chemie02

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Hi everyone ~

I'm kind of confused about what to do with myself, career-wise, and hopefully someone out there has some advice or has been or knows people in a similar situation??

I'm still relatively young-ish (24), but there are so many options out there that whenever I start thinking about things too much, I just end up overwhelmed and feeling unable to make a decision.

So I went to a tech school for undergrad that was heavily focused on research. Following graduation, I was still kind of confused about what I wanted to do but decided to apply to chem grad school cuz I had my degree in chem. i took a year off between the two and worked at a pharmaceutical company for a year in medicinal chemistry. i really liked the whole concept of medicinal chem. thought it was really cool and useful to the public!

After that, I still wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but it seemed as though what i *should* do was go to grad school since i'd already applied, been accepted into a good program, and really liked school, etc. but i hated chem grad school. i found it very depressing to be in lab all day with the # of hours worked, and people seemed kind of bitter, stressed, and unfriendly to me. so i ended up leaving. now i'm working, but i'm not sure what to do next.

i've considered pharm or med school but honestly, i'm still torn between pharm/med/public health. there are just so many options! does anyone have any suggestions as to how to make a decision? :eek:

i think i am still interested in research but not nearly as hard-core as grad school was. it's more like i enjoy learning about new things and talking about that with other people. as for chem or bio, i don't really have a huge pref. i just liked drawing molecules, which is why i chose chem :)

so this might sound idealistic, but i want to be able to make some kind of impact on people, and health care seems like a good route to go since what is more important than a person's health? i don't know... i feel like once you're a health professional $$ isn't so much an issue since ppl in any of those professions make a lot once they start practicing.

yikes, does anyone have any advice? i know this is so broad, but i'm confused as to how someone chooses a career??
 

efex101

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why not all? meaning you could apply for an M.D/Ph.D (combined program) or even the M.D/MPH. Many schools offer these degrees and from watching my colleagues pursuing the M.D/Ph.D it seems to be very rewarding for the same reasons you mentioned. You could also do research with just the M.D so that is an option as well. I am considering either pursuing the MPH (after second or third year) or maybe a master's in clinical research. So there is always a lot of options for those interested in both research and the clinical aspect of medicine. Good luck!
 

ntmed

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efex101 said:
why not all?
I agree with efex101. Your interests are not necessarily mutually exclusive. You can be a physician with an extra focus in pharmacology or public health.
chemie02 said:
i've considered pharm or med school but honestly, i'm still torn between pharm/med/public health. there are just so many options!
What is it that you like or dislike about these areas?
 
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chemie02

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ntmed said:
I agree with efex101. Your interests are not necessarily mutually exclusive. You can be a physician with an extra focus in pharmacology or public health.What is it that you like or dislike about these areas?
Hey guys - thanks for the input... I guess I'm just intimidated by the length of all these programs aka MD/PhD being 10 years, especially since i'd like to have a family someday as well.

I'm not really sure how I feel about taking blood, being so hands-on with patient's bodies, and actually being responsible for a person's life, which is part of the reason i was leaned towards research over medicine.

I like health since it's a direct way of helping other people, and I like learning about how the body works. I esp. like chemistry, seemed a little more quantitative than bio to me, which is why i was leaning towards pharm.

however my older cousin warned me that pharmicists do not get as much interaction with patients, and if a doctor writes an incorrect prescription, there's not much as a pharmicist you can do except fill the prescription, which bothered me.

i guess i'm not sure what my priorities are at this point... shorter program (pharm) vs. longer process/program (med), and since i'm not sure what to do, pharm seems like a middle investment??

i think i'm more interested in drug development or neurological research. the brain is such an interesting organ. don't know what pathway to take for that that is NOT pure research

are you in a med program now efex101?
 

ntmed

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chemie02 said:
however my older cousin warned me that pharmicists do not get as much interaction with patients, and if a doctor writes an incorrect prescription, there's not much as a pharmicist you can do except fill the prescription, which bothered me.
That sounds a bit parochial. Are you sure this is what your cousin meant? If a nurse gets an order she doesn't understand or agree with, she'll ask the MD for confirmation. If a pharmacist gets a script he doesn't understand or agree with, he'll call the MD and ask for clarification. In my experience, this type of input is welcomed.

You have to decide what role you want to have: research or clinical. From your comments, it sounds like you're leaning toward research. That's fine. But if you want to be sure, it might be a good idea to do some clinical volunteer work. Contact the volunteer office at most any hospital and volunteer in the ER or some other clinical department. See if you like it.
chemie02 said:
I guess I'm just intimidated by the length of all these programs aka MD/PhD being 10 years, especially since i'd like to have a family someday as well.
I got a PhD before I started medical school. But IMHO, I don't think you should consider an MD/PhD, unless you have some very specific interests. You don't need a combined degree to do research. The AAMC has some info on the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). Check out the MSTP forum at SDN as well.
 
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chemie02

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hey - yea think you're right about the cousin.. i think in his field (optometry) he prolly hasn't had much interaction with pharmicists, so perhaps that is his viewpoint.

Thanks for the link to the medical scientist! I'll def check it out :)

What did you get your Ph.D in? How are you liking med school now?

ntmed said:
That sounds a bit parochial. Are you sure this is what your cousin meant? If a nurse gets an order she doesn't understand or agree with, she'll ask the MD for confirmation. If a pharmacist gets a script he doesn't understand or agree with, he'll call the MD and ask for clarification. In my experience, this type of input is welcomed.

You have to decide what role you want to have: research or clinical. From your comments, it sounds like you're leaning toward research. That's fine. But if you want to be sure, it might be a good idea to do some clinical volunteer work. Contact the volunteer office at most any hospital and volunteer in the ER or some other clinical department. See if you like it.
I got a PhD before I started medical school. But IMHO, I don't think you should consider an MD/PhD, unless you have some very specific interests. You don't need a combined degree to do research. The AAMC has some info on the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). Check out the MSTP forum at SDN as well.
 
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chemie02

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Hey - so if you don't need a combined degree to do research, what kind of qualifications do you need? I'm pretty interested in the brain, so that would be what i'd consider aka neurological diseases, but i don't necessarily want to be a brain surgeon. I just think it'd be cool to learn more about the brain as an organ


I got a PhD before I started medical school. But IMHO, I don't think you should consider an MD/PhD, unless you have some very specific interests. You don't need a combined degree to do research. The AAMC has some info on the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). Check out the MSTP forum at SDN as well.[/QUOTE]
 

ntmed

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chemie02 said:
What did you get your Ph.D in? How are you liking med school now?
My PhD is in Computer Science. I love medical school. I'm in my 4th year now, so it's almost over.