Inspired by medical field, need answers to questions!!

Nov 5, 2010
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I've done some searches for the questions I'm about to ask, and haven't found much information on the forums.

First and foremost, my family is surprised about my interest in medicine. I come from family and beliefs about natural medicine, holistic, etcetc. While I do have interests in natural/holistic medicine and ideas, I have strong interests in other areas. My interests in medicine are surgery, neurology, psychiatry, plastic surgery, and natural medicine. Quite a range of interests, I know. What are some suggestions you all might have for discovering what field I would be best in? Is there a place for someone like me in the medical field?

I have become interested in pursuing medicine, either DO or MD. Still unsure of which would be a better path for me. Any suggestions on how to focus on either one?

I am a second year business student and I plan to begin my pre-med req's soon. Will a bachelor's in business be good/bad on applications for med school?

I have not had any vaccinations due to me and my family's belief of not getting vaccinations. I have heard this is a requirement. I am willing to get vaccinated to go to medical school. Is there any way to go to medical school or work in a hospital without being vaccinated? Also, being 22 now, how would I go about getting all of my vaccinations? Is this safe/dangerous?

I did not grow up wanting to be a doctor, so I do not resonate with others who say it was their life dream. Are there other people who were inspired later in life to become a doctor?

I have a strong work ethic and value my career, though I do put value into family and relationships -- is there a balance to this?

After interviewing a doctor recently, he said because of American healthcare, compensation for doctors might go down. Is this true?

If you have ANY suggestions for a pre-med student, please do share. I am open and teachable. I want to be successful in my exploration and possibly my future.

Thanks for reading this!
 
Jan 5, 2010
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being a B major is perfectly fine, just try to take some upper level science courses as well as the pre-reqs, and gain volunteer experience and clinical experience.

As far as the vaccinations, my parents are also into "alternative medicine" so I didn't get vaccinated until I was in college. You will need to be vaccinated to work in a hospital, no way around it. I just want to my regular doc, and they did them, you have to take a few doses, so the process takes about 6 months. No big deal, I'm perfectly fine and alive.

You don't need to know what specialty you want to go until until your 3rd or 4th year of medical school, the process is the same up until then regardless of the speciality. There is most definitely a need for people like you, who have exposure to more than just western medicine, though you probably want to make sure most of your shadowing etc. is with traditional western docs, and the view of alternative medicine in academic medical institutions isn't the best.
 

Angulimala

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Lots of people don't get interested in medicine until later in life. I know several people who didn't get started with premed until their 30s.

I'd say read some books and see what really catches your interest. Here are a few to start with:

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Collar-Scrubs-Making-Surgeon/dp/0312610912/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1289005493&sr=8-3-spell

http://www.amazon.com/Intern-Doctors-Initiation-Sandeep-Jauhar/dp/0374531595/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1289005510&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/What-Patients-Taught-Me-Students/dp/1570615276/ref=pd_sim_b_4

There are many, many more.
 
OP
simple88man
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What kind of volunteering would you recommend? Should it be related with my interests? Did you feel sick after your vaccinations?
 

Rendar5

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1. Vaccines - trust me, you do not want to catch diseases that you can be vaccined against from your pt's nor do you want to communicate these diseases to children you'll see. As a doc you will be around ppl with shingles, pertussis (rare though it may be), hep B, etc. As a doc you will invariably be stuck by a needle in your career. Suck it up. The 1 in a million chance of a bad vaccine interaction is less than the 1 in 10,000 chance that you'll catch or communicate a disease with a bad outcome. Since it's so late in life for you to be immunized, you iht want to ask your doc about being referred to a specialist to set upp a schedule for you.

2. Field of choice - doesn't matter. You can figure this out in med school you can explore but shouldn't be deciding at this early a stage.

3. MD v. DO - doesn't matter, you don't need to focus on one or the other. With your background DO might be preferred since you'll just have one extra piece of education (osteopathic manipulation). But there's nothin you need to do now to decide or improve your application on either one.

4. Compensation - likely going down but healthcare is impossible to predict on the doctor's end.

5. Balance - if you have a good work ethic, you can balance it. when you get to med school, you'll see what fields allow for more and less balance.

6. Business degree - this will be a benefit if nothin else than for you personally (doctors are business stupid). Major doesn't matter to schools. extra degrees can help.
 

jl lin

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Holy brainstorm Batman! What does his family's beliefs about vaccinations have to do with him going into medicine?

Harsh and unrelated, b/c he said he has no problem getting the vaccinations.


OP: To answer about the vaccinations and getting around them. . . NOPE. You'll have to suck it up and deal--except for HPV. ;) I have a few concerns about that one myself.

BTW, you can still employ sound wellness practices and be a great MD or DO.

I am not crazy about vaccines, but I take them b/c I'm a nurse, and I have had my children receive them. . .and where they also make sense and are required (like Rabies), I give them to my dogs.

And as a nurse, having seen so much quick death r/t bacterial meningitis, mine got Menactra as soon as I could get them in there. I also think Hep B is a good idea, and not just for healthcare people. But with my kids, I waited until they were a little older for that one. I figured that they were getting enough vaccine crap when they wer real young, and in assessing their particular situations, they were not at high risk for needing it. My children's pediatrician was very cool about it. As the moved towards adolescence, the Hep B made more and more sense to me--even in terms of sports injuries and bleeding.

All the required ones make sense. I don't like the flu vaccines, b/c I have some issues about its mix, and regardless of how they say it does not give you the flu, you still can get darn sick--um serious flu-like symptoms and have to be out after having it. I have had this experience and so have my colleagues--more than once.

I am beginning to think the hospitals should give us an extra week off per year just to allow recoup time after having it. It's unlikely that they will be kind enough to do that; however, it is a better way to get compliance than being punitive. But IMHO, hospital admins and others don't always know the best way to try to get people to do things.
 
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TriagePreMed

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Holy brainstorm Batman! What does his family's beliefs about vaccinations have to do with him going into medicine?

Harsh and unrelated, b/c he said he has no problem getting the vaccinations.
Seems you can't understand the term "IF." He could also be getting it reluctantly only to go into medicine. It's people that are irrationally against vaccinations that end up being in the anti-vaccine movement, which at the end of the day hurt people. There's nothing "harsh" or "unrelated" about it.
 

RogueUnicorn

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All the required ones make sense. I don't like the flu vaccines, b/c I have some issues about its mix, and regardless of how they say it does not give you the flu, you still can get darn sick--um serious flu-like symptoms and have to be out after having it. I have had this experience and so have my colleagues--more than once.

I am beginning to think the hospitals should give us an extra week off per year just to allow recoup time after having it. It's unlikely that they will be kind enough to do that; however, it is a better way to get compliance than being punitive. But IMHO, hospital admins and others don't always know the best way to try to get people to do things.
you can give your nurses a $100,000 bonus to get vaccinated and that would be even higher compliance.
 

jl lin

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Seems you can't understand the term "IF." He could also be getting it reluctantly only to go into medicine. It's people that are irrationally against vaccinations that end up being in the anti-vaccine movement, which at the end of the day hurt people. There's nothing "harsh" or "unrelated" about it.

You are right on that one. Missed the if. Still think that's a hard line, but it's your opinion so. If you do pediatrics or FM, and some parents refuse vaccination, what are you going to do? Call family services. Not an effective way to get compliance.



BTW, see what happens when we don't read carefully. I sure know that people don't always read carefully what many others write here. . .if you know what I mean. ;) See, but at least I took the time to go back and read for myself and correct it.
 

jl lin

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you can give your nurses a $100,000 bonus to get vaccinated and that would be even higher compliance.


It'd sure help with tuition. :)


But you get my point that many folks get serious flu-symptoms after flu shots--kicks up some mean immune responses. And that's not just for a few people I've worked with. So, at least give them time to recoup. If they don't need the time, let them bank it into their PPO. It's better than getting the terrible sick response and being mandated back into work. And on top that stress, you set yourself up for something else that there isn't a vaccine for. . .like some monster rhinovirus or GI Bug.

I don't think that is anything even to close to $100,000--except maybe for those that make $100,000 per week. Doctors really aren't making that kind of bank.
 

RogueUnicorn

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It'd sure help with tuition. :)


But you get my point that many folks get serious flu-symptoms after flu shots--kicks up some mean immune responses. And that's not just for a few people I've worked with. So, at least give them time to recoup. If they don't need the time, let them bank it into their PPO. It's better than getting the terrible sick response and being mandated back into work. And on top that stress, you set yourself up for something else that there isn't a vaccine for. . .like some monster rhinovirus or GI Bug.

I don't think that is anything even to close to $100,000--except maybe for those that make $100,000 per week. Doctors really aren't making that kind of bank.
you're essentially asking for a 2% raise over a vaccine, not to mention shorthanding the staff. seems disingenuous to lament the ability of the administrators. you can always decline, one presumes, and take the hit on your pto if you indeed catch the flu.
 

TriagePreMed

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You are right on that one. Missed the if. Still think that's a hard line, but it's your opinion so. If you do pediatrics or FM, and some parents refuse vaccination, what are you going to do? Call family services. Not an effective way to get compliance.



BTW, see what happens when we don't read carefully. I sure know that people don't always read carefully what many others write here. . .if you know what I mean. ;) See, but at least I took the time to go back and read for myself and correct it.
Well, I'm not going into either field, so I don't have to worry about it. There's a strict difference between a practitioner disagreeing with vaccination and a patient and their family.
 

jl lin

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you're essentially asking for a 2% raise over a vaccine, not to mention shorthanding the staff. seems disingenuous to lament the ability of the administrators. you can always decline, one presumes, and take the hit on your pto if you indeed catch the flu.


Alright. Make it three days then.

Harsh punitive approaches often undermine the overall goals.
 
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simple88man
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Okay, so more questions.

Should I get my bachelor's in business, first? And then begin my pre-med req's? Or do this at the same time?

And when/where do I start shadowing/volunteering? And any suggestions on where to shadow/volunteer?

Thanks everyone for the info!! :laugh:
 

RogueUnicorn

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Alright. Make it three days then.

Harsh punitive approaches often undermine the overall goals.
can you be more specific about the harsh punitive approaches your hospital is taking? do you get fired if you don't get the flu shot?
 

Catalystik

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Should I get my bachelor's in business, first? And then begin my pre-med req's? Or do this at the same time?
You can do it either way. Whether you take the prerequisites before or after you graduate, the grades will still be included in your undergrad GPA.

And when/where do I start shadowing/volunteering? And any suggestions on where to shadow/volunteer?
Start gaining clinical experience about 1.5 years before you plan to apply. For shadowing, the average is about 50 hours (though I suggest 60-80) and you can get this in over school breaks or on a more regular basis.

You can get clinical experience with sick people through the workplace, for class credit, data gathering for a clinical trial, or via volunteerism. It can be gained at a free, family-planning, or private clinic, hospice, hospital, VA, residential home, rehabilitation facility, nursing home, as a first responder, among others.

Clinical patient experience is not always gained in a clinical environment, eg EMT, battle field medic, home hospice care, physical therapy aide, special camp environments. In such a case, you also should acquire some experience in a clinical milieu where doctors work, like a hospital, surgicenter, clinic, nursing home.

The advantage of gaining clinical exposure through volunteerism, is that it also is looked on as community service, another unwritten requirement for your application, though it is increasingly preferred that you have separate nonmedical, nocampus community service, too.

When you meet docs in the above activities, you can ask them if you might shadow them. You caould also ask your own physician, those of family members, parents' of friends, or just call around and ask strangers if you can follow them during their office day.
 

FrkyBgStok

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The hospital I work in requires all vaccinations including the flu. It is not an option. I only assume I would be fired if I didn't get it done. I only work the weekends and my boss was calling me daily until I got in and got my flu shot. I also have get my "updates" basically the day they are due. I am sure some hospitals are more lenient than others by generally speaking, they don't care how you feel about vaccines.
 

kami333

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can you be more specific about the harsh punitive approaches your hospital is taking? do you get fired if you don't get the flu shot?
At mine you don't get the annual raise and have a non-compliance letter in your HR file if you don't get the flu vaccine.

Just get it on a Fri if you are worried about symptoms.
 

jl lin

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can you be more specific about the harsh punitive approaches your hospital is taking? do you get fired if you don't get the flu shot?

At the pediatric hospitals in my area, absolutely yes. You will get fired if you don't get ir every year. I have problems with that. It's not like the freaking polio vac. I have issue with people mandating to their employees what to put into their bodies.
 

RogueUnicorn

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At mine you don't get the annual raise and have a non-compliance letter in your HR file if you don't get the flu vaccine.

Just get it on a Fri if you are worried about symptoms.
At the pediatric hospitals in my area, absolutely yes. You will get fired if you don't get ir every year. I have problems with that. It's not like the freaking polio vac. I have issue with people mandating to their employees what to put into their bodies.
that's a bunch of bullsh!t
 

jl lin

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that's a bunch of bullsh!t

I'm sorry bleargh. What do you mean? It's BS that this is truly the case—people will get fired for not having it or that it is bull**** because it happens?

It does happen that people get fired. The pediatric hospitals in particular are very strict and punitive. I mean I understand their position to a point. Many of those kids and babies are immune compromised, so it could be a big deal for them to get the flu. But it could also become a problem for them to get a rhinovirus—or adenovirus or RSV or parainfluenza or certain types of bacteria that are infectious like influenza. Currently there aren't any vaccines for rhinoviruses, and there are too many different kinds of rhinoviruses to count. There are also many kinds of influenza. I'm not sure I totally buy into the predictability benefits, and reasonably, there are some risks, besides getting a flu-like sickness after injection.


Anyway, I am not convinced that mandating the flu shot is ethically correct when looking at the big picture. One has to wonder where this kind of thing will end. I know other people BELIEVE it's worth it, but the information given out by pharms and other gov't and political groups doesn't thoroughly address a number of the concerns about it. Where there is big money and power involved bias can be strong.

I guess I am concerned about the idea that the vaccine can actually weaken the immune system, especially for people w/ certain autoimmune disorders.

Again, I also am not sure the predictability of protection is all that. I will work on keeping an open mind, but it will be open to all perspectives and not just one over another—b/c some big-named groups of gov't agency/agencies say so.
 

RogueUnicorn

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I'm sorry bleargh. What do you mean? It's BS that this is truly the case—people will get fired for not having it or that it is bull**** because it happens?
the latter
 

silas2642

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I'm sorry bleargh. What do you mean? It's BS that this is truly the case—people will get fired for not having it or that it is bull**** because it happens?

It does happen that people get fired. The pediatric hospitals in particular are very strict and punitive. I mean I understand their position to a point. Many of those kids and babies are immune compromised, so it could be a big deal for them to get the flu. But it could also become a problem for them to get a rhinovirus—or adenovirus or RSV or parainfluenza or certain types of bacteria that are infectious like influenza. Currently there aren’t any vaccines for rhinoviruses, and there are too many different kinds of rhinoviruses to count. There are also many kinds of influenza. I’m not sure I totally buy into the predictability benefits, and reasonably, there are some risks, besides getting a flu-like sickness after injection.


Anyway, I am not convinced that mandating the flu shot is ethically correct when looking at the big picture. One has to wonder where this kind of thing will end. I know other people BELIEVE it’s worth it, but the information given out by pharms and other gov’t and political groups doesn’t thoroughly address a number of the concerns about it. Where there is big money and power involved bias can be strong.

I guess I am concerned about the idea that the vaccine can actually weaken the immune system, especially for people w/ certain autoimmune disorders.

Again, I also am not sure the predictability of protection is all that. I will work on keeping an open mind, but it will be open to all perspectives and not just one over another—b/c some big-named groups of gov't agency/agencies say so.
I would definitely encourage you to educate yourself on the facts of modern medicine and vaccines so that you're able to make informed decisions.

Vaccinations are one of the great accomplishments of modern science that actually makes an enormous impact on society-- kids don't die suffer or die terrible deaths from HiB, strep pneumoniae, polio, etc. because we've actually found a way to PREVENT them. Prevent, not cure. However, I think that since our generation has taken vaccines for granted-- we don't see things like measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, epiglottitis, and so we're just not afraid of them like we used to be; what we are afraid of are things like autism, to the point that we ignore all the scientific evidence and abandon all reason, leaving our kids vulnerable to some very deadly diseases.

If I were you at this crossroads, I would shadow some MD's/DO's and see what it's like, see what they do, and I would read up on some of the biggest issues in medicine, learn about our culture, and then make a decision.
 

jl lin

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I would definitely encourage you to educate yourself on the facts of modern medicine and vaccines so that you're able to make informed decisions.

Vaccinations are one of the great accomplishments of modern science that actually makes an enormous impact on society-- kids don't die suffer or die terrible deaths from HiB, strep pneumoniae, polio, etc. because we've actually found a way to PREVENT them. Prevent, not cure. However, I think that since our generation has taken vaccines for granted-- we don't see things like measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, epiglottitis, and so we're just not afraid of them like we used to be; what we are afraid of are things like autism, to the point that we ignore all the scientific evidence and abandon all reason, leaving our kids vulnerable to some very deadly diseases.

If I were you at this crossroads, I would shadow some MD's/DO's and see what it's like, see what they do, and I would read up on some of the biggest issues in medicine, learn about our culture, and then make a decision.

I am not talking about things like polio, diptheria, pertussis, or tetanus, or even mmr, etc. Comparing influenza vaccine to them is misleading. Yes I will keep an open mind, but the real key that no one reallly wants to talk about in allopathic medicine is maintaining a healthy immune system. For some people, this definitely means avoiding the flu shot.

Again, how they cull the three together for seasonal flus is questionable in some ways to me. I am not convinced that the benefits for this kind of hit or miss vaccination are worth the risks--now please watch this--for SOME people. And long-term studies, studies with placebos, or hepatic studies for these are not really there according to a number of experts.
No long-term studies in terms of the risks for everyone else--those that aren't considered highrisk, etc. "First do no harm."

I will continue to educate myself, and I would hope others would do the same from ALL sides. It is not wrong to question. It is scientific, and it is healthy. It is a good thing. Politically, however, it causes people to get the short-end of the stick and even become oppressed, thus, sadly many stop questioning and individual thought and liberty gets lost.

Regardless, I am not at all certain that it is ethical or right in any way for institutions to FORCE--threaten--coerce--employees in this way. If their education and arguments are strong enough--stick with educating and then let people decide. Just like they would do with the families and patients they care for. They give them the choice. Those that work there should have it as well.

I will always question everything that is put into my body, and I should always have the right to do so without oppression.

Same thing with considering the benefits versus risks of certain kinds diagnostic tests, like exposure to radiation. There is a cummulative effect, and there is no altogether safe level of exposure to ionizing radiation. Depending on what, how much, and how often, it may be said by some to be minimal.
The real question is do the benefits of exposure outweigh the risks of lack of exposure in order to obtain proper diagnosis???? But I think a number of docs do try to be careful with this. In the hospital I wear lead and/or keep a good distance, since these kinds of tests are done so often, and in the units we are around them all of the time.



My position is more related to individual liberty as opposed to anything else though. I have mixed feelings about the flu vaccines. I will continue to look for sound responses to some of the important questions about them. Details are important.

This physician makes a great point here:

"The public is surely entitled to convincing proof, beyond any reasonable doubt, that artificial immunization is in fact a safe and effective procedure, in no way injurious to health, and that the threat of the corresponding natural diseases remain sufficiently clear and urgent to warrant mass inoculation of everyone, even against their will if necessary. Unfortunately, such proof has never been given."
--Richard Moscowitz MD, 'The Case against Immunization'


To me, if this is indeed true, it is many times more true for the flu vaccines.

Also, we aren't going to prevent or wipe out the flus by use of these vaccines, which may indeed not work on the very antigens that they seek to undo, and certainly not for the vast amount of influenzas. Viruses are tricky little SOBs.
 
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jl lin

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Also, of course I could not say with 100% certainty, but no. I don't think autism is so much of an issue. I think autism may more likely be a function of genetics, perhaps some interaction between say a virus and genetics--as in if you have the genetic propensity, a virus may turn it on.

So, no. I'm not jumping on the vaccines cause autism bandwagon at all. Don't be misled.

I do my own thinking, weighing, and balancing. I don't want to be the victim of ANY group's propaganda or misleading or even lacking direction--regardless of whether that is an established, dominate group or not.

But I'm not at all phlegmatic either, so not questioning things isn't a part of my make up. :) You just have to be careful how and where and with whom you do it. It's like picking your battles.