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Hi all,

I'm a semi-regular poster here. I created a new account specifically to talk about this, as some of my classmates would recognize my normal account and I'd rather this be anonymous.

Here goes. I'm considering dropping out. I never thought I would be thinking this, and always assumed medicine was really my passion. Now I think I may be coming to the realization that medicine wasn't my passion. Instead, getting into medical school was my passion. Now that I'm here (first semester), I really dislike nearly everyday of it. Now I feel like the only thing that is keeping me in it is the prospect of a grande paycheck at the end, but that's feeling less and less worth it everyday.

In conversation with others close friends and my significant other, I've often been mentioning how much I dislike medicine thus far, but have felt that it's too late to turn back. Now that I really think about it, now is actually a great time to turn back, as I only have one semester's worth of loans. If I wait much longer, it will become extremely financially prohibitive to do so, whereas now it is only mildly so.

As an undergraduate, I really liked doing research, and loved the thought process that went into my classes. I love coming up with new ideas in lab and carrying them out, and published papers doing so. For some reason, it never clicked with me just how much I would miss this lifestyle, and how little I would really like the material in medical school, patient interactions,i.e., pretty much the whole shebang. I've considered applying into the md/phd program at my school, but that to me doesn't make much sense as I'm interested in graduate school as a way out of medicine, so why combine them?

Here's where I'm at now. More time in medical school = more money in loans. So what I'm considering doing is asking for a leave of absence after this semester. This would accomplish several things. First, it would give me space from medical school to really think things through further. Then it would let me apply to graduate school, and go to the interviews, etc. Three, it would make it so that I'm not shooting myself in the foot should I decide otherwise, then come next year I'd have two options: going to graduate school or returning to medical school. And lastly, I wouldn't be taking out a whole pile of new loans to put in an extra semester into something that there is a good chance I don't even want to be doing.

Please offer your viewpoints or ask me questions, etc.
 

sunset823

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You have definitely thought this through a great deal, and your plan is a good one. I'm not one of those flowers and sunshine kind of people who says that medicine is the greatest thing ever or there is a big light at the end of the tunnel. If you really hate what you're doing, AND you have an alternative plan for your life that you know you'll enjoy (PhD + research), then by all means, now is the time to get out, as you said. Just realize that if you do so, there is almost no chance that you will be able to get back in. So, as you said, a LOA is a good idea. I've known a few people who have taken a LOA to figure out why they were in medicine, and ended up going back, but if you get into grad school and find you would be happy there, then you can leave without any regrets.

Whatever you do, :luck:
 

Bartelby

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Good plan. Take the LOA and follow your interests. I think you will one day look back on that as a great decision.

I had similar doubts and chose to stick with it (did not do even a LOA). I am pretty happy with medicine now in my third year, but I still don't find it as interesting as the stuff I studied in college. I also don't care much about the big paycheck, I feel like once I break ~60-80k the additional money doesn't do much for me (I come from a single parent family where we grew up with maybe a fifth of that each year), and I have often thought that I made the wrong decision. These days though I avoid thinking about it since there is no longer any real choice left and I have found myself pretty content.
 

OveractiveBrain

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I knew a guy from my undergrad class who worked his whole life to get into medical school. He was an organic chemistry major, got a 41 on his MCAT, and started at Wash U. Hated it. Quit. Went into PhD research in organic chemistry and now has several patents, papers as first author, and literally loving his life.

He realized that medical school wasnt for him in the first semester. Got out with only 35000 in loans to be repaid in the far distant future. He made the right decision in his case.

Here is something to consider, however. The first two years of medical school are atrocious. Your time is filled learning seemingly superfluous and nonsensical factoids that have no relevance in real life. I can tell you now, looking back, I am thankful for my hard work for it has created a fundamental change in my life's outlook. I learned how to absorb tons of material quickly and efficiently, learned how to read for "what's important," and solidified a foundation for me to develop into an excellent practitioner of medicine. I inherently understand disease and treatment so that reasoning is knee-jerk, not effortful. I would assume most 4th years medical students and beyond might agree with me. Do we remember the details of 1st and 2nd year? Nope. Is that knowledge inherent to our understanding without us realizing it? Yep.

The point is that you need to consider if its the first year of medical school you dont like, or is it the medical field. Medical school is a HUGE change from anyone's life before. I was used to working 13 days in a row before a 48 hour hiatus for two years. I found myself working harder and more hours in the first year of medical school.

Is it the change to something harder than you are used to you dont like, or the foreseeable outcome? Do you hate patients and the practice of medicine, or do you hate the way your school teaches you? On the other hand, if you detest what youre doing now, and would rather invest your 100 hours a week in a lab (there is no work-hour limit in grad school), its better to jump ship earlier rather than later.
 
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I knew a guy from my undergrad class who worked his whole life to get into medical school. He was an organic chemistry major, got a 41 on his MCAT, and started at Wash U. Hated it. Quit. Went into PhD research in organic chemistry and now has several patents, papers as first author, and literally loving his life.

He realized that medical school wasnt for him in the first semester. Got out with only 35000 in loans to be repaid in the far distant future. He made the right decision in his case.

That first part sounds a whole lot like me, and what I'd be hoping is that the second part (going to grad school and being real happy with it) would be me as well. I could really picture that being the case.
 

Rollo

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Definitely agree with your plan to take leave of absence, explore the research career, and see if you're happier there.

Also, big paycheck at the end is NOT a good motivator. The amount of time, hard work, and sacrifices you will be making along the way is not worth it if you won't be able to wake up every morning and looking forward to your day at the hospital/clinic.

I have no doubt that if you can't see yourself enjoying patient interaction, then there will be very little in medicine that you will actually enjoy.

Listen to your heart...and get out now if it is telling you to!
 

sideways

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Actually the big paycheck at the end is a tremendous motivator. For many, if not most, it's the only thing getting them through.
 
Nov 1, 2010
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Here's where I'm at now. More time in medical school = more money in loans. So what I'm considering doing is asking for a leave of absence after this semester. This would accomplish several things. First, it would give me space from medical school to really think things through further. Then it would let me apply to graduate school, and go to the interviews, etc. Three, it would make it so that I'm not shooting myself in the foot should I decide otherwise, then come next year I'd have two options: going to graduate school or returning to medical school. And lastly, I wouldn't be taking out a whole pile of new loans to put in an extra semester into something that there is a good chance I don't even want to be doing.

Please offer your viewpoints or ask me questions, etc.
As a person who has dropped out and then after three years went back to school, I can tell you this - I would not do it again.
BUT you seem like you have it all figured out, which was not the case with me.

I got into medical school when I was 18.
I was doing really well, I studied, I made friends, I did everything right, but it was all so overwhelming.
So I dropped out. After doing absolutely nothing with my life for two years, except for travelling extensively through various European countries and spending way too much money, I took a good hard look at myself and realized that this is not a good way to live, not for me. I got my priorities straight and I spent the past year working on getting back to medical school, which has finally happened for me.
I lost my place and I basically had to start all over again. Sigh, but okay….
I am mad at myself when I see my ex classmates being year three of four, I can't help but to think 'Damn, I could have been there now'. But it is what it is, it's all life.

I guess some people go through midlife crisis at the tender age of 18 :p

I still sometimes think about dropping out because it's so ****ing hard, but it's just a passing thought. I now know that THIS is what I really want to do and I just push myself.....And you obviously don't feel that way.
So I'm just saying - do it if you really dislike medicine and you're unhappy, but not because you think you can't handle it or because one day you might be earning a lot.

Also, I realize that no one asked me for my life story, but I just felt like sharing :)
 
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Rollo

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Actually the big paycheck at the end is a tremendous motivator. For many, if not most, it's the only thing getting them through.
I agree with you that for some people the big paycheck is a motivator. To how many, is it the primary motivator? And if it is the primary motivator, how many are miserable and hating medical school to the point that they claim their 20s are being lost?

There is no point in putting yourself through the misery of medical school and residency if you are hating every moment of it.

You got to enjoy what you're doing.

That's my perspective, anyway.
 

sideways

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I agree with you that for some people the big paycheck is a motivator. To how many, is it the primary motivator? And if it is the primary motivator, how many are miserable and hating medical school to the point that they claim their 20s are being lost?

There is no point in putting yourself through the misery of medical school and residency if you are hating every moment of it.

You got to enjoy what you're doing.

That's my perspective, anyway.
You don't have to enjoy what you're doing. Most people don't. Most people work to pay the bills, support their families, and sustain a certain quality of life - not because they get hard-ons when the alarm clock goes off.
 

Rollo

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You don't have to enjoy what you're doing. Most people don't. Most people work to pay the bills, support their families, and sustain a certain quality of life - not because they get hard-ons when the alarm clock goes off.
That is unfortunate.
 

sideways

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That is unfortunate.
I look at it more the other way around. In other words, consider yourself fortunate. Look at the world around you. You see evidence of it every single day. Most people never find a passion. It's not cause they're morons, or misguided, or lazy. No. It's because they don't happen to love doing any certain thing in life that translates into a paycheck for doing it. Some of us love the events in life: seeing your kids grow, ragging on friends, making love to your wife.

If someone would like to pay me to do any of those things, I'll gladly accept the check and then you would be able to count me among the chosen few who love what they do for a living. Until then I grin and bear it and perform my job so I can provide for the other things in life that really provide me enjoyment.
 
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No. It's because they don't happen to love doing any certain thing in life that translates into a paycheck for doing it.
This is something I've thought about in the past -- is it that many people simply don't search hard enough?

Or is it that many people simply don't have any compatible occupations for them, regardless of how long or hard they search?

The idealist in me wants to believe that it's the former.

In fact, I know at least one person who definitely wasn't looking very hard for a "dream" occupation. She simply waded through undergrad miserable, often complaining about how she hated what she was doing, but never actually trying to find summer jobs or internships that would interest her.

And then one day she suddenly switched majors into something else (just because it was supposed to be "easier"), and it turned it that she absolutely enjoys it.

So, I think that for most people it's a matter of not searching hard enough.

And, think about it: would you really enjoy watching your kids grow up 24-7? Maybe it only seems that way because right now you have other very time consuming responsibilities. Maybe it's partially a case of the grass always being greener on the other side?

Hypothetically -- if you were around all the time, don't you think that your kids would eventually push you away and demand some time to themselves to find their own passions and be with their friends? I don't know....

It's a hard question...
 

sideways

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This is something I've thought about in the past -- is it that many people simply don't search hard enough?

Or is it that many people simply don't have any compatible occupations for them, regardless of how long or hard they search?

The idealist in me wants to believe that it's the former.

In fact, I know at least one person who definitely wasn't looking very hard for a "dream" occupation. She simply waded through undergrad miserable, often complaining about how she hated what she was doing, but never actually trying to find summer jobs or internships that would interest her.

And then one day she suddenly switched majors into something else (just because it was supposed to be "easier"), and it turned it that she absolutely enjoys it.

So, I think that for most people it's a matter of not searching hard enough.

And, think about it: would you really enjoy watching your kids grow up 24-7? Maybe it only seems that way because right now you have other very time consuming responsibilities. Maybe it's partially a case of the grass always being greener on the other side?

Hypothetically -- if you were around all the time, don't you think that your kids would eventually push you away and demand some time to themselves to find their own passions and be with their friends? I don't know....

It's a hard question...
I'm not being literal with what I want to do. The point is I want freedom to do whatever. That's my ideal. I don't want to walk into the same office doing the same thing every day for 40 years. A lot of times I'd like to do nothing. Anyone paying for that?

As far as not looking hard enough, I disagree. For some yeah, for others no. Just because we MUST have jobs doesn't mean we're destined to enjoy one of them. And even if there was something out there we'd love doing, we have to be pragmatic about whether it's wise to choose that job. You may love juggling, but guess what dude, if you like being attractive to women and having a nice car and a nice home, you better squelch that passion fire you have for juggling and maybe get a less palatable job that is able to offer you those other things in life you value.

And my last point is: time. It's not like we have an indefinite amount of time to scour the earth for that one glorious job. Life doesn't stop moving while you're navel-gazing. The older you get, the more that becomes obvious.
 

Rollo

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I look at it more the other way around. In other words, consider yourself fortunate. Look at the world around you. You see evidence of it every single day. Most people never find a passion. It's not cause they're morons, or misguided, or lazy. No. It's because they don't happen to love doing any certain thing in life that translates into a paycheck for doing it. Some of us love the events in life: seeing your kids grow, ragging on friends, making love to your wife.

If someone would like to pay me to do any of those things, I'll gladly accept the check and then you would be able to count me among the chosen few who love what they do for a living. Until then I grin and bear it and perform my job so I can provide for the other things in life that really provide me enjoyment.
You're equating career to events/precious relationships in life.

Of course, most people would love to get paid to watch their kids grow, ragging on friends, and making love to their wife.

I have to agree with you that for some, they may not necessarily love what they do yet it provides for other things in life they enjoy. For them it might be too late to start all over or go soul-searching because they have too many responsibilities (i.e. family).

This is why it is absolutely necessary for young people who don't have kids/spouse to do everything in their power to seek out their passion and figure out a way to make a career out of it.

Which goes back to my original point to the OP where I told him that he should forget about medicine if he isn't happy with it and to not consider the big paycheck down the road in his decision making process.
 

Bartelby

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Some of us love the events in life: seeing your kids grow, ragging on friends, making love to your wife.

If someone would like to pay me to do any of those things, I'll gladly accept the check and then you would be able to count me among the chosen few who love what they do for a living. Until then I grin and bear it and perform my job so I can provide for the other things in life that really provide me enjoyment.
I think there is a lot of truth to this, and if so doesn't it make sense to go with the easiest job you can get? Why something like medicine? I know it pays well, but the stuff you mentioned in that sentence (which I think are the kinds of things that make life great) don't cost money. This makes me think that a lot of day to day happiness could come from having a relatively easy job that is just challenging enough to be engaging but stays out of your 'me time.' The prestige and sense of accomplishment that come from doing something like medical school are admittedly nice, but they aren't able to sustain me in the way that the more 'simple pleasures' that I have less time for do.

In fact one of the happiest times in my life was undergrad. I generally took ~20 credits a semester so it wasn't necessarily an 'easy' load but I never took any of them to impress anyone, just what I was interested in (primarily Psychology). That left me with relatively fewer hours to study and lots of free time to hang out with friends, get in on activities going on around campus, party, whatever was going on. A lot of my friends who took what they perceived as more prestigious majors (biochem, biomedical engineering, whatever) seemed to enjoy school way less.

So maybe my mistake was following long term prestige and career satisfaction over day to day fun and lack of responsibility. I wonder if that's really a mistake. It kind of feels like it at this point.
 

sideways

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I think there is a lot of truth to this, and if so doesn't it make sense to go with the easiest job you can get? Why something like medicine? I know it pays well, but the stuff you mentioned in that sentence (which I think are the kinds of things that make life great) don't cost money. This makes me think that a lot of day to day happiness could come from having a relatively easy job that is just challenging enough to be engaging but stays out of your 'me time.' The prestige and sense of accomplishment that come from doing something like medical school are admittedly nice, but they aren't able to sustain me in the way that the more 'simple pleasures' that I have less time for do.

In fact one of the happiest times in my life was undergrad. I generally took ~20 credits a semester so it wasn't necessarily an 'easy' load but I never took any of them to impress anyone, just what I was interested in (primarily Psychology). That left me with relatively fewer hours to study and lots of free time to hang out with friends, get in on activities going on around campus, party, whatever was going on. A lot of my friends who took what they perceived as more prestigious majors (biochem, biomedical engineering, whatever) seemed to enjoy school way less.

So maybe my mistake was following long term prestige and career satisfaction over day to day fun and lack of responsibility. I wonder if that's really a mistake. It kind of feels like it at this point.
I agree entirely.

EDIT: I should add that there are some other reasons though why picking medicine isn't necessarily a bad move. One of the reasons I did it was as sort of an emotional/intellectual insurance policy. I figured as I get older my feelings on work and career will likely change. As we get older we often start to evaluate what we're doing with our lives, what have we offered the world, etc. Medicine is one of few careers where you can be pretty damn sure that you'll never look back upon and think it was meaningless or not worthy of your efforts or sacrifice.

I think specialty selection is KEY though to not totally hating your life at the end of the day.
 
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Rollo

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I think there is a lot of truth to this, and if so doesn't it make sense to go with the easiest job you can get? Why something like medicine? I know it pays well, but the stuff you mentioned in that sentence (which I think are the kinds of things that make life great) don't cost money. This makes me think that a lot of day to day happiness could come from having a relatively easy job that is just challenging enough to be engaging but stays out of your 'me time.' The prestige and sense of accomplishment that come from doing something like medical school are admittedly nice, but they aren't able to sustain me in the way that the more 'simple pleasures' that I have less time for do.

In fact one of the happiest times in my life was undergrad. I generally took ~20 credits a semester so it wasn't necessarily an 'easy' load but I never took any of them to impress anyone, just what I was interested in (primarily Psychology). That left me with relatively fewer hours to study and lots of free time to hang out with friends, get in on activities going on around campus, party, whatever was going on. A lot of my friends who took what they perceived as more prestigious majors (biochem, biomedical engineering, whatever) seemed to enjoy school way less.

So maybe my mistake was following long term prestige and career satisfaction over day to day fun and lack of responsibility. I wonder if that's really a mistake. It kind of feels like it at this point.
If you feel its a mistake, then fix it.
 

Bacchus

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Not so easy when you're 100,000 dollars or more in the hole.
 

Bartelby

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Then make the best of the situation.

No point in feeling bad about it.
See: "These days though I avoid thinking about it since there is no longer any real choice left and I have found myself pretty content" that I posted above. I'm not having a terrible time, and given my debt situation (and that I come from a poor family) quitting is not workable. I am also exploring some specialties that I think will be the best for me, and it's not like I'm going around depressed about my life. It's actually not bad at all.

That doesn't mean I can't and/or shouldn't reflect on what lifestyles seem to generate the most happiness for me, especially in the context of a thread posted by someone facing similar issues to the ones I faced two years ago.

I agree with the spirit of your reply, though: once you have made a decision don't dwell on it. Move on and try to make the best of things, because every potential route has its drawbacks.
 

moto_za

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As a person who has dropped out and then after three years went back to school, I can tell you this - I would not do it again.
BUT you seem like you have it all figured out, which was not the case with me.

I got into medical school when I was 18.
I was doing really well, I studied, I made friends, I did everything right, but it was all so overwhelming.
So I dropped out. After doing absolutely nothing with my life for two years, except for travelling extensively through various European countries and spending way too much money, I took a good hard look at myself and realized that this is not a good way to live, not for me. I got my priorities straight and I spent the past year working on getting back to medical school, which has finally happened for me.
I lost my place and I basically had to start all over again. Sigh, but okay….
I am mad at myself when I see my ex classmates being year three of four, I can't help but to think 'Damn, I could have been there now'. But it is what it is, it's all life.

I guess some people go through midlife crisis at the tender age of 18 :p

I still sometimes think about dropping out because it's so ****ing hard, but it's just a passing thought. I now know that THIS is what I really want to do and I just push myself.....And you obviously don't feel that way.
So I'm just saying - do it if you really dislike medicine and you're unhappy, but not because you think you can't handle it or because one day you might be earning a lot.

Also, I realize that no one asked me for my life story, but I just felt like sharing :)
:thumbup::thumbup::laugh:
 
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As a person who has dropped out and then after three years went back to school, I can tell you this - I would not do it again.
BUT you seem like you have it all figured out, which was not the case with me.

I got into medical school when I was 18.
Holy crap. I know this is tangential to the original topic... but how did you start med school at 18? Assuming you graduated a year early, then you started undergrad at 15? 14 if you did 4 years? then, you started high school in..12 assuming that you graduated early again? impressive!
 
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I say congrats to you for figuring out what you want to do! It takes a brave soul to have that kind of self-realization and then act on it. You gave medicine a try- now you know. No regrets.

Life is short- do what makes you happy. Trust your gut- if this isn't it, who cares? You gave it a shot and you realized it wasn't for you- so go after what it is you think you want to do. The world won't stop turning because you changed your mind about med school. The people who love you want you to be happy, so don't stay for anyone else's sake.

One semester of loans isn't the end of the world- certainly not in the grand scheme.

I have a good friend who did something similar- went to med school and soon realized he'd rather be in business. He dropped out, got his dream job and loves what he does. He says everyday he's glad he made that decision.

Only you can make the decision- but do what feels right to you. Seriously. This road is WAYYYY too long and arduous to do it half-assed. Don't be that bitter doctor that doesn't want to be there. Please. For everyone's sake.
 

chiz2kul

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Holy crap. I know this is tangential to the original topic... but how did you start med school at 18? Assuming you graduated a year early, then you started undergrad at 15? 14 if you did 4 years? then, you started high school in..12 assuming that you graduated early again? impressive!
Most likely the case if you went to high school/'college' in a different country..
 
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Holy crap. I know this is tangential to the original topic... but how did you start med school at 18? Assuming you graduated a year early, then you started undergrad at 15? 14 if you did 4 years? then, you started high school in..12 assuming that you graduated early again? impressive!
Just breathe.
This is what happened:

Most likely the case if you went to high school/'college' in a different country..
See, not impressive AT ALL, it's just a different culture/education system thing.
However, I still believe that 18 is maybe just way too young for the pressure that medical school is.
But I guess it's all subjective, really.
 

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Hi all,

I'm a semi-regular poster here. I created a new account specifically to talk about this, as some of my classmates would recognize my normal account and I'd rather this be anonymous.

Here goes. I'm considering dropping out. I never thought I would be thinking this, and always assumed medicine was really my passion. Now I think I may be coming to the realization that medicine wasn't my passion. Instead, getting into medical school was my passion. Now that I'm here (first semester), I really dislike nearly everyday of it. Now I feel like the only thing that is keeping me in it is the prospect of a grande paycheck at the end, but that's feeling less and less worth it everyday.

In conversation with others close friends and my significant other, I've often been mentioning how much I dislike medicine thus far, but have felt that it's too late to turn back. Now that I really think about it, now is actually a great time to turn back, as I only have one semester's worth of loans. If I wait much longer, it will become extremely financially prohibitive to do so, whereas now it is only mildly so.

As an undergraduate, I really liked doing research, and loved the thought process that went into my classes. I love coming up with new ideas in lab and carrying them out, and published papers doing so. For some reason, it never clicked with me just how much I would miss this lifestyle, and how little I would really like the material in medical school, patient interactions,i.e., pretty much the whole shebang. I've considered applying into the md/phd program at my school, but that to me doesn't make much sense as I'm interested in graduate school as a way out of medicine, so why combine them?

Here's where I'm at now. More time in medical school = more money in loans. So what I'm considering doing is asking for a leave of absence after this semester. This would accomplish several things. First, it would give me space from medical school to really think things through further. Then it would let me apply to graduate school, and go to the interviews, etc. Three, it would make it so that I'm not shooting myself in the foot should I decide otherwise, then come next year I'd have two options: going to graduate school or returning to medical school. And lastly, I wouldn't be taking out a whole pile of new loans to put in an extra semester into something that there is a good chance I don't even want to be doing.

Please offer your viewpoints or ask me questions, etc.
Just thought I'd share that I was in a similar boat (like the title says) and I left (also like the title says). Well I'm still in the process of leaving. My dean was really cool about letting me take an LOA. I had the same thought process of you. I talked to a lot of people - some who LOVED medicine, some who didn't. They all kind of agreed that at some point - most likely by the end of first year - you're sort of stuck. Debt, so close to being done, etc. For me though, I knew there was something I wanted to do more than medicine, so it wasn't a hard choice. If you look at my other posts, I had a really skewed view of what medicine meant/what it would do for me, so after reconciling that, and seeing the ridiculousness, it was a pretty easy move.
One of my friends was thinking about being a musician, but decided against it because he came to the conclusion that because making it as a musician is so difficult, you should only be a musician if you CAN'T be anything else (i.e. you simply HAVE to do it), I'd argue a similar thing for medicine. For most people, it is a very difficult path and if it's not something you want to be doing, it goes from difficult to miserable.

Good luck!
 
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So I've had a lot of conversations since posting, ranging from the student affairs office, to former PI's, friends, etc. I believe I'm going to stick with it at least for the year. For one, apparently if I took a leave of absence there and came back I'd probably have to repeat the whole year, as they're restructuring the curriculum and moving the order of things around a good bit for next year's class. Other conversations with phd's and physicians (md's and md/phd's have lead me to thinking that medicine could still yield exactly the sort of things I want out of it, just depending on what route I take. For one, a research fellowship during medical school and/or after residency would put me in a good position to be able to bring in NIH money. The other thing is that there are plenty of specialties that are very research friendly, and might be able to fit into exactly the sort of medical career that I would like, if that's still the path I want to go on when the time rolls around. Plus, I can still take this summer to do basic science research anyways to help me get an idea of what type of research I would like, or even if that's still what I want to pursue.
 

DirtyNetter

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2nd year gets worse :)
I'd take path/pharm over biochem/embryo/anatomy any day of the week... even if it means more work.
 

Rollo

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So I've had a lot of conversations since posting, ranging from the student affairs office, to former PI's, friends, etc. I believe I'm going to stick with it at least for the year. For one, apparently if I took a leave of absence there and came back I'd probably have to repeat the whole year, as they're restructuring the curriculum and moving the order of things around a good bit for next year's class. Other conversations with phd's and physicians (md's and md/phd's have lead me to thinking that medicine could still yield exactly the sort of things I want out of it, just depending on what route I take. For one, a research fellowship during medical school and/or after residency would put me in a good position to be able to bring in NIH money. The other thing is that there are plenty of specialties that are very research friendly, and might be able to fit into exactly the sort of medical career that I would like, if that's still the path I want to go on when the time rolls around. Plus, I can still take this summer to do basic science research anyways to help me get an idea of what type of research I would like, or even if that's still what I want to pursue.
Sounds like a reasonable plan. If this is what you wish, then go for it! I wish you the best of luck. :thumbup:
 

Marcus Brody

Already has the grail.
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So drop out. Plenty of more motivated people lined up behind you.
 
Sep 1, 2009
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MD school 1970-1974. When I considered dropping out of med school, my dad, also a physician said "think $85,000/year (this was 35 years ago). In what other profession, especially these days do you hear the term "unemployment rate". I didn't even have any loans to pay back. So stick it out and you'll have many more options available with the MD or without it. You don't even have to practice medicine. I consult with investment firms like Goldman Sachs on potential new drug ventures. They wouldn't even look at me without the degree and I never have to pick up a stethoscope again.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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I think a loa is a good way to step back and clear your head. What percentage of med students actually drop out after their first year?
 

p30doc

Ever true and unwavering
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Medicine is a hard game, as a pre-med you don't really know what medical school is like. As a medical student especially one who has only completed half of the first year you don't really know what being a doctor is actually like. Then as a fourth year you have to pick your career with only remotely knowing what being an X doctor is like. I find it hard to understand how someone can drop out after 1 semester because medicine isn't for them. At that point I don't think they know what the practice of medicine truly is like. I guess you could figure out that you don't like working hard or learning or maybe that you don't like science. But it seems the process to get into med school would have weed those people out. Perhaps you really always wanted to be a fighter pilot but couldn't admit that to yourself up until now. But who wants to go back to wearing diapers?:shrug:

I'm an M2 and I think my school has provided me with more clinical exposure so far than most do, but who knows. Either way I don't think I know what being a doctor in practice is actually like. Except for maybe Family Med, which definitely isn't for me. Hopefully I come across a specialty I like, but who knows. What a crazy process this career path is.
 

DrJosephKim

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I would strongly urge you to speak with several physician mentors and advisors so that you can get a balanced perspective. Make sure you're not experiencing depression or burn-out. Ask the difficult questions and be brutally honest with yourself. Will you have any regrets if you quit?
 

GoBuckeyes913

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Jan 23, 2007
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You don't have to enjoy what you're doing. Most people don't. Most people work to pay the bills, support their families, and sustain a certain quality of life - not because they get hard-ons when the alarm clock goes off.
When you're working at least 80 hours a week, you better at least LIKE what you're doing. Otherwise, don't be a physician.
 

slowbutsteady

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Actually the big paycheck at the end is a tremendous motivator. For many, if not most, it's the only thing getting them through.
The paycheck isn't that big and he has a decade or more before he sees it, if he ever does. And another decade before he can pay off the loans and enjoy it.

The money motivator only works if you also love medicine. There are easier ways to make way more money.

Your plan is excellent and shows a lot of courage. It is not easy to come to terms with the fact that something you worked so hard to achieve may not be what you want.
 

MilkmanAl

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The money motivator only works if you also love medicine.
Meh, not really true. Plenty of people do jobs they don't like to make a fat paycheck.

There are easier ways to make way more money.
Here we have an SDN meme that isn't really the case at all. There are certainly options that let you make more money faster, but most of them involve working an astounding amount of hours per week and have similarly huge burnout rates. The earning potential for those jobs is also extremely variable. Medicine is the only profession I can think of off the top of my head that combines rock-solid job security and a virtually guaranteed 6-figure income for just about everyone pursuing it.
 
Sep 5, 2010
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m1 and m2 are pretty boring and ****ty for most people.

fun and clinically relevant stuff comes in m3 and m4.

also if you like research, there are more than plenty of opportunities in this career.

even if you hate patients, you only need to deal with them for 1 year. if you go into path or something and do research from there. but if you really just hate everything medical then this is obivously not the right place for you
 

ucsfstudents

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Sounds like you've thought this through. It is better to get out early, but be very sure it is what you want. The grass isn't necessarily greener as a researcher, but the skills necessary to practice medicine vs conduct research are different, so if you find you are a better researcher, and don't particularly care to be a doctor, graduate school may be the right path for you.