1. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.

How is being a doctor like?

Discussion in 'hSDN' started by VeggieForce, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. VeggieForce

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    Hi :laugh: Im a sophomore in high school and i've been interested in being a doctor for a while now. i am smart and like science a lot too.
    this is the life that i want to live: nice house, nice car, time for family, live comfortably >>>"after all the medical classes and residency and stuff of course"
    i dont want to live in stress for eternity, but i kno med school might be.

    ok so i want to know how being a doctor is. do u have to work A LOT and not have time for family etc.. or work alot but still have time for family?
    do u get weekends off of work and get days off for holidays and everything? i just dont want to work my whole life... i would hate that...
    and what about sleeping and waking up hours? what time you have to wake up?---> i want to be a doctor, but only thing making me step back and thing again is how im going to like the experience of becoming a doctor...HELP! :shrug:
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Crazyday

    Crazyday Junior in HS
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    It's not easy, and it usually doesn't get very easy either. Depends on your specialty, some are very lifestyle oriented, but those are usually pretty competitive. Most (or all) surgical specialties require a lot of time and sacrifice throughout your whole career (60-80 hr. weeks, or more in some cases).

    Yes, you will work a lot as a doctor. It really depends on your specialty you go into, but in med school you'll get a taste of each specialty, and some of them will require you to wake up early and stay late, take call etc.

    Do some more research. You have a lot of time to make this decision.

    As far as money goes, that's also pending on specialty, but know that you'll graduate medical school with probably 250k-400k in debt. Because of this, and the long wait before you start pulling in a nice check, people argue that other fields (ie. business) are better for money. They don't have the same job security though, so it's a questionable debate.

    Don't think that being a doctor is just posh, prestige, and happy days. It is very difficult, and the whole "doctors are super rich, prestigious, easy job, etc" stigma isn't true at all. It looks nice from the outside, but read a lot on it and get some firsthand experience before you make the decision.

    As far as weekends off, don't expect that. I think that's pretty rare, maybe unheard of unless you go into private practice. Holidays off is also pending. Sometimes you probably will, but there might be times you won't.
     
  4. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
    Physician 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    12,032
    Likes Received:
    59
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    This is the key take-home point. Medicine will essentially require you to sacrifice your 20's, the best part of your life, to your career. Yes, you will live comfortably, but you'll have to earn every bit of that comfort.
     
  5. gopher22

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I think the people who make it as a physician do not imagine their decision as "sacrificing their 20's". If you're counting the years, you better stop now because doctors commit to a lifetime of learning.

    I really enjoy my time as a medical student right now, almost as much as I think I will enjoy being a doctor.

    To the OP, there certainly exists doctors who work decent hours--they have weekends off, they have time to spend with their families and get to own and enjoy the nice things you mentioned.

    Probably no doctors imagined their medical school and resident days as an obstacle to what they have now though, and I think that paradigm shift is necessary if you're going to go down that career path.
     
  6. DrReo

    DrReo "Thread Necromancer"
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,117
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Academic Administration
    Dictated by the hospital unless you enter private practice, long hours, brutal residancy, good pay (if you have time to enjoy it), devote lifetime to learning- which is excellent, oncall, 50 percent unsatisfaction rate, etc.
     
  7. tennisball80

    tennisball80 Membership Revoked
    Removed 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,434
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    It takes an enormous amount of hard work to become a doctor. Getting into medical school is not that easy.
     
  8. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
    Physician 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    12,032
    Likes Received:
    59
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I don't see how you can not view it that way. It's not like the 7+ years of residency will be a total loss, but you're certainly not going to be having the same time you'd be having with a steady, 40hr/week job. Whether or not you enjoy med school and residency, you will be sacrificing the vast majority of your free time during your medical education.
     
  9. VeggieForce

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    and im not worried about getting into a medical school bcuz i have the grades and other things.
    well what doctors have that comfortable lifestyle that i was talking about in my first post?
     
  10. SlaskWroclaw18

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    As a fellow hs student, thank you for assuring me that my good hs grades alone guarantee my admission to med school in 5 years. ;)
     
  11. CScull

    CScull Is Positive, O Positive
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,891
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    Yea... and no offense, as you might be an extremely intelligent person and don't care about grammar or spelling because this is a forum, but it's What is it like to be a doctor? not how.

    Right now I would worry about finding your favorite college, picking up some activities you enjoy, and keeping your grades up. You have 6 years until you go to med school; it's alot of time to think and change your mind. If you want a better idea of what a doctor's day-to-day life is like then some first hand experience might be good... volunteering and talking to a doctor you know might give you a bit of a perspective for instance.

    If you want to understand the difficulties of getting into med school I purpose you go and check out some of the Pre-Medical threads. It's extremely competitive.
     
  12. Rooni

    Rooni Ph.D in Horribleness
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    If only it were that easy :)


    And as to the "sacrificing your 20's" bit, well, I'm not in med school yet so I guess I can't really speak to this, but I don't see the road before me as a sacrifice at all. I think becoming a physician is one of those things you need to view as a journey, not a destination. (Forgive the triteness.) I may change my mind about this halfway through my third-year surgery rotation, but at the moment at least, I'm looking forward to the journey! :)
     
  13. CScull

    CScull Is Positive, O Positive
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,891
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    Where you live has alot to do with how you live. When I was in Northern Virginia the cost of living was much higher and the demand for talented doctors lower therefore their lifestyle was a more stereotypical middle class.

    In a smaller town in Alabama the cost of living is much lower and the demand for good doctors much higher. I know a heart surgeon's daughter who drives a new BMW wears all designer clothes and lives in a 3 story mansion. However, I'm sure her father works more hours as there's a greater need for his service.
     
  14. Crazyday

    Crazyday Junior in HS
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Getting into medical school is not easy...getting through medical school isn't exactly a cakewalk either.

    Few doctors really have a super comfy lifestyle where they get weekends off, no call nights, and nice hours with a loaded paycheck (that's the impression I'm getting from you about how you think the medical field is). Dermatologists maybe, maybe some very prestigious plastic surgeons...but the road to anything like that is extremely difficult, even moreso than normal.

    Being a doctor is a stressful job. It is not just sitting back 9-5 and getting a 300,000 dollar paycheck.
     
  15. GZA

    GZA Marcel who?
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Your penitence is most well received, but that particular sentiment is commonplace among premeds to the point of nearly assumed. As far as the changing of the mind, it actually may happen the first month of the first year, gross anatomy and the like.

    Yet, the major point is (oh, lord!) it is (probably) no more of a sacrifice than any career worthy of the title successful (subjective as it may be, there is a common conception of the elusive adjective); in other words, any meaningful career in life requires a sacrifice (perhaps most is more appropriate).
     
  16. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    30,983
    Likes Received:
    9,858
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Nah, this definitely isn't true. Having personally come from another career and having worked closely with clients in MANY other careers I'd have to say that there are some careers that are much better for folks who are workaholics, and some careers where you have a better life-work balance. Medicine, law, and most other "professions" tend to require much more sacrifice than many other paths. Schooling and training is longer, average weekly hours are longer, and the stakes are higher. As a result, the ability to balance work and home-life is more difficult in these fields, people have harder times keeping things in perspective, divorce rates are higher, etc. You can be successful in many other fields without the same degree of sacrifice, the same level of hours, the same after-work stress, and yet most people in those fields would consider them "meaningful". Part of the catch with medicine, law, and other doctorate level professions, is that in these fields you are always expected to be learning -- you never are "done" and can view your academic phase of your life to be over, meaning that after your post-residency 60+ hour work-week (give or take overnight call nights), you are still expected to read up on the latest innovations in your field, expected to prepare for periodic relicensing exams, expected to worry about your patients after hours, etc. By contrast, the average member of middle-management or small business executive probably works 50 hours/week and is totally done with work when he goes home at night.

    So yeah, if you don't want to work hard, a professional career like medicine isn't a particularly good choice. And if you think that all "meaningful" careers require similar hours or level of commitment to be successful, you are kidding yourself. There are harder and easier paths. Medicine is among the harder group. It's not an easy ticket to a good life. It's an unforgiving and long path that you have to really want to do or it will never be worth it.
     
  17. VeggieForce

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    oh no... now i think i don't want to be a doctor anymore... i dont want to have such sacrificing.. i would like jobs with good pay and a good life.... u all know what im talking about. (i hope) :laugh:..
    and im not just entering this field because i want money and nice life, but i like biology and am interested with why the body does what it does, etc..
    **is pharmacy a better path for me? ive been reading around the internet that its $90-$100K and u don't have to life such a stressful life. i think this might be the job i was talking about?? gosh im so confused
     
  18. Rooni

    Rooni Ph.D in Horribleness
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I figured it probably was. Just thought I'd put in my optimistic two cents! Love the Joyce avatar, by the way! :luck:
     
  19. broken tibula

    broken tibula mostly sleeping
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,726
    Likes Received:
    8
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Just personally, I think you're going at this from the wrong angle. If you're looking for something that's going to make you good money and allow you lots of time off to enjoy that money, generally, the medical field is about as far away from that dream as you can possibly get.

    If you do love science, though, perhaps you should look into research, or teaching? The pay probably won't be six figures, but you can work 9-5 and get weekends off.

    And if worst comes to worst, you can always go replace Rod Marinelli and coach the Detroit Lions. He got away with making obscene amounts of money and doing absolutely nothing to earn it. :D
     
  20. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    30,983
    Likes Received:
    9,858
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I guess it would be nice to have a job where you can only do better than the person you replaced. But I wouldn't sign a short term contract -- until they have a coach who can win more than 4 games a season, they will be in firing mode annually.
     
  21. CScull

    CScull Is Positive, O Positive
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,891
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    Pharmacy is a lot of chemistry. It's much more mathematically involved than biology.

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=578027

    This thread is a good one to look at if you're thinking Pharmacy.

    Both roads are extemely challenging accedemically and if you don't love what you're doing your chances of not making it are far greater than that of a student who does.
     
  22. IndianVercetti

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Eliminate this type of reasoning in choosing a career, and you'll make a great decision career-wise. Become a doctor for the right reasons.
     
  23. Mosin

    Mosin KCOM class of 2013!
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    As for your attitude that you're not worried about getting into med school because your high school grades are good, please don't make assumptions. I know of some pretty "smart kids" who did very well in high school (got straight A's, took college classes, and were at the top of the class), waltzed off to college with the dream of becoming a doc, and then FAILED out of school in the first year. I'm not trying to flame you or put you down, but you seriously have a LONG way to go before you can start assuming you're a shoe-in for any professional school... ;)
     
  24. strv04

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    i am getting the feeling your idea of a "good life" is based more in mtv cribs then reality.

    As far as medicine goes

    Good pay ... check
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_class_in_the_United_States

    good life ... depends on your definition

    With any career there are pros and cons, everyone likes the pros that each path offers. If you can put up with the cons and not allow them to defeat you then you will have a pretty good life. If you can't take the bad aspects that come with a job look for something else otherwise you'll just be miserable.

    Nothing is free in life. If you want to provide for your future family or buy all those expensive toys and vacations you will probably be getting up early working hard and coming home late like the rest of us.
     
  25. DrReo

    DrReo "Thread Necromancer"
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,117
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Academic Administration
    Exactly, you can get into the finance industry and make total bank.

    Who would want to dread every minute of their 60+ hour work week because they wanted to make more money? In reality, you probably do not have a lot of time to spend that cash.
     

Share This Page