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If not Medicine as a career, then what?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by domadi, Dec 16, 2001.

  1. domadi

    domadi New Member

    Dec 14, 2001
    Likes Received:

    I've graduated from college and was pre-med for some time. I've been doing research as a lab tech at local university. I'm competitive for Medical school but am having doubts about Medicine as a career. I was wondering if there are any medical students/residents who've regretted going this route. If so, then what career would they have considered instead?

    I'd like to make a well-informed decision.

    Thanks for your time.

  2. LR6SO4

    LR6SO4 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Jun 21, 2001
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    I worked for some time after college as well so I can sympathize. That said, I don't regret going back at all. You can look at it many different ways. Where is your career going right now? I worked my way into some good pay with drug companies. Even then if you look at the financial end of things sure I was making more than any resident, but that was a plateau. I could have stayed at that level for 10-15 years. Or even been 'downsized' with the economy now. Medicine allows for career development and growth.
    Score one for being a doc there.

    Autonomy: I worked for a boss who had a boss who had a boss, etc. I know that physicians have bosses too, but by and large you get to make decisions on your own. That's why it's called practice. In industry this was reserved for the CEO. Even in my most creative days, I was still being told what to do and was confined by what products we made. Score for medicine there too.

    Complexity: With a BS degree it takes a long time to really work in a field and make a contribution. I mean that the cool stuff is thought up by the PhD's and I got to carry their own ideas through. Medicine allows you to work in a complex field if you want and contribute in many ways.

    Against medicine: It's long. 8-9 years total. I looked at it like this though, where would I have been in that amount of time in industry? Most likely I would have been doing the same basic thing, maybe with a different title. Without a PhD the best track is into manangement which even gets away from the science that I enjoy. Would a PhD be better? It's long too. Would it have gotten me a better career over a BS? Sure. Even then, a lot of the PhD's I worked with were glorified lab techs and hated their jobs. The pay also does not justify a PhD in industry either. Where I worked they were only slightly ahead of people with MS's.

    If not medicine then what? Depends on what you want to do. If you don't want to be a doctor then don't do it. Pharmacy is an option for a good job with good pay in the sciences. Go back and get your chem eng degree, that's another field with growth and opportunities and autonomy. But if you want to be a doc, then go to med school.

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