i just dropped out of med school......advice?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by snow100, Oct 17, 2001.

  1. snow100

    snow100 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2001
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    i just started med school, so i am a first year. and i COMPLETELY lost interest. didn't want to study (couldn't study actually), felt like i was selling my soul to medicine, felt like a long arduous process. didn't want to deal with socialized medicine. anyways, have any of u gone through this? is this normal? i am taking a year leave of absence to check other things out. did i make a mistake?

    snow
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. old_one

    old_one Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2000
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Snow,
    It's hard to say something definite without knowing what lead up to this.

    Were you burnt out from undergrad?

    When did you form this conclusion? Were you getting negative feedback from your family/friends that made you feel like you were wasting your time?

    Of course it is, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Two questions. Does your school guarantee a place for your next year? If so, and if you're fresh out of undergrad (in your early twenties????), I'd say that you're still young and a year off won't hurt you.

    But I'm not in med school (yet), so some others could probably give much better feedback than I could! ;)
     
  4. snow100

    snow100 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2001
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    hi old one,

    thanks for writing back. i will try to answer ur questions.

    Were you burnt out from undergrad

    yes. i actually sped through undergrad in three years because i was so sick of studying. i took a year off in between college and med school and worked and i loved the peace and freedom i felt there. it gave me a lot of doubts about medicine.

    When did you form this conclusion? Were you getting negative feedback from your family/friends that made you feel like you were wasting your time?

    i started feeling this way last year. my parents and friends were pushing me to medicine and my family thinks i am a failure now.


    yes, i can take up to two years off, so i haven't burned any bridges. i am 24 almost 25. i don't really see a light. i know a lot of doctors that are just so bitter about medicine and unhappy. my brother is also in medical school and he just seems like he is on autopilot and he is the most self-disciplined person i know. i completely lost the motivation to study and i am not sure where that is coming from. i did very well in undergrad. so i am thinking that i just don't have the interest to make it through med school. and i didn't want to get stuck with some residency that i didn't want. there were really only a few specialties i would do because of the lifestyle and work load. it just doesn't seem worth it. the only thing that is attracting me back to it is the job security and that just isn't enought motivation to stick out for all those years. hope i painted a good enough picture. thanks and hope to hear from ya again.

    snow :)
     
  5. vhl

    vhl Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2000
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    1
    Do you have access to a counselor? They can both rule out depression (which can lead to a lack of motivation), and help you sort out why you went to med school, and what else you'd rather be doing, etc. There's nothing wrong with dropping out if it's not what you want with your life. The trip is enough of a pain in the @$$ when it is what you want!! And try to ignore how your family reacts-you need to do what's right for you, not rack up thousands of dollars in debt fulfilling someone else's goals. There are many people who still love being a doctor, but there are many who don't. Use this time to try out other possible roads. And even if you decide to go to med school 10 years from now, it will still be OK (spoken as a true Old Medical Student).
     
  6. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2001
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hey Snow,

    It's probably best that you're taking the year off. As you've figured out, you have to do this FOR YOURSELF and no one else. It's too much work and too many years to devote to someone else's idea of what you should do. I went to law school for 6 weeks and then dropped. The reasons you cited about not having an interest in studying sounded familiar - for me, it was being burnt out and hating the material. I can't change the material or what I would have done each day as a lawyer, so I left and never thought about going back. I am not recommending or discouraging either route, I'm just telling you what I did. I am now in my first year at UCSF and am loving it, despite the fact that we (as everyone in med school) are working very hard - much harder than when I was in the working world. Anyway, I think your decision is a wise one for this year. Take some time to ponder what you want to do with your life and what is MOST important to YOU (e.g., free time, challenges, science, business, etc). As your career (unfortunately) takes up a good portion of your weekdays, you need to love it (preferably) or like it a good bit to put in such a big committment like med school. Anyway, sit back, think, have some fun, try out different things and don't make a firm decision for a while. Just my thoughts. Take care,

    Becky

    P.S. - It takes guts to do what you did. You should be proud of yourself for asserting your wishes and realizing that this was not where you wanted to be right now. No matter what your family thinks, you did something very courageous (and difficult) and should be proud of that.
     
  7. snowballz

    snowballz Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2001
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    1
    I agree with Becky. Taking a leave of absence took alot of courage and maturity. It is a sign of maturity when you can stop living for others and assert your own wishes and desires. There is NOTHING wrong with what you did. If medicine is not for you, than simply admit it and move on with what you truly want to do. Good luck..and even a congratulations for living your own life!

    Alicia
     
  8. snow100

    snow100 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2001
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanks everyone for the replies. this was truly the hardest decision of my life. i have been miserable the last two months because i have no backup plan. i think this year off will be good too. i did talk to a counselor and they ruled out depression. im not depressed. maybe a little problem with concentration, but i did well in undergrad. i think bottom line is that i really want to like medical school but i just don't think i like it enough to dedicate all that time.

    becky.
    that is funny that u left law school, because i was thinking of going to it.

    ok, thanks guys. i appreciate the support. i wish my parents would say the same things u do.

    snow
     
  9. phd2b

    phd2b Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2001
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    snow,
    Perhaps this is a dumb question, but what medical school are/were you attending? Could it possibly be the style of instruction that contributes to your dissatisfaction? For example, there are some people who hate a purely traditional didactic curriculum that is present in most MSI and MSII programs, but love PBL (problem-based learning).

    I do, however, tend to agree with the above posters. Get some good counseling and figure out what it was the drew you to medicine. Find out what else you really like doing, try it out for a while, and then decide. You are still young!

    Good luck and remember that you are still in an enviable position considering the number of people who would *love* to have the problem that you have (to be able to *choose* to take or leave medicine at this stage of the game).

    Your mileage may vary...
     
  10. james72681

    james72681 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2001
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    hey snow,
    you don't know me and i don't know who you are, but I go to the same school you do. Don't ask me how ("positively elegant and nooooooooooo should do it"), but i have been going through the same feelings and emotions that you have and have come very close to taking a year off as well. if you want to talk, just reply to the email address [email protected] i just made it up, in case you don't want to talk persontoperson. hope everything goes well for you.
    XXOX
     
  11. vixen

    vixen I like members

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2000
    Messages:
    5,760
    Likes Received:
    1
    yes, that was totally courageous. take a year off...poke around...hey, its just not for some people, and if it's not for you, then all the power to you that you found out now instead of 3 years down the road...whatever you do, good luck! (although I have a feeling you'll be fine)
     
  12. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2000
    Messages:
    2,774
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    "Tight, tight, tight, tight, tight..."
     
  13. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2000
    Messages:
    2,774
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Now for a more serious response.

    Snow, you did the right thing. If you weren't feeling comfortable in med school, there's no need to force yourself to stay right now, no matter what your family or friends say. Give yourself some time to think everything through. You can always come back if you feel like at the end of this year that you made a mistake. Take the time you have now to really research your career options, both the non-medically related and the medically related, and then go from there. Like a previous poster said, you are in an enviable position -- you basically can take medical school or leave it, and you have bought yourself some significant time to make that decision. Take advantage of it. Good luck.
     
  14. james72681

    james72681 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2001
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    hey illycat, are you a lower left side gunner?
     
  15. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2000
    Messages:
    2,774
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    The lower left scares me actually. As for "gunner," somehow, I'm not sure if anyone would ever use that term to describe me. Nope, can't imagine it. Especially since I'm on my 47,503rd game of solitaire this block. :D

    Now, back to my regularly scheduled review of Clara cells. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  17. james72681

    james72681 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2001
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    ok fine..just checking..can't be too careful about the gunners, u know.
     
  18. preludexl

    preludexl Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    2
    Snow,
    Wow, you actually sound like me almost. My family and brother are similar. The guy was on autopilot, valedictorian, summa cum laude, all that heaps and heaps of achievements. Plus he is likeable by everyone he meets and works with. Needless to say, the family thinks he is, for a lack of words, perfect. I really cant say he isn't. But unlike you, I still havent applied yet....have been working to get some peace from the premed circus that got imposed on me. I didnt even get to pick my own major. I thought of many options after i graduated, including dental school and law school...still am thinking it out. I'm poised to return to academia once again. I hated studying towards the end as well. I'm suprised at how well I did in my undergrad years and all the hard classes I took. I even loved the mighty O chem everyone dreaded about. However, toward the end, I got sidetracked by both indifference by the way pre-meds acted, the horrible breakup with a horrid girl (she is now at least. it's amazing how clear you see things in hindsight), and lousy instructors who didnt give a care about you or your GPA. When I graduated, the only reason I did it was because my family was nagging me when I was going to graduate. So I crammed 24 units my last semester, got my piece of paper, and gave it to them. After taking a breather and finally going into my own independent route (it took a while for my family to stop pushing me into medicine..they finally gave up on me pretty much), I've been thinking of medicine on my own once again. Goodluck with your time off, it'll do wonders for you. If nothing else, you'll feel reinvigorated and see that there is more to life than just getting a white coat and telling people to say "ahhh". After all, you are young only once but got the rest of your life to be old and treating patients. There is so much to do and see, things you can only appreciate when you are young and able not when you are old and feeble. I envy you though, you do have it easier than me. I have to try to GET into medical school now and have A LOT of 'splaining to do to admissions people. I'm just going to tell them the truth and tell them to look at my numbers and at the timeline.

    i did very well in undergrad. so i am thinking that i just don't have the interest to make it through med school. and i didn't want to get stuck with some residency that i didn't want. there were really only a few specialties i would do because of the lifestyle and work load. it just doesn't seem worth it. the only thing that is attracting me back to it is the job security and that just isn't enought motivation to stick out for all those years
    -My thoughts exactly except I do want to treat the sick. :D :D
     
  19. snow100

    snow100 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2001
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    preludexl

    what kind of explaining do u need to do if ur grades and stuff were good? i am sure u will get in. i dunno......i don't think medicine is all it is cracked up to be. ever since i dropped out, i feel like thousands of pounds have been taken off my shoulders. i feel like someone just let me out of prison and i can once again enjoy my young years. someone handed me my life back. anyways, i don't think i will be going back to it though. now that i built up the courage to leave it, it is behind me. i won't totally shut the door on it cuz i need to give all things a fair shot, but i really think that is it for me. anyways, it is good to know that there are others with the same concerns..........see ya

    snow
     
  20. aliraja

    aliraja Troublemaker

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2001
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hey... I feel your pain, man. I'm taking a couple of years off with only one year left in med school to get a MBA. I've been in b-school for a couple of months now and I love it -- I definitely needed to get away after a year on the wards and all. Take your year... do what you want to do. Travel, study something else, party all night at Spy and Notsuoh and what not... just get as far away from medicine as possible and then see if you want to come back.

    I gotta tell you straight up though -- I'm going back. Everyone in b-school is going to be making 150+ when they leave here... so the money is tempting. But I got a good hard look at what they'll be doing and I don't think I ever really understood the monumental difference that we, as doctors, can make in the world -- especially compared to some other professions (I-bankers, Consultants, etc...). But that was my decision... yours could be completely different. There's a total of 8 of us taking a year off from med school and doing b-school... and about half of us will go practice and the other half will go to the corporate world and make WAY more money than I ever will. You gotta follow your heart man, and if it says to take some time off then DO IT. Oh wait... you already have.

    All that being said, what's with Baylor people taking time off? :) My best friend is down there (a third year right now) and he's taking a year off next year too. Don't you already get 6 months off?

    Anyway, enjoy yourself man.
     
  21. snow100

    snow100 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2001
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    aliraja.

    what made u think that i go to baylor? i am assuming that u went to duke? just because it says that u r in north carolina. anyway, i totally want to just take it easy this year. unfortunately i can't totally be a bum, cuz i need to work. that's ok. there aren't many jobs out there for biology majors who drop out of med school. i may have to end up taking a biology job which is exactly what i am trying to get away from. we'll see. i understand that docs make a difference. that is the reason i wanted to go. but it is the "other" aspects of the life where i just don't think it is for me. anyways, i will hopefully be able to tell better after next year or after two years. a question though, how is business school compared to med school? is it rigorous? very doable? i know nothing about business school. ok, thanks for your comments and hopefully i will hear from you again.

    snow
     
  22. snow which school did you go to?! :D
     
  23. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2001
    Messages:
    2,913
    Likes Received:
    11
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]

    Perhaps it had something to do with this:

     
  24. aliraja

    aliraja Troublemaker

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2001
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    1
    The Baylor thing was because earlier james72681 had mentioned that he went to your school and he goes to Baylor so, following a long and drawn out deductive reasoning session involving many meta-analyses, I figured that you must be somewhere in the Houston area. I took the 50/50 chance and I guess I just got lucky. :)

    I'm skipping financial accounting, so excuse the randomness.

    Why do you need to work? Is it a Baylor stipulation? If so, go get a job as a ski bum in aspen. heck, I waited tables in high school and loved that more than just about everything I've done since. You can get lots of jobs that aren't biology related if you just have to work... of course, if it's a matter of salary, then I understand.

    Business school is great. My med school is diverse, but my business school is even more so. The average age is 29, people come from every background you can imagine, everyone wants to do something completely different when they come out and they all have the most amazing stories to tell. The academics aren't so bad... compared to med school, it's a cakewalk. Two reasons for that though: First, most of my classmates haven't been in school in a while, so it's hard to juggle classes with other interests (lots of golf), kids, etc... Secondly, I just don't care as much about business school as I did med school. I'm just here for the degree and then plan to go back to medicine where my heart is. The strange thing is that, even though I don't care as much, I'm learning more than some others who study a lot. It's the classic paradox of whether to study for the grade or study what you like and, now that I've been given the chance to study what I like for once, I'm actually learning a lot.

    Wow. Big soapbox. :)
     
  25. snow100

    snow100 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2001
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    wow socialist. aren't u a smart one?

    aliraja- sounds like business school is interesting.......maybe i will think of that. i forgot that i told anyone that i go to baylor. i need to work cuz i need to live somewhere. i could be a ski bum but i really want to go somewhere cool and live for a while like new york, boston, california.....and for that, especially new york, i need a job cuz it is so expensive. but i pretty much do want to just take it easy this year.......we'll see....either way im outta houston.

    snow
     
  26. Hi:

    It is hard to say what field is harder. It is really an individual thing. I am a med student and as an undergrad I did poorly in my accounting classes because I simply was not good at it. However, I did well in organic chem, biochem, etc.

    By the way, I was an accounting major.
     
  27. camjakb

    camjakb Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2001
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow, at least I know I'm not the only one. I too am an older first year who's taking a leave of absence after a somewhat traumatic couple of months. Yeah, first year is tough for everybody, but I think I obsessed more than your average bear, subsequently crashing and burning hard. I completely understand what you were going through: wondering what kind of dividends justify the sacrifice that is medical school, doubting your motivation, fantasizing about alternative careers, ultimately losing all interest in anything related to medical school. For myself, leaving was one of the most depressing moments of my life until I realized what an advantageous position it put me in: the option is always there should I decide to return to school , and if I decide against it, I'll do whatever I want.
    Just understand that you have options and you're not the only one going through this stuff.
     
  28. Justin4563

    Justin4563 Banned
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Messages:
    387
    Likes Received:
    0
    Snow

    Let me tell you something dude!!!!!!Go out an find yourself another career my brother!! I cannot stress that enough.. You are not meant to be a doctor and im not saying that in any disrespect whatsoever. i am not meant to be a doctor, PGY 3 in anesthesiology, because ive been having these fantasies about leaving since i was a third year medical student. And i loved it when i started..I studied hard and worked hard. When i hit clinical years thats when the depression hit. Cold reality of the way medicine works. medicine is far from being idealistic and when you get there you will be thinking, ive been sold a bill of goods. And you will be taken advantage of for the next at least six years of your life every single day.. The pay sucks, the food sucks. the people you are working with suck (nurses, techs ets)nobody respects doctors anymore0 everyone is out to get them.. Go out and get a career where you can be in charge,,, lawyer, b school engineering.... anyway sorry ive been so negative but you know its the truth..


    Go about your life like med schoool never happened for you. Forget about it!!
     
  29. Big Bill

    Big Bill Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2001
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    0
    Make sure you dont make ant decisions about your future now. Get a job and let the dust settle a little. See where you are at at the end of next semester. This could be an adjustment problem in terms of time and intensity. You are still young, hell I consider myself young at 36. So you have time. To me it sounds like a normal reaction to med school, a feeling of being overwhelmed and burnt out. And if you decide to go back I think that you have made the right decision because it is no picnic out in the real world. Yet right now dont make anything set just relax and dont beat yourself up overit.
     
  30. acurar

    acurar Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    If medicine is not your passion, do not do it. It becomes your life not just part of it whether you like it or not. At least throughout your training this holds true. I am finishing medical school and I love it and wouldn't change a thing. I did, however, lose a wife and basically the rest of my social life in the process since starting. It is extremely tough so if your heart is not in it, do not do it.

    One thing those in medicine have a hard time remembering is that there is life outside of medicine. Go find something you love and make it your passion whether it's medicine, music, law, business, computers etc. Enjoy life and good luck!!!
     
  31. snow100

    snow100 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2001
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    hey everyone.

    thanks for responding. i am kind of in the "what will i do now?" mode. i would love just to party for a year, but i have no money. my money runs out in december. i would love to go out there and just look around and see what i want to do, but it is hard to do that without a job. any ideas? all this "what will i do now?" makes me rethink medicine, but being realistic, i know that medicine is not for me. anyways, if anyone has any suggestions about how to be a bum for a year and live up and party, let me know.

    snow
     
  32. Ai

    Ai Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2001
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Travel. Buy yourself a backpack and a plane ticket, and go to some area of the world that you've always wanted to go. Get yourself a job to get by. When you want to move on, get another job where you end up. If the uncertainty of that is a little too much, go to another country and work as an English teacher for a year or two. Most people don't realize what a valuable skill we have being native English speakers. You could walk into a job in many different countries. Traveling and spending some time abroad meeting people from different countries, with different backgrounds, will give you some wonderful perspective on life. Good luck :)
     
  33.  
  34. snow,

    What was it that attracted you to medicine in the first place? This would be an important thing to remember.

    As for leaving did you have a bad experience with a doctor/doctors. Maybe the type of curriculum you were in was not suited for you. If you were in a traditional one, maybe you would enjoy a pbl situation.
     
  35. snow100

    snow100 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2001
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    hi Ai

    travelling sounds like a good idea, i would love to do it, but i don't even have enough money to buy a plane ticket out of here. i am completely broke. maybe i can search the internet for the teaching english thing. but that is a good idea. i could seriously be a vagabond for the rest of my life. i lived in europe for three years and LOVED it. i have searched for some fun jobs and can't really find anything. i have some "real" jobs lined up where i could make a lot of money, so im thinking, maybe i will do that and save up. we'll see. i wish things like this were just easier. anyways, thanks for the tip.

    different strokes- i think what brought me to medicine in the first place was a fascination with doctors and the prestige at an early age. i can NEVER remember not wanting to go into medicine. however, my doubts and concerns i had with medicine were always buried, and i always thought, "i'll just have to deal with that later." but.....later is now. i have one life, and i didn't want to spend it as a slave. life is really too short. i never saw a light at the end of the tunnel. i felt like i was studying my butt off (or trying to) for something i didn't even think i really wanted to do. so, i left and i feel good about the decision. i hate wondering what i will do now, but that's life.
     

Share This Page