Do you think that you will be satisfied aka will it be worth it?

Dec 27, 2009
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We have to go through much sacrifice and dedication. We keep saying, "Once I get through this, the next step will be better." "Okay, that was hard, but I will be glad when I get to the next step" and so on.

Do you believe that eventually you will say, "Wow, I can't believe I got through all that. I dedicated so much and put in so much effort and its finally true. I am happy."?

I'm just trying to get a sense of the goals of pre-meds.
 

Slowpoke

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Not many individuals can go through the route of being a pre-med - successfully. The key word here is successfully, as many individuals claim to be medical school bound but very few actually make it. I think the reason why so many people let go of this idea is because they find out that the work may be too much, or one of the other numerous reasons that you often hear from ex-premeds.

Is it all worth it in the end? That depends. Why is it that you are pursuing this career? Is it for money? Prestige? Stability?

I think what it comes down to is where do you see yourself after completing medical school and residency what is it that you are ideally want to do, and why?

If the you've thought about the underlining reason of why you are driven to do whatever it is and have given some thought in weighing it against the amount of debt, commitment, and sacrifice then you will be able to sleep a little easier at night knowing this is what you really want to do.
 

aDreamer

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If the you've thought about the underlining reason of why you are driven to do whatever it is and have given some thought in weighing it against the amount of debt, commitment, and sacrifice then you will be able to sleep a little easier at night knowing this is what you really want to do.
:thumbup:

and not to mention, there's that voice that reminds me when I'm really stressed out that I can't see myself being truly satisfied in any other profession I can come up with. That makes the choice a little easier :)
 

MeatTornado

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Do you believe that eventually you will say, "Wow, I can't believe I got through all that. I dedicated so much and put in so much effort and its finally true. I am happy."?
if you are absolutely miserable right now (as a premed) then you should find something else to do that makes you happy. if you're studying constantly and have no time for fun or friends or any of the other things that make college awesome then you should reevaluate what you're doing because it doesn't get any easier in med school and you'll be miserable for a really long time. life is short and it's not worth it to waste so many years being miserable.

there are a bunch of threads about this same exact topic and you'll find a lot of good advice in them. basically if you are miserable right now and keep thinking that you are doing this to be happy later then you will be horribly disappointed
 

MegaProjectile

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We have to go through much sacrifice and dedication. We keep saying, "Once I get through this, the next step will be better." "Okay, that was hard, but I will be glad when I get to the next step" and so on.

Do you believe that eventually you will say, "Wow, I can't believe I got through all that. I dedicated so much and put in so much effort and its finally true. I am happy."?

I'm just trying to get a sense of the goals of pre-meds.
From speaking with mentors and reading books from doctors, the consensus is that medicine is a journey not a destination. You don't finally "arrive". You don't stop reading when you're an attending(have to keep up with new treatments and research) nor do your hours get better in some cases (a lot of academics work more than 80hrs/week). You have to go through each step with a mindset to learn and experience what it entails. You hope that the experience you gain from each step will enhance your knowledge and enable you to flourish as you climb higher.
 
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There are always days I want to switch to Art History or something less consumming. There are days I wish I didn't want this and there are actually people that have tried to talk me out of it but I have yet to find something else that makes me happy. Don't depend on your career to dictate your happiness but you certainly shouldn't be miserable when you go to work in the morning. So do I think it will be worth it? Absolutely. I think that when I get that acceptance it will be worth it...and again when it's the eve of my first day of intern year, etc. etc. This career is all consumming yet the most challenging and rewarding thing I've committed myself to. But best of luck to all of you...I hope you find your way and commit yourselves to something that makes you happy. ;)
 

UC pre med

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A question that I am sure every pre-med asks himself almost everyday when he gives up the pleasures that his peers seem to have. But the answer really depends on what the pre-med is looking for at the end of the road. If it is money, then maybe not since doctors are often seen has having enormous salaries, but the sad reality is that they are only a little better off.

For me personally, it is doing what I want to do and knowing that I have achieved something that is arguably one of more ardous academic paths in life. There is considerable more pride in being a doctor to me than any other calling. So if I can find this at the end of the road, then the long journey will have been worth it for me. It is relative to each of us and I am sure there have been many that were severely disappointed.
 

circulus vitios

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First paycheck as an attending ----> It was worth it.
First student loan payment ----> KILL ME NOW.
 

d1ony5u5

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From speaking with mentors and reading books from doctors, the consensus is that medicine is a journey not a destination. You don't finally "arrive". You don't stop reading when you're an attending(have to keep up with new treatments and research) nor do your hours get better in some cases (a lot of academics work more than 80hrs/week). You have to go through each step with a mindset to learn and experience what it entails. You hope that the experience you gain from each step will enhance your knowledge and enable you to flourish as you climb higher.
Very well put!

I really agree with this, and even right now (on the onset of medical school) I think it is worth it. During undergrad I was a little anxious since nothing is certain at that point of this path... You could end up sacrificing a lot and putting in effort for potentially nothing. Now that I am accepted, I definitely think that effort was worth it. This is personal and probably doesn't apply to all, but I see attending medschool as a privilege and an opportunity. I don't concentrate on a pot of gold at the end of my training, because I think even if it does exist by the time I get there, the sacrifices that this profession demands are not commensurate with even the most profitable rewards it offers.

Instead of material rewards I concentrate on other things, like the experience that I have had so far, the experiences I will have, the opportunity of doing something that I find extremely appealing, etc. These satisfactions make it worth it, and I think will keep making it worth it throughout my career.

Well those are my thoughts...
 

jboz

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Very well put!

I really agree with this, and even right now (on the onset of medical school) I think it is worth it. During undergrad I was a little anxious since nothing is certain at that point of this path... You could end up sacrificing a lot and putting in effort for potentially nothing. Now that I am accepted, I definitely think that effort was worth it. This is personal and probably doesn't apply to all, but I see attending medschool as a privilege and an opportunity. I don't concentrate on a pot of gold at the end of my training, because I think even if it does exist by the time I get there, the sacrifices that this profession demands are not commensurate with even the most profitable rewards it offers.

Instead of material rewards I concentrate on other things, like the experience that I have had so far, the experiences I will have, the opportunity of doing something that I find extremely appealing, etc. These satisfactions make it worth it, and I think will keep making it worth it throughout my career.

Well those are my thoughts...
and great thoughts indeed! :thumbup:
 
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From speaking with mentors and reading books from doctors, the consensus is that medicine is a journey not a destination. You don't finally "arrive".
I agree and would even make the assertion that LIFE is also a journey, not a destination. Many of us measure life by milestones. First real job, marriage, first kid etc. The reality is that life continues. There is no point in life where you can say "I've Arrived" because at no point will life be perfect. It will be great, but definitely not perfect. OP, enjoy life as a premed and beyond. Take each day and really LIVE it, don't slave away thinking that one day you can enjoy yourself.
 
Mar 11, 2010
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some guy said it best. this is all just one continuous hazing ritual.

there are moments i ask myself why i'm doing this <= i think that's healthy.

Take each day and really LIVE it, don't slave away thinking that one day you can enjoy yourself.
This doesn't negate the fact that many parts of the physician training process are meant to purposely induce suffering by design.
 
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I agree and would even make the assertion that LIFE is also a journey, not a destination. Many of us measure life by milestones. First real job, marriage, first kid etc. The reality is that life continues. There is no point in life where you can say "I've Arrived" because at no point will life be perfect. It will be great, but definitely not perfect. OP, enjoy life as a premed and beyond. Take each day and really LIVE it, don't slave away thinking that one day you can enjoy yourself.

:thumbup:
 
Jan 29, 2010
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I agree and would even make the assertion that LIFE is also a journey, not a destination. Many of us measure life by milestones. First real job, marriage, first kid etc. The reality is that life continues. There is no point in life where you can say "I've Arrived" because at no point will life be perfect. It will be great, but definitely not perfect. OP, enjoy life as a premed and beyond. Take each day and really LIVE it, don't slave away thinking that one day you can enjoy yourself.
this was a good post for sure...

my question though lies within this quote..."Take each day and really LIVE it, don't slave away thinking that one day you can enjoy yourself."

Honestly, I think about this a lot and I want to have this attitude..I really do. However, when you are in med school, how are you supposed to "LIVE" everyday when most of your days involve class and studying your butt off?? I mean how is that really "living?" If I am ever blessed enough to receive a chance to go to med school, and when I am sitting there at midnight (as usual) studying extensively...I am not going to consider that "living" whatsoever. Sure I may be thinking that the stuff I'm learning is great and that not everyone gets to learn this, etc...but I'll STILL frequently be thinking that I'm "slaving away" a lot of the time...and that hopefully one day I will be enjoying myself much more than this...and that hopefully it will be as rewarding as I imagine it will be. How does anyone think otherwise?? I know that some people enjoy studying much more than I do...and honestly, I enjoy studying every now and then. However, not one of you out there can tell me that you just love studying repetitively...or that you would rather study over and over than spend time with your wife and kids, spend time with your friends, go on a trip, etc...
 

Charles_Carmichael

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:thumbup:

and not to mention, there's that voice that reminds me when I'm really stressed out that I can't see myself being truly satisfied in any other profession I can come up with. That makes the choice a little easier :)
I have a question. How do you know you'll be satisfied with medicine? Faith? No amount of volunteering or shadowing would give you more than a brief glimpse of what the practice of medicine currently is (not how it will be a decade from now when you start practicing). To be honest, our "clinical experiences," in my opinion, don't even give us an idea of what the practice of medicine is actually like. Serious question here. I don't know how some people can be absolutely sure that medicine is the one and only thing for them when we won't know what the practice of medicine actually is until the clinical years of med school.
 

Dr Oops

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this was a good post for sure...

my question though lies within this quote..."Take each day and really LIVE it, don't slave away thinking that one day you can enjoy yourself."

Honestly, I think about this a lot and I want to have this attitude..I really do. However, when you are in med school, how are you supposed to "LIVE" everyday when most of your days involve class and studying your butt off?? I mean how is that really "living?" If I am ever blessed enough to receive a chance to go to med school, and when I am sitting there at midnight (as usual) studying extensively...I am not going to consider that "living" whatsoever. Sure I may be thinking that the stuff I'm learning is great and that not everyone gets to learn this, etc...but I'll STILL frequently be thinking that I'm "slaving away" a lot of the time...and that hopefully one day I will be enjoying myself much more than this...and that hopefully it will be as rewarding as I imagine it will be. How does anyone think otherwise?? I know that some people enjoy studying much more than I do...and honestly, I enjoy studying every now and then. However, not one of you out there can tell me that you just love studying repetitively...or that you would rather study over and over than spend time with your wife and kids, spend time with your friends, go on a trip, etc...
This right here is how I feel alot of the time. I feel sorry for the people who say that they have more fun in med school than in college, because if thats true you must have really had no life in college. Some of the stuff I learn is really interesting, I have some great friends, and we do have some good times; but I do feel like the majority of my life is wasted sitting in the library. Yea I like the material, but I also like going out to bars, playing some sports, learning about some other interesting stuff.

Alot of my peers keeping saying well this sux now but i hear next block will be easier. Next block rolls around and we all say well this sux now but next block will be better.

Its old trap

pre-med sux but med school will be better
med school sux but rotations will be beter
rotations suck but residency will be better
residency sux but being an attending will be better.

Dont go into this thinking you will start your life once you are done with your training otherwise you will never start. The path is so long that it is your life.

Kaushik brings up a great point. By the time youre in clinicals youre so deep in its hard to change to something else.

Will it be worth it when Im done? I have no idea, I sure as hell hope so. I really like the pancake analogy of med school. It sums things up pretty good.

My best advice is have a really really good reason for doing this. "I know I want to be a doctor its all ive ever thought about doing ever" will not get you through, in fact that will probably make it worse. Whatever your reason, it has to be good enough for you to keep you sitting in that chair and focused, when you would rather be doing anything else. Hell there have been times when I would literally rather just stare at a blank wall for 20 minutes than study (it happens trust me). When youre feeling tired or bored, or stir crazy, tell yourself that reason, remember it, take a deep breath and get back to studying; its harder than it sounds but it might help you that day youre really struggling.
 
Jan 29, 2010
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Dont go into this thinking you will start your life once you are done with your training otherwise you will never start. The path is so long that it is your life.
That just sucks to hear, but im sure it's true. I mean, every time I tell someone im going into medicine (hopefully) they say "That's great, it will be worth it in the long run"...I mean we have all been told this over and over which is why most ppl have this attitude...that one day we will be doctors enjoying what we do and enjoying life...thinking that we will have enough money to not have to pinch pennies...that we will be able to take awesome trips with our families, etc. If i'm alone in this, well i'm sorry...im not expecting to be rich but i do expect after all of this hard work to be able to live "comfortably"...as in be able to provide for a family and take trips now and then and enjoy life when time permits. I don't expect to live in some mansion with a Porsche in the garage...but when I think about getting out of residency and still having to work 80+ hour weeks to pay off debt...it makes me want to re-think things for sure. Going through med school/residency you miss out on enough family life, having fun with friends, etc. I don't mind working a long work week every now and then...but i don't want that to be my "regular" work week to the point where i can't enjoy my family and friends now and then. I want to enjoy my job and enjoy my family. I mean, even as bad as I want to perform what a physician does for ppl, if this profession causes one to be as miserable after training as during it, I don't want to do it I don't think. Is this the case? I just know I want to enjoy most of my life, and the reason I have pursued this route is to ENJOY MY PROFESSION. I've always been told to "do whatever makes you HAPPY bc that is the most important thing" and "no matter how much money you make, you need to ENJOY what you do" (as most of you have probably been told this). If I am not going to enjoy this when I am able to practice on my own, what is the point? Make no mistake, I want to help ppl and serve others medically...however, if this causes me to be miserable for most my adult life, then it is not worth it in my opinion. I truly hope this not to be the case.
 

Dr Oops

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That just sucks to hear, but im sure it's true. I mean, every time I tell someone im going into medicine (hopefully) they say "That's great, it will be worth it in the long run"...I mean we have all been told this over and over which is why most ppl have this attitude...that one day we will be doctors enjoying what we do and enjoying life...thinking that we will have enough money to not have to pinch pennies...that we will be able to take awesome trips with our families, etc. If i'm alone in this, well i'm sorry...im not expecting to be rich but i do expect after all of this hard work to be able to live "comfortably"...as in be able to provide for a family and take trips now and then and enjoy life when time permits. I don't expect to live in some mansion with a Porsche in the garage...but when I think about getting out of residency and still having to work 80+ hour weeks to pay off debt...it makes me want to re-think things for sure. Going through med school/residency you miss out on enough family life, having fun with friends, etc. I don't mind working a long work week every now and then...but i don't want that to be my "regular" work week to the point where i can't enjoy my family and friends now and then. I want to enjoy my job and enjoy my family. I mean, even as bad as I want to perform what a physician does for ppl, if this profession causes one to be as miserable after training as during it, I don't want to do it I don't think. Is this the case? I just know I want to enjoy most of my life, and the reason I have pursued this route is to ENJOY MY PROFESSION. I've always been told to "do whatever makes you HAPPY bc that is the most important thing" and "no matter how much money you make, you need to ENJOY what you do" (as most of you have probably been told this). If I am not going to enjoy this when I am able to practice on my own, what is the point? Make no mistake, I want to help ppl and serve others medically...however, if this causes me to be miserable for most my adult life, then it is not worth it in my opinion. I truly hope this not to be the case.
You may very well enjoy it. The problem is it requires alot of sacrifice to do this and people justify that sacrifice by saying it will be better when I am a medstudent or resident or attending, because then I can start my life. In reality if you do that life will pass you by. Its a tough choice because I want to experience life now, while im young, but its just hard to do in medschool. Taking a few years off and travelling etc. might be a good idea, but then youre that much older before youre done with your training and making enough money to start buying a house, getting married, starting a retirement fund etc.

You will miss out on alot of things, birthdays, weddings, family time (they will tell you this the first day of medschool). As an aside thats why it irks me when people say hopefully i get the privilege to goto med school; you earn your spot and your giving up alot to be there.

I may just be depressing right now because its close to test week. There are good things about this process, Ive meet some great people and Ive done some cool things, but sometimes the feeling that life is passing you by gets to ya.

The take home message is youre gonna spend a good portion of your life in training. We used to have a saying when I did track, "it doesnt get any easier just faster"-- It will only get harder the farther you go through the process, after all science isnt taking steps backwards, so dont put your life on hold waiting for that day when its easier to come.
 
Jan 29, 2010
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You may very well enjoy it. The problem is it requires alot of sacrifice to do this and people justify that sacrifice by saying it will be better when I am a medstudent or resident or attending, because then I can start my life. In reality if you do that life will pass you by. Its a tough choice because I want to experience life now, while im young, but its just hard to do in medschool. Taking a few years off and travelling etc. might be a good idea, but then youre that much older before youre done with your training and making enough money to start buying a house, getting married, starting a retirement fund etc.

You will miss out on alot of things, birthdays, weddings, family time (they will tell you this the first day of medschool). As an aside thats why it irks me when people say hopefully i get the privilege to goto med school; you earn your spot and your giving up alot to be there.

I may just be depressing right now because its close to test week. There are good things about this process, Ive meet some great people and Ive done some cool things, but sometimes the feeling that life is passing you by gets to ya.

The take home message is youre gonna spend a good portion of your life in training. We used to have a saying when I did track, "it doesnt get any easier just faster"-- It will only get harder the farther you go through the process, after all science isnt taking steps backwards, so dont put your life on hold waiting for that day when its easier to come.
Well, I see what you are saying...I tried to live life in college and I will try to live life in med school or wherever i end up. Taking things one day at the time has gotten me this far...and I fully agree that if you just wait and wait for that "day" to come where you are finally out on your own and happy, that life will pass you by and you will not live in the moment. It just sucks bc the "living in the moment" that i'll be doing is studying and going to class mainly. Oh well...hopefully it will all be worth it. If not, then it's going to suck that I wasted so many of the most valuable years of my life pursuing and enduring this route. Ultimately, however, I have always felt that I need to give this a fair try and not just base my decision on other peoples' opinions (for the record, i know you weren't trying to sway me one way or the other and just being honest, which i appreciate). All i know is that I just don't want to hate my job, and I want to do something that truly matters. Thanks for the advice...while I don't base my decisions solely off of others, it's always good to hear other peoples' point of view, especially those that are further along in the process.
 

jboz

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I have a question. How do you know you'll be satisfied with medicine?
You can only go into this with three options really. You can either feel you'll be satisfied, feel that you won't be satisfied, or not know what to expect.

If you're about to give a 7+ year commitment to medicine, you'd be foolhardy not to have the mentality that you're going to be satisfied. Anyone that goes into this thinking they won't be satisfied or not knowing what to expect will be miserable the entire time.

And don't get me wrong, you could very well go into this expecting to be satisfied and by the end of it realize you hate it. But imagine what it would have been like going in with that mentality in the first place? Not only hating it at the end of the road, you would have topped it off with suicide!!

:boom:
 

Narmerguy

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Not really. If someone feels that they've gone too far to stop, then clearly it would seem that it is more worth it to them to do this than to try to do anything else. If that wasn't true, they simply wouldn't do it. They'd stop. People do what they feel is best no matter what. Sometimes it's the lesser of two evils, perhaps even often. No matter what though, they'll take the path that they feel is best.
 

JJMrK

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We have to go through much sacrifice and dedication. We keep saying, "Once I get through this, the next step will be better." "Okay, that was hard, but I will be glad when I get to the next step" and so on.

Do you believe that eventually you will say, "Wow, I can't believe I got through all that. I dedicated so much and put in so much effort and its finally true. I am happy."?

I'm just trying to get a sense of the goals of pre-meds.
I think this is the wrong approach to take. Try to find enjoyment in everything you do; there's no reason you have to be miserable.
 
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To clarify some of what I meant earlier, despite the fact that our lives will be mostly spent studying while in medical school, thats not to say that its ALL you can do with your life. Sure you can't live it up or party every day of the week but you can pick one or two things that maybe aren't as time intensive and do that too so your entire day isn't spent on memorizing factoids.

I think the problem with saying " tomorrow it will be better" is that one day you're going to wake up and realize that

1. You're not guaranteed tomorrow at all, let alone that it will be better.

2. If you do work hard to achieve all the goals that you set for yourself and keep promising to "relax" later, you will wake up one day as a retired physician perhaps divorced cause you didn't spend all that much time with your family, with grown kids you barely know, and no real friends outside the medical field. Training in this profession is life-long. It never stops. Thats why procrastinating on doing something you love (other than medicine) means that you'll never get to do it. And then you'll look back and (if you don't hate the profession because of it) wonder what happened to the last 40-50 years of your life.