HELP! in crisis mode and can't think clearly -- starting MD/PhD

May 30, 2019
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Hello!

Hopefully some of you can offer some advice.

I got accepted into an MD/PhD program in December and signed on. I was super super excited in the fall, winter, and spring. COVID hit, and I was working from home, and I have a lot of time to think.

Until 3 weeks ago I was working at one of the top labs in the country, and I loved LOVED research. I know I would be welcome back if I decided to apply to just a PhD there, but for some reason that didn't cross my mind last year. I thought/think I wanted both the clinical and the research components.

I am starting my MD/PhD program in the next month and can't seem to see clearly. I think I want to do medicine? I am pretty sure and I was so sure of this last fall. But I don't have any hands on experience with doing medicine (obviously) and I can't even be sure if I will like it. And on the other hand, I know for a fact I would be happy and content in my current lab!

If anyone can offer a nervous almost M1 that would be great. Or any advice, it would be greatly appreciated.
 

Lucca

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Getting cold feet is perfectly normal. I’d refrain from making any rash decisions before you’ve even experienced med school. What you can drop out of or not will depend on your program, most likely. Either way, I genuinely think for the vast majority of ppl wanting to go into biomedical science the md / phd is a better deal than a straight PhD even if you end up doing 100% research ASAP after graduating. Dropping out and doing something else is always an option.

There are many parts of med school that suck. But medicine is much bigger and broader than I thought before I came in. I think if something about medicine attracted you to it enough to take the mcat and apply then you will probably find something/a career in medicine that is exciting / satisfying to you. If not, the PhD opens doors to industry and research.
 
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May 30, 2019
67
75
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
Getting cold feet is perfectly normal. I’d refrain from making any rash decisions before you’ve even experienced med school. What you can drop out of or not will depend on your program, most likely. Either way, I genuinely think for the vast majority of ppl wanting to go into biomedical science the md / phd is a better deal than a straight PhD even if you end up doing 100% research ASAP after graduating. Dropping out and doing something else is always an option.

There are many parts of med school that suck. But medicine is much bigger and broader than I thought before I came in. I think if something about medicine attracted you to it enough to take the mcat and apply then you will probably find something/a career in medicine that is exciting / satisfying to you. If not, the PhD opens doors to industry and research.

Thanks so much! It's reassuring that having cold feet is normal. I will start and if I hate it, there are always other options.
 

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