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Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by Lisochka, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Lisochka

    Lisochka Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    hey guys,
    I have posted it here, because you are residents and seem like know about the profession inside and out...
    I was just wondering how did you make your choice of profession.
    I used to teach in a HIgh School and hated it. So I decided to change my career. Now I am thinking about pharmacy,
    medicine or opening my own bussiness.But can't decide. I went and shadowed a surgeon for few times, spend one summer shadowing in ER and shadowed few other physicians also. I am starting to work as a pharm tech in the beginning of MAy.
    And still I feel like I am stuck and do not know which field to chose....
    I envy those people who say that they always knew they wanted to be a doctor or an engeneer, or whatever... How am I supposed to know what do I want? Some poeple say: chose what your hobby a work. To me, when your hobby becomes a work- not nececerely you will continue to like it. For example, I like reading books. So people say: Just become a book critique. The problem is- now I read the books I like. If I become a book critique, I would have to read the books that I like and that I don;t like.
    Another hobby of mine is watching movies and being a stay-home mom. Cna't make a career on those hobbies either...

    So, How does one know what job he/she will like? Or do people just chose a job and then make themselves to be happy in those jobs and make themeselves to like those jobs?
    I have heared a lot from doctors that if they had a chance to choose their career all over again, they would not become a doctor. I don;t want to be one of those doctors or pharmacist or whatever....
    I want to love my job. And I want to earn money on my job. I don;t want to like my job, but then at the same time hate it because I am not making any money....

    When people say: I love my job. What do they mean? Do they mean that my job pays well? Or they mean that my job has a good schedule and I don;t have to work my ass of... Or do they mean: I wake up I am happy to go to work... Or do they mean: I count minutes till 5 p.m. and hate Mondays...

    My husband hates his job. My friend says: "One can't love his or her job. It is just a job. One does not have to even like it"
    But if I won't like my job, it would be hard to do it good. I would be miserable...
    My mom loves to work. Every job she had, she loved and wanted to go to work. She hated to be a stay-home mom...
    And I am stuck.....I don;t know what to do. Do I just settle for something and then make myself love it?
    How do you guys chose your career? And your age please (Sorry, if you are a 15 year old, it would be hard from me to value your experience.... )
    So, how do I know if I will like my job? Do I even need to like my job?
    It is just a torture to sit on my butt and try to figure out what theheck to do with my life...
    For the record: I am not just sitting on my butt, I am taking pre-requisites for pharmacy and med school (thank's God they require almost the same classes.) I am planning to open my bussiness, while I ma taking pre-requisites and see how the bussiness goes. (But statisticks are not in my favor: 9 out of 10 bussiness fail the first year...:( )
    Anyway, I would be glad to hear what do you guys think...
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  3. Circumflex

    Circumflex Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    To me, the best job in the world is a job in which you say to yourself, "I can't believe that I get PAID to do this!" That kind of job is not always easy to find. The reason that I got into medicine is because from all my various experiences in medicine (volunteering/working in college), I thought that it was the coolest profession. I couldn't wait to read and learn about the body and all the diseases that affect it. And then, to get the privelege to examine patients, listen to their problems, then be able to offer a treatment seemed like the greatest thing.

    You have a tough decision and no one can tell you what is right for you. But, my best advice would be for you to ask yourself what you are your passions. Is there something that you have always wanted to learn? You also have other factors to consider such as family, your financial situation, how much time you want to invest in a new career, etc. Maybe look online at a college catalog/course descriptions. See what kind of classes are offered by different departments and see if anything strikes you. You can always take a class or 2 and see how it goes.
  4. Mumpu

    Mumpu Burninator, MD 5+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Medicine is a plunge -- the training takes a long time and there is no way to know what it will be really like until you get there, so you have to commit to it and hope for the best in the end. No amount of shadowing, EMS, or even med school could have prepared me for what it was really like to be an intern, and I expect new surprises and discoveries as a resident in a few month.
  5. Lisochka

    Lisochka Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    thank you guys.
    How many hours on average did you spend:
    1) in med school
    2) in residency
    3) after residency, working (or if you are not done with the residency, how many hours do you anticipate to work, after your residency?)
  6. Lisochka

    Lisochka Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    guys, could I ask you one more question:
    what is a match and pre-match?
  7. Circumflex

    Circumflex Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    To answer your first question - I am a 4th year med student. During the first 2 years, I was generally at school from 8-4 (but, the schedule varies). Then I would study anywhere from 2-4 hours a night and 2-8 hours on weekends, depending on how close the exam was. In the clinical years, it all depends on the rotation. Surgery could be 5-7, while Psychiatry was more like 8-12, plus studying in the evenings for the rotation exams. No matter what residency you go into, you can expect to work at least 60 hours a week for the most part.

    The match is the process of 4th year medical students matching into a residency program. Students go on several interviews, then make a list ranking the programs that they would like to go to. The residencies also make a list of students that they want. A computer program MATCHES students to programs. I don't know what pre-match it, unless it refers to people who are accepted to residencies outside of the match.
  8. Lisochka

    Lisochka Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    Circumflex, thank you so much for your reply.
    Do you guys think that after you are done with your residencies, you still will work about 60 hours a week? Or you hope work for about 40 hours?
  9. Circumflex

    Circumflex Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    I plan on working around 60 hours a week after residency. Different specialists work different amounts of time. However, if you are really concerned about how much time that you will have to devote to a career in medicine, then maybe it is not for you. You can't pick a specialty based on work hours or you will be miserable. You have to have a passion for medicine and love what you do.

    I have noticed that you are asking some very general questions here and in another thread. My advice would be to find a physician to shadow - observe and see what medicine is all about and whether or not you like it.
  10. Tired

    Tired Fading away 7+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    "Pre-match" only applies to non-U.S. graduates. If you're going to go to an American school, don't worry yourself about prematch, because you won't be able to do it anyway.
  11. Hoo\/er

    Hoo\/er if($profit){replicate();} 10+ Year Member

    Feb 10, 2002
    Yeah, and you won't find this in medicine. Look elsewhere, OP. This is a dead-end street. Open your own business and work for you.

    I'm a medical graduate turned business owner. I couldn't stomach the thought of continuing medicine for the rest of my life. I'm extremely happy now, making incredible money, and have more free time than I know what to do with.

    Oh, and check this out: I don't have to ask permission to go take a piss or ask for time off. I call the shots, and there's nothing better.
  12. PediBoneDoc

    PediBoneDoc 2+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    St. Louis, MO
    i think that hoover has good points. that being said, the previous statement is definitely true: "To me, the best job in the world is a job in which you say to yourself, 'I can't believe that I get PAID to do this!'"

    the truth is not every job is made for every person. you have to decide what floats your boat. this is a very introspective process, and no one ca tell you what you like and dislike.

    for many who are disenchanted with medicine, if you speak to them and ask what it is that makes them not like their "job," most will make these statements.
    1. if i could just practice medicine, i would be happy.
    2. patients are less appreciative of the work we do
    3. the politics of medicine make practicing medicine difficult
    4. insurance companies suck
    5. malpractice sucks

    truth is, medicine is a wonderful area to be involved in. the business of medicine is not. most will state the the residency is hard and hours long. i work longer hours now than i did as an orthopaedic resident and i am happy. why? because i absolutely love my job. and every time i think i can't do it any more, a patient does one simple think that brings me back. they say, thank you. and again i am reassured that i am doing the right thing.
  13. razorback58

    razorback58 Resident 2+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2007

    Prematch for senior medicals students is only available to what is referred to as an independent applicant. This includes ALL FMG's graduating outside the US and US graduates that graduated the year before.
    This is when you interview with a program and they offer you a contract without going through the match or while the match process is in place. Once you accept you MUST withdraw from the match.

    Match is done every year for all FMG's and US students wanting residency. The process starts September 1 and goes until around Feb 22. You rank programs you got an interview for and they rank you...... in March, you find out if you matched or not and where you are going.

    I took a prematch offer and withdrew from the match.
  14. AF_PedsBoy

    AF_PedsBoy Stuffed Animal Overlord 5+ Year Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    In residency, you will have to be able to stumble through 80 hour weeks minimum - the only time I and residents in other specialties have dipped below 80 is an occasional foray into the 70 hour zone on outpatient clinic month which may happen two to three times a year. Surgery seems to be especially bad in this regard, in that they have extremely long days, tending to range from 0430 to 1930 on an average day (several hours of which are unreported admin/pre-round hours). As a med student I thought Psych would be a cush specialty, but the residency itself is as ferocious on the hours as any other, still tending to hit around 80 hours.

    After residency the majority of people CAN choose to work as much or as little as they please; however keep in mind with the HMOs running things, often you will have to work insane hours or nice normal hours at an insane pace to maintain a practice. Once you become a resident, you'll start getting nice tempting offers like, "$250,000 starting salart for general pediatrician in a great area!" What ISN'T mentioned is that the salary is tied to a certain amount of RVUs (essentially what the HMOs use to judge your productivity by) and unless you work like hell that salary rapidly drops like a rock.

    The upshot is, you better like what you're doing, because money is not only not a good reason for going into medicine, in many generalist fields you'll find yourself saying, "Why the hell am I working this much for this little?" The answer of course being the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you know you just saved a patient's life and they appreciate it, which still comes once in a while amidst the increasingly common notion that, like McDonald's, you're there to serve them -and you don't feel especially appreciative to the cashier who hands you the food. Of course these patients are even better than the ones who come in with a sense of entitlement, ask for special treatment, and are often the quickest to jump to "I need a copy of my medical records because I'm going to sue someone's ass off." I have an actual parent in my mind, her daughter got PERFECT care, and coincidentally is a failure to thrive who grows insanely fast inpatient, loses weight and nosedives as soon as she goes home. Oh and while inpatient she would leave for 8-9 hours a day and spend the rest of the time sleeping- I saw her spontaneously conscious maybe once every other day. After a while I just stopped waking her up. No I'm not bitter at all. (But there are still enough warm fuzzy moments and in-the-trenches camraderie that I still wouldn't go any other way given a choice to go back - well except for going to my last residency program after my first one was wiped out)
  15. nradsoit3

    nradsoit3 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    I suggest you read through the "If you could do it over again" thread very carefully. With over 100,000 views it it the most viewed thread for a reason. I know I wouldn't.
  16. Lisochka

    Lisochka Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    thank you so much, guys for helping me out.
    I think I would love to heal people, but would hate dealing with people, malpractice, and the whole bussiness part of medicen

    It helps a lot to hear your insider's stories and opinions. Thank you so much.
    I have shadowed doctors and read "If I would do it over again thread"
    So, the more negatives I read, the less I want to go into medicine. I still want, but don't think I ever least at this moment, that is what I think...

    But once in a while I get this feeling: "Gosh, that job is muct be so interesting" and "Medicine fascinates me"...
    But then I listen to you, think about long hours and come to my senses :laugh:
  17. Obedeli

    Obedeli Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 27, 2004
    Very very few specialties have 40 hour work weeks. Path, derm, and rad once perhaps but I am not speaking from first hand accounts.

    Medicine looks glorious on the outside, all the way up to your third year of medical school at which point it becomes a job. A job with its own routine and frustrations. By that point, the debt has TRAPPED you and you are stuck. As someone mentioned before, there is no turning back.

    Pharmacy or a staying at home with your kids sounds GREAT.
  18. Lisochka

    Lisochka Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    Obedeli, thank you so much for your reply!
    I don't wana be stuck :rolleyes:

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