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Do I Have to Give Up My Life For Med School?

Kendra Campbell, Medical Student, Psychiatry/Mental Health, 08:39AM Apr 7, 2010



I've heard this question asked by pre-med students oh so many times: "Do I have to give up my life for med school?" And I've also heard a related question many times: "Do I have to give up my relationships with my significant other, friends and family for med school?"
To all of you pre-meds out there, let me ease your nerves a bit by telling you that no, you do not have to give up your (entire) life for med school. Will med school involve making some changes to your life and schedule? Absolutely. But this doesn't mean that your whole life will change as you know it.
I remember many years ago (yes, I'm old, it was many years) sitting in a classroom in my undergrad university listening to an organic chemistry lecture. I hated organic chemistry with a passion that is matched by little else. I remember wondering if this is what med school would be like--endless hours of listening to gobbledygook and then going home to study the gobbledygook for more endless hours. I imagined having to give up running, going out to eat, and all of my other assorted hobbies. This was actually one of the reasons that it took me so long to take the plunge into med school. I was unwilling to accept this reality.
But guess what? I am now less than two weeks from graduating from med school and I still run almost every day. I go out to eat with my friends all the time, and I still enjoy many of the same hobbies. Did I have to make sacrifices and reduce the number of hours spent on "fun stuff" during med school? Absolutely. But I was still able to make the time to enjoy myself. And actually, I firmly believe that my success in med school is because of, and not in spite of, the fact that I enjoy a life outside of medicine.
Now let me address the second question. Will you have to sacrifice your relationships with your significant other (if you have one), friends, and family during med school? The answer is similar to the one above. Yes, you will find yourself with less time to enjoy all of your relationships, but you will have to sacrifice none of them.
My partner has been my ultimate supporter throughout medical school. He has cooked me dinner when I didn't have the time. He spent hours reviewing anatomy flashcards with me. He (yes, this is love) even went into the anatomy lab with me and went through each cadaver, locating various structures. He listened to me rant about endless things. He hugged me when I broke down in tears from being overwhelmed by it all. So no, I do not believe that you have to give up a relationship with your significant other to make it through med school--quite the opposite: having a significant other can be a blessing during med school.
The very same goes for friends and family. If someone is truly your friend, they will still truly be your friend once you finish medical school. Your family loves you and will understand you neglecting them on occasion.
I only wish someone had told me all of this when I was a pre-med student. I believed quite the opposite for years, and this definitely impacted my decision to delay applying to med school.
So, there you have it from the horse's mouth. I don't believe that you have to give up your life for medical school, so if that's the reason you are doubting your decision to apply, doubt no more
 

Passion4Sci

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Remove the wall of text and I'll consider reading it.

Basic punctuation and syntax is not the enemy.
 

joetrisman

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Remove the wall of text and I'll consider reading it.

Basic punctuation and syntax is not the enemy.
Cliffs: Girl says med school does not have to be the only thing in your life.

I think she must be smarter than the average bear or I might be a little dumber as I'm more familiar with Pubmed and EBSCOhost now than my family and friends. On holidays and get togethers all I have to talk about is research papers I've read lately...
 

rxlea

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....eh, my eyes are crossed this time of the night. I'll pass. Thanks for the cliff's version.
 

gilgamesh

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Do I Have to Give Up My Life For Med School?

Kendra Campbell, Medical Student, Psychiatry/Mental Health, 08:39AM Apr 7, 2010



I've heard this question asked by pre-med students oh so many times: "Do I have to give up my life for med school?" And I've also heard a related question many times: "Do I have to give up my relationships with my significant other, friends and family for med school?"
To all of you pre-meds out there, let me ease your nerves a bit by telling you that no, you do not have to give up your (entire) life for med school. Will med school involve making some changes to your life and schedule? Absolutely. But this doesn't mean that your whole life will change as you know it.
I remember many years ago (yes, I'm old, it was many years) sitting in a classroom in my undergrad university listening to an organic chemistry lecture. I hated organic chemistry with a passion that is matched by little else. I remember wondering if this is what med school would be like--endless hours of listening to gobbledygook and then going home to study the gobbledygook for more endless hours. I imagined having to give up running, going out to eat, and all of my other assorted hobbies. This was actually one of the reasons that it took me so long to take the plunge into med school. I was unwilling to accept this reality.
But guess what? I am now less than two weeks from graduating from med school and I still run almost every day. I go out to eat with my friends all the time, and I still enjoy many of the same hobbies. Did I have to make sacrifices and reduce the number of hours spent on "fun stuff" during med school? Absolutely. But I was still able to make the time to enjoy myself. And actually, I firmly believe that my success in med school is because of, and not in spite of, the fact that I enjoy a life outside of medicine.
Now let me address the second question. Will you have to sacrifice your relationships with your significant other (if you have one), friends, and family during med school? The answer is similar to the one above. Yes, you will find yourself with less time to enjoy all of your relationships, but you will have to sacrifice none of them.
My partner has been my ultimate supporter throughout medical school. He has cooked me dinner when I didn't have the time. He spent hours reviewing anatomy flashcards with me. He (yes, this is love) even went into the anatomy lab with me and went through each cadaver, locating various structures. He listened to me rant about endless things. He hugged me when I broke down in tears from being overwhelmed by it all. So no, I do not believe that you have to give up a relationship with your significant other to make it through med school--quite the opposite: having a significant other can be a blessing during med school.
The very same goes for friends and family. If someone is truly your friend, they will still truly be your friend once you finish medical school. Your family loves you and will understand you neglecting them on occasion.
I only wish someone had told me all of this when I was a pre-med student. I believed quite the opposite for years, and this definitely impacted my decision to delay applying to med school.
So, there you have it from the horse's mouth. I don't believe that you have to give up your life for medical school, so if that's the reason you are doubting your decision to apply, doubt no more
Running, relationships, dinner who needs that
 
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twester

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I think tybidn just learned to lower her expectations. She spoke of the stress of being in medical school and mentioned that she feels really lucky to have a supportive spouse. I don't think she sounds unrealistic in the slightest.

I've felt sometimes that my personality has been supplanted by pharmacy school. But the fact is that, even though I'm not as up on current events and the latest must-read books, I'm still pretty engaged with the world. Yes, it feels like I am a walking clinical trial statistic sometimes - but I'm still basically the same person.

It's taking me five years to get through pharmacy school in part because I could not strike a balance and ended up burning out spectacularly. I picked it up, made some sacrifices/changes I was previously unwilling to make and move into 4th year rotations in a few weeks. I learned a lesson - a painful lesson. I think tybidn did a great service by writing that post.

PS If a "wall of text" hurts your eyes, you're going to hate pharmacy school. Dipiro=complicated wall of text. JAMA=wall of text with biostats. The JNC-7 and NCEP ATP III? Wall of text. Micromedex=synopsized wall of text (if you dig beyond the summary).
 
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Passion4Sci

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PS If a "wall of text" hurts your eyes, you're going to hate pharmacy school. Dipiro=complicated wall of text. JAMA=wall of text with biostats. The JNC-7 and NCEP ATP III? Wall of text. Micromedex=synopsized wall of text (if you dig beyond the summary).

Big difference between reading something on a forum for leisure and doing something for school.
 

twester

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Cliffs: Girl says med school does not have to be the only thing in your life.

I think she must be smarter than the average bear or I might be a little dumber as I'm more familiar with Pubmed and EBSCOhost now than my family and friends. On holidays and get togethers all I have to talk about is research papers I've read lately...
Big difference between reading something on a forum for leisure and doing something for school.
Information is information.
 

Passion4Sci

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Information is information.

Forum =/= school.

Tolerance for Item X in setting Y does not necessarily have to be identical for tolerance for Item X in setting Z.

You just feel like being difficult, I take it?

Parsing through NCBI for bioinformatics had a lot of "wall of text" also, but for academics, it is completely tolerable.

Presenting information in a forum such as this, meant to be digested easily, is much different than presenting information scientifically to professionals / experts / students.
 

twester

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Forum =/= school.

Tolerance for Item X in setting Y does not necessarily have to be identical for tolerance for Item X in setting Z.

Not sure why you have a hard time comprehending that. You just feel like being difficult, I take it?
Finding ME difficult? Seriously? You have no idea. :laugh:
 

Passion4Sci

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Finding ME difficult? Seriously? You have no idea. :laugh:
:rolleyes:

Clearly not.

you can keep your wall 'o text, I'll be fine without it.

The OP has nothing to do with me anyway, since I gave my life up long, long ago for this mean ol' profession.
 

twester

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Forum =/= school

Presenting information in a forum such as this, meant to be digested easily, is much different than presenting information scientifically to professionals / experts / students.
I'll respond to your edit. Processing information competently is a lifestyle choice, so to speak. It doesn't matter what the "forum" is. The OP was well-written even if it wasn't formatted in an eye-friendly format. Not everyone is a good web-designer.

My point is that not everything is easily digested. Writers sometimes demand that their readers step up to receive the message.
 

Passion4Sci

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I'll respond to your edit. Processing information competently is a lifestyle choice, so to speak. It doesn't matter what the "forum" is. The OP was well-written even if it wasn't formatted in an eye-friendly format. Not everyone is a good web-designer.

My point is that not everything is easily digested. Writers sometimes demand that their readers step up to receive the message.
It wasn't well-written... In fact, tt read as if it was one gigantic run-on sentence. But I suppose we're getting into opinions here and there's no way to get a right answer there; however, creating concise paragraphs isn't exactly upper division English. No one's criticizing OP for committing correlation conjunction errors here. That original post was basically incredibly crappy to read.

Is it that hard to hit "enter", even? Seriously?

Your defense of OP is mind-boggling. You must be bored...
 

ShadowRX

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Do I Have to Give Up My Life For Med School?

Kendra Campbell, Medical Student, Psychiatry/Mental Health, 08:39AM Apr 7, 2010



I've heard this question asked by pre-med students oh so many times: "Do I have to give up my life for med school?"

And I've also heard a related question many times: "Do I have to give up my relationships with my significant other, friends and family for med school?"

To all of you pre-meds out there, let me ease your nerves a bit by telling you that no, you do not have to give up your (entire) life for med school. Will med school involve making some changes to your life and schedule? Absolutely. But this doesn't mean that your whole life will change as you know it.

I remember many years ago (yes, I'm old, it was many years) sitting in a classroom in my undergrad university listening to an organic chemistry lecture.
-- I hated organic chemistry with a passion that is matched by little else.

-- I remember wondering if this is what med school would be like--endless hours of listening to gobbledygook and then going home to study the gobbledygook for more endless hours.

-- I imagined having to give up running, going out to eat, and all of my other assorted hobbies. This was actually one of the reasons that it took me so long to take the plunge into med school. I was unwilling to accept this reality.

-- But guess what? I am now less than two weeks from graduating from med school and I still run almost every day. I go out to eat with my friends all the time, and I still enjoy many of the same hobbies.

Did I have to make sacrifices and reduce the number of hours spent on "fun stuff" during med school? Absolutely. But I was still able to make the time to enjoy myself. And actually, I firmly believe that my success in med school is because of, and not in spite of, the fact that I enjoy a life outside of medicine.

Now let me address the second question: will you have to sacrifice your relationships with your significant other (if you have one), friends, and family during med school?

-- The answer is similar to the one above. Yes, you will find yourself with less time to enjoy all of your relationships, but you will have to sacrifice none of them.

My partner has been my ultimate supporter throughout medical school.
-- He has cooked me dinner when I didn't have the time.

-- He spent hours reviewing anatomy flashcards with me.

-- He (yes, this is love) even went into the anatomy lab with me and went through each cadaver, locating various structures.

-- He listened to me rant about endless things.

-- He hugged me when I broke down in tears from being overwhelmed by it all.

So no, I do not believe that you have to give up a relationship with your significant other to make it through med school--quite the opposite: having a significant other can be a blessing during med school.

The very same goes for friends and family.
-- If someone is truly your friend, they will still truly be your friend once you finish medical school.

-- Your family loves you and will understand you neglecting them on occasion.

I only wish someone had told me all of this when I was a pre-med student. I believed quite the opposite for years, and this definitely impacted my decision to delay applying to med school.

So, there you have it from the horse's mouth. I don't believe that you have to give up your life for medical school, so if that's the reason you are doubting your decision to apply, doubt no more
OP and to the rest of ya: FIXED ALREADY! YOU'RE WELCOME!

:cool:
 

ShadowRX

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think of it this way, you're sacrificing having a lot of fun for a few years now, in return for having more fun later.
lol