I can't make up my mind! (Long)

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by kcha95, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. kcha95

    2+ Year Member

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    I am completely unable to decide what career path I would like to pursue.

    Unlike most of my classmates, I did not have a firm career path in mind during high school, but thought this was normal at the time. After graduating I decided to save money by completing coursework part-time at a local state school while working in a retail pharmacy. I did this for 3 semesters before withdrawing in order to consider my options. I continued to work in the pharmacy, which eventually triggered my interest in healthcare.

    During my semester off I applied and was accepted into a 6 year (2+4) PharmD program. During the Spring of my first year I accepted an additional position as a pharmacy technician working in the emergency department of a local hospital. My primary responsibility is to perform medication reconciliations, but I also have various opportunities to shadow multiple professionals during rounds and in codes. This experience lead me to think about medical school. At the start of my second year I decided to declare a pre-medical studies minor to further explore this thought. Since then I have completed the minor, and began studying for the MCAT. Also, I do feel pressured by my family to become a doctor.

    But yet again, I feel that I am in the process of changing my mind. In my fourth year, I am now participating in basic sciences and lab work, as to complete honors credit requirements. In addition, I have been required to work with faculty to develop help sessions, which also granted me the opportunity to give several lengthy review lectures for my class of about 250 students. This added to the confusion by making me believe I would like academia. Presently I am more interested in basic science, specifically involving pharmacology. I've recently looking into doctoral programs in translational medicine in hope of finding a career that may encompass all of my interests.

    All of this makes me question whether I was ever truly interested in medical school, or pharmacy school for that matter; or if I just obsess over what career path is most relevant to my current situation. I feel completely lost and noticed an impact on my mood and relationships this past semester. I am currently in the second semester of my fouth year with a cumulative GPA of 3.94, and still feel motivated to continue my education in some manner after completing my PharmD. I have not yet taken the MCAT, but planned to do so this summer. Initially, I had no intention to take the GRE, but now I am unsure about either exam. I know that eventually I will need to make this decision for myself soon. I was hoping this post would allow me to hear from people who have been in similar situations. At this point I am open to ANY advice.

    Sorry for the long post, and I really appreciate any feedback!
     
  2. ClamShell

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    Medical schools, Pharmacy schools, PhD programs, etc aren't going anywhere.

    Get some experience. Work in a pharmacy, tutor basic math and science, work in research, work around patients, shadow a doctor, and figure out what is meant for you and work towards that. Don't study for the MCAT if you aren't sure about medicine, it'll just be a HUGE waste of time because grad schools and pharmacy schools (if you decide to apply to one of those) won't care about your MCAT score, med/pharmacy schools won't care about your GRE scores, and med/grad schools won't care about your DAT score.
     
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  3. OrthoTraumaMD

    Physician Faculty Gold Donor Verified Account 2+ Year Member

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    Can you find a physician to shadow?
    I feel like that would give you a better sense if this career is for you.
     
  4. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    How much face-to-face experience have you had with people who are in the role of "patient" when you interact with them? Do you enjoy being one-on-one helping patients? If you do, consider medicine. If you don't, run from medicine and don't look back.

    Giving a few review lectures to college students is a long way from a career in academia. If you are going to make it as a university professor, you'll need research as well as teaching. Are you interested in pursuing research to that degree?

    Teaching comes down to what are we going to teach (our learning objectives) how are we going to teach (lectures are just one way, and not the most effective way), how will we assess that the students have have met the learning objectives (multiple choice tests are one way but not always the best way and even then there are different ways to format the questions). Are you into that? Jobs in higher ed are scarce and some believe that they will be more scarce as online instructions becomes more common.
     
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  5. Goro

    Faculty Verified Expert 7+ Year Member

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    What does your heart tell you?
     
  6. OP
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    kcha95

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    Thanks for the reply! Yes I have actually shadowed a physician a few times (usually for a few hours), in ICU and in the emergency department. I really liked both. But maybe it would also be helpful to shadow in a different field as well or outside of the hospital I work at.
     
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  7. OP
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    kcha95

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    LizzyM">
    Thanks! When you word it like that, I realize that I definitely have not had enough experience in research or academia to really know if that is a career I could be satisfied with. But I do really enjoy basic science, which I know will be less prominent if I choose a career in a clinical setting.

    I guess I am just afraid that if I decide to stay with the clinical sciences, I will be missing out on something. But this goes both ways. Is there a way for me to gain more insight in research and academia so late in my program and an almost exclusive clinical background?

    EDIT: I have a bit over 3 years of experience in a retail pharmacy capacity, and 2 years in my current hospital position, which revolves around interviewing patients in the emergency department. I have generally really enjoyed interacting with patients through all 5 years, and would imagine that would be something that I would miss.
     
    #7 kcha95, Feb 12, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  8. Mr.S

    Mr.S Probationary Status

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    I can answer that. The career is NOT for him. Its not for anyone unless drastic changes occur.
    But I would say being a dentist is a great thing. You help people in need, people are really appreciative, you can be an entrepreneur its very technical.
     
  9. OrthoTraumaMD

    Physician Faculty Gold Donor Verified Account 2+ Year Member

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    This post is very confusing. “It’s not for anyone” meaning medicine? Well that’s blatantly not true. This career is for me. And my partners, parents, friends, and likely half the people on this site who are in various stages of training.
     
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