dxu

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So i haven't been posting for awhile and i've taken some time to reflect on all my possible career choices. So far, the only conclusion I have come to is that I want a career in the medical field. I've thought about being a PA, then an RN, then a RT, back to PA, switched over to Paramedic, and now am back at the one thing that really keeps coming back to me, DO (or MD..whatever).

My problem is that not only am I indecisive with this particular topic, but my time seems to be running shorter and shorter. By this I mean I am already a junior in college and am just starting taking all my Pre-Med classes. I may be in college a whole extra year (I should mention I transferred from another college because it was miserable). But maybe I should take my time and make sure I do well in a longer timeframe rather than crappy in a shorter period of time.

I've talked and shadowed with all types of healthcare workers. I am taking my EMT-B now. I have a strong urge towards the DO side, but I'm not sure if it is the way to go due to time, and the fact I want a life and not to work my life away. What specialty could I choose as a DO to still have a life, but do what I love. I absoultely adore EM, is that a good choice?

Sorry for the rambling but I could just use some help..
 

CuttinEmUp

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I think your at a critical time where you need to start shadowing doctors and learning everything and anything you can about the career field of your choice.

You really need to analyze and research like crazy. To me it sounds like you *probably* dont have the makings of a doctor if your that concerned about "having a life" and doing things quickly. You probably keep "upgrading" back and forth between nursing and PA and DO's or MD's because you want to make as much money as possible, with the least amount of input.

If im wrong, then i apologize, but thats how your post comes off.
 

DrFeelgoodMD

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Along with what Cuttin said, you should take a look at the lifestyles of the careers you have laid out and really decide what would be best for you. If you want to have that prestige and responsibility (not to mention the wealth), then you should consider DO or MD. However, you did mention that you "want a life", so maybe a PA would be a better bet: you get to treat patients under the supervision so less responsibility, more time for your self/family, and decent pay. I am not too familiar with the lifestyle and job responsibilities of nurses, so someone else may have to help you out with that (I can say, however, that there are RNPs who see patients and treat them so keep that in mind). But again, shadow/talk to them, see what you would rather be doing and then make a decision.

:luck:

J
 
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peppy

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Don't feel pressured to decide right now. It's better to take time and make the right decision than to jump into something without thinking and regret it later on.

The lifestyle of emergency medicine is not too shabby in some ways. Since they work shifts without any call, you can be sure that when you leave the hospital for the day you really are DONE. However, emergency docs definitely do work hard while they're on the job, so it's not as cushy as something like dermatology (which is notorious for being a very, very competitive specialty to get into because it's so easy and lucrative).
Of course, this is just what I've learned secondhand. If you talk to the actual EM residents and docs about their lifestyles, you'll get a better answer.
Good luck making your decision!
 

TerpDO

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hey there, from your post it seems like you are a little lost at this point in time. hopefully this advice will help:

I think you are still very young and even though you are about to enter your third or fourth year of college you are not at all behind if you wish to pursue a career in healthcare. I've know people who got two bachelor's before applying to medical school, and one of my very good friends just got accepted into a D.O. school and he is 28. At this point in your life I would definitely focus on getting the best grades you can get, keeping your goals simple, if you are not ready to apply to any professional schools then don't worry about them, obtaining a B.S. with a high GPA (something I should've done but didn't) will help you down the road no matter what you decide on. Take more time if you need to, I finished college in 3.5 years but I haven't been accepted to any medical schools yet because of my GPA so that semester saved actually ended up costing me.

Here's something else I recommend. Aim to be accepted into MD schools as they have the highest standards for their applicants. While it surely doesn't mean that everyone that is accepted into a MD school is smarter than everyone else, if you are competitive for MD schools you will definitely be competitive for DO, PA, RN schools, etc. Don't sell yourself short and get B's and C's if you are able to get A's, hard work always pays off.

In addition, if you are really into Emergency medicine I recommend aiming for MD schools. Due to philosophy differences that I won't go into at the moment, DO schools wish to train primary care physicians so if you are set on EM, you will either have to lie when applying to DO schools or "settle" for primary care which will likely not benefit you or the schools.

LASTLY (and sorry for the long reply), if you talk to the physicians that are happy with their jobs, they will tell you that they got into medicine to HAVE A LIFE, not to make money or work their lives away so that they can have a better car or go on more exotic vacations. Ask yourself this? Would you rather make $250,000 dollars a year working 40 hours weeks on Wallstreet if you have no interest in the market but happen to be good at investing (and you struggle to get to work every morning) or would you rather make $100,000 a year working 50-60 hours a week as a doctor if you love helping people live healthier lives and jump up every morning just to goto work? Think about this seriously and you will know what you want to do in life.

cheers!
 

MossPoh

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It is a difficult decision....it wasn't an easy decision for me to start this path either. I actually just did lots of things that required little thinking (landscapping, fishing, etc) and just kind of sat down and thought about it.....I tried to take out every outside influence and asked myself if I'd still do it...easier said than done I know but you have to ask yourself questions along the lines. "Am I doing it just for money?", "Can I handle the time investment to reach what I want.....and the debt recieved".......sometimes..like me, you realize you were just terrified of screwing up and failing before...othertimes you realize you just don't want that. Part of the problem is a lot of people view nurses, PA and what not as a person that couldn't get into medschool . It is a way of thinking that needs to be fixed just as much if not more than the DO/MD stuff in my mind...lots of people apply for the glory of being a doctor when they would be much better suited as a nurse or other position in the healthcare field. That isn't focused directly at you....I can't make the decision but it is another aspect to think about. Good luck in your decision and don't worry....even if you start late you'll still have plenty of time to decide.
 

OSUdoc08

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dxu said:
So i haven't been posting for awhile and i've taken some time to reflect on all my possible career choices. So far, the only conclusion I have come to is that I want a career in the medical field. I've thought about being a PA, then an RN, then a RT, back to PA, switched over to Paramedic, and now am back at the one thing that really keeps coming back to me, DO (or MD..whatever).

My problem is that not only am I indecisive with this particular topic, but my time seems to be running shorter and shorter. By this I mean I am already a junior in college and am just starting taking all my Pre-Med classes. I may be in college a whole extra year (I should mention I transferred from another college because it was miserable). But maybe I should take my time and make sure I do well in a longer timeframe rather than crappy in a shorter period of time.

I've talked and shadowed with all types of healthcare workers. I am taking my EMT-B now. I have a strong urge towards the DO side, but I'm not sure if it is the way to go due to time, and the fact I want a life and not to work my life away. What specialty could I choose as a DO to still have a life, but do what I love. I absoultely adore EM, is that a good choice?

Sorry for the rambling but I could just use some help..
If you work in EM, you can just work 2-3 shifts a week.
 

Moedog

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Alright for starters forget about RT! you ever had or seen a trach suctioned? Ugghhhh sputum! the only bodily fluid I can't stand! PA's although you get to perform many tasks that the MD performs...ultimately you get less respect and money! "I want to see a real doctor" I've heard it many times! If you believe you can make it as a physician then go for it! (just do it right the first time!) I have worked in an ER for 5 yrs as an RN, I love my job, but ultimately wan't more for a career! I have gained valuable experience, but if I was to have time back would have chosen the shorter route! EM is rewarding and it allows you to also have a life! you get to leave your work when you leave! and the hours on average are not too bad! Just my 2 cents! good luck to all those who are taking AUG MCAT! 17 days!!! :eek: Moe
 
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dxu

dxu

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Sorry for the delayed reply..

I appreciate all your responses. I know I can make it as a DO, and it is really the only thing I can see me doing career-wise. Being anything else and working around docs would make me feel dumb thinking, that could be me.

I think doors are gonna open up for me. I'm getting my EMT-B cert, president of my dorm, work with special olympics, gonna be shadowing, doing better with my grades, and to top it off, Robert Morris is opening a DO school near the time I graduate so I can stay close to home cuz they are taking 1/2 the class from the area (MY area). If anyone has any more suggestions for things to do to make me more competitive, lemme know. Also I went to Singapore and Malaysia my freshman year because I helped research a non-bio/non-chem paper (religious actually). Plus I worked at the ACSM Conference in Harrisburg. Also a desk-attendant in my dorm.

sorry for the random thoughts.

dxu
 

DrQuinn

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TerpDO said:
In addition, if you are really into Emergency medicine I recommend aiming for MD schools. Due to philosophy differences that I won't go into at the moment, DO schools wish to train primary care physicians so if you are set on EM, you will either have to lie when applying to DO schools or "settle" for primary care which will likely not benefit you or the schools.
I disagree with this statement.

In MD Emergency Medicine Residencies, DOs make up 8% of the TOTAL # of residents. Not bad! Two years ago the president of ACEP (American College of Emergency Physicians) was a DO. I was chief resident last year of an allopathic EM residency in FL. I am a DO, and am a faculty attending at the Georgetown University's Emergency Medicine Residency in Washington, DC.

The world is wide open if you are a DO!

Now you just need to decide if you want to go "all the way" or at any other step of the way. It is good you have decided on healthcare as a field... I cannot imagine myself doing anything else, its a very exciting and rewarding feeling. Now you just need to figure out what "team" you want to be working for... PAs, RNs, docs, paramedics. All have their pros and cons.

Good luck!
Q
 

MaximusD

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TerpDO said:
hey there, from your post it seems like you are a little lost at this point in time. hopefully this advice will help:

I think you are still very young and even though you are about to enter your third or fourth year of college you are not at all behind if you wish to pursue a career in healthcare. I've know people who got two bachelor's before applying to medical school, and one of my very good friends just got accepted into a D.O. school and he is 28. At this point in your life I would definitely focus on getting the best grades you can get, keeping your goals simple, if you are not ready to apply to any professional schools then don't worry about them, obtaining a B.S. with a high GPA (something I should've done but didn't) will help you down the road no matter what you decide on. Take more time if you need to, I finished college in 3.5 years but I haven't been accepted to any medical schools yet because of my GPA so that semester saved actually ended up costing me.

Here's something else I recommend. Aim to be accepted into MD schools as they have the highest standards for their applicants. While it surely doesn't mean that everyone that is accepted into a MD school is smarter than everyone else, if you are competitive for MD schools you will definitely be competitive for DO, PA, RN schools, etc. Don't sell yourself short and get B's and C's if you are able to get A's, hard work always pays off.

In addition, if you are really into Emergency medicine I recommend aiming for MD schools. Due to philosophy differences that I won't go into at the moment, DO schools wish to train primary care physicians so if you are set on EM, you will either have to lie when applying to DO schools or "settle" for primary care which will likely not benefit you or the schools.

LASTLY (and sorry for the long reply), if you talk to the physicians that are happy with their jobs, they will tell you that they got into medicine to HAVE A LIFE, not to make money or work their lives away so that they can have a better car or go on more exotic vacations. Ask yourself this? Would you rather make $250,000 dollars a year working 40 hours weeks on Wallstreet if you have no interest in the market but happen to be good at investing (and you struggle to get to work every morning) or would you rather make $100,000 a year working 50-60 hours a week as a doctor if you love helping people live healthier lives and jump up every morning just to goto work? Think about this seriously and you will know what you want to do in life.

cheers!
Just bc DO schools tend to emphasize primary care doesnt' mean that you can't take the COMLEX and USMLE Step 1 and ace it. If you apply to an ED/ER spot and get in, it doesnt' really matter what the abbreviation is behind your name. If you go DO, you probably are going to have to work a little harder for many specialties seeing as you ahve to pass the COMLEX and the USMLE and will have to beat out many excellent MD applicants. But it shoudl be clear to the OP that getting a DO is not nearly as restrictive as you let on. Aspiring DOs are afforded every opportunity of an MD -- period.
 
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dxu

dxu

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EM has always been my first choice and one of my many reasons for choosing to work in the healthcare field. But of course, I am young and inexperienced and I may find another specialty that is just WOW to me. But i'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

People tell me that I need to make a plan. Ok, if I don't get into Med School on my first go around, i'll do a post-bac and reapply. I'll keep reapplying till I get accepted. I like this plan..haha.

Medicine to me is definitley something I just cannot get out of my system. My desire to become a physician is something that I just cannot shake, and before I was fighting it but now I understand I must nurture it and I can become a good doctor. The past few years I have been a mild slacker but since I won't be satisfied till I am a physician, I must make sure I do everything in my power for it to become a reality.

As I previously mentioned, I have a wide variety of ECs, Volunteer, Shadowing, Clinical Exp, etc. Now I just need to boost my gpa and do well on my MCAT.

What does everyone thinK?

your responses and kindness are greatly appreciated..thanks a ton!

dxu
 

MaximusD

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dxu said:
Now I just need to boost my gpa and do well on my MCAT.

What does everyone thinK?
dxu
I think that it is as simple as that... these are the two hardest aspects of the application numbers game.
 

Vox Animo

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shadow docs...shadow docs....shadow docs


and ask them many question about medical school, life of doctors, regrets, family life etc.
 

DrQuinn

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Its been... wow, 8 years since I was in your shoes and applying to med school (although it seems you still need to take the pre-reqs).

Listen, this is from someone who has been through the WHOLE process.

Just do your best. No one can ask anymore of you. Let's say you get a C+ in organic (I did), does that mean you're NOT going to apply to med school? WHo cares what your GPA is or what your MCAT score was... just because you got a 25 on your MCAT doesn't mean the kiss of death. Are you going to ignore the "drive" that is inside of you to become a doctor just because of some number? Do your best htis upcoming year in school, have fun, take lots of pics, drink a few (or few kegs) beers, eat some pizza, study a bit, enjoy life, but just do your best. No one can ask anymore! Then apply. You get in, cool. If not, you'll deal with it then. No need to plan your life yet. That's for when you finish residency!

Q
 

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DrQuinn said:
Its been... wow, 8 years since I was in your shoes and applying to med school (although it seems you still need to take the pre-reqs).

Listen, this is from someone who has been through the WHOLE process.

Just do your best. No one can ask anymore of you. Let's say you get a C+ in organic (I did), does that mean you're NOT going to apply to med school? WHo cares what your GPA is or what your MCAT score was... just because you got a 25 on your MCAT doesn't mean the kiss of death. Are you going to ignore the "drive" that is inside of you to become a doctor just because of some number? Do your best htis upcoming year in school, have fun, take lots of pics, drink a few (or few kegs) beers, eat some pizza, study a bit, enjoy life, but just do your best. No one can ask anymore! Then apply. You get in, cool. If not, you'll deal with it then. No need to plan your life yet. That's for when you finish residency!

Q
The best advice so far......The whole process of taking the pre-reqs, applying, and completing med school is set up to be very intimidating.

Man, if you honestly feel the drive to become a DO then that is what you should do. If you are thinking about all these other medical fields but you just constantly feel in the end that you should be a DO then take his advice. I have felt the same way as you, trying to go to medical school is a very big commitment. Don’t feel bad for doubting what it is you really want to do. Unlike some, I do not think that the decision should be made quickly. I believe if you choose DO after going through the thought process of comparing everything that you think you may want to do your resolve will be stronger.
 
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dxu

dxu

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Thanks for all the advice..it's all really helpful.

It's funny that today I talked to a PA student for a bit while he was on a clinical rotation at my family doctors practice. I told him I was condsidering the PA profession but was leaning more towards the MD/DO field. He didn't try to influence me in anyway just said that the MD/DO was more stressful, longer training/hours, but had a good payoff in respect,autonomy,money, and in some fields, there was a nice amount of time to devote to family and play. He said of the PA profession that there was more time for other things but that there was not a lot of autonomy or respect in the field.

I like the PA field and respect it very much, but I need to be a MD/DO. One reason is because I know I would make an excellent doctor (not being cocky or arrogant, I am just a confident person). Another reason is I know what I want and why and I know I could be a PA and watch the MD/DO's of the world get all the praise. Call me self-centered or egotistical but that is just me.

All in all though, I greatly admire and respect the PA profession and am very thankful that they/you are involved in medicine. I look forward to working with you.

dxu
 
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