doc-to-be

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I'm not quite sure where to post this...I'm non-traditional...so, I hope here will do... :confused:

I started med school this past September. I've hated it pretty much every day. I'm exhausted and frustrated with the work. All of the negatives about medicine/medical school--politics, malpractice, residency hours....--are really starting to bother me.
I have a nagging feeling that I should be in vet school, instead. I'm obsessed with horses, have a lot of experience with them; I spent a long time trying to decide between MD and equine DVM, and I have a feeling I chose the wrong one. I realize that the workload is just as heavy and probably more so at vet school, but I bet I'd be much happier with the prospect of working with horses every day; I even have an equine specialty in mind....

I'd love to hear of any experiences similar to mine. I would really appreciate some advice. Maybe it's normal to be a really unhappy med student?
 

efex101

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It really depends on how "unhappy" you are. All of us (I think first year just sucks the life right out of you) feel crummy every now and then when the workload increases exponentially but this does not last long. If you feel bad ALL the time and the prospect of practicing medicine gives you the hives then yeah..I would explore all possibilities IMHO. From talking to many physicians they say it gets worse from here (time commitment wise) and that taking care of patients is not as glamorous and rewarding when you have been awake for the upteenth hour. All this said I would not trade this for anything in the world but sure...at times I also feel like WTF did I get into here?
 

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You have to find those little moments of joy in medicine like when the patient in the bed next to your patient sheats during rounds and the attending gags from the stench.

Keep going. Finish your medical degree. Finish residency. Marry a DVM and open a joint human / equine clinic. You treat the equistrians, your wife / husband treats the horses.

Sometimes you just have to make sacrifices in life.
 
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doc-to-be

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MD'05 said:
You have to find those little moments of joy in medicine like when the patient in the bed next to your patient sheats during rounds and the attending gags from the stench.

Keep going. Finish your medical degree. Finish residency. Marry a DVM and open a joint human / equine clinic. You treat the equistrians, your wife / husband treats the horses.

Sometimes you just have to make sacrifices in life.
already thought of that--my SO is in law school, so it's a no-go :thumbdown:
;)
 

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doc-to-be said:
already thought of that--my SO is in law school, so it's a no-go :thumbdown:
;)
Crap. Too bad. I would suggest finishing med school, residency and then applying for vet school, but if you are already non-trad, you may not want to spend more time. Otherwise you could open the human / equine clinic all by yourself.

Stick with it. Everyone hates med school, especially the first two years. Third year gets better and fourth year is da bomb. Internship sucks all over again or so I have been told.
 

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i was the opposite in the sense that i came very close to going to vet school, and then i reneged to pursue medical school instead. i say finish the year and reevaluate the situation in the summer. you'll have more time to think things through.
 

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OP, can you elaborate on why you hate med school so much? This is kinda my personal fear, I am a non-trad pre-med.

Thanks, it would greatly help me.

-BB
 

medtechv79

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I wouldn't feel too bad. I know someone at my workplace who graduated from 4 years of med school than quit to become a lab assistant/supervisor. Oh wells...I thought what a waste of 4 years and a degree! But maybe he really didn't want to become a doctor. There are people out there like that...I guess you really have to think before going any further. Is this what you want to do?? You don't want to waste another 4-7 years doing something you have no passion for. You'll end up a bitter old, fat bioche (sorry) who complains about their job, life all the time and having your coworkers hate you. (I knew a woman like that--not a doctor tho a med. tech).
So...you can tough it out for another year maybe until yer clerkships? or rotations (when you actually go through some areas right? not just academic lectures?) and maybe you'll change your mind.
I think all jobs have their downsides to it. And although vets don't have malpractice alot of them do own their own practicies like doctors so there is a business side to being a vet not just dealing with animals.....so there is no "glory" job in this world unfortunately....(unless your a big-time rapper or singer) hahaha. So...I guess just think hard decide if this is for you. Is money a factor? or is it the field you are in? Human doctors do make more money than vets.....just remember that....but whatever floats your boat....
 

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doc-to-be said:
I'm not quite sure where to post this...I'm non-traditional...so, I hope here will do... :confused:

I started med school this past September. I've hated it pretty much every day. I'm exhausted and frustrated with the work. All of the negatives about medicine/medical school--politics, malpractice, residency hours....--are really starting to bother me.
I have a nagging feeling that I should be in vet school, instead. I'm obsessed with horses, have a lot of experience with them; I spent a long time trying to decide between MD and equine DVM, and I have a feeling I chose the wrong one. I realize that the workload is just as heavy and probably more so at vet school, but I bet I'd be much happier with the prospect of working with horses every day; I even have an equine specialty in mind....

I'd love to hear of any experiences similar to mine. I would really appreciate some advice. Maybe it's normal to be a really unhappy med student?
You are an excellent example of why age does matter for medical school.

In the marines, they like to get 17-18 year old guys and turn them into badass killers. Why 17-18 years old? Because at that age, they are easy to mold, are physically strong, and haven't had much/any life experience to question the things that they are asked to do.

Medical school is kind of like that. Adcoms know that 21 year-olds are going to be less likely to ask the kind of questions that you are asking. A 21 year-old fresh out of college is not going to be wondering if he/she should be pursuing veterinary medicine because he/she loves horses. Most likely they will be studying hard so that they can get the highest grade because that is where their experience is. A 21 year-old is more likely to accept everything he/she is told in med school than a 31 year-old is. A 21 year-old is more likely to just plow through the work without thinking there is any other alternative, because chances are the 21 year-old has never seriously considered any other alternative...
 
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Khenon

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Celiac Plexus said:
You are an excellent example of why age does matter for medical school.

In the marines, they like to get 17-18 year old guys and turn them into badass killers. Why 17-18 years old? Because at that age, they are easy to mold, are physically strong, and haven't had much/any life experience to question the things that they are asked to do.

Medical school is kind of like that. Adcoms know that 21 year-olds are going to be less likely to ask the kind of questions that you are asking. A 21 year-old fresh out of college is not going to be wondering if he/she should be pursuing veterinary medicine because he/she loves horses. Most likely they will be studying hard so that they can get the highest grade because that is where their experience is. A 21 year-old is more likely to accept everything he/she is told in med school than a 31 year-old is. A 21 year-old is more likely to just plow through the work without thinking there is any other alternative, because chances are the 21 year-old has never seriously considered any other alternative...
This is a bit anectodal (though I completely agree with your marine analogy). I also know 21 year olds that drop out of professional programs (med school, vet school, etc) because they've never had to work so hard in their lives, have had mommy and daddy paying for everything, and realize they can't handle the stress and workload of their programs. Non-trads will less likely have this issue, as they have had to support themselves, have had jobs they hated (but still worked through) and may even have families (child rearing being the biggest challenge of anyone's life). They know they can get through medical school too, before even getting there.

My point is, it goes both ways. 21 year olds make no more better potential medical students then non-trads. They both have their pros and cons. And frankly I'd rather see a non-trad that knew they needed to quit medical school and persue something else, rather then have a 21 year old that just pushed through medical school and turns out to be a crappy doctor because they're unhappy in their career.
 

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doc-to-be said:
I'm not quite sure where to post this...I'm non-traditional...so, I hope here will do... :confused:

I started med school this past September. I've hated it pretty much every day. I'm exhausted and frustrated with the work. All of the negatives about medicine/medical school--politics, malpractice, residency hours....--are really starting to bother me.
I have a nagging feeling that I should be in vet school, instead. I'm obsessed with horses, have a lot of experience with them; I spent a long time trying to decide between MD and equine DVM, and I have a feeling I chose the wrong one. I realize that the workload is just as heavy and probably more so at vet school, but I bet I'd be much happier with the prospect of working with horses every day; I even have an equine specialty in mind....

I'd love to hear of any experiences similar to mine. I would really appreciate some advice. Maybe it's normal to be a really unhappy med student?
Contrary to the popular opinion, my advice is to RUN...RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!

In my shadowing and volunteering experience and just working in a lab that is located in a teaching hospital (aka: a lot of students/residents/fellows) The general concensus is that if you are not 100% into what you are doing, you are going to end up mighty disgruntled and will regret this the rest of your life. I don't want you to think that I am saying "give up" but there is a lot to be said for trusting your gut instinct.

I have always wanted to be a doctor, to me, I can't imagine a profession that anyone would want more than this, and it was a rude awakening for me to meet so many people who were so unhappy with their jobs. I can't believe how many docs that I have met who are just crappy people due to the toll of their chosen profession. They outwardly complain, treat others with disrespect and that is including their patients. I never thought that a doctor could be like this but it seems to be a trend. We work so hard to achieve the dream and then realize that it is not what we thought.

You are smart, you are questioning what you are doing very early on. Maybe this is just a passing faze but if it continues for any lenght of time, get out. Don't spend another dime on med school, spend you money on the training that drives you. If you are going to go into debt, do it for something that makes you want to get up in the morning, not something that makes you want to stay in bed.

I don't mean to disregard the other opinions that say you should stick it out, I am a little older and have seen my fair share of jobs that have killed my soul, some of them were even good paying. I came to medicine because all of these experiences gave me a sense of self and that sense of self has told me to ALWAYS trust you instinct. It will never lie to you.

Good Luck with your journey :luck:
 

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Contrary to the popular opinion, my advice is to RUN...RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!
:luck:
The reality is that many people out their are unhappy with their careers whether it be law,medicine, engineering you name it. I guess my question for you, is what drew you to medicine in the first place?

I think it is somewhat unrealistic for society to expect 20-23 year old kids to know what they want out of life, alot of times it takes years, and doing odd jobs and studying multiple things before someone really finds out what they want.

I am not suggesting you drop out of medical school, but you should ask yourself why you decided to go into Medicine in the first place. I am not in medical school yet, however I am in a similar predicament, when I was 22 years old I decided that I would go to law school. I was not sure why, but I just did it, because It felt like it was a good idea. Little did I know how miserable I would become. My first year of law school I felt like I was in a horrible marriage with someone I did not love. I wanted a divorce from law school so baddd!!! Everyday it got worst and worst, some days I was so bored to tears I wanted to cry lol!!! I can imagine that you feel somewhat similar

I have decied to just stick with finishing law school, even if I never use my degree. The learning experince alone has been worth it, plus you never know how your degree may come in handy later in life.

I have decided to try and not make that mistake again with medical school. I am shadowing a D.O. and working as an EMT my last year of law school, and I am getting as much medical experince as I can in the limited amount of time I have before I apply to med school.

After one graduate degree, and possibily a second my advice to people out their, is not to rush into any program. I remeber when I was younger I used to laugh at people who did not go to college right away. I was sooooo wrong......Now I think its wise to just work and find out what it is in life that you really love to do. Travel, meet new people, experince life. I think alot of people feel pressured by peers and others to do something, even if they do not like what they are doing. I think doing something, just because you can do it, is the worst reason to ever do anything.

Ultimately I believe that happiness comes from within side of you. Some people are JUST NEVER HAPPY, even if you give them a kick ass job and a buttload of benifits. That being said, life is just way to short to do something you hate getting up and doing everyday,
 

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Doc-To-Be:

I don't know your age, school, or other personal situations that might affect your career choice. However, I can generally say that medical school and the practice of medicine is a challenge for everyone all the time. It truly is a calling and requires committment. Every person has great days, and bad days despite the best of intentions.

Medicine is a very broad field. Every committed student or physician can find their own nitch, prosper, and be happy. First realize that school is tough, but that better days are ahead. Realize that no one can do it all. You will find an area you truly enjoy, but this may take time. Maybe its pathology, or radiolgy? Maybe its sports medicine? Maybe its public health? Maybe its primary care? Talk radio? Executive Medicine? Who knows? Maybe you become so successfull you can finally buy a horse ranch in ten years?

Talk your situation over with your significant other. Talk it over with people you truly can trust and respect their opinion. If you are depressed get confidential professional help. There is no shame in that. Otherwise keep this to yourself and work hard. In general, I would say hang in their, keep the faith, and you will find your way. But it is a decision only you can make. Good luck.

Finally, all work and no play makes jack a dull boy. Find time to relax and have fun outside of medicine. You can't do it all, all the time.

Sincerely,

An old fart doc of 30 yrs that enjoys and plays music in his spare time.
 

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One of our lectures said somthing to us that stuck in my mind....

"How many of you wanted to become doctors." All hands went up.

"Now how many of you LOVE medical school." Most hands stayed down.

He said "Just because you want to be a doctor does NOT mean you have to liek med school. In fact a whole huge percentage of people hate med school. It is just something you have to get through to become a doctor. So hang in there, it will be over before you know it."

I think about that every time I get depressed that I am tired of studying and want to spend more time with my family. It is a short period of time.

Good luck. chin up. Onward you will march.
 

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doc-to-be said:
I'm not quite sure where to post this...I'm non-traditional...so, I hope here will do... :confused:

I started med school this past September. I've hated it pretty much every day. I'm exhausted and frustrated with the work. All of the negatives about medicine/medical school--politics, malpractice, residency hours....--are really starting to bother me.
I have a nagging feeling that I should be in vet school, instead. I'm obsessed with horses, have a lot of experience with them; I spent a long time trying to decide between MD and equine DVM, and I have a feeling I chose the wrong one. I realize that the workload is just as heavy and probably more so at vet school, but I bet I'd be much happier with the prospect of working with horses every day; I even have an equine specialty in mind....

I'd love to hear of any experiences similar to mine. I would really appreciate some advice. Maybe it's normal to be a really unhappy med student?
I spent ~ a decade mulling over doing vet school & came to the conclusion that I couldn't do it. In general, I feel that I can have a healthy amount of detatchment w/ humans that I can't w/ animals.

It can be a tough life for vets after graduation (& residency, if they choose). It's running a small business which is something that I find very unappealing. Money can be an issue (though not as bad in equine vet med as general large animal). There are academic routes, but very few/really competitive, probably as bad if not worse than human derm.

I also think that sometimes when a person decides to make a career out of something that they LOVE, it can spoil that love, make them lose the love and maybe even hate that field.
 

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doc-to-be said:
I'm not quite sure where to post this...I'm non-traditional...so, I hope here will do... :confused:

I started med school this past September. I've hated it pretty much every day. I'm exhausted and frustrated with the work. All of the negatives about medicine/medical school--politics, malpractice, residency hours....--are really starting to bother me.
I have a nagging feeling that I should be in vet school, instead. I'm obsessed with horses, have a lot of experience with them; I spent a long time trying to decide between MD and equine DVM, and I have a feeling I chose the wrong one. I realize that the workload is just as heavy and probably more so at vet school, but I bet I'd be much happier with the prospect of working with horses every day; I even have an equine specialty in mind....

I'd love to hear of any experiences similar to mine. I would really appreciate some advice. Maybe it's normal to be a really unhappy med student?
Hi there,
First year is really not very indicative of how medicine as a career will be. First year is more like undergraduate school piled higher and deeper. You slog through all of your classes and you survive. Things that help are having a close relationship with your classmates and responsive faculty that understand how adults learn. That being said, if you are so miserable that you are becoming non-functional, you need to have a good conversation with your Dean of Students and find out your options at this point.

After you speak with your Dean of Student Affairs, you should contact some Vet schools and find out the options there. You need to know what the consequences of leaving medical school are and how these consequences might affect admission to vet school.

Regardless of what you decide to do, be sure to keep up with your classwork and do your best. You are committed to finishing this year just by the fact that you have paid tuition. The basic science coursework for vet and medical is pretty similiar so you can get some value from this year regardless of whether or not you continue.

It is very common to experience a "let down" during first year of medical school for the reasons that I have cited above. The admissions process can stroke your ego and then you find that when it comes down to the day to day work of first year, you are back in the same situation as undergraduate school, slogging away at coursework with the difficult task of relating your present coursework to future practice. For some students, reconciling these matters can be a real challenge; for others, a huge source of depression. It does get much better second year and third year has new challenges.

The times when medical school is truly ejoyable is during orientation week before your first year classes start and during fourth year especially after Match if nothing stands between you and graduation except to show up. Try to find an outlet for stress (physical exertion is good) and try to adapt as you go (easier said than done). It is not uncommon for many students to become depressed or let-down so share your feelings with sympathetic classmates if you can find some.

Medical school is hard work and being unhappy makes it more difficult. Medical school is not for everyone and some folks do leave to pursue other interests. Do anything that you can to get some good info and figure out how you are going to handle next year (vet or med). You may have to move quickly so get your info fast.

njbmd :)
 
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You're getting good advice from the above posts. As a non-trad med school grad (md in 02'), I can say with some certainty that MS-1 and 2 years correspond to NOTHING in your clinical years (unless you do some pathology or research elective). Don't lose sight of why you entered medicine to begin with. And, by the way, almost every med student/intern/resident has at least one period in their fledgling careers whereupon they become very disheartened about the whole process. My 'WTF-have-I-done-to-myself' moment didn't come until internship (during a general surgery rotation nonetheless, talk about adding insult to injury). But, those feelings passed, just like for most others. My advice... get some clinical exposure under your belt before making any life altering decisions.