want to do. And I'll gladly argue that pharmacy is way more based on science than medicine is.

In your case, I'd say the question is less whether you should go to med school (seems like a no-brainer to me), and more what career you should pursue instead. One option is to see if there's a niche in OT that fits you better than your last job did; a month isn't very long to give the entire gamut of OT practice a fighting chance. But if you're sure there's no OT job at all that you'd want to do, then what other interests do you have?
 
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darklabel

PGWhy
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Jan 11, 2012
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I meant, I don't want to take the pre-reqs if I decide NOT to pursue this. Of course I'm aware that with all the pre-reqs, a solid MCAT, excellent EC's, research experience, grades, etc. I may STILL get rejected...My question is whether or not to continue to TRY and pursue this dream. I have put in a lot of effort thus far with my ECs, having taken 1/2 of the pre-reqs, etc. I am simply wondering if it's really worth all of the stress and sacrifices for myself and for my family.
Are you ok with the prospect of moving if you don't get into any of the schools around the area?

Also, once your husband is done with residency and has a job in the area, is he willing to move for you?

Are you kids ok with possibly moving and not seeing you nearly as much? (You also have stated you have no family support here).

And if you and your husband are always busy, who will take care of the kids? A nanny? Are you ok with that/can afford it? (Your husband is only a resident, which doesn't pay much yet and post-bacc's cost money).

Its a personal decision and no one on SDN can make it. But why to prove something to yourself, you have to become a doctor? I've never really understood this train of thought. I just don't see the justification for the amount of sacrifices you'll have to make for this journey from your perspective. If you really want it and you're family is 110% behind you then go for the pre-reqs. The biggest hurdle is the willingness to move, imo. Seriously, this is a very understated big deal because in medical school admissions, the likelihood of you being accepted at just your local MD school is pretty small and having to work all this hard and getting an acceptance, just to have to turn it down because its too far would suck.

Think hard about this and remember that no matter your decision, whether it is to be a physician or not, shouldn't make you feel inferior in any way.
 

squat

Living the dream
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Apr 24, 2010
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You're either all in or your not. Some day you might find yourself ready to be "all in," but as of today, you definitely aren't. Take some time to explore the concepts of Happiness and Self. They might just bump you onto the premed path, or they might take you somewhere all together different.
 

didymus

5+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2013
447
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I meant, I don't want to take the pre-reqs if I decide NOT to pursue this. Of course I'm aware that with all the pre-reqs, a solid MCAT, excellent EC's, research experience, grades, etc. I may STILL get rejected...My question is whether or not to continue to TRY and pursue this dream. I have put in a lot of effort thus far with my ECs, having taken 1/2 of the pre-reqs, etc. I am simply wondering if it's really worth all of the stress and sacrifices for myself and for my family.
But, clearly, the point of taking the pre-reqs, in large part, is to help you decide. You need to jump back in to being a student--and you need to see what it's like to be a science student, with a full load of classes, along with EC's, and family, and so on. This will help you know, without the burden of massive debt, if you want to do this "whole thing."

Also, the main way to decide if you want to endure the stress and sacrifice is to determine what the benefit of being a doctor is that you so desire. Is it just personal fulfillment? Is it prestige? Proving something to someone? The salary? The science? The leadership/responsibility/complexity? Being an expert in a field? What?
 

solitarius

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I agree with what Q said.

I'd also add that you don't seem to want pay your dues and want to dictate your life on your terms. I don't see anything about medicine that will accommodate either goal. I'm also just not getting a vibe that service to others would gel with you, and AdComs may pick up on that too.
 

Darth Doc

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Jun 22, 2013
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I agree with those above who say you're not ready... yet. I wasn't ready after my BS degree or my MS. I wasn't even ready a few years ago when I thought about going back and bought MCAT study books. I wasn't ready until about 6 months ago to take the plunge. Saying no now doesn't mean saying no forever. It just means that you have enough doubt that it's the right time that it's best to postpone things a while. You have a lot going on in your life that's concerning you and making you doubt the timing. If going to medical school is the right thing for you and your family, you have to really know it. You have to be fully comfortable with your decision and the sacrifice you'll be asking them to make.
 
Sep 8, 2013
76
48
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi all!
After mannnnnny hours of trolling, I am finally posting. :)

Background:
BA from 4 year university
MS in Occupational therapy

Undergrad GPA: 3.94, MS: 4.0

The long and short of it: I've wanted to be a doctor my whole life. I have always been fascinated by medicine and helping people. I got married and moved States and applied for OT haphazardly, because I wanted to start school right away, everyone else convinced me that this was the right profession for me, etc, etc. Well, I hated grad school from day 1, worked as an OT for less than a month and hated it. Decided that I should purse my dream of always wanting to be a doctor.

I started looking into signing up for pre-reqs. I also started volunteering in the ER which absolutely sucks because I hate all the humbling tasks (so maybe I wouldn't survive medical school and residency?) and I just want to be on the "other side" already. Another drawback is that we live in a state where we have no friends or family, as my husband is here doing a residency and that's the sole reason why we live here. So he's pretty much never around. Oh, did I mention I have 2 kids under age 3?

I just feel overwhelmed at the prospect of going to medical school. I THINK it's what I want, but now I'm not so sure. Do I want 7+ years of sheer stress with an absentee husband and 2 kids to be raised by a nanny? Everyone keeps telling me "only YOU can make this decision". Well gee...thanks. If it was so easy, I would have decided already.

SO fellow student doctor friends, please help me make up my mind. I am so confused and overwhelmed, I just feel like throwing in the towel. Oh, and NP or PA not happening...if I do it, I'm going all the way.

Thanks in advance!
I just wanted to say Bravo to you, you are actually incredible to have your GPA and have the load you have had with being a wife, mother of 2 under the age of 3 and taking the prereqs and graduate course work for OT school, and doing amazing in them! I knew someone who was in a similar situation, but it was worse cause she was divorced and literally could not apply to more than 2 schools because of shared custody. She still applied because to her there was nothing else she wanted to do, but become a physician. Obviously the decision is entirely yours to make. There is no doubt that you can get in somewhere if you wanted, the question is if you want to?
 
Mar 9, 2013
235
241
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I'm a parent and starting med school next fall. I haven't started classes yet, so obviously my perspective is limited by that but I agree with what a previous poster said about med school being easier once your kids are school aged.

Do you have any of the pre reqs for med school? If you only have a few left to do you can do it a class or two at a time and see how it goes.

Once you get to applying - There are also some med schools that are more 'family friendly' in the first two years at least - with half day schedules. There are also some residency programs that are considered to be more family friendly.

If you want to be a doctor, I think you can find ways to make it work.
 

cutemom2012

5+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2013
12
2
Status
Pre-Medical
I want to thank everyone for your replies.
I have gotten more used to doing the menial tasks in the ER and I really enjoy the environment.
I think for now, I am going to slowly take pre-reqs but not apply until my husband is finished his residency (this is only year 2 of 6 for him). We also want to have more kids so I think it would be best until we are finished having them and they are in school before I actually go. It seems it would be "easier", albeit not easy! It's just being in a state where the state school favors their residents and the tuition being substantially cheaper than other schools, it seemed appealing for me to get things moving. (Once my husband is done his residency, we're moving back to the east coast -- in the Midwest now).
I guess there truly is no perfect timing...
 

Meadow10

5+ Year Member
May 12, 2010
14
0
Status
Rehab Sci Student
I have been wanting to be an OT for ten years but I have not gone because of the loans. Does anyone have any advice about whether this wAs the right decision?
 

073116

2+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2016
228
142
Status
Medical Student
I want to be a millionaire, but I don't want to save money, or study business, economics, work my way to it early, I just want it all, right now and right here. I'm sick of looking at working people, they are peasants. they don't have millions like I want to have. I tried saving and driving cheap cars, but I didn't like it - I mean saving on a car a couple of thousands dollars? Really?! I want to have it all! Advise me please what to do and help me change my mind as I think I have a calling to be a millionair
Sounds familiar? ;) Either that or "after many hours of trolling" I think you may be still trolling us :)
 

Newtonian21

2+ Year Member
May 11, 2016
137
42
Hi all!
After mannnnnny hours of trolling, I am finally posting. :)

Background:
BA from 4 year university
MS in Occupational therapy

Undergrad GPA: 3.94, MS: 4.0

The long and short of it: I've wanted to be a doctor my whole life. I have always been fascinated by medicine and helping people. I got married and moved States and applied for OT haphazardly, because I wanted to start school right away, everyone else convinced me that this was the right profession for me, etc, etc. Well, I hated grad school from day 1, worked as an OT for less than a month and hated it. Decided that I should purse my dream of always wanting to be a doctor.

I started looking into signing up for pre-reqs. I also started volunteering in the ER which absolutely sucks because I hate all the humbling tasks (so maybe I wouldn't survive medical school and residency?) and I just want to be on the "other side" already. Another drawback is that we live in a state where we have no friends or family, as my husband is here doing a residency and that's the sole reason why we live here. So he's pretty much never around. Oh, did I mention I have 2 kids under age 3?

I just feel overwhelmed at the prospect of going to medical school. I THINK it's what I want, but now I'm not so sure. Do I want 7+ years of sheer stress with an absentee husband and 2 kids to be raised by a nanny? Everyone keeps telling me "only YOU can make this decision". Well gee...thanks. If it was so easy, I would have decided already.

SO fellow student doctor friends, please help me make up my mind. I am so confused and overwhelmed, I just feel like throwing in the towel. Oh, and NP or PA not happening...if I do it, I'm going all the way.

Thanks in advance!
Don't get me wrong. How about you focus on taking care of those kids for now and be the mom that would shape their life why hubby is always out there? I mean for now and then start classes slowly when you can. You already have something to do you're not a high school dropout. Those kids need someone not nanny. My 2c.
 

Newtonian21

2+ Year Member
May 11, 2016
137
42
Don't get me wrong. How about you focus on taking care of those kids for now and be the mom that would shape their life why hubby is always out there? I mean for now and then start classes slowly when you can. You already have something to do you're not a high school dropout. Those kids need someone not nanny. My 2c.
Even most doctors don't like what they do but you gotta suck it up and stick with OT for now. People become good at what they do with repetition and practice.
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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I want to be a millionaire,
Me too....only wait, I *am* willing to save money, study economics and live frugally. That s*** works, especially when coupled with a six figure salary. Who knew?

In all seriousness, you all do realize that this thread is three years old, right? :eyebrow:
 
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