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Nov 24, 2010
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I am a 24 yo female, single, and thinking of going to medical school. The problem is that I never before thought of going to medical school and becoming a doctor (except for maybe when I was in middle school and I would tell people that I wanted to be a doctor because my parents were telling me to consider it).

I currently work in the nonprofit world as an associate and it's OK. There is honestly nothing about it that I love, except for our organization's mission- which I have decided is important for whatever work I decide to do- there must be a mission, a purpose, a point to it all, beyond $$$ (although that too is important).

In college, I interned in investment banking and didn't care for it. I have done 0 pre med requirements (not even sure what they are) as I stayed away from science and math courses in college. I did this mainly because I went to a well known specialized high schools in NYC where I took tons of math and science courses (some on the AP level) and had enough of it. I did alright in those courses, but I definitely was glad when it was all over. I ended up at an ivy league college and my mission there was to steer clear of math and science and take courses that were interesting. I thus ended up majoring in political science- interesting, though not as intellectually stimulating as I could have handled.

At 24 (about to turn 25 early next year), I feel incredibly unfulfilled career wise. I don't even know if what I have can be called a career. I thought about law school, but soon concluded that I loved my sanity too much and that I would rather do anything than read legal documents all day long (dramatic, I know). That conclusion was big for me because I am incredibly indecisive. Sickly so.

I am considering medical school. If I go to medical school I would only want to either be a pediatrician (love kids, and they love me back lol), an obstetrician, or some other speciality having to do with kids. If I decide on that, it will be a loong and arduous road I am sure. I would have to do 2 years of postbacc+4 years of med school+3 years of residency=a 33/34 year old me with a career I COULD possibly like/ or not, but feeling too afraid to do anything else because of the time invested in the process. Perhaps worse would be coming to the realization later that being a doctor is precisely what I would like to do after a number of years have passed.

I would like to be a doctor because I like kids, the prestige of the field, the money, the certainty of the field and how it a useful, recession proof skill to have no matter what part of the world one is in. I don't want to be a doctor because I don't want to spend the next 10 years going to school for something I am unsure about (even if I was certain, 10 years is daunting), the level of debt I would have to incur is equally daunting, the possible monotony of doing the same procedure (perhaps more so if I become an obstetrician is not something I look forward to), the impact that I would be making would be to the patient only (I dream of making an impact that is beyond person to person and more to a group if that makes any sense), and lastly, I feel like deep down, I would feel like I am pursuing the career because of it's stability and because I would enjoy being called "doctor" (judge that however you would like). It would also make my parents happy, and that matters to me a bit. When I look inside myself, there is nothing about my true desires that scream "medical."

Other graduate programs that I am considering include public administration (MPA) and an MBA. Besides being doctor, I am considering these careers: entrepreneur (would be my dream to found a mission based company and take it public), management consultant (McKinsey, Bain, BCG level), professor at a business school. These careers must sound all over the place, but trust me when I say that I have really focused in and narrowed my list down.

What is important to me in a career is the following: to feel like I am doing something purposeful and important; potential to have a large impact on the world; money (yeah I hate to admit it, but I care how much money I make- anything $200,000+ is fine with me); I like the notion of being my own boss and determining my work day (not a prerequisite though); but most importantly, I like change (that is meeting people, talking to people, even working in different settings) and actually seeing the result of my work (its gratification or failure).

Honestly, I am unsure what I am asking, if anything. Perhaps I just needed to write that. Any advice, wisdom, criticism or whatever that could help me through this process would be nice. Thanks.
 
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tabascosauce

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Do it dude! Follow your dreams. i think those are all good and legitimate reasons. I banking sounds sweet though
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

Osteo Dullahan
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Medicine isn't something I think of when I think about fields for sanity lol. Regardless, consider volunteering in a hospital setting to figure out whether or not you actually truly want this career.
In terms of actually getting ready to get into medical school you need to take 2 semesters of Bio, general chem, orgo, physics, as well as 2 semesters worth of mathematics ( preferably calculus 1 & stat). I would also say that for the most part this is a typical post-bacc course plan.
Anyways like I said, volunteer and figure out what you truly want. Because you really don't want to go through pre-med and medical school just to figure out that you really in fact would have preferred to be something else. You also seem to also seem to like philanthropy and like the autonomy of being your own boss ( Which medicine provides, albeit after 10 years of being a virtual slave). So basically go out and try to figure it out.
 
OP
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Nov 24, 2010
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Do it dude! Follow your dreams. i think those are all good and legitimate reasons. I banking sounds sweet though
Thanks for the reply. I am not so sure if it is my dream. I just like the profession because of the reasons I listed above (money, prestige, stability, recession-proof, etc). The prospect of 10 years is daunting. I will probably feel like quitting many times throughout the process...and once I actually go through the long process of deciding something, I don't like to quit. Are my reasons good enough reasons to pursue the profession and spend all those years and amass all that debt, or should I do one of the other things I mentioned above that I am sure I will enjoy as much, if not more?

Btw, banking is a soul sucking profession for the most part. Although the money was nice, it was not worth it. 14 hours days to make make rich people richer is not a good use of one's time (or anyone's time). nah, i don't think so :laugh: Although it might not sound like it from my posting, I am a rather simple girl and while money is important, having a life is also important to me, and after making a base amount, any additional money above that is just "extra."
 
Jul 19, 2010
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Medicine may in fact be a good fit for you for some of the specific reasons you mentioned (namely wanting to have a tangible purpose and responsibility to others).

A couple of things to be aware of though as you expressed a clear interest in pediatrics:

1) Throughout your training (med school and residency) you will be required to do PLENTY of work with adults, many of them well along in age. So it may take some time before you really start working with kids regularly. Patience and determination would be key here.

2) You stated a desire to earn ~$200K per year. However, as a pediatrician you may not attain this high of a salary. I believe the average pay for ped's is around $140-150,000 currently.

Anyway, best of luck regardless ;)
 
OP
L
Nov 24, 2010
10
1
Status
Medicine isn't something I think of when I think about fields for sanity lol. Regardless, consider volunteering in a hospital setting to figure out whether or not you actually truly want this career.
In terms of actually getting ready to get into medical school you need to take 2 semesters of Bio, general chem, orgo, physics, as well as 2 semesters worth of mathematics ( preferably calculus 1 & stat). I would also say that for the most part this is a typical post-bacc course plan.
Anyways like I said, volunteer and figure out what you truly want. Because you really don't want to go through pre-med and medical school just to figure out that you really in fact would have preferred to be something else. You also seem to also seem to like philanthropy and like the autonomy of being your own boss ( Which medicine provides, albeit after 10 years of being a virtual slave). So basically go out and try to figure it out.
volunteering sounds like a good idea. thanks. i will look into it. maybe even just shadowing someone for a few days. i will admit though that the times that i have gone to hospitals, i never quite liked it. so clinical :oops:. i know, probably not the best place to say this, but no point in not being honest.
 
OP
L
Nov 24, 2010
10
1
Status
Medicine may in fact be a good fit for you for some of the specific reasons you mentioned (namely wanting to have a tangible purpose and responsibility to others).

A couple of things to be aware of though as you expressed a clear interest in pediatrics:

1) Throughout your training (med school and residency) you will be required to do PLENTY of work with adults, many of them well along in age. So it may take some time before you really start working with kids regularly. Patience and determination would be key here.

2) You stated a desire to earn ~$200K per year. However, as a pediatrician you may not attain this high of a salary. I believe the average pay for ped's is around $140-150,000 currently.

Anyway, best of luck regardless ;)
i could definitely live with $150,000. i think i picked $200K because it's a nice round number :laugh: i actually like people, i just particularly love kids is all though i don't mind working with populations of varied ages.
 
Jul 19, 2010
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i could definitely live with $150,000. i think i picked $200K because it's a nice round number :laugh: i actually like people, i just particularly love kids is all though i don't mind working with populations of varied ages.
Yes I thought that may have been the case. Well, if you get some clinical experience through shadowing and volunteering and like what you see, the next step is getting started with pre-requisites.
 

musafirah

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Jun 14, 2009
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definitely start volunteering (you could volunteer with sick kids in the hospital) and do plenty of shadowing.. its an important part of figuring out if its right for you!!

second, you should also consider an MPH..

anyway, I was never really *certain* of becoming a doctor until I actually took the MCAT and applied (along with the shadowing/volunteering). the application process itself taught me that it was really truly what i wanted and what was right for me.. having to honestly write so many essays and a personal statement made it possible for me to be introspective about everything and through the applications themselves i realized it was 100% the right hting for me.. you won't know either til you jump into it all! but you have to TRY.
 
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