Incoming MS1, doing medicine because I have no other choice?

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MambaP55

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Don’t have any other choice besides medicine

For context, I am 26 years old after my birthday in April and I am an incoming MS 1. I have been having doubts about medicine for a while now and have realized after doing a deeper dive into medicine, that I don’t want to pursue this path anymore. I took off a few years to study for the MCAT and build up my application. I come from a poor background and becoming a doctor was my route into achieving a spot into the “upper middle class”. My father’s business failed so I latched onto becoming a doctor to ensure I would never have to go through being in near poverty again.

I feel trapped because there seems to be no alternative path for me. I dislike healthcare in general as I get older and would want to pivot out of it. I’ve looked into finance but it is difficult to break into finance without a background. Many of the MSF programs that are good in quality want 2-3 years work experience and I have none that expand more than 6 months.

Breaking into consulting and something like IB are quite difficult. Project management and any other jobs I used to think were attainable seem difficult. I basically have scattered work experience as being a TA and other small jobs (Sales, Construction).

I’ve also looked into other careers and none of them would give me as high of a salary as medicine. I feel as if I have golden handcuffs on. I want to leave but there’s nothing else out there for me realistically that can give me the earning potential of a physician. It’s not like I don’t have the passion to treat patients. That exists within me otherwise I wouldn’t have applied in the first place. However, the path to getting there has destroyed everyone I personally know who has taken it. I fear my pessimistic Veiw on medicine will only further increase as I go on.

The only thing I have backing me up is a Psych degree in undergrad. I’ve tried to apply for jobs and it’s been 5 months of constant applying and no luck. The only jobs even glancing at me are sales jobs with are mostly commission based.

I’ve thought about going after an MBA but most decent programs want you to have around 4 years of experience minimum.

Realistically I am in it for the money and job security at this point in medicine. It’s what a lot of my other peers are in it for too but they never verbalize it. Drop physician salaries to 150-200K and many would never pursue this path. I just don’t have any alternatives that would allow an earning floor as high as medicine’s. But I am going crazy because part of me wants to run far far away and the other part of me is thinking that my future self will thank me for doing med.

I am LOST. My friends have told me I can easily drop medicine and pursue other careers but their advice is so vague. I don’t think realistically I’ll have a chance like this again and that’s why I’m latching onto a career path that I will likely despise. It’s not that being a doctor will make me miserable. It’s that I know getting there will absolutely change me as a person and that working long, draining hours will destroy me eventually.

Basically: I realized I’m not that diehard for medicine as I thought I was and want to back out. But the pay and job security as an attending is something that drags me back and has me shackled to this career. I’ve looked into various options and I am lost. Other job careers vary wildly and getting to the six figure point is achieved by a small minority in them. Any advice is appreciated and I want to know if there’s anyone out there with the same predicament because I feel lost.

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Realistically I am in it for the money and job security at this point in medicine. It’s what a lot of my other peers are in it for too but they never verbalize it.
Nope. You are correct that money and job security is a factor, but I think FAR fewer of your peers go into healthcare "disliking it" with plans to leave the field mid-career or earlier than you are telling yourself do. Including medical school, you're looking at a 10-year commitment minimum just to get a positive net worth, and most of those 10 years are going to suck.

Other job careers vary wildly and getting to the six figure point is achieved by a small minority in them.
High-paying jobs are hard to get; that's kind of the point. Life is tough, but there's also a lot more to life than your salary.

There are a ton of threads like this on SDN; early-in-training medical students who want to back out but don't want to lose future earnings. You're about to enter a lengthy, very expensive commitment where the average drop-out rate, from medical school matriculation through residency graduation, is estimated as high as 20-25%. To be brutally honest, if this is how you think NOW, your chance of dropping out during the first two years of med school is high. It gets way worse before it gets better.

The only thing I have backing me up is a Psych degree in undergrad. I’ve tried to apply for jobs and it’s been 5 months of constant applying and no luck. The only jobs even glancing at me are sales jobs with are mostly commission based.
You can always go back to school for a different degree. That's basically what you're doing currently, in a way. You probably won't make as much, but you can certainly find a path that is less costly/onerous to you and lets you enjoy life while you are still young.

Ultimately if you're looking for suggestions on an alternate career path that is attainable without additional education (e.g. medical school) and/or work experience (e.g. 10,000+ hours of residency) you probably won't find that here. All I will say is to be wary of the sunk cost fallacy (especially before you've actually invested much of the cost) and that people who regret medicine don't regret the lost income, they regret the time it takes. Take it from an attending who knows many, many doctors, including some who have left medicine entirely early in their careers.

It’s that I know getting there will absolutely change me as a person and that working long, draining hours will destroy me eventually.
Here's your answer right here. It's reassuring to follow a set path, no matter how lengthy it may be, because the uncertain alternatives are scary. But if you know the outcome of that path already, and it looks grim, perhaps the unknown is preferable. The one thing you have right now in life is time.
 
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You absolutely should not go to medical school. You won't make it. It's too miserable for too many years if you hate the subject matter/don't want to serve people.

There are lots of jobs out there bro. You could go back to school and be a therapist with that psych undergrad degree. Or if you just need money go do engineering/CS/business. Or go teach school.

Heck, you could start a lawncare business and make good money. Or go be a plumber or an electrician. Lots of options.
 
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Nope. You are correct that money and job security is a factor, but I think FAR fewer of your peers go into healthcare "disliking it" with plans to leave the field mid-career or earlier than you are telling yourself do. Including medical school, you're looking at a 10-year commitment minimum just to get a positive net worth, and most of those 10 years are going to suck.


High-paying jobs are hard to get; that's kind of the point. Life is tough, but there's also a lot more to life than your salary.

There are a ton of threads like this on SDN; early-in-training medical students who want to back out but don't want to lose future earnings. You're about to enter a lengthy, very expensive commitment where the average drop-out rate, from medical school matriculation through residency graduation, is estimated as high as 20-25%. To be brutally honest, if this is how you think NOW, your chance of dropping out during the first two years of med school is high. It gets way worse before it gets better.


You can always go back to school for a different degree. That's basically what you're doing currently, in a way. You probably won't make as much, but you can certainly find a path that is less costly/onerous to you and lets you enjoy life while you are still young.

Ultimately if you're looking for suggestions on an alternate career path that is attainable without additional education (e.g. medical school) and/or work experience (e.g. 10,000+ hours of residency) you probably won't find that here. All I will say is to be wary of the sunk cost fallacy (especially before you've actually invested much of the cost) and that people who regret medicine don't regret the lost income, they regret the time it takes. Take it from an attending who knows many, many doctors, including some who have left medicine entirely early in their careers.


Here's your answer right here. It's reassuring to follow a set path, no matter how lengthy it may be, because the uncertain alternatives are scary. But if you know the outcome of that path already, and it looks grim, perhaps the unknown is preferable. The one thing you have right now in life is time.

How do you stay positive in your career. I’ve seen so much negativity in everyone I know personally that pursues it. It just makes me negative as well because I’m surrounded by them.
 
How do you stay positive in your career. I’ve seen so much negativity in everyone I know personally that pursues it. It just makes me negative as well because I’m surrounded by them.
This is hard to broadly answer, because different specialties face different challenges. To list one off the top of my head, savoring the good cases helps. When you make a good save, or when a patient expresses genuine gratitude to you, those moments mean a lot and can make a lot of the BS worth it.

How much of the grind do you think you can stomach? Because there are definitely degrees of badness to get to different specialties. It ranges from nightmare mode (neurosurgery) to quite tolerable (psych, preventive medicine). In my opinion, med school sucks worst from late MS2 til the end of MS3. MS4 is largely choose your own adventure, and then you can opt for a less intense/less long residency.

I guess also a rather pertinent question is do you even like this stuff? If not then just get out bro. I have a pretty chill gig at this point but even that would kinda blow if I didn’t like clinical medicine.
 
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Don’t have any other choice besides medicine

For context, I am 26 years old after my birthday in April and I am an incoming MS 1. I have been having doubts about medicine for a while now and have realized after doing a deeper dive into medicine, that I don’t want to pursue this path anymore. I took off a few years to study for the MCAT and build up my application. I come from a poor background and becoming a doctor was my route into achieving a spot into the “upper middle class”. My father’s business failed so I latched onto becoming a doctor to ensure I would never have to go through being in near poverty again.

I feel trapped because there seems to be no alternative path for me. I dislike healthcare in general as I get older and would want to pivot out of it. I’ve looked into finance but it is difficult to break into finance without a background. Many of the MSF programs that are good in quality want 2-3 years work experience and I have none that expand more than 6 months.

Breaking into consulting and something like IB are quite difficult. Project management and any other jobs I used to think were attainable seem difficult. I basically have scattered work experience as being a TA and other small jobs (Sales, Construction).

I’ve also looked into other careers and none of them would give me as high of a salary as medicine. I feel as if I have golden handcuffs on. I want to leave but there’s nothing else out there for me realistically that can give me the earning potential of a physician. It’s not like I don’t have the passion to treat patients. That exists within me otherwise I wouldn’t have applied in the first place. However, the path to getting there has destroyed everyone I personally know who has taken it. I fear my pessimistic Veiw on medicine will only further increase as I go on.

The only thing I have backing me up is a Psych degree in undergrad. I’ve tried to apply for jobs and it’s been 5 months of constant applying and no luck. The only jobs even glancing at me are sales jobs with are mostly commission based.

I’ve thought about going after an MBA but most decent programs want you to have around 4 years of experience minimum.

Realistically I am in it for the money and job security at this point in medicine. It’s what a lot of my other peers are in it for too but they never verbalize it. Drop physician salaries to 150-200K and many would never pursue this path. I just don’t have any alternatives that would allow an earning floor as high as medicine’s. But I am going crazy because part of me wants to run far far away and the other part of me is thinking that my future self will thank me for doing med.

I am LOST. My friends have told me I can easily drop medicine and pursue other careers but their advice is so vague. I don’t think realistically I’ll have a chance like this again and that’s why I’m latching onto a career path that I will likely despise. It’s not that being a doctor will make me miserable. It’s that I know getting there will absolutely change me as a person and that working long, draining hours will destroy me eventually.

Basically: I realized I’m not that diehard for medicine as I thought I was and want to back out. But the pay and job security as an attending is something that drags me back and has me shackled to this career. I’ve looked into various options and I am lost. Other job careers vary wildly and getting to the six figure point is achieved by a small minority in them. Any advice is appreciated and I want to know if there’s anyone out there with the same predicament because I feel lost.
I think it’s fine to be in it for the money, as long as you’re also fairly interested and have a good work ethic. If you’re in it for the money AND dread the educational path, and have little interest in the content and day to day work, then you’re at high risk for burn out and attrition.
 
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I think that the salary in medicine is likely about to erode to a point where it’s not worth the loans/opportunity cost so you should only do it if you love it
 
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How do you stay positive in your career. I’ve seen so much negativity in everyone I know personally that pursues it. It just makes me negative as well because I’m surrounded by them.
Surround yourself with different people. They're more the exception than the rule. Guess what, all six-figure jobs involve hard work, periods of monotony, working late at night or on weekends, etc. Ultimately, work is work, and few people truly love going into their jobs. But you shouldn't despise it.

But to answer your question: I like helping people during the worst times in their lives, I like the intellectual challenge and solving puzzles, I like teaching and improving care (I'm in academics), I like the people I work with. I like averaging <30 hours working a week, and I like the fact that my annual costs - cost of living, savings, maximized retirement contributions, etc - accounts for ~40% of my salary. It's not going to happen in my field, but even a huge pay cut were to come, I'd still like my job.

That's the bottom line. If you go into medicine with the primary intention of getting rich, you'll never be happy, because for the average physician the money will never be worth the sacrifice, including those that come in attendinghood. But if you go into medicine primarily for everything else, and see the salary as a bonus, it isn't hard to be satisfied.


As I said before, there are endless jobs out there and endless paths to choose. Money can solve problems but does not bring happiness (and becoming a physician does not herald the end of money problems...). I am about as happy as my collages, about as happy as my friends who make a quarter of what I do, and about as happy as the handful of people I know who achieved a multi-million dollar net worth in the early-mid 30s. I have a high school buddy whose net worth is now in the 8 figures - other than our watch and car brands, we lead fairly similar lives. Happiest dude I know runs a lawnmowing business, has a house and wife and three kids, and makes a fraction of what I do. Etc. If you define life by how much you earn, or how much you own, you will never be happy.
 
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If you go into medicine for the money I guarantee you will be miserable, plus the pay for the amount of work/training/responsibility honestly is pretty bad if one really thinks about it
 
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Nothing wrong with doing it for the money though if you can stomach the work to get through training. You could do something like rads where you just read scans at a computer most days. You may not love it, but it’s pretty chill and pays well and hours are good.

Truth is most people don’t love their jobs. The lucky ones find them interesting and meaningful, but nobody would do it for free. Medicine remains the most surefire way to high earnings but at the cost of time.

Sounds like you’re looking at more schooling to land much of anything decent given the psych UG degree, so medicine may be the best bet honestly. Medicine basically guarantees a 60-70k job in 4 years and a nice 6/7-figure job after another 3-7. Not sure you’re going to find a better deal.
 
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My friends have told me I can easily drop medicine and pursue other careers but their advice is so vague

Who are your friends? Are they in medicine? I think you should be very careful about who you surround yourself with. Did they give you this advice unprompted or because you were strongly verbalizing your misgivings about going down this path.

What would your financial situation look like at the end of 4 years? Personally I would stick with it unless you would be taking on huge amounts of debt in the process.

To be quite blunt, you didn’t mention what other options you have seriously attempted or are available to you if you decide to quit now, which to me makes quitting a recipe for a lifetime of regret.

You are at an age when you should be starting to let go of a romanticized view of life and the world and start grounding yourself in reality so look carefully at whether you have the tools for doing that.
 
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Tough love time, OP.

Don’t have any other choice besides medicine

You have tons of choices. You just need to figure out what you what to do when you grow up. Being a doctor isn't one of them because making bank is the baseline, you still have to enjoy what you're doing.

What do you love doing? Do that. I teach medical students and love it, even though I was trained to be a lab jock in the grants and publications rat race.

And my colleagues above are 100000% correct that being a doctor will destroy you.

Get better friends too.
 
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I’ve been hearing this since the 1980’s. Still waiting.
Haven't reimbursements been dropping (relative to inflation) for years? Is there any reason to think that won't continue?
 
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If you hate the idea of medicine, it's going to be hard to hang in for the next 7-10 years until you start making the salary of an attending physician. It's a long, hard struggle to get to that point. If you are already dreading it, you might be better off finding a way to be comfortable making less money but working fewer hours. Alternatively, go to med school but do a lot of pharmacology research, and find a job in the pharmaceutical industry rather than doing a residency (no guarantees that you'll find a top job, though!)
 
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Haven't reimbursements been dropping (relative to inflation) for years? Is there any reason to think that won't continue?
Reimbursements are only part of the equation, and every year they increase for some fields and decrease for others.

The point is that there has always been a subset of docs claiming catastrophe is right around the corner, and in five years we'll all be making 60K and driving used Civics. Medicare was going to destroy us. Then HMOs were going to destroy us. Then Obamacare was going to destroy us. Now AI is going to destroy us. Or maybe it's private equity this time. Either way, history has shown that we always find a way to keep going.

Obviously there are a lot of salary reports out there for physicians. The first one in my search is Weatherby, which shows an average compensation of 352K (up from 339K the previous year).
 
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Just from personal experience, I’m almost done with med school and even though I am still very happy I made this choice, there will definitely be moments for everyone (for me, it was surgery clerkship) that will make you doubt your choice. My classmates who didn’t seem as genuinely excited about medicine from the start, even those with the craziest applications, were definitely the most unhappy since there was nothing to really get them through those tough times
 
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Just from personal experience, I’m almost done with med school and even though I am still very happy I made this choice, there will definitely be moments for everyone (for me, it was surgery clerkship) that will make you doubt your choice. My classmates who didn’t seem as genuinely excited about medicine from the start, even those with the craziest applications, were definitely the most unhappy since there was nothing to really get them through those tough times

On surgery right now. Worked a 28 hour shift last weekend.

Most everyone has been nice, but dude........ this is not worth it for the money. Step 1 wasn't worth it for the money. Missing family functions/time with my spouse/etc isn't worth it for the money.

Then again, I grew up working-class, so I'm going to end up driving a Toyota Corolla even as a doctor probably. But still, I really can't relate to the people who power through medical training for the paycheck. Nothing wrong with it, I just don't know how they motivate themselves........ If I just needed to support my lifestyle, I'd rather be an engineer/CS/nurse and call it a day at a 40 hour week man.

If I won the lottery today, I'd still finish medical training. I'd just stop borrowing all this money.
 
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I’ve been hearing this since the 1980’s. Still waiting.
I feel like it’s way different now considering over 10 states are already starting to let foreign doctors without residency practice. This is going to massively increase supply and decimate salaries


There have been even more since the article was written two months ago
 
I feel like it’s way different now considering over 10 states are already starting to let foreign doctors without residency practice. This is going to massively increase supply and decimate salaries
Then quit. Seriously. You are going to be profoundly unhappy doing this, so cut your losses and move on. It seems that you’re more interested in the finance world, so perhaps try that instead.
 
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Then quit. Seriously. You are going to be profoundly unhappy doing this, so cut your losses and move on. It seems that you’re more interested in the finance world, so perhaps try that instead.
I think the issue is anxiety, which is common among medical students (and the rest of his generation, to be honest).
 
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Yes mostly anxiety, I’ve always been told I’m a very anxious person

Apologies @Med Ed if I caused any offense.
 
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I feel like it’s way different now considering over 10 states are already starting to let foreign doctors without residency practice. This is going to massively increase supply and decimate salaries


There have been even more since the article was written two months ago

I'm guessing almost impossible to get such a job at a decent hospital in the more desirable metro areas. I think the foreign docs are highly likely to be exploited, even moreso than NP/PAs, who can leave and practice elsewhere much easier.

To answer your prior question, yes, Medicare physician reimbursement to hasn't kept up with inflation. But yet we're making more on average. It's a complicated thing to try to answer, but bottom line is we're actually making more.

Physicians will do far better than almost all their friends aside from the few who are truly entrepreneurial/born into wealth. I think the only friends from high school who make as much as I do also went into medicine. My high school was higher SES public school that was 1/3 Caucasian, 2/3 Asian (fairly even mix South Asian/East Asian and decent Middle Eastern population), so you can guess what a lot of students went into: law, engineering, medicine. And lots and lots of tech (which to me is in the engineering category). Lol, and quite a few comedians...

If you want to be guaranteed rich/have guaranteed job stability, in so much as anything is ever truly guaranteed, then your top options are generally:

1) Own land (outright) that someone wants or has built something valuable on (or has valuable minerals, etc.)
2) Become a doctor in the US

Check out this NYTimes article on what jobs make up the top 1%, and take note of the disproportionate proportion of 1%ers that physicians make up. Financial services/bankers are a small number, which is what everyone on SDN seems to think is a better gig, though none seem to point out how many of them lost their jobs during the great recession and went to working at the Gap or whatever job they could get their hands on. I never worry about both losing my job and not being able to find a new one in a reasonable amount of time. Most people don't have that luxury.

Screen Shot 2024-06-13 at 8.33.07 PM.png


 
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I'm typing this as a rising 3rd year
Med school has been the worst time of my life
It will suck the life out of you
Don't do it
Especially if you are person who enjoys having multiple hobbies and interests that aren't related to medicine

Don't do it
I think about quitting every day and going into entrepreneurship
Heck I reach the point where I'd rather be an Uber driver or any other gig type job than to pursue residency
No amount of money/prestige is worth the amount of freedom and health you give up while in medical training or even as an attending.

It actually baffles me that parents that are physicians actually allow their kids to pursue this field
Again, if you ha
 
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Also, you'll never get rich trading time for money
You have to realize that time is the most valuable thing we have
Not only time, but youth
Nothing is more valuable than the vivacity and energy you have in your youth

Medicine literally steals the most priceless thing away from you

If you're really motivated to make money, then I'd recommend that you become self employed and find ways to make it scalable
You'll almost never be rich looking for something stable or looking for something predictable
Unfortunately, medicine is mostly filled with risk adverse and high inhibition people
They'll sell you the job security BS

In reality, you'll just be another wage slave that just happens to have some additional dispensable income but with no time to actually enjoy to the fullest.

It's up to you to decide, do you value autonomy/free time more or do you value a steady paycheck where as you said yourself have golden handcuffs.

I'm just here to tell you not to go to med school.
Not worth it unless you really really, I mean really are infatuated with the reality of medicine ( not the idea) and don't mind having not much else in your life beside work and family and the occasional one or two week vacation in a resort in Latin America or a hotel in Europe i.e boring life.

Some will tell you to just choose a speciality with flexibility, but they're ignoring the time that you'll lose and will never be able to get back
You're better off spending that energy and time working on something that you actually enjoy working on and that has the potential of making you money if you care about money

Sorry I'm just going on a rant because I'm reaching my breaking point and realizing how of my life is just passing me by in med school
 
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Tell us about your work history prior to matriculating.
I wasn't born in America, so things are different for me

I started hustling at the age of around 8 yo
My friends and I would go to sites where houses are being torn apart to find some salvage bricks and to resell them

In my early teens I started selling scrap metals, usually copper, and I made a few bucks out of it.

In my teens before moving to the US, I was in highschool and was selling certain products to the black market ( not drugs) and made a decent amount of money for my country until my aunt found my merchandise and the money I had
She beat the chit out of me lmao
I love her

After moving to the US, I didn't really work in high school because I didn't know much English and was already getting depressed because the reality of the US in a broke immigrants family was completely different from the idealized version I had created of the US from watching movies. I was already hating the American work culture. I pretty much saw that people spent way too much time away from home working.


In the summer between high school and college, I got a gig as a janitor ( it was actually sweet because I would go to offices late at night to clean and had the place to myself with no supervisor)

In college, I worked as a sales associate for a big retailer. I then worked as a dish washer in a restaurant. I also worked as a server.
I also worked as math tutor for my school while in college.


I later took an administrative office job at my school while doing gig work on the apps on the side during the semester and full time in the summer.

I worked as a research fellow, if you wish during my gap years, and then I'm now here in medical school.

It is important to mention that I have some familiarity with different industries.
My mom side of the family has more of the high inhibition individuals that took the safe route of finding a stable jobs ( albeit with some that were creative and courageous enough to go the entrepreneurial route), but they have people in politics, military ( a cousin of my mother was actually pretty highly ranked in the army), and doctors ( 3 of my mom's aunts are doctor including his father ) .

My dad's side of the family is where the risk takers and highly driven or reckless people are.
My dad never held an actual job or even went to college, but in his hey day in the 80s to the 90s he was moving a good amount of happy chemicals internationally ( south America to Europe and to Africa) before eventually settling down in being a consultant for import for large importer of consumer goods ( hilarious I know)
However, he was terrible with his money and always lived in the moment

My paternal grandfather was highly successful businessman with no formal education either.
So are two of my half brothers with whom I share my father ( one has a large logistics trucking company in Europe where he employs a decent amount of people, and the other is working in the mining industry in Africa)
I also have a half sister who is a lawyer in Europe.
Many of my paternal uncles were hustlers ( mostly financial fraud)


Now I feel like a complete puxxy when I look at where my fathers and forth fathers were doing at my age.
My dad already owned a house at my age and was traveling internationally moving decent weight. Not mention that my dad is extremely smart ( super well read and well travelled) with extreme high social intelligence allowing him to create new connection and leverage existing ones to get his way.

While I'm here being bossed down by some nerds that don't even have a quarter of my life experience. It's actually hilarious
I can't believe what my life has come to.
 
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OP I'm encouraging you again and those that might be in a similar situation.
You're healthy man with a functioning brain in a first world country, you have more options than you realize.
You just gotta give up the idea of security and be willing to take risks.
Worse come to worse, you can always apply for unemployment and live in a homeless shelter or family if you have some while planning your next move.

Life doesn't end as long as you're healthy physically and mentally.
There's far more to life than medicine or even a stable job.
The biggest regret you'll have is probably not trying and choosing to take the safe route.

Try to work on your mindset and get into your mind that the worst that can happen is death/loss of health/loss of freedom.
If those don't happen, you still have options.
Also stop giving a F what people think of you.
You gotta live for yourself and the principles you hold. You don't need to impress anyone as long as you impress yourself. Unfortunately, medicine has the bad culture of developing people pleasers ( will activity X look good on my application? Will program directors like my research? Etc you get the picture).

Go out there, and the world is yours.
You'll probably fail more than you'll succeed, but at least you would learn from those failure and feel proud of yourself for taking a chance instead of just being an NPC that just follows a predetermined path.
 
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OP I'm encouraging you again and those that might be in a similar situation.
You're healthy man with a functioning brain in a first world country, you have more options than you realize.
You just gotta give up the idea of security and be willing to take risks.
Worse come to worse, you can always apply for unemployment and live in a homeless shelter or family if you have some while planning your next move.

Life doesn't end as long as you're healthy physically and mentally.
There's far more to life than medicine or even a stable job.
The biggest regret you'll have is probably not trying and choosing to take the safe route.

Try to work on your mindset and get into your mind that the worst that can happen is death/loss of health/loss of freedom.
If those don't happen, you still have options.
Also stop giving a F what people think of you.
You gotta live for yourself and the principles you hold. You don't need to impress anyone as long as you impress yourself. Unfortunately, medicine has the bad culture of developing people pleasers ( will activity X look good on my application? Will program directors like my research? Etc you get the picture).

Go out there, and the world is yours.
You'll probably fail more than you'll succeed, but at least you would learn from those failure and feel proud of yourself for taking a chance instead of just being an NPC that just follows a predetermined path.
What age did you start med school in? Are you at a good school?
 
What age did you start med school in? Are you at a good school?
I don't wanna fully dox myself, but I was on the older side. Mid 20s
Yeah I'm pretty decent at school ( got accepted to 90% of med school i applied to and got full rides for a bunch T5 med schools)

Again, it's your life OP
Don't throw it down the gutter
Don't let the fear poverty stop you from pursuing what your heart truly wants.
It's not that bad.
I've slept outside and even ate from trashcans.
Surprisingly I was far happier sleeping outside under the rain than being in med school.

Think of the worst case scenario:
You end up broke and homeless.
You can get government assistance and get into a shelter.
You can grind by doing Uber eats while homeless to pay for some some skill acquisition (let's say coding boot camp) that will allow you to generate some capital to fund your ideas.
This is the worst case and least likely outcome.
Most likely, you'll get a decent job and not end up homeless, and unlike medicine, that job will actually leave you with enough time and energy to work on ideas.
Again, don't listen to people on SDN
Not to sound like a tough guy, but most are sheltered kids or adult that have very little experience, obsessed with prestige, afraid of risk, and subsequently willing to tolerate abuse/suboptimal life condition because they think that their life will end if they don't become doctors or any other wage slave that society respects ( i.e too fixated on external validation and societal/family/colleagues approval)

Don't get me wrong. I have so much respect for Doctors. I think they should actually get paid more given all the sacrifice they make. Unfortunately, many are just not courageous and creative enough and trained to be docile work horse that just put their head down and tolerate the status quo.

You got this
 
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I don't wanna fully dox myself, but I was on the older side. Mid 20s
Yeah I'm pretty decent at school ( got accepted to 90% of med school i applied to and got full rides for a bunch T5 med schools)

Again, it's your life OP
Don't throw it down the gutter
Don't let the fear poverty stop you from pursuing what your heart truly wants.
It's not that bad.
I've slept outside and even ate from trashcans.
Surprisingly I was far happier sleeping outside under the rain than being in med school.

Think of the worst case scenario:
You end up broke and homeless.
You can get government assistance and get into a shelter.
You can grind by doing Uber eats while homeless to pay for some some skill acquisition (let's say coding boot camp) that will allow you to generate some capital to fund your ideas.
This is the worst case and least likely outcome.
Most likely, you'll get a decent job and not end up homeless, and unlike medicine, that job will actually leave you with enough time and energy to work on ideas.
Again, don't listen to people on SDN
Not to sound like a tough guy, but most are sheltered kids or adult that have very little experience, obsessed with prestige, afraid of risk, and subsequently willing to tolerate abuse/suboptimal life condition because they think that their life will end if they don't become doctors or any other wage slave that society respects ( i.e too fixated on external validation and societal/family/colleagues approval)

Don't get me wrong. I have so much respect for Doctors. I think they should actually get paid more given all the sacrifice they make. Unfortunately, many are just not courageous and creative enough and trained to be docile work horse that just put their head down and tolerate the status quo.

You got this
Ahh ok I see!

Just outta curiosity, why haven’t you quit yet? Outside of the debt burden, you seem like someone who could handle the stress of leaving and successfully maneuver out of medicine
 
Ahh ok I see!

Just outta curiosity, why haven’t you quit yet? Outside of the debt burden, you seem like someone who could handle the stress of leaving and successfully maneuver out of medicine

I haven't quit yet because I have been stressed, exhausted, and depressed at times to come up with a good plan.
I'm slowly working on it now, and it involves me finishing the program so that I can leverage my medical knowledge and my school name in negotiations or proposals.
So, I'll stick with it until I graduate.
Again, don't feel bad for feeling like you have no option. I was in your choose in the last 12-15 months until I had a serious conversation with myself took a broader perspective on life.

If you're gonna remember anything from our conversation, just remember that as long as you're a free and healthy (physically and mentally) man without criminal record in a first world country like the US with at least average intelligence and the right mindset, it's never over.
 
Then do something else. If getting kicked in the balls all day everyday made the most money of any career path I could choose, I still wouldn’t do it. And that’s because I don’t want to get kicked in the balls all day.

So who cares if you can make the most as a doctor if you just don’t want to do it. No **** it pays a lot to do medicine because it’s hard as **** and sucks.

BTW, I went into med school expecting the absolute worst. I hadn’t the faintest idea the degree to which my expectations would be exceeded.
 
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In my teens and 20's I wanted to change the world. In my 40's now, I still want to change the world, but now my world is my family. My passion is providing for them, spending time with them, and watching my son grow up.

I do not feel I sacrificed my youth. I feel I gained my future. Med school was overall a blast, but every year aside from much of M3 I had plenty of free time for hobbies/outside interests. PM&R residency was actually pretty awesome too. Admittedly, attendinghood started off rocky because I to cover solo for a while after my partner left,, but I learned a lot, and the unit found locums for me so I had a lot of time off. Now with a partner I'm at or under 40hrs/week, coming home early multiple days/week to pick up my son from school, and I have a lot of time for hobbies/outside interests (ie., family, but I still have kept a few important hobbies like photography and gardening). We have a great life and I am very thankful for it.

My dad, who was a VP at a pharmaceutical company, is jealous of how quickly we've been able to get to the same spot that took him decades to get to. And he was a go-getter who hustled and busted his backside for promotions/work up the ladder. And he was really passionate about what he did (statistics). He regularly worked 50-60hrs weeks. Here I am at 40 or less--I see my family more than any other dads on the street.

Medicine is pretty awesome. But only if you enjoy it. Or at least tolerate it--truthfully I don't think one actually needs to love their job, just tolerate it. There's so much more to life than work, and it's ok to work a job that you're "ok" with if you find meaning/purpose in it--like supporting your family.

Humans have survived millennia doing jobs that weren't their passion, and I think we do a grave disservice to tell young people to follow their passion (and only in reference to work!). Passions change! Follow your heart--there's a difference. My original passion (since childhood) was architecture. And then I did some internships and I hated it--I saw the reality of the job and how boring/meaningful I'd find it. So I changed my major to art, which I love. But to make a living doing art you generally need to act like a businessperson/marketer, and you need to make art based on the market, not based on what you want to do. So I kept my passion for art to myself as a lifelong hobby (which I still enjoy, but wouldn't call a passion anymore--passions change!).

All jobs will be mundane/boring/etc at some point. I needed something that I felt mattered so that if I were stating at a computer screen all day, I wouldn't feel the life getting sucked out of me as with prior jobs. There had to be purpose. I narrowed things down to teacher, priest, park ranger, or physician. Somewhere my heart could be satisfied. Think of the difference between happiness and joy. I wanted joy--a settled state of contentment, not a possibly fleeting feeling. By process of elimination, I ended up applying to medical school.

I don't want to do disservice to those who one of the few who have a passion that is deep-seated in their heart and brings them true joy and contentment. We need people like them. But most people find their main joy and contentment in their family and relationships first, job second. For about 90%+ of the population, we'd be best served to marry the right person and have kids if we want true joy/everlasting happiness in life. The job just helps us provide for them/eat/stay alive. And if we enjoy it, major bonus points--but again, not the main focus of my life.
 
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Then do something else. If getting kicked in the balls all day everyday made the most money of any career path I could choose, I still wouldn’t do it. And that’s because I don’t want to get kicked in the balls all day.

So who cares if you can make the most as a doctor if you just don’t want to do it. No **** it pays a lot to do medicine because it’s hard as **** and sucks.

BTW, I went into med school expecting the absolute worst. I hadn’t the faintest idea the degree to which my expectations would be exceeded.
As in your experience was the worst or that you came in expecting the worst and it was much better than you assumed?
 
In my teens and 20's I wanted to change the world. In my 40's now, I still want to change the world, but now my world is my family. My passion is providing for them, spending time with them, and watching my son grow up.

I do not feel I sacrificed my youth. I feel I gained my future. Med school was overall a blast, but every year aside from much of M3 I had plenty of free time for hobbies/outside interests. PM&R residency was actually pretty awesome too. Admittedly, attendinghood started off rocky because I to cover solo for a while after my partner left,, but I learned a lot, and the unit found locums for me so I had a lot of time off. Now with a partner I'm at or under 40hrs/week, coming home early multiple days/week to pick up my son from school, and I have a lot of time for hobbies/outside interests (ie., family, but I still have kept a few important hobbies like photography and gardening). We have a great life and I am very thankful for it.

My dad, who was a VP at a pharmaceutical company, is jealous of how quickly we've been able to get to the same spot that took him decades to get to. And he was a go-getter who hustled and busted his backside for promotions/work up the ladder. And he was really passionate about what he did (statistics). He regularly worked 50-60hrs weeks. Here I am at 40 or less--I see my family more than any other dads on the street.

Medicine is pretty awesome. But only if you enjoy it. Or at least tolerate it--truthfully I don't think one actually needs to love their job, just tolerate it. There's so much more to life than work, and it's ok to work a job that you're "ok" with if you find meaning/purpose in it--like supporting your family.

Humans have survived millennia doing jobs that weren't their passion, and I think we do a grave disservice to tell young people to follow their passion (and only in reference to work!). Passions change! Follow your heart--there's a difference. My original passion (since childhood) was architecture. And then I did some internships and I hated it--I saw the reality of the job and how boring/meaningful I'd find it. So I changed my major to art, which I love. But to make a living doing art you generally need to act like a businessperson/marketer, and you need to make art based on the market, not based on what you want to do. So I kept my passion for art to myself as a lifelong hobby (which I still enjoy, but wouldn't call a passion anymore--passions change!).

All jobs will be mundane/boring/etc at some point. I needed something that I felt mattered so that if I were stating at a computer screen all day, I wouldn't feel the life getting sucked out of me as with prior jobs. There had to be purpose. I narrowed things down to teacher, priest, park ranger, or physician. Somewhere my heart could be satisfied. Think of the difference between happiness and joy. I wanted joy--a settled state of contentment, not a possibly fleeting feeling. By process of elimination, I ended up applying to medical school.

I don't want to do disservice to those who one of the few who have a passion that is deep-seated in their heart and brings them true joy and contentment. We need people like them. But most people find their main joy and contentment in their family and relationships first, job second. For about 90%+ of the population, we'd be best served to marry the right person and have kids if we want true joy/everlasting happiness in life. The job just helps us provide for them/eat/stay alive. And if we enjoy it, major bonus points--but again, not the main focus of my life.
Do you think you would feel the same way in a hospital environment
 
As in your experience was the worst or that you came in expecting the worst and it was much better than you assumed?
I expected the worst and it was even worse than I imagined. Residency has been much better tbh.
 
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Do you think you would feel the same way in a hospital environment

I am in a hospital environment--I work on an inpatient rehab unit.

Only you can say if you're on the right path or not. And I totally get it--I kept wondering too. I kept asking "could I be even happier doing something else?"

I stopped worrying as much when I stopped making "am I pursuing the right job" the most central question in my life. It was really stressful thinking I have to find my job-equivalent of a soulmate in my 20's, and determine everything I'm going to do.

Just take the next best step. (Or to paraphrase a Disney movie--do the next right thing). That's how I got here. Just a series of one step at a time.

But if you still keep asking that question, I see two ways to interpret things:
1) You keep asking because you're a bit like me (and countless others) and on the anxious/neurotic side and always wonder "what if?" You just want to get things right and you want to get it right/get on the right track starting now.
2) You keep asking over and over because your situation is making you ask it (ie., it's not the right fit)
 
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I am in a hospital environment--I work on an inpatient rehab unit.

Only you can say if you're on the right path or not. And I totally get it--I kept wondering too. I kept asking "could I be even happier doing something else?"

I stopped worrying as much when I stopped making "am I pursuing the right job" the most central question in my life. It was really stressful thinking I have to find my job-equivalent of a soulmate in my 20's, and determine everything I'm going to do.

Just take the next best step. (Or to paraphrase a Disney movie--do the next right thing). That's how I got here. Just a series of one step at a time.

But if you still keep asking that question, I see two ways to interpret things:
1) You keep asking because you're a bit like me (and countless others) and on the anxious/neurotic side and always wonder "what if?" You just want to get things right and you want to get it right/get on the right track starting now.
2) You keep asking over and over because your situation is making you ask it (ie., it's not the right fit)
Thank you!!! You have good insight
 
Medicine for the money makes no sense if you don’t have a way of having little to no student loan debt. Do the math with an average total loans of 300k, and see how long it takes to have positive net worth. You’re also 26 so that will very well mean you’ll be in your late 30s when you have positive net worth. If you really just care about money, can you not try your hand at something else in these next 8-10 years minimum instead?
 
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Also, you'll never get rich trading time for money
You have to realize that time is the most valuable thing we have
Not only time, but youth
Nothing is more valuable than the vivacity and energy you have in your youth

Medicine literally steals the most priceless thing away from you

If you're really motivated to make money, then I'd recommend that you become self employed and find ways to make it scalable
You'll almost never be rich looking for something stable or looking for something predictable
Unfortunately, medicine is mostly filled with risk adverse and high inhibition people
They'll sell you the job security BS

In reality, you'll just be another wage slave that just happens to have some additional dispensable income but with no time to actually enjoy to the fullest.

It's up to you to decide, do you value autonomy/free time more or do you value a steady paycheck where as you said yourself have golden handcuffs.

I'm just here to tell you not to go to med school.
Not worth it unless you really really, I mean really are infatuated with the reality of medicine ( not the idea) and don't mind having not much else in your life beside work and family and the occasional one or two week vacation in a resort in Latin America or a hotel in Europe i.e boring life.

Some will tell you to just choose a speciality with flexibility, but they're ignoring the time that you'll lose and will never be able to get back
You're better off spending that energy and time working on something that you actually enjoy working on and that has the potential of making you money if you care about money

Sorry I'm just going on a rant because I'm reaching my breaking point and realizing how of my life is just passing me by in med school
What specialty did you choose? Are you still in school? If so, cut the freakin drama out man. 3 more years or so is peanuts. Choose your specialty wisely and residency doesn’t have to suck

And you say you’re from a wealthy family….use m4 to travel…

All in all for you it could be at most 2 years of your 20s that suck. Do you really think that’s the end of the world? And does it truly have to suck or cant you at least engage in some kind of weekly hobby or have fun after exams? Are you sure your efforts are well-concentrated, or are you killing your mental well being or burning out by trying to get a xyz score on something, which may not even pan out anyway or make getting a high score not worth it

You only have to pass step 1. In truth you may not even need to kill step 2 either for a decent specialty
 
Medicine for the money makes no sense if you don’t have a way of having little to no student loan debt. Do the math with an average total loans of 300k, and see how long it takes to have positive net worth. You’re also 26 so that will very well mean you’ll be in your late 30s when you have positive net worth. If you really just care about money, can you not try your hand at something else in these next 8-10 years minimum instead?

My biggest problem is I like business but have no real way of breaking in unless I do some kind of masters from a top tier university.
 
My biggest problem is I like business but have no real way of breaking in unless I do some kind of masters from a top tier university.

So your choices are expensive education or expensive education? Defer your med school acceptance a year and see if you can get into the MBA you think will help you get a foothold in business.
 
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Don’t have any other choice besides medicine

For context, I am 26 years old after my birthday in April and I am an incoming MS 1. I have been having doubts about medicine for a while now and have realized after doing a deeper dive into medicine, that I don’t want to pursue this path anymore. I took off a few years to study for the MCAT and build up my application. I come from a poor background and becoming a doctor was my route into achieving a spot into the “upper middle class”. My father’s business failed so I latched onto becoming a doctor to ensure I would never have to go through being in near poverty again.

I feel trapped because there seems to be no alternative path for me. I dislike healthcare in general as I get older and would want to pivot out of it. I’ve looked into finance but it is difficult to break into finance without a background. Many of the MSF programs that are good in quality want 2-3 years work experience and I have none that expand more than 6 months.

Breaking into consulting and something like IB are quite difficult. Project management and any other jobs I used to think were attainable seem difficult. I basically have scattered work experience as being a TA and other small jobs (Sales, Construction).

I’ve also looked into other careers and none of them would give me as high of a salary as medicine. I feel as if I have golden handcuffs on. I want to leave but there’s nothing else out there for me realistically that can give me the earning potential of a physician. It’s not like I don’t have the passion to treat patients. That exists within me otherwise I wouldn’t have applied in the first place. However, the path to getting there has destroyed everyone I personally know who has taken it. I fear my pessimistic Veiw on medicine will only further increase as I go on.

The only thing I have backing me up is a Psych degree in undergrad. I’ve tried to apply for jobs and it’s been 5 months of constant applying and no luck. The only jobs even glancing at me are sales jobs with are mostly commission based.

I’ve thought about going after an MBA but most decent programs want you to have around 4 years of experience minimum.

Realistically I am in it for the money and job security at this point in medicine. It’s what a lot of my other peers are in it for too but they never verbalize it. Drop physician salaries to 150-200K and many would never pursue this path. I just don’t have any alternatives that would allow an earning floor as high as medicine’s. But I am going crazy because part of me wants to run far far away and the other part of me is thinking that my future self will thank me for doing med.

I am LOST. My friends have told me I can easily drop medicine and pursue other careers but their advice is so vague. I don’t think realistically I’ll have a chance like this again and that’s why I’m latching onto a career path that I will likely despise. It’s not that being a doctor will make me miserable. It’s that I know getting there will absolutely change me as a person and that working long, draining hours will destroy me eventually.

Basically: I realized I’m not that diehard for medicine as I thought I was and want to back out. But the pay and job security as an attending is something that drags me back and has me shackled to this career. I’ve looked into various options and I am lost. Other job careers vary wildly and getting to the six figure point is achieved by a small minority in them. Any advice is appreciated and I want to know if there’s anyone out there with the same predicament because I feel lost.
Breaking news!

Most of us go into medicine because of job security and the $$$. A minority (eg., FMG) are into the prestige aspect of it.

Almost all physicians who work FT are what most would consider rich (of course there is different degree to being rich). For instance, the people that I work (also hang out) with who have been attendings for 5+ are already millionaires. And I am JUST an IM hospitalist.

I, myself, went into medicine for the reasons I stated above. I also like the subject matter. Amazingly, I like the job A LOT more than I thought I would. Also, not to have to worry about money anymore is a huge plus.

Another thing that I see that people tend to not mention is the flexibility that physicians can enjoy if they want to. Most physicians can get a PT job (2-3 days work week) and still make 150k-250k/yr. In my situation, I can work 7 days and off for 21 days straight, and still will be able to make a good living.
 
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Medicine for the money makes no sense if you don’t have a way of having little to no student loan debt. Do the math with an average total loans of 300k, and see how long it takes to have positive net worth. You’re also 26 so that will very well mean you’ll be in your late 30s when you have positive net worth. If you really just care about money, can you not try your hand at something else in these next 8-10 years minimum instead?
The issue with that is most people will not make into the top 5%. Only medicine pretty much guarantee that.

Like @operaman said above:

OP should look at it that way. He/she will be making 60k+/yr in 4 yrs. And if chooses psych, he/she will be in a "cushy" residency with the prospect to be automatically in the upper class in a total of 7 years from now.

We can say all we want but only 4% of the US population who work 40+ hrs/wk make 250k+. Money is not everything but it's EVERYTHING when you have to worry about paying your bills.

 
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