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jhan719

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Hi all,

I'm a 26-year old guy who just recently graduated with his masters in music. (I'm a choral conductor and a pianist.)

My brief story is this: I was a biology/pre-med major in undergrad, and doubled with a music degree. By my fourth year of college, I have taken all the necessary courses and took the MCAT once. But I decided to drop everything to pursue professional music. I was thrilled, and honestly was one of the best decisions I've ever made because I was indulging what I feel very passionate in doing. So I took two more years of college (six years total of undergrad) to finish my music education degree and I also just finished up my biology degree because, at the time, I only had two more classes left to finish. After that I went to grad school in music and finished that up. I'm working professionally as a classical musician and I don't have much of a problem having a stable job and making money.

But, recently I've been thinking of wanting to go to medical school again... the lack of intellectual stimulation and problem-solving in music is sort of causing a concern to me. I've started to study for the MCAT again and it's really revitalizing and inspiring. I've even made potentially plans to do an SMP, so that I can bolster myself up for medical school. And with the money I save up, I could lessen the potential amount of loans I take out. I'm really torn in between becoming a doctor or a university music professor. I don't regret the road that I've gone so far because I feel like the education I received and the life experiences I got out from being a musician really enhanced my maturity level and attitude towards the medical profession. (In hindsight, I definitely was NOT at the right mindset to go to med school right after undergrad). However, if I do become a doctor, I definitely want to have some sort of musical life outside of work. Or find some sort of way to use music to enlighten the moods of my patients. I mean, it sounds cheesy, but one of the reasons why I love being in the music field is because it makes people's lives a little less miserable.

I guess my question is this: Do you think it's worth pursuing medical school, residency, and everything that comes with it at this time based on the information you find above? Or do you think I'm better off to keep doing what I love but live with the lack of intellectual stimulation?
 

paradoxic_toxic

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    It's not too late to pursue a career in medicine. Schools tend to like nontrad students with passions that lie outside of medicine/sciences.

    What is your cGPA/sGPA?

    You might not need to do an SMP. SMPs are high risk, high reward and should be considered as a last resort option to get into med school.

    The best thing you can do right now is to shadow a primary care physician and/or a specialist (for a total of ~50 hours) to learn about the ins and outs of the profession. If you find that you enjoy your experience(s), then ask for a letter of recommendation and plan your journey from there. Perhaps look into clinical volunteering at your local hospital for a few hours per week.
     
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    jhan719

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    It's not too late to pursue a career in medicine. Schools tend to like nontrad students with passions that lie outside of medicine/sciences.

    What is your cGPA/sGPA?

    You might not need to do an SMP. SMPs are high risk, high reward and should be considered as a last resort option to get into med school.

    The best thing you can do right now is to shadow a primary care physician and/or a specialist (for a total of ~50 hours) to learn about the ins and outs of the profession. If you find that you enjoy your experience(s), then ask for a letter of recommendation and plan your journey from there. Perhaps look into clinical volunteering at your local hospital for a few hours per week.

    My cGPA is 3.5 and my sGPA is 3.3.

    I did well on my prereqs (A's in everything except I got a B in bio 2), but it went downhill when I took my upper level science classes because I made that transition to pursue music instead, so I kind of didn't put all the effort I could've for them. Plus, they were very difficult. (e.g. advanced genetics, cell biology, bioinformatics). I do believe that I could do well in an SMP program if I put my mind to it. I was assuming that that was the best route for me because I could 1) increase my GPA, 2) get rec letters, and 3) gain clinical experience since those are the things that are lacking from my application.

    But before I even do that, I was going to work for a year or two to rack up some savings. I could shadow a physician during that time.
     

    Nugester

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    ... the lack of intellectual stimulation and problem-solving in music is sort of causing a concern to me.

    There are areas outside of medicine that can intellectually stimulate (programming, engineering etc). You could possibly pursue a PhD or masters.

    ... the lack of intellectual stimulation and problem-solving in music is sort of causing a concern to me.
    I guess my question is this: Do you think it's worth pursuing medical school, residency, and everything that comes with it at this time based on the information you find above? Or do you think I'm better off to keep doing what I love but live with the lack of intellectual stimulation?

    That answers it for me. If you want to confirm, you can shadow like paradoxic_toxic recommended and hey, maybe MD is for you.
     

    MuddyTires

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    Do what you love and find another way of intellectual stimulation.

    There are ways of pursuing musical therapy type careers - this may be a good option for you as well.

    Only do MD/DO if it’s the only thing you can see yourself doing because the hours, money, and stress that go into it are not worth it if it’s not in your heart to pursue beyond doubt.
     
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    Alkaidius

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    My cGPA is 3.5 and my sGPA is 3.3.

    I did well on my prereqs (A's in everything except I got a B in bio 2), but it went downhill when I took my upper level science classes because I made that transition to pursue music instead, so I kind of didn't put all the effort I could've for them. Plus, they were very difficult. (e.g. advanced genetics, cell biology, bioinformatics). I do believe that I could do well in an SMP program if I put my mind to it. I was assuming that that was the best route for me because I could 1) increase my GPA, 2) get rec letters, and 3) gain clinical experience since those are the things that are lacking from my application.

    But before I even do that, I was going to work for a year or two to rack up some savings. I could shadow a physician during that time.

    If you didn’t get any Cs, while that GPA is below average, I have seen people get in with it. I’m not too concerned about your “passion” for medicine. People talk about it as a requirement a bunch, but you have thousands of undergrads fresh out of college pursuing medicine when they don’t really know the first thing about it... It’s something you can develop over time and has been the case for most people I know. The key here is that you seem to enjoy science, want mental stimulation, and aren’t antisocial.

    That said, what worries me is you juggling your passions. Even if you enjoy medicine, medical school is time intensive enough that music may wind up getting side-lined, which could be distressing. There’s a reason medical students get depressed so often. After all, you’ll be going through at least 7 years where your studies are gonna have to be at the forefront of everything. So I’d recommend that you look a bit into the process you’d be experiencing in medical school (just some people’s stories and firsthand experiences) and then imagine yourself experiencing 2-3x that work (everyone I know and I basically have blacked out all the worst parts that we’d rather not remember lol).

    Another thing to consider, PA school could have what you’re looking for, as well. Since you’re taking a couple of years to build up your app anyway, you could focus on the clinical parts, and get those couple thousand hours they require. I think you’d have a significantly easier time balancing your music with your studies on this path. A lot of people pursue PA because of the more lenient lifestyle/debt, so if you ever want to find a healthy balance, that could be your best bet with the least risk.
     
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