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Clients vs. Patients???

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MDlawyer, Dec 10, 2002.

  1. MDlawyer

    MDlawyer Member
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    To all lawyers that are going to get their MD---

    How is the interaction with patients as an MD more satisfying than your interaction as a lawyer with clients?

    Thank you for your input.
     
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  3. Camden772

    Camden772 Senior Member
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    WoW!! You find your interaction with your clients satisfying? You must have very different clients than I do! ;)

    All kidding aside, I think a lot of it will depend on what kind of law you practice now and what kind of medicine you will practice.

    I don't know what kind of law you practice now, but there are areas where you can definitely feel like being an advocate for your client is much like being a ***** for money. Now there are many areas of law where this isn't true and you are providing a valuable service to someone who needs it.

    You may not even have any patient contact when you practice medicine. There are specialties in medicine, Pathology for example, where you have no real patient exposure.

    Many physicians' patients are made up of a more diverse group of people than a lawyers' clients. But this is not always the case. Many lawyers work with a wide range of clients from all walks of life and many doctors only see patients from a certain socio-ecomonic background.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that it will be different for each one us (lawyers turned doctors). Some will have more contact with patients than they currently do with clients, some will have less. Some will feel like they are helping people more, others may feel like they are helping people just as much or less than when they practiced law. Some will see a more diverse group of people every day, others will not.

    I expect there will also be similiarities for some people who go from law to medicine. You will have patients that are grateful, just like you can have grateful clients. You will have patients that think they know as much as you do about medicine, just like you can have clients that think they know as much as you do about the law. You can have patients that bug you all of the time, just like you have clients that bug you all of the time. You can have patients that never come and see you, just like you have clients you never hear from and who never return your calls.

    Many Many differences, some similiarities. But it will all depend on what kind of law you practice and what kind of medicine you will practice.

    On the whole, I expect that what I will find more satisfying is that I am working in a field I care about and believe in.
     
  4. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    i have nothing to contribute here, i just want to congratulate you two for leaving "the dark side" :p

    :clap:
     
  5. Camden772

    Camden772 Senior Member
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    MDLawyer,

    What are your thoughts? Just curious since you started the thread.
     
  6. Deuce 007 MD

    Deuce 007 MD license to ill
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    Word em up. Step away from the dark side.
     
  7. MDlawyer

    MDlawyer Member
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    First, I wanted to thank everyone that has taken the time to respond to my post (and encourage more response in future!).

    I have always found it interesting that being a lawyer is considered by most as the "dark side." I know it is somewhat in jest, but there is some truth to it and there are also many exceptions.

    I hope I have been one of those exceptions. Basically, I sue HMOs. I also do some pro-bono work, helping indigent clients get healthcare benefits they deserve.
    ---
    I have always intended on going to medical school. During my first year of law school, I was also taking my premedical requirements. Thus, I was taking torts with Gen. Chem. My intention has always been to get both degrees.


    However, I have run into some apprehension from medical schools about my intension. First, schools seem to question if I am going to attend medical school and then go back to the "dark side" and use the information learned in medical school against fellow doctors. Second, I really do believe that the law degree and law background will help me be a better doctor (this may be naive). I feel I can be a better advocate for my patients, making sure they get the treatment they need. I also feel that the law background will enhance my ability to help fellow doctors and the healthcare industry make solid reform.

    I feel like I am truly helping people in my current job as a lawyer, but in no way does this inhibit my ambition to become a doctor. Most lawyers (that are going on to get an MD) have become disenchanted with the practice of law, concluding that the law degree was a mistake or the practice of law was not what they expected. I just find that my clinical and research experience has shown me that I must continue my journey to medical school. I find the patient interaction more satisfying than client interaction. I am having trouble articulating why patient interaction is more satisfying...For me both my lawyering job and being an MD help people in need.... But I feel I am on the sideline being a lawyer and it was never my intension to just be a lawyer.

    What would be the most effective way of expressing my earnest desire to become an MD when I am perceived as coming from the "dark side" and my motivations are under the highest scrutiny?

    Thanks again.
     
  8. Camden772

    Camden772 Senior Member
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    MDLawyer,

    I know it sounds trite, but the most effective way of expressing your desire is to be truthful. I do sense that you are having a tough time expressing why you went to law school and now want to go to medical school. But surely if you just sit down and think about it for a while you can come up with the answer.

    I really don't think you have to worry about being perceived as coming from the "Dark Side." Unless, you've been actively involved in suing hospitals and doctors, I highly doubt any adcomm will hold it against you (even then I think many, if not most, adcomms would still not hold it against you).

    If you can articulate what medicine offers that law doesn't, I think that would be good. Whether it's that you have more meaningful interactions with patients than you do with clients or that you find medicine more interesting than you find the law.

    I think -- and this is just a guess based on what you have said -- that the bigger problem is explaining why you went to law school in the first place. If your plan all along was to go to medical school, why did you get the law degree? I know you explained it a little in your post, but I'm still not sure how you plan to utilize the law degree. Are you planning on still practicing law in order to bring about reform? Are you planning on becoming active with lobbyist groups? When you say you can help doctors, do you mean by giving them legal advice as a practicing physician or a practicing lawyer? And are you planning on practicing medicine in addition to law, or just medicine, or just law?

    I don't think you need to answer all of these questions, but if you are going to tell medical schools that this was your plan all along, I think you need to show them that this was a well thought out and well reasoned plan. If you can't show them why you went to law school when you wanted to be a doctor, you just may leave them wondering whether you really know what you want. And you never want medical schools to have any doubts about your desire. I know it sounds silly that they might have doubts after you went through all the trouble of taking the MCAT, taking science courses in addition to your law classes (which I find very impressive by the way), volunteering, etc., but adcomms can be funny that way. I'm not trying to be negative. I just think you need to more effectively "sell" your original plan.

    And remember, I might not know what the hell I'm talking about. I just may be too dense to understand your plan, or you may have explained it quite well in your essays and interviews. I just get the feeling you're having trouble explaining your plan (or at least what it was when you started law school). And that's causing you more trouble than a perception that you are coming from or going to the "Dark Side." You may be right when you say they are concerned about your intentions. But not because they think you have bad intentions, it's just they don't understand your intentions or they're concerned that you don't know what you want. They are going to want specific reasons why you want to go to medical school now, and if you wanted to back in 1997, why you started out in law school. Only you can answer those questions.

    I really think you won't have a problem coming up with the answers. And it may very well be no one is concerned about your intentions. But if you're right and medical schools are concerned with your intentions, I think it's because you haven't laid them out well enough for them.

    Good Luck!!

    BTW, is all of this concern in response to a recent interview? If so, what happened? (You can PM me if you don't want to post it).
     

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