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Having doubts. 7 years?

guest794

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    Should I consider another career? SEVEN YEARS of med school/ residency. That's 7 years of a short life. 7 years of (very) high stress and a high level of student debt. 4 years I could stomach. Every time I think of applying the thought SEVEN YEARS AND DEBT gives me a queasy feeling, like I'm about to take out a loan to sign up for the jail library. Sure in 10 I could (hopefully) have my dream job (some caveats, it won't work out perfect), be making a great wage (spending a majority of my time working). How do you deal with the prospect of this time commitment?
     
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    Cpt Ahab

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      You basically rambled about a bunch of crap and then asked a question, so I will try to answer that.

      "How do you deal with the prospect of this time commitment?"

      I mean I deal with the idea of it because I wanted to become a doctor in the first place. That is, I knowingly signed up for one of the hardest things one could do in life. Are you getting my point here? Getting an MD isn't just a walk in the park, dude.

      Also, I'm physically lazy, which rules out manual labor and slightly too socially awkward to work in business. But if the adcoms ask I'm trying to work primary care in a rural setting and have 0 intentions of ever attempting to match surgery.
       
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      guest794

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      May 25, 2013
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        You basically rambled about a bunch of crap and then asked a question, so I will try to answer that.

        "How do you deal with the prospect of this time commitment?"

        I mean I deal with the idea of it because I wanted to become a doctor in the first place. That is, I knowingly signed up for one of the hardest things one could do in life. Are you getting my point here? Getting an MD isn't just a walk in the park, dude.

        Also, I'm physically lazy, which rules out manual labor and slightly too socially awkward to work in business. But if the adcoms ask I'm trying to work primary care in a rural setting and have 0 intentions of ever attempting to match surgery.

        Of course it's hard. I'm ready for 4 year hard, not 10 year hard (before starting) plus debt. And you're too socially awkward to be in business but want to be a doctor? Hmm
         
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        Cpt Ahab

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          Of course it's hard. I'm ready for 4 year hard, not 10 year hard (before starting) plus debt. And you're too socially awkward to be in business but want to be a doctor? Hmm

          Just be honest with yourself, bud. You don't have the drive, ability, or balls to commit to this lifestyle. Just keep saying things to make yourself feel better about your choice and the only time you'll have to recall this bad dream is when you talk to a successful doctor at a party and tell him you would have gone to medical school accept for excuses X, Y, and Z.

          Go become a nurse or PA. There's always a need for them, and they are a vital part of the medical system.
           
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          TheZaLord

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            If you're not willing to put in ten years- do something else. That's all there really is to it, right?
            You don't get to short cut because you don't feel like going through the process. if the prospect is too daunting, that's ok.
             
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            Chir0nex

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              Of course it's hard. I'm ready for 4 year hard, not 10 year hard (before starting) plus debt. And you're too socially awkward to be in business but want to be a doctor? Hmm

              I mean if you don't feel ready to commit to training then don't. I really couldn't picture myself doing anything but medicine, so for me it is totally worth it. For that matter, I enjoyed the majority of my time in medical school, don't think of it as 4 years of torture, it is work, but still fun. While I know the time commitments look daunting, as you progress through training you slowly adjust your life and make peace with the reduced free time It is not for everyone, and there is no shame in realizing that it's a bad career fit, but it is also extremely rewarding for those that do pursue it.
               
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              Tenk

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                Never even thought about the time commitment. Just did it. Time flies by fast, if anything 7-10 years probably isn't even enough time to prepare you for everything. There's an old surgeon at the hospital I work at who said: "It took me 10 years to learn how to operate and another 10 years to learn when to operate." For medicine it's not the destination but the journey since you are always learning. If that doesn't appeal to you, then medicine is not for you.
                 
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                moisne

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                  If you are hating every moment of that for 7 years - then yes - that's a miserable and long 7 years.

                  But if you are enjoying it - despite it being hard, it's probably not that bad. Though the stories I hear of intern year sounds pretty scary lol
                   
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                  Spector1

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                    You do get paid for residency and its not terrible like it used to be. Besides if you started working now you wouldnt be earning that much anyways for the first few years.
                     
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                    NotASerialKiller

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                      Do something else if it feels terrifying and looming before you even start. I'm really excited by the prospect of studying medicine. I probably won't feel that way every single moment but I'd be worried if I wasn't at least starting out with positivity and enthusiasm.
                       
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                      Goro

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                        [the greatest post I’ve ever read on the subject!]

                        http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/im-so-nervous.1110989/#post-15965589

                        Pay careful attention to #4


                        Should I consider another career? SEVEN YEARS of med school/ residency. That's 7 years of a short life. 7 years of (very) high stress and a high level of student debt. 4 years I could stomach. Every time I think of applying the thought SEVEN YEARS AND DEBT gives me a queasy feeling, like I'm about to take out a loan to sign up for the jail library. Sure in 10 I could (hopefully) have my dream job (some caveats, it won't work out perfect), be making a great wage (spending a majority of my time working). How do you deal with the prospect of this time commitment?
                         
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                        Crayola227

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                          "As long as God has given you a good body and a good mind, you should use it." - Dr. Michael E. Debakey

                          That was the signature line from the poster that Goro is referring to.

                          99% of people I'm guessing go through medical school retain the good body and good mind.

                          If you're in the 1%, you are more ****ed than you could ever imagine.

                          Of course, life is a gamble. With odds like those, 99% of people are going to come out the other side of that MD and that residency (7 years) and be OK. They will likely even think it is worth is (likely meaning the 60% of docs that say they would do it again, vs the 40% who would urge their own children to do something else.)

                          The fact that you could go down a life path and end up more ****ed than in another one, is not in and of itself a reason not to do it, nothing ventured nothing gained, if you never take any risks than you never really live.

                          Going into medicine is a kind of insanity. You basically have to be willing to die for the profession. To kill your family relationships, to be divorced, to having kids that feel you are a stranger to them, to maybe lose a number of friends, to be willing to entertain thoughts of suicide, to take a hep C needle or a bullet. Literally being pissed on. Heaps of verbal abuse. To risk failure on the most epic scale: life and death, and that you will at some point live with the consequence of having ruined someone else's life, and killed them by your error. And then be willing to rinse and repeat day in, day out, to the very edges of your physical endurance. Regular sleep deprivation, fasting, and medical self-neglect.

                          Despite all that, it must be something that you spend the vast majority of every waking hour thinking about. After a 12-16 hour workday, you must on your free time, voraciously consume hours and hours pages and pages of reading the most detailed treatments on medical science.

                          Despite all that, you must actively seek more of this. Medicine is best practiced if it is your addiction:
                          • addiction – a state characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences

                          If you think I'm exaggerating on some of these issues, check this out
                          http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/806779-overview
                          "A recent survey of American Surgeons revealed that although 1 in 16 had experienced suicidal ideation in the past 12 months, only 26% had sought psychiatric or psychologic help. There was a strong correlation between depressive symptoms, as well as indicators of burn out, with the incidence of suicidal ideation. Over 60% of those with suicidal ideation indicated they were reluctant to seek help due to concern that it could affect their medical license.[14] Research suggests that 1 in 3 physicians has no regular source of medical care.[15]"
                          http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/09/suicide-and-the-young-physician/380253/
                           
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                          DocMcMommy

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                            Are you going to look back in ten years and think, "Oh crap, why didn't I start trying to reach this goal sooner?" Because time is going to pass regardless and if you're concerned about the time now, just think about how you'll feel if down the line you decide that this IS what you want to do, but you wasted x-amount of years not working toward it.

                            But, I don't know anything. I'm just an undergrad feeding off of the wisdom of the meta-SDNers.
                             
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                            Noomm

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                              If you think I'm exaggerating on some of these issues, check this out
                              http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/806779-overview
                              "A recent survey of American Surgeons revealed that although 1 in 16 had experienced suicidal ideation in the past 12 months, only 26% had sought psychiatric or psychologic help. There was a strong correlation between depressive symptoms, as well as indicators of burn out, with the incidence of suicidal ideation. Over 60% of those with suicidal ideation indicated they were reluctant to seek help due to concern that it could affect their medical license.[14] Research suggests that 1 in 3 physicians has no regular source of medical care.[15]"
                              http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/09/suicide-and-the-young-physician/380253/

                              Damn that's sobering
                               
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                              WedgeDawg

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                                Can we make this a pre-req for joining this site. Or just med school in general?

                                It generally is, actually. That's why you shadow and volunteer. Unfortunately, most people are just not as introspective as mimelim, which is why this comes as something of a revelation to people who see these activities as checkboxes and not valuable learning experiences or opportunities for reflection.
                                 
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                                Stagg737

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                                  It generally is, actually. That's why you shadow and volunteer. Unfortunately, most people are just not as introspective as mimelim, which is why this comes as something of a revelation to people who see these activities as checkboxes and not valuable learning experiences or opportunities for reflection.

                                  Idk, I think there's a lot of good general life advice that reaches beyond medicine in mimelim's post that most people wouldn't think of just from shadowing/volunteering.
                                   
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                                  WedgeDawg

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                                    Idk, I think there's a lot of good general life advice that reaches beyond medicine in mimelim's post that most people wouldn't think of just from shadowing/volunteering.

                                    True, mimelim's posts (and this one is no exception) are always exceptionally insightful. I was just commenting that the basic points there about going into medicine should be at least somewhat evident if an applicant takes the time and effort to explore their motivations for going into medicine and the life that is ahead of them during their clinical exposure.
                                     
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                                    Goro

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                                      In retrospect, you'll be better off doing something else.



                                      Should I consider another career? SEVEN YEARS of med school/ residency. That's 7 years of a short life. 7 years of (very) high stress and a high level of student debt. 4 years I could stomach. Every time I think of applying the thought SEVEN YEARS AND DEBT gives me a queasy feeling, like I'm about to take out a loan to sign up for the jail library. Sure in 10 I could (hopefully) have my dream job (some caveats, it won't work out perfect), be making a great wage (spending a majority of my time working). How do you deal with the prospect of this time commitment?
                                       
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