How to figure out if being physician is right track during this COVID time

Sep 14, 2020
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Hi folks I am new here, but I was wondering if you guys can give me some insight here...
Just quick info about me for you guys to understand my situation better...
I am 29, and am currently working as full time material engineer (graduated in well known university as material science) and studying for the MCAT and taking DIY post bacc classes (biochem, orgchem..) in CC since my GPA was not very good. Now it's been 5 years since I worked as engineer here and there.

I read a lot of post in sdn nontrad thread and I relate a lot with the feeling of "is being a physician really what I want to do?"
I have been writing paragraphs about why I want to become physician and also about the fear of changing the career.
But I am still very weary if I am making the right choice. I am trying to concentrate studying MCAT and classes but sometimes I find myself searching for someone who were in the similar situation who decide to become physician for many hours.

My question here is, do you guys know how to figure out if being physician is right track during this COVID time where you can't really find doctor shadowing or clinical volunteering in EMT etc? I am only finding one very passive way -- watching those youtube vlog videos that residents or doctor posts.
 
Aug 23, 2019
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watching those youtube vlog videos that residents or doctor posts.

One thing you could try is to watch documentaries about medicine. Before I took the plunge I watched "Boston Med", "Hopkins", "An Hour to Save Your Life", "Shock Trauma: Edge of Life". If these resonate with you then medicine may be the right path. These documentaries though are heavily skewed towards ER/Trauma medicine, so keep that in mind.
 
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Goro

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Hi folks I am new here, but I was wondering if you guys can give me some insight here...
Just quick info about me for you guys to understand my situation better...
I am 29, and am currently working as full time material engineer (graduated in well known university as material science) and studying for the MCAT and taking DIY post bacc classes (biochem, orgchem..) in CC since my GPA was not very good. Now it's been 5 years since I worked as engineer here and there.

I read a lot of post in sdn nontrad thread and I relate a lot with the feeling of "is being a physician really what I want to do?"
I have been writing paragraphs about why I want to become physician and also about the fear of changing the career.
But I am still very weary if I am making the right choice. I am trying to concentrate studying MCAT and classes but sometimes I find myself searching for someone who were in the similar situation who decide to become physician for many hours.

My question here is, do you guys know how to figure out if being physician is right track during this COVID time where you can't really find doctor shadowing or clinical volunteering in EMT etc? I am only finding one very passive way -- watching those youtube vlog videos that residents or doctor posts.
Being a doctor is calling, like being a career soldier, a fireman or a priest.

What does your heart tell you????
 
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Sep 14, 2020
4
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Status
  1. Pre-Medical
One thing you could try is to watch documentaries about medicine. Before I took the plunge I watched "Boston Med", "Hopkins", "An Hour to Save Your Life", "Shock Trauma: Edge of Life". If these resonate with you then medicine may be the right path. These documentaries though are heavily skewed towards ER/Trauma medicine, so keep that in mind.
thanks. will watch them for sure. Thank you for recommendation
 

DocJanItor

2+ Year Member
Jun 6, 2017
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Hi folks I am new here, but I was wondering if you guys can give me some insight here...
Just quick info about me for you guys to understand my situation better...
I am 29, and am currently working as full time material engineer (graduated in well known university as material science) and studying for the MCAT and taking DIY post bacc classes (biochem, orgchem..) in CC since my GPA was not very good. Now it's been 5 years since I worked as engineer here and there.

I read a lot of post in sdn nontrad thread and I relate a lot with the feeling of "is being a physician really what I want to do?"
I have been writing paragraphs about why I want to become physician and also about the fear of changing the career.
But I am still very weary if I am making the right choice. I am trying to concentrate studying MCAT and classes but sometimes I find myself searching for someone who were in the similar situation who decide to become physician for many hours.

My question here is, do you guys know how to figure out if being physician is right track during this COVID time where you can't really find doctor shadowing or clinical volunteering in EMT etc? I am only finding one very passive way -- watching those youtube vlog videos that residents or doctor posts.
Alright, first off you should have looked into this well before doing your DIY post-bacc. There's no point in doing all this studying if you don't know what you're getting into. So here's the breakdown if you go to med school.

M1: Feels like your drowning for the first 3 months, then you tread water, then you're able to do well by M2 and into Step 1.
M3: Back to drowning on medicine and surgery rotations. By the end you should feel much more confident about talking to patients, creating a treatment plan, etc. Medicine you will work 8-12 hours a day with a few 24 hour calls. Surgery you will work 12+ hours a day with a few 24 hour calls.
M4: Pick what specialty you want to do and apply. If it's competitive then you'll probably do away rotations at other hospitals (if COVID ever leaves!) Month long rotations in things that you're interested in, medicine, ED, etc. You know most of what you should know but you still don't have much responsibilities
PGY1: Back to drowning. You're managing patients on the floor, entering orders, learning how the system works, keeping up with lectures. Learning the basics of how to be a real doctor. 80+ hours a week, maybe one day off a week not including post-call days.
PGY2: Slightly more confident. Depending on what specialty you chose you're learning more about that specialty. If you're in surgery then you're actually in the OR more this year rather than managing the floor.
PGY3+: Just learning and practicing.

During all of this you have decreasing amounts of free time and almost no control over your own schedule. Schedules are created by the chiefs and traded around by the residents.

As a former mechanical engineer, I'm loving med school and I'm looking forward to residency. That being said, if your love resides in learning about austenite vs. martensite and doing finite element modeling, you probably will not enjoy the brute memorization that comes with medicine.
 
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Sep 14, 2020
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Alright, first off you should have looked into this well before doing your DIY post-bacc. There's no point in doing all this studying if you don't know what you're getting into. So here's the breakdown if you go to med school.

M1: Feels like your drowning for the first 3 months, then you tread water, then you're able to do well by M2 and into Step 1.
M3: Back to drowning on medicine and surgery rotations. By the end you should feel much more confident about talking to patients, creating a treatment plan, etc. Medicine you will work 8-12 hours a day with a few 24 hour calls. Surgery you will work 12+ hours a day with a few 24 hour calls.
M4: Pick what specialty you want to do and apply. If it's competitive then you'll probably do away rotations at other hospitals (if COVID ever leaves!) Month long rotations in things that you're interested in, medicine, ED, etc. You know most of what you should know but you still don't have much responsibilities
PGY1: Back to drowning. You're managing patients on the floor, entering orders, learning how the system works, keeping up with lectures. Learning the basics of how to be a real doctor. 80+ hours a week, maybe one day off a week not including post-call days.
PGY2: Slightly more confident. Depending on what specialty you chose you're learning more about that specialty. If you're in surgery then you're actually in the OR more this year rather than managing the floor.
PGY3+: Just learning and practicing.

During all of this you have decreasing amounts of free time and almost no control over your own schedule. Schedules are created by the chiefs and traded around by the residents.

As a former mechanical engineer, I'm loving med school and I'm looking forward to residency. That being said, if your love resides in learning about austenite vs. martensite and doing finite element modeling, you probably will not enjoy the brute memorization that comes with medicine.
Thanks for the reply. I like how to put into details for each year and there are up and downs. Good to hear that you were former engineer and able to work with out with school. Thanks. p.s. austenite vs martensite haha it's been long time hearing about it. I am more semiconductor side of material engineer but I get what you are saying.
 

coolsands155

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May 10, 2016
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Not sure exactly. Thank you for your reply.
There was recently an investment banker pursuing dentistry who had the same concerns so I'll try to keep it simple.

Do you want to continue making $100k/year as an engineer (or whatever you're making) or go into $200-$500k debt over 4 years of med school and 3-7 of residency where you'll have to study day and night, work long hours (for 50-60k during residency) or would you rather be ahead by $1-$1.5m net worth 10-12 years from now if you keep your current job? You'll also be missing weddings, birthday parties, holidays, vacations with family/friends, difficulty in maintaining a relationship (yes some people can make these things work but it will be very difficult).

If these "downsides" are okay with you then go ahead and pursue medicine, if not then keep your career.
 

DocJanItor

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Jun 6, 2017
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There was recently an investment banker pursuing dentistry who had the same concerns so I'll try to keep it simple.

Do you want to continue making $100k/year as an engineer (or whatever you're making) or go into $200-$500k debt over 4 years of med school and 3-7 of residency where you'll have to study day and night, work long hours (for 50-60k during residency) or would you rather be ahead by $1-$1.5m net worth 10-12 years from now if you keep your current job? You'll also be missing weddings, birthday parties, holidays, vacations with family/friends, difficulty in maintaining a relationship (yes some people can make these things work but it will be very difficult).

If these "downsides" are okay with you then go ahead and pursue medicine, if not then keep your career.
Doesn't apply here but IB is a horrible work environment for 5-10 years. If you make it to partner then you're set.
 
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8YearsLate

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This may sound a little knee-jerk or callous, but any time I see someone asking this type of question, I feel like their conscience is begging them to get out before it's too late. I, nor my friends who I know are truly invested in this path, ever have this contemplation. I know that sounds a little generalizing and I know there are exceptions, people who have momentary lapses of reason the night before a test or after a long day. But if you've been thinking about this for a while, it may be time to follow your gut, not your logic. The "sunk cost" fallacy is just that - a fallacy. Your time has not been wasted if it made you more sure of who you are and what you want.
 
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8YearsLate

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COVID-19 is temporary, so how on earth would it affect a life-long decision?
Because it's made a lot of people grateful for what security they do have in life, and made some people realize they don't want to be on the frontlines during a pandemic. I think it's perfectly relevant.
 
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Select All That Apply

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@Shinygiant If I actually die from COVID, I prefer it would be related to working on the front lines rather than catching it from an idiot coworker who refuses to wear a mask and continues to sneeze all over the workstation that I am doing AutoCAD on. In COVID times the continuum spectrum is a little less about how I expect to live and a little more about how I would want to die.
 

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