If not medicine/healthcare/sciences at this point, then what?

Oct 22, 2013
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I guess I am seeing it more in some of the people that I graduated college with and at times, I feel this way too. We study hard while on the pre-med track, work hard to keep our GPAs as high as we can, spend hours studying for the MCAT, and then some of us who aren't honest with ourselves wonder if this is what we want to do for the rest of our lives.

So many of us got talked into the medical field by family and society because:

1 - Job stability/security.

While the saying alone is not true for any profession at this point, it is probably more common in healthcare than it is in most other professions. We will always need doctors and dentists, there will always be a demand for those professions and anyone who finished med school or dental school is very likely guaranteed a job that pays 100k+ which brings me to my next point.

2 - Money/salary.

Yes, you spend years in med school or dental school but unlike most other professions, six figures is more or less guaranteed and it is the path with the LEAST risk involved to get there.

3 - Respect/status.

Doctor/physician is one of those professions that society in general respects and looks highly upon compared to say a banker, lawyer, or salesperson. So many parents want their kids to be doctors and work in the medical field because of this, especially immigrant parents.

Now I constantly hear people say "make sure you love it" or be sure you want to pursue this profession.

The issue is, after you've done all of that (graduated college with a decent GPA and done well on the MCAT) but still have questions about whether or not you want to go into this field, I feel like it is too little too late at that point.

Most of us majored in biochem, biology, or the life sciences so we can enter med school. Unfortunately, those majors on their own are not very employable at all. A lot of us who did research at a lab realized that we don't exactly like running PCRs and flow cytometry so a PhD (also a huge investment of time) might not be up our alley either.

I just ask then, for the few that are coming to realize that maybe they don't want to work in healthcare or the sciences, then what at that point?
 

Crayola227

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Oct 22, 2013
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Yeah, a major in hard science like chemistry and time in a lab better poises you for something decent post-bac.

People get MBAs for business, I knew someone that did something that let them do the paralegal route after a bio major, some do law school (I don't think they care about major either, but you gotta be sure you have the skills, the LSAT, and law is a deadend anyway), you can get a master's and teach

adulting is hard.jpg
 
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FutureOncologist

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Jun 25, 2014
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I'd get a Ph.D in Neuroscience or Physiology and run my own lab. You'd think these people don't make a lot of money, but from what I've seen, they can write their own checks. It comes with time, yes; and a lot of it comes from grants as you work up. But when you become a Research Associate, you make a good amount of cash researching anything you're interested in.

EDIT: Didn't see the "sciences" part. If I had to stay away from hard sciences forever, I'd probably go to accounting.
 

Pagan FutureDoc

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If I had to stay away from medicine and science I would have either just become a full time restauranteur or been house husband who is working on a writing career
 

BunnyMan17

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Mar 31, 2014
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I think William and Mary has an accounting program designed for people who have no accounting/business background. It is super intensive but I've heard good things about it.
 

james11

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Jul 1, 2015
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Currently spending the summer before my senior year interning at a Big 3 management consultancy and I have an offer to come back after postgrad. They love hiring science majors with high test scores so it's a pretty good option for disillusioned premeds, especially at high-profile undergrads. I'm still going the med route, but if I somehow don't get into med school (or hate it) at least i have this as a parachute. I'd recommend taking a look at consulting. It's not for everyone but it gives you a lot of options, a pretty good skillset, and you'll never be making less than six figures in your adult life. If money were everything to me, I'd absolutely stay in the business world... but it's not, so I'm on SDN..
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Law. Have an immigration law job if I want it, so that's my backup to my backup plan. I also think I'd like teaching math, but not at a public school.
 
May 21, 2016
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I would probably become a nutritionist.

Realistically if medicine does not work out I will probably get my PhD in nutritional biochemistry and try to work in academia or for a pharmaceutical company of some sort.


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Crayola227

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forgot to mention you should look at the official employment website for you state, and figure out how to look at govt jobs

a lot of them only require a bachelor's and may be unrelated to your major

I know someone who went to work for the IRS as repo with a Civil War major
good pay, job security, benefits, pension, retired early
 
Jul 22, 2016
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No science???

Maybe I would start a custom high end wood furniture business. I love working with my hands and tools. I better raise some beef and a large garden, otherwise I might not eat lol.
 
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SSSMDt

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I was a Biology and Econ major in undergrad. During the last month of school I was offered a six figure salary to work as a lobbyist. Maybe I'll hit them up again..
 
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I would just go for a phd and not look back. I know too many ppl who don't let go and they always have that what if I was a doctor thing on their face. I'm just going to excel at whatever I do so that I can respect myself at the end of the day. Been through too many humbling events in my life that now I don't fall into blindly believing in con-artists.
 

mistafab

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Oct 20, 2015
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If I failed to get into medicine, I would have gone a completely different route like so:

1. I would get an easy job
2. I would be promoted quickly because of my work ethic
3. I would become a middle-manager type
4. Once I hit about 40-50k, I'd be living my life like No-Impact-Man
5a. Keep it up 8-10 years saving 70-80% of my after-taxes income
5b. Investing the entire time in an index fund with 4-5% payback - all going directly back into fund
6. I'd retire at age 40 - living on 20-30k a year. This 'retirement' would be a working retirement, where all my base expenses are covered by interest and whatever work I decide to take up is just added to my index account
7.???
8. Start a bread blog - become famous
9. Start becoming addicted to cheese, keep it a secret from my wife.
10. Slowly downward spiral, start cutting into my index fund.
11. Realize I've made huge mistakes with my life.
12. Become a cranky old person

So yeah - plenty of options besides medicine. I guess my point is that medicine isn't going to be the end or start of your life. You can live this life however you want to, so decide if this stuff floats your boat or not on your own. Status/prestige/respect/finances... Your life will still be yours if you don't have any of these things.