nanali

Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2005
101
0
Status
*sigh* I am so stressed out now. :( I decided to switch from nursing to pre-med to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor, but now I am doubting myself even more than before. I wouldn't say that I am the brightest student nor the dumbest. I just don't know whether medicine is the *right field to go into. Then there's pharmacy... I just can't make up my mind..
 

Ross434

7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2003
932
2
Visit site
Status
Pharmacy Student
nanali said:
*sigh* I am so stressed out now. :( I decided to switch from nursing to pre-med to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor, but now I am doubting myself even more than before. I wouldn't say that I am the brightest student nor the dumbest. I just don't know whether medicine is the *right field to go into. Then there's pharmacy... I just can't make up my mind..
When i realized i'll be making a buttload more money than anyone else i've ever known. :laugh: :D
 

redwings54

10+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2005
340
1
Status
Medical Student
I have always wanted to be a physician. I love helping people in whatever way I can whether it be listening to them and talking with them to mending a wound and providing some comfort. I want to be a pediatrician and believe that a childs main goals are to learn as much as possible and have as much fun as possible. When they are sick, they cant do that. If I can help in whatever way I can, than I want to. Thats the main reason I want to go into medicine. Keep smiling and you will find your reason. And you will be a great doctor.
 
R

Revolution #9

I don't think any of us can truly know if we've made the right decision until we're full-fledged practicing physicians. The training is so long that current college seniors won't be real doctors for at least eight years, possibly even ten or eleven. I'm going into medicine becuase it's where I think I want to be in ten years. Here's hoping...
 

medstylee

1K Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 15, 2003
1,228
5
www.mdapplicants.com
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Revolution #9 said:
I don't think any of us can truly know if we've made the right decision until we're full-fledged practicing physicians. The training is so long that current college seniors won't be real doctors for at least eight years, possibly even ten or eleven. I'm going into medicine becuase it's where I think I want to be in ten years. Here's hoping...
i agree. realistically, tha'ts the best we can do. although, it's really too bad that some interviewers seem not to understand this. with one of my interviewers, i honestly felt the only way i could have convinced her that i knew i was right about my choice to go into medicine was if i was already a freakin doctor. really ridiculous. oh well. good luck guys.
 

Mistress S

Don't mess with the S
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 15, 2000
996
4
Thunderdome
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I have worked in a clinic for several years, and my interactions with patients as well as with a variety of healthcare providers have been a major influence in deciding medicine was the path for me. Get into a clinical environment--there are many volunteer positions available if you aren't qualified for a paying job in this field--and see how you feel about it then; make sure to speak with and observe the various kinds of healthcare professionals out there to see which job, if any of them, best suits your interests. I honestly don't understand how so many people who lack significant clinical experience can know they want to become doctors. But realize also that you can never be 100% sure you'll enjoy doing something until you actually do it, you just have to make the best decision based on where you are in your life. One of the things that really appeals to me about the MD degree is the flexibility of it: even though I am drawn to patient care now, if I tire of it there are many opportunities in research, academics, administration, and consulting, all of which pay decently. This cannot be said of most health care degrees, so it is a major benefit in my opinion--I can't see regretting becoming an MD or getting bored with it. Good luck in your decision.
 

CaliforniaBound

Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2005
109
5
Status
When you get up in the morning and can't picture yourself doing anything else...the long years and all the effort pale in comparison....for me it's just something that is a part of who i am...there is no other job that i would want to get up and do each and every day!! :)
 

Blue Scrub

The Gift & The Curse
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 16, 2005
1,028
1
Status
You just feel it when you volunteer or shadow or when you walk inside a hospital, you'll just know that is where you want to work, and that's what you want to do when you grow up. I agree that you wont fully know if you'll like it until you are already a practicing physician, but a feeling like this will not be denied, so you have to go for it...and you keep the hope that your enthusiasm will last the whole way thru...I can see myself doing other things, but I dont necessarily see them as making me happy, fulfilled, or helping others. I honestly feel becoming a doc is the best fit for me.
 

45408

aw buddy
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2004
16,976
47
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Eh, I decided to go with it when a joint coalition of Harvard, WashU and Hopkins deans got together and begged me to apply to med school.
 

fun8stuff

*hiding from patients*
15+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2003
3,068
42
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
nanali said:
*sigh* I am so stressed out now. :( I decided to switch from nursing to pre-med to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor, but now I am doubting myself even more than before. I wouldn't say that I am the brightest student nor the dumbest. I just don't know whether medicine is the *right field to go into. Then there's pharmacy... I just can't make up my mind..
have you tried shadowing?
 

Doxie

MS3
10+ Year Member
Jan 24, 2005
66
0
Status
Medical Student
I thought I knew that medical school was the right choice for me...but now I'm not so sure. I have wanted to do it for so long now that I'm afraid it's just been a lifelong desire with no real substance. Also, I applied to several graduate schools because I was afraid I might not get into medical school, and now that I thought I finally made up my mind that I wanted to go to medical school and have been accepted where I wanted to go, graduate schools have started recruiting me and offering fat graduate stipends. Frankly, medical school is a much bigger financial risk because I am going to be taking out so many loans (if I decide I don't like it, I'm in debt!) whereas if I don't like grad school I'm out nothing but pride. I guess I should just go with my original gut feeling that medicine is what I want to spend the rest of my life doing.....but then again all my advisers say that if I am even having the doubts I'm having that maybe I am not destined for medicine (althougth these are the same profs who have been pushing me for grad school all along). I never had any doubts that medicine was right for me until now. Maybe it's like wedding day jitters and medicine is a life-long committment that I hope I'm ready for.
 

8744

Guest
15+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2001
9,322
171
Status
Non-Student
redwings54 said:
I have always wanted to be a physician. I love helping people in whatever way I can whether it be listening to them and talking with them to mending a wound and providing some comfort. I want to be a pediatrician and believe that a childs main goals are to learn as much as possible and have as much fun as possible. When they are sick, they cant do that. If I can help in whatever way I can, than I want to. Thats the main reason I want to go into medicine. Keep smiling and you will find your reason. And you will be a great doctor.
Good Lord. Promise me you didn't write that in your AMCAS essay or you didn't say that on your interviews.
 

Ross434

7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2003
932
2
Visit site
Status
Pharmacy Student
Panda Bear said:
Good Lord. Promise me you didn't write that in your AMCAS essay or you didn't say that on your interviews.
Stop trying to be the coolest conservative!
 

8744

Guest
15+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2001
9,322
171
Status
Non-Student
Doxie said:
I thought I knew that medical school was the right choice for me...but now I'm not so sure. I have wanted to do it for so long now that I'm afraid it's just been a lifelong desire with no real substance. Also, I applied to several graduate schools because I was afraid I might not get into medical school, and now that I thought I finally made up my mind that I wanted to go to medical school and have been accepted where I wanted to go, graduate schools have started recruiting me and offering fat graduate stipends. Frankly, medical school is a much bigger financial risk because I am going to be taking out so many loans (if I decide I don't like it, I'm in debt!) whereas if I don't like grad school I'm out nothing but pride. I guess I should just go with my original gut feeling that medicine is what I want to spend the rest of my life doing.....but then again all my advisers say that if I am even having the doubts I'm having that maybe I am not destined for medicine (althougth these are the same profs who have been pushing me for grad school all along). I never had any doubts that medicine was right for me until now. Maybe it's like wedding day jitters and medicine is a life-long committment that I hope I'm ready for.
You are so over-thinking it. All of you are. Medicine is just a job with its own skill set and vocabulary to master. There is nothing sacred or magic about it. Once you start sticking your fingers in peoples orifices and otherwise examining real patients the whole profession will seem quite mundane. (But hugely interesting and rewarding)

One day last week, for example, on an MICU rotation I put in three central lines (two femoral and one subclavian), did a thoracentesis, looked at a lot CT scans and Xrays of dying patients, and explained to a family why they should honor their father's "living will."

Then I went home and took my dog for a run, played with my kids, and didn't even think the days events were interesting enough to relate to my wife. The church gossip seemed more compelling. When I was a pre-med if I had even helped do one of those above-mentioned things it would have been the highlight of my week.

I suggest that all of you lose your angst and stop doing so much soul-searching. The fact that you are so introspective probably indicates that you are good people and everything is going to be all right.

It is all right to admit that money, prestige, and the desire for a useful career are part or all of you motivation.
 

eulogia228

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 13, 2004
51
0
Berkeley, CA
Status
To say that considerations regarding salary, job security, and lifestyle are NOT part of your motivations is just downright foolish. First of all, pure altruism died with Mother Theresa. Secondly, there is NOTHING wrong with saying that salary and job security are factors in your decision with what you want to do with your life. We're talking about the next 50+ years of your life here. However, salary and prestige should not be the SOLE motivating factor to go into medicine. Your reason for going into the profession could include wanting to work in an applied bioscience field or wanting to work in a field that demands the most from you academically and socially (good people skills are a must). There are tons of possible motivations for going into medicine other than the trite, hammy "I want to help people." However, being a physician is like any other job. You collect a salary, you answer to higher-ups, etc. So to completely discard the lifestyle considerations here (salary, job security, etc) seems a tad immature because this is a life-altering committment and you should know what you'll be contributing to the field and what the profession will give you in return. Saying that salary and job security are factors you took into consideration before making this decision just shows that you're a mature adult and you're capable of long-term planning. However, salary issues shouldn't be the sole motivating factor propelling you into this profession. MANY professions make much more than physicians and spend just a fraction of the time in school. Examples: corporate attorneys, tax attorneys, investment bankers, and **insert any upper managerial or executive position in any corporation here** But there's nothing wrong with factoring in lifestyle factors when making one of the most important decisions of your life. And if anyone tells you that you're a greedy, golf-playing, money-grubbing, capitalist scumbag...just smile and say, "Dude, you're making me late for my golfing lessons." ;)
 

Doxie

MS3
10+ Year Member
Jan 24, 2005
66
0
Status
Medical Student
Let's revive this old thread....I think I am getting much more nervous about this the closer we get to the fall and the beginning of medical school. I am especially worried I'm making the wrong choice because I applied to several graduate schools (initially in fear that I wouldn't get into medical school in the fall) and really liked the programs that I visited...I guess I felt a lot more accepted by graduate schools than medical schools, who wanted to grill me about motivations and reasons for wanting to go to school there, like I had to prove that I was indeed worthy..........I felt like I fit in more and know what to expect from graduate school (becuase it will be similar to undergrad) whereas medical school is a great unknown to me. That being said, going to
medical school has been my plan for a very long time, and after shadowing, I think it is something I will truly enjoy and will love to do every day. It bothers me though, when I hear people say "If you even have ask the question "should I go to medical school", then you probably shouldn't go" and
other stuff like "you'll know if medical school is your calling".
So my question for you folks, is do you believe that medical school "is your
calling" or could you be happy doing something else? :confused:
 

Ross434

7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2003
932
2
Visit site
Status
Pharmacy Student
Doxie said:
Let's revive this old thread....I think I am getting much more nervous about this the closer we get to the fall and the beginning of medical school. I am especially worried I'm making the wrong choice because I applied to several graduate schools (initially in fear that I wouldn't get into medical school in the fall) and really liked the programs that I visited...I guess I felt a lot more accepted by graduate schools than medical schools, who wanted to grill me about motivations and reasons for wanting to go to school there, like I had to prove that I was indeed worthy..........I felt like I fit in more and know what to expect from graduate school (becuase it will be similar to undergrad) whereas medical school is a great unknown to me. That being said, going to
medical school has been my plan for a very long time, and after shadowing, I think it is something I will truly enjoy and will love to do every day. It bothers me though, when I hear people say "If you even have ask the question "should I go to medical school", then you probably shouldn't go" and
other stuff like "you'll know if medical school is your calling".
So my question for you folks, is do you believe that medical school "is your
calling" or could you be happy doing something else? :confused:

For a while i thought I wanted to go to med school because of the challenge, for the money, and because it would be a great use of my science skills. Now i am rethinking. I dont really want to do medicine, because I dont really want a job where i go to work and do the same thing every day, over and over, and not have any outlet for creative work. I want more variety, more freedom to achieve and do something new, and no limit to my salary. But more than anything else, i want a job where my amount of passion dictates the level of success and happiness. If you are a doctor and you decide to put in 100 hour weeks, its just going to be more of the same. In other fields, putting in that kind of work will take you straight to the top. That said, I'm hoping to go into metallurgical engineering :p, and i'm hoping its more challenging than biology.
 

joe6102

by the power of grayskull
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2005
396
0
socal
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Ross434 said:
For a while i thought I wanted to go to med school because of the challenge, for the money, and because it would be a great use of my science skills. Now i am rethinking. I dont really want to do medicine, because I dont really want a job where i go to work and do the same thing every day, over and over, and not have any outlet for creative work. I want more variety, more freedom to achieve and do something new, and no limit to my salary. But more than anything else, i want a job where my amount of passion dictates the level of success and happiness. If you are a doctor and you decide to put in 100 hour weeks, its just going to be more of the same. In other fields, putting in that kind of work will take you straight to the top. That said, I'm hoping to go into metallurgical engineering :p, and i'm hoping its more challenging than biology.
I thought I'd try Computer Engineering for a couple of years, and let me tell you, it was neither fun nor creative. I absolutely hate job hunting, and unless you're interested in managing and climbing the corporate ladder, your salary will hit a ceiling much lower than the average physician.

My thoughts are if you are an intelligent person who likes talking to people, then there is a field in medicine that you can find and be happy in. It also helps if you like chemistry/biology. But don't listen to me, I won't even be starting med school until this fall.

Also, have you ever met a physician who wished he/she went into another career? I bet there aren't many.
 

Ross434

7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2003
932
2
Visit site
Status
Pharmacy Student
joe6102 said:
I thought I'd try Computer Engineering for a couple of years, and let me tell you, it was neither fun nor creative. I absolutely hate job hunting, and unless you're interested in managing and climbing the corporate ladder, your salary will hit a ceiling much lower than the average physician.

My thoughts are if you are an intelligent person who likes talking to people, then there is a field in medicine that you can find and be happy in. It also helps if you like chemistry/biology. But don't listen to me, I won't even be starting med school until this fall.

Also, have you ever met a physician who wished he/she went into another career? I bet there aren't many.

I dont know how anyone could handle computer engineering. How dry is that? But yeah, i'm planning to eventually start my own company or head up an r&d firm, or manage a foundry somewhere. Believe me, those arent low paying jobs. I've never met an engineer who didnt LOVE his job. I've met more physicians that want to leave their field than i can count on 2 hands.
 

wytosk

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 20, 2004
62
0
ASU
Status
Everybody is making great points here. Im studying aerospace engineering right now, that way if I dont make it to med school I can at least make a comfortable life out of being a rocket scientist :D . In either job, however, I feel that I am going to have alot of monotony. I always thought surgery would be the most exciting because although you perform alot of the same procedures, each one is slightly different from the next. In AE, projects take a very long time from start to finish, but when one project ends a new one begins. Its a toss-up.
 

Doxie

MS3
10+ Year Member
Jan 24, 2005
66
0
Status
Medical Student
Ross434 said:
I've met more physicians that want to leave their field than i can count on 2 hands.
There's nothing scarier to me than seeing physicians who don't like what they do. I know I don't know what I'm getting into, (do any of us) but it doesn't help to see people who are living the idealized end product of all my years
of school and future debt who are not happy. But I guess there is no perfect job out there anyway. I just don't want to be miserable for the rest of my life and wish I had done something else, but then if do something else, I'll probably wonder if I could have been happier in medicine. For me, grad school vs. medical school is a catch 22. I absolutely cannot know what will make me happy 10-15 years in the future.
 

Ross434

7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2003
932
2
Visit site
Status
Pharmacy Student
Doxie said:
There's nothing scarier to me than seeing physicians who don't like what they do. I know I don't know what I'm getting into, (do any of us) but it doesn't help to see people who are living the idealized end product of all my years
of school and future debt who are not happy. But I guess there is no perfect job out there anyway. I just don't want to be miserable for the rest of my life and wish I had done something else, but then if do something else, I'll probably wonder if I could have been happier in medicine. For me, grad school vs. medical school is a catch 22. I absolutely cannot know what will make me happy 10-15 years in the future.
I dont think anyone really can. That's the biggest risk with medicine, is that it takes so long. It's hard to have any conception of what you're going to be like 15 years down the road.
 

SanDiegoSOD

Milk was a bad choice
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2004
2,794
10
Sunny California
Status
Ross434 said:
I've never met an engineer who didnt LOVE his job. I've met more physicians that want to leave their field than i can count on 2 hands.
So I guess you don't know many engineers?
 

Jennifer25

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 4, 2005
40
0
Status
I think that most people just kind of "feel" that medicine is right for them. For me, this was true. But I also went through some serious doubts in college and started drifting towards other professions (i.e. law, business). When I got an offer from a business firm that would have paid me a butt load of money, I hesitated to sign the contract. For some reason, I couldn't commit to the job. Somehow, I knew it wasn't right for me. Now, I'm working in a health related profession, and I can honestly say it was the best decision for me.

It's true, one may not "know" exactly if a career in medicine is for them, unless they have actually gone through the process, but you can increase your knowledge of that profession by
a) shadowing physicians--if you can picture yourself doing what the physician is doing, or if you enjoy what the physician does, than medicine may be for you;
b) testing other career options--if none of them appeal to you as much as medicine does, than medicine may be it;
c) learning/hearing/reading about health related information--if you like hearing about the latest heart transplant, how to mend a broken leg, how to diagnose a rare disease, how technology improves medicine, than medicine may be for you.

There are probably other criteria, but the above three is just a simple list . . .

Good luck!
 

leechy

Senior Member
5+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 3, 2004
857
0
Status
Ross434 said:
For a while i thought I wanted to go to med school because of the challenge, for the money, and because it would be a great use of my science skills. Now i am rethinking. I dont really want to do medicine, because I dont really want a job where i go to work and do the same thing every day, over and over, and not have any outlet for creative work. I want more variety, more freedom to achieve and do something new, and no limit to my salary. But more than anything else, i want a job where my amount of passion dictates the level of success and happiness. If you are a doctor and you decide to put in 100 hour weeks, its just going to be more of the same. In other fields, putting in that kind of work will take you straight to the top. That said, I'm hoping to go into metallurgical engineering :p, and i'm hoping its more challenging than biology.
Interesting response! I'm sure there's routine in medicine, but I'm hoping a research-oriented career will spare me some of that. I have to say, though, that I don't think 100 hr workweeks necessarily shoot you to the top in the business world (or other fields, by extrapolation). One of the things that drew me to medicine was the discovery that rising to the top in business and law was a much more subjective thing that depended more on how well you schmoozed and how extroverted/well-spoken you are, and less on your ability to do the best work. I'm sure you'll disagree with that, but that was my feeling. I'm also sure that medicine has its share of politics, but I feel like "success" is a little less dependent on the schmoozing sales element. Of course, it all depends on what your definition of success is, and what your personality is. It sounds like you've found a good fit for yours. :thumbup:
 

Darth Asclepius

Dark Lord of the Sith
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 13, 2005
292
0
Status
Medical Student
You just feel it when you volunteer or shadow or when you walk inside a hospital, you'll just know that is where you want to work, and that's what you want to do when you grow up. I agree that you wont fully know if you'll like it until you are already a practicing physician, but a feeling like this will not be denied, so you have to go for it...and you keep the hope that your enthusiasm will last the whole way thru...I can see myself doing other things, but I dont necessarily see them as making me happy, fulfilled, or helping others. I honestly feel becoming a doc is the best fit for me.
This applies to me as well. When I was kid, I told everyone I was going to be a brain surgeon. Then, I got really into research (worked in a lab 30-50 hours/week on a project for about 2.5 years). I thought research was for me (and probably would have been really good at it and enjoyed it). The original plan was to get an MD/PhD and mainly just do research and have the MD because I wanted to be more involved in the clinical trials and always wanted to go to med school. I started shadowing docs to make sure I wanted to go to med school for the MD part.

After I applied to a bunch of MD/PhD programs, I started shadowing a surgeon to check that out (I began shadowing him about a month before I started my interviews and still shadow him now). I knew, I just knew that this was what I had to do. I absolutely love being in the OR and working with patients. I look forward to it. For a while, I thought I could be both a surgeon and researcher (and I could, but don't want to, but I didn't want to let go of my original plan). Also, during the same time period, I began to realize the things I loved about the lab (the science, the problem solving, working with my hands in setting up my PCR, plating my colonies, etc) were things an undergrad/grad student does, and I don't like analyzing data and I hate writing for grant proposals/publications. I also realized during exams that semester, when I got up at 5:30am three times that week (since I didn't have classes), to go in and hang out with the surgeon all day, that it wasn't just new and fun anymore, but that I still loved being there and it still made me want to get out of bed in the morning (and not much makes me want to get up that early). Now, I honestly don't think I could be happy doing anything else. Had I not learned this about myself, I think I could have been happy with a lab job, but now that I have really discovered how much I want to be a surgeon (and that I possess some of the qualities that will make me good at it- I like being a leader, like being independent, like taking charge of a situation, enjoy working with my hands, work well under pressure, like seeing immediate results, enjoy working with and helping people, etc), I can't see myself being happy doing anything else.

Also, when I went to all of my interviews, I got a gut feeling that SUNY Upstate was the place for me. I just really wanted to go there. When I got my acceptance to their MD/PhD program, it should have been the happiest day of my life. My first response was "Woohoo! I got into Upstate!" My second was "Crap. Now I have to try to explain to them that I want to go MD only. They're either going to think I'm crazy for turning down the free ride or a flake for changing my mind. Either way, this is bad." I knew then that I was going to be a surgeon.
 

Doxie

MS3
10+ Year Member
Jan 24, 2005
66
0
Status
Medical Student
Darth Asclepius said:
(
When I got my acceptance to their MD/PhD program, it should have been the happiest day of my life. My first response was "Woohoo! I got into Upstate!" My second was "Crap. Now I have to try to explain to them that I want to go MD only. They're either going to think I'm crazy for turning down the free ride or a flake for changing my mind. Either way, this is bad." I knew then that I was going to be a surgeon.
My situation is similar with grad school.....it is painful for me to turn down 30K grad stipends to much better graduate programs than the medical schools I got into (that also come with 100K in student loans). On paper I am 10X better of a grad school applicant than I am med school material (my mcat wasn't wonderful). I doubt if I would even hesitate to go to medical school if grad school wasn't such a comparably "better deal". I need to think more long term about what will make me happier......I'm just afraid I won't like medicine as much as I think I will and be stuck into a job I don't like to pay back all my student debt :eek:
 

Darth Asclepius

Dark Lord of the Sith
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 13, 2005
292
0
Status
Medical Student
I'm just afraid I won't like medicine as much as I think I will and be stuck into a job I don't like to pay back all my student debt
It is a lot of debt to take on if you aren't sure it is what you want to do. Sometimes I wonder if that's why we sometimes end up with people who are bad doctors (that they didn't realize they don't want to be a doctor until they were already $100,000 in debt). I'm not saying you would be, just throwing the idea out there. I know I'm going to have a lot of debt (estimate around $200-250,000 since I'll need to borrow 40-50k each year for tuition and living expenses)- and yes, I knew this before I turned down the MD/PhD offer and no, I do not smoke crack.

The only way I am comfortable with this at all is because I know it is the right career choice for me and I would rather not spend roughly 4 years of my life doing something I don't want to do (the PhD). Is there any way you could shadow some doctors right now to help you make your decision? Let them know what your situation is and that you want to be sure. They would certainly understand that you want to be sure before making such a huge commitment (both in terms of your life and financially). If you know you want to be a doctor, the money will work itself out. You'll make enough money later to make up for those graduate stipends and the loans, but it will take a while. I think it boils down to what will make you happy. If you want to be a doctor, it's worth the money. I hope you can get this sorted out.
 

Doxie

MS3
10+ Year Member
Jan 24, 2005
66
0
Status
Medical Student
Darth Asclepius said:
It is a lot of debt to take on if you aren't sure it is what you want to do. Sometimes I wonder if that's why we sometimes end up with people who are bad doctors (that they didn't realize they don't want to be a doctor until they were already $100,000 in debt). I'm not saying you would be, just throwing the idea out there. I know I'm going to have a lot of debt (estimate around $200-250,000 since I'll need to borrow 40-50k each year for tuition and living expenses)- and yes, I knew this before I turned down the MD/PhD offer and no, I do not smoke crack.

The only way I am comfortable with this at all is because I know it is the right career choice for me and I would rather not spend roughly 4 years of my life doing something I don't want to do (the PhD). Is there any way you could shadow some doctors right now to help you make your decision? Let them know what your situation is and that you want to be sure. They would certainly understand that you want to be sure before making such a huge commitment (both in terms of your life and financially). If you know you want to be a doctor, the money will work itself out. You'll make enough money later to make up for those graduate stipends and the loans, but it will take a while. I think it boils down to what will make you happy. If you want to be a doctor, it's worth the money. I hope you can get this sorted out.
Thanks for the good advice.....it would be helpful to go back to shadowing and find again what I liked about medicine in the first place. I haven't shadowed a doctor since last summer, maybe I'm forgetting what it felt like and need to reassure myself that im chosing the right path. and youre right that pursuing a phd would be a waste of time if that's not going to make me happy :)
 

Darth Asclepius

Dark Lord of the Sith
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 13, 2005
292
0
Status
Medical Student
I hope you get the chance to shadow again. I am sure it would be a lot better to go into med/grad school knowing for sure you did the right thing (or as sure as you could be at this stage of your career). Good luck. I hope you get one of those "this is what I want to do with my life" moments. It's a good feeling. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions about how I decided between a career in research and being a surgeon. There was a lot more to it, but I didn't want to bore everyone :D
 

D-Rob

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2004
43
0
Status
nanali said:
*sigh* I am so stressed out now. :( I decided to switch from nursing to pre-med to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor, but now I am doubting myself even more than before. I wouldn't say that I am the brightest student nor the dumbest. I just don't know whether medicine is the *right field to go into. Then there's pharmacy... I just can't make up my mind..
I did the exact same thing. I was going for RN, but a year and a half into it I decided it wasn't for me. The content we were learning didn't interest me at all- we were taught how to treat the person's needs instead of the actual disease. Care was centered on making the person more comfortable more than anything medical. The educating of disorders was kept superficial because anything in-depth was "the doctors job"

I spent a lot of time in clinical, watching the doctors even though I was supposed to be watching the nurses. That's when I decided I was wasting my time, so I finished the semester and now I'm in pre-med and don't regret it one bit. I find myself looking forward to exams because I'm challenging myself, knowing that I'm giving it my all and it's for a good cause. When I was in nursing, I was only giving minimal effort because it wasn't my dream.

pre-med is tough, no one will tell you otherwise. take some of the pre-reqs, see if you do well. If you get those high grades, you'll know you can do it :thumbup:
 

PineappleGirl

Sweet and Juicy!
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2004
926
1
Boston
Status
leechy said:
One of the things that drew me to medicine was the discovery that rising to the top in business and law was a much more subjective thing that depended more on how well you schmoozed and how extroverted/well-spoken you are, and less on your ability to do the best work.
I completely agree with this. Before medicine, I was considering a career in academia, but I got so discouraged when I saw perfectly competent people with excellent research, several publications, great teaching reviews, etc. get denied tenure merely (it seemed to me) because OTHER PEOPLE DIDN'T LIKE THEM! How ridiculous is that? I certainly don't want my professional success to be based on such criteria! At least with medicine, while, of course, there is some subjective aspect, whether you become a doctor or not basically rests on your academic performace and your USMLE scores, not whether Professor God'sgifttoMankind thought you were charming or not.
 

Ross434

7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2003
932
2
Visit site
Status
Pharmacy Student
PineappleGirl said:
I completely agree with this. Before medicine, I was considering a career in academia, but I got so discouraged when I saw perfectly competent people with excellent research, several publications, great teaching reviews, etc. get denied tenure merely (it seemed to me) because OTHER PEOPLE DIDN'T LIKE THEM! How ridiculous is that? I certainly don't want my professional success to be based on such criteria! At least with medicine, while, of course, there is some subjective aspect, whether you become a doctor or not basically rests on your academic performace and your USMLE scores, not whether Professor God'sgifttoMankind thought you were charming or not.

You know, if your interviewers and people you rotate with dont like you, you won't get the residency position either.
 

leechy

Senior Member
5+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 3, 2004
857
0
Status
Ross434 said:
You know, if your interviewers and people you rotate with dont like you, you won't get the residency position either.
Right, but unless you're a total jerk or a felon, you'll get a residency somewhere else and earn a decent living. Whereas in academia, how well you play the political game determines whether or not you starve in a postdoc position for eternity. There seems to be a lot of luck involved in even getting a job in academia, whereas that's not the case for medicine.