Dave1980

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To be fair, it does get substantially better. M1/2 is teh suck. M3 is better, M4 is awesome. Residency so far is even better than that. I'd encourage those struggling in pre-clinical to realize that what they are doing is not their career.


Some of your attending job comments have me concerned, however. It's tough when you have no familiarity with that landscape.
Disagree. MS1 and MS2 were fun granted we didn't have mandatory class attendance and all lectures were recorded.
 
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Roxas

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I don't recommend it, and I generally like what I do, I am paid well, I can manage my debt. It would be foolish to think that this was the only thing that could satisfy me, or the only thing that I'm capable of doing.

There are other currencies to consider.
1. Your youth.
2. Your health.
3. Your social relationships.

The people I encountered in med school were either dismissed outright after 1-2 years six figures in debt, or on the other end of the spectrum straight up geniuses who ate well, stayed in good shape, carved out time for fun, and did well skipping class with 6 hours studying each day. Clinicals varied in their time commitment depending on the rotation. But the big thing is, you have less control than you think until you reach the very end of the educational process. In some instances, even as an attending you have less control than you think, however the money makes it more tolerable.

Medical school and residency
"Please be professional" = Be quiet and conform, or we're going to kick you out
"It's like drinking from a firehose!" = We know you're struggling but we don't have any resources for you, this is just the way it is.
"Yes tuition has increased but its well within the norm" = We need money because everyone in administration is a VP or Director.
"So the rotation has no didactics, be a self starter, you're in med school" = We begged the hospital to accept you for free. We told them that med students would be free help, we told you that it was a great learning environment.

Attending jobs
"We're a family" = We're a cult
"It's a fast paced environment" = We're dumping all the work on you so you don't have a home life.
"It's a boiler plate contract" = Don't read it, trust us so we screw you later.
"You'll only have to supervise 1-2 NPs" = You'll be supervising everyone and we'll give you a crappy stipend to absorb the legal liability.
"We're making you medical director" = We can point the finger at you if something goes wrong.
You can coerce a student/resident into doing literally anything by telling them it's "a good learning opportunity" or a way to "make the most of their education" even if said activity is as pointless as mopping floors.
 
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thepoopologist

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To be fair, it does get substantially better. M1/2 is teh suck. M3 is better, M4 is awesome. Residency so far is even better than that. I'd encourage those struggling in pre-clinical to realize that what they are doing is not their career.


Some of your attending job comments have me concerned, however. It's tough when you have no familiarity with that landscape.

I wouldn't choose medicine if I could choose again however the fact of the matter is I chose this path and despite everything the goal is still to succeed. I recognize there are people whose experiences are more positive and the end result is exactly what they want, however I'm not in that camp.

Still, the goal remains the same:

I need to be good at my job and sometimes I even want it.

I don't want to be prostituted by admin or anyone else for that matter

I'd like to build a nice life and have lots of money and time. This means hobbies, good relationships, investing, etc.
 

emergentmd

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I never really understand these type of requests for advice. Its a personal questions where no matter what someone tells you, it depends if the pros/cons are worth it. You are not even in Med school yet to even make this decision. Your first questions should be, "is it worth spending $$$$ and time to polish my application and take the MCAT".

Only then can you make an educated decision if going to med school is worth it.

Truth be told, most docs are not any happier than most people. If this is a calling for you then go ahead. If losing the precious times with your family is worth this, then go ahead.

Just realize that there is NO WAY you will be as good of a parent/spouse if you go to med school. You will miss alot of quality time with your kids/wife. If your marriage/child relationship is important, just realize that you could be jeopardizing this. It is what it is. You may very well be the most present parent, but you will NOT when you go down this path.

Also, how you feel now will be quite different in 10 yrs. When I was in my 30's as an attending, I could run circles around most attendings while surfing the web the whole time. Mind was sharp, physically fit, eyes like an eagle, confident. Fast forward to my mid 40's and I am sad to say that I have slowed down. I could still do the job but its just more difficult, mind not as sharp, eyes need glasses, and things just aches more. I know for Sure that I do not want to do this past 55. PLUS, I sure enjoy being very available for my young family.

I prob would have told you to go for it 15 yrs ago but not now knowing how you physically break down.
 
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Neopolymath

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I never really understand these type of requests for advice. Its a personal questions where no matter what someone tells you, it depends if the pros/cons are worth it. You are not even in Med school yet to even make this decision. Your first questions should be, "is it worth spending $$$$ and time to polish my application and take the MCAT".

Only then can you make an educated decision if going to med school is worth it.

Truth be told, most docs are not any happier than most people. If this is a calling for you then go ahead. If losing the precious times with your family is worth this, then go ahead.

Just realize that there is NO WAY you will be as good of a parent/spouse if you go to med school. You will miss alot of quality time with your kids/wife. If your marriage/child relationship is important, just realize that you could be jeopardizing this. It is what it is. You may very well be the most present parent, but you will when you go down this path.
On a related note, I personally believe job satisfaction is a personality trait more than anything. Sure, if someone has a dream job or a bad job then they will be happy/mad but there are many people unhappy at any job. That also brings up the classic line about the reason they call it a job is because it's work.
 
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DO2015CA

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Oh, I forgot my favorite one. "It gets better" = I'm going to ignore my misery now in the hopes that some indeterminate time in the future things will improve. I said this one to myself a lot.

Hahaha but at each stage they DID improve. But really what’s a little improvement when you start at the bottom of a junk pile.
 
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ActuallyMadeIt

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It has been 3 years of unending stress and frustration. Would not recommend it for most people. Would definitely not recommend it considering your family situation. You are going to stifle them with A LOT of debt. Only those who are called to this field should go into it. If you are going to regret it for the rest of your life and live with a burning hole in your soul if you don't become a doctor, then do it.

If not, please do something else.
 

calivianya

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I never really understand these type of requests for advice. Its a personal questions where no matter what someone tells you, it depends if the pros/cons are worth it. You are not even in Med school yet to even make this decision. Your first questions should be, "is it worth spending $$$$ and time to polish my application and take the MCAT".

Only then can you make an educated decision if going to med school is worth it.

Truth be told, most docs are not any happier than most people. If this is a calling for you then go ahead. If losing the precious times with your family is worth this, then go ahead.

Just realize that there is NO WAY you will be as good of a parent/spouse if you go to med school. You will miss alot of quality time with your kids/wife. If your marriage/child relationship is important, just realize that you could be jeopardizing this. It is what it is. You may very well be the most present parent, but you will NOT when you go down this path.

Also, how you feel now will be quite different in 10 yrs. When I was in my 30's as an attending, I could run circles around most attendings while surfing the web the whole time. Mind was sharp, physically fit, eyes like an eagle, confident. Fast forward to my mid 40's and I am sad to say that I have slowed down. I could still do the job but its just more difficult, mind not as sharp, eyes need glasses, and things just aches more. I know for Sure that I do not want to do this past 55. PLUS, I sure enjoy being very available for my young family.

I prob would have told you to go for it 15 yrs ago but not now knowing how you physically break down.

This is fantastic advice.

I will also say rate of breakdown is going to depend on how bad you are off in the first place, too. I had lots of energy in my early 20s - being a nontrad and in my 30s now as an M3, I’m gonna say I pulled an all nighter for a shelf exam (super busy rotation, had no time to study) and just about had to crawl into a coffin after the test was over. I notice after several days of little sleep I’m stumbling over my words and forgetting things easily now, and I could have straight rocked this in my 20s.

I also had some mild back pain in my late 20s because I’d worked a pretty physical job before med school, so I can tell a physical difference in the things I can do already. If you made it to your 40s before things started going sideways, that’s awesome!
 
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Coldwater_Adler

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Well I'm 32 and have a wife and three kids. I start medical school in a couple months and am looking at 500k in debt too. I read all the responses here and they spooked me a little, but screw it. I am going to become a doctor come hell or high water. I am very worried about missing out on my children's life, but I dont see a future outside of becoming a doctor.
 
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sylvanthus

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Well I'm 32 and have a wife and three kids. I start medical school in a couple months and am looking at 500k in debt too. I read all the responses here and they spooked me a little, but screw it. I am going to become a doctor come hell or high water. I am very worried about missing out on my children's life, but I dont see a future outside of becoming a doctor.
Sticky this post and come back to it in 10 years.

If you dont see a future outside of becoming a doctor you are not looking hard enough.
 
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DO2015CA

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Well I'm 32 and have a wife and three kids. I start medical school in a couple months and am looking at 500k in debt too. I read all the responses here and they spooked me a little, but screw it. I am going to become a doctor come hell or high water. I am very worried about missing out on my children's life, but I dont see a future outside of becoming a doctor.

Being a doctor isn’t worth mortgaging experiences in your children’s life.
 
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calivianya

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Well I'm 32 and have a wife and three kids. I start medical school in a couple months and am looking at 500k in debt too. I read all the responses here and they spooked me a little, but screw it. I am going to become a doctor come hell or high water. I am very worried about missing out on my children's life, but I dont see a future outside of becoming a doctor.
I’m your age now - about to be 33 next month.

Just wanted to say that despite being more exhausted and having a lower energy level than I used to, I do still have some free time. My life is not totally eaten by medicine. I’d say I carve out at least an hour or two every day during M3 when I get home to watch TV, play video games, whatever to decompress. I had more free time than that during M1 and M2, but your mileage may vary depending on how much you already know and how hard you have to study to do well on tests/keep up with the pack in general.

So I won’t be the Debbie Downer that says you will completely miss out on your kids’ lives, because you won’t (IMO). But, you are going to have to be deliberate and strategic with how you plan your time and what you are and are not willing to sacrifice in terms of time with your kids.

That goes out the window for residency, though. I would look very closely at which residencies have the least work hours on average and what you need to do to be competitive for those fields if you want to maximize time with your family going forward. I would also suggest doing this early so you can start tailoring your application to one of those specialties early on with what research and extracurriculars you participate in once you hit the ground.
 
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sylvanthus

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I’m your age now - about to be 33 next month.

Just wanted to say that despite being more exhausted and having a lower energy level than I used to, I do still have some free time. My life is not totally eaten by medicine. I’d say I carve out at least an hour or two every day during M3 when I get home to watch TV, play video games, whatever to decompress. I had more free time than that during M1 and M2, but your mileage may vary depending on how much you already know and how hard you have to study to do well on tests/keep up with the pack in general.

So I won’t be the Debbie Downer that says you will completely miss out on your kids’ lives, because you won’t (IMO). But, you are going to have to be deliberate and strategic with how you plan your time and what you are and are not willing to sacrifice in terms of time with your kids.

That goes out the window for residency, though. I would look very closely at which residencies have the least work hours on average and what you need to do to be competitive for those fields if you want to maximize time with your family going forward. I would also suggest doing this early so you can start tailoring your application to one of those specialties early on with what research and extracurriculars you participate in once you hit the ground.

I think people need to step back and look at the big picture and realize how f’ing sad this is. Its kne thing when your single, quite another when you have kids.

With scope creep, midlevel expansion, everyone becoming independent, huge student loan debt, etc etc. Is it really worth the sacrifice? Everyone is a “provider” now, the respect is disappearing and new grads in some fields are having a hard time finding jobs.

Step back and really think about it.
 

sylvanthus

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Why not get a NP degree online? Ride that wave. Do cards, ICU, etc etc and make 100k with minimal effort?
 
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I think people need to step back and look at the big picture and realize how f’ing sad this is. Its kne thing when your single, quite another when you have kids.

With scope creep, midlevel expansion, everyone becoming independent, huge student loan debt, etc etc. Is it really worth the sacrifice? Everyone is a “provider” now, the respect is disappearing and new grads in some fields are having a hard time finding jobs.

Step back and really think about it.


Could you elaborate on why you think this so sad?
 

MavFab

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I’m your age now - about to be 33 next month.

Just wanted to say that despite being more exhausted and having a lower energy level than I used to, I do still have some free time. My life is not totally eaten by medicine. I’d say I carve out at least an hour or two every day during M3 when I get home to watch TV, play video games, whatever to decompress. I had more free time than that during M1 and M2, but your mileage may vary depending on how much you already know and how hard you have to study to do well on tests/keep up with the pack in general.

So I won’t be the Debbie Downer that says you will completely miss out on your kids’ lives, because you won’t (IMO). But, you are going to have to be deliberate and strategic with how you plan your time and what you are and are not willing to sacrifice in terms of time with your kids.

That goes out the window for residency, though. I would look very closely at which residencies have the least work hours on average and what you need to do to be competitive for those fields if you want to maximize time with your family going forward. I would also suggest doing this early so you can start tailoring your application to one of those specialties early on with what research and extracurriculars you participate in once you hit the ground.

It's funny that we go to the same school and I had way more free time M3 year. Just shows you how variable the rotations are.
 
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Coldwater_Adler

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I’m your age now - about to be 33 next month.

Just wanted to say that despite being more exhausted and having a lower energy level than I used to, I do still have some free time. My life is not totally eaten by medicine. I’d say I carve out at least an hour or two every day during M3 when I get home to watch TV, play video games, whatever to decompress. I had more free time than that during M1 and M2, but your mileage may vary depending on how much you already know and how hard you have to study to do well on tests/keep up with the pack in general.

So I won’t be the Debbie Downer that says you will completely miss out on your kids’ lives, because you won’t (IMO). But, you are going to have to be deliberate and strategic with how you plan your time and what you are and are not willing to sacrifice in terms of time with your kids.

That goes out the window for residency, though. I would look very closely at which residencies have the least work hours on average and what you need to do to be competitive for those fields if you want to maximize time with your family going forward. I would also suggest doing this early so you can start tailoring your application to one of those specialties early on with what research and extracurriculars you participate in once you hit the ground.

Thank you. I actually just talked with another father and husband who is doing medical school at the school I will attend at 35. He cleared a lot of things up for me. I will have time with my children and I will still be a dad. What too many on SDN don't seem to realize is that many careers are soul soul sucking and steal time from family, most high paying ones are. I have made my decision and I am not alone in that.
 
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Coldwater_Adler

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I think people need to step back and look at the big picture and realize how f’ing sad this is. Its kne thing when your single, quite another when you have kids.

With scope creep, midlevel expansion, everyone becoming independent, huge student loan debt, etc etc. Is it really worth the sacrifice? Everyone is a “provider” now, the respect is disappearing and new grads in some fields are having a hard time finding jobs.

Step back and really think about it.

I have sat back and thought long and hard about it over the past seven years. It will be insanely difficult, but I think I have some idea of what I am getting into. Also, while an undergraduate, I worked full time, volunteered, had an internship and rarely saw my family. We have lived that life. We are committed to doing it again. And, from everyone I have talked to personally, it sounds like I will have more time with the family then I did then
 

Coldwater_Adler

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Why not get a NP degree online? Ride that wave. Do cards, ICU, etc etc and make 100k with minimal effort?

I had a question for you and I am not making any assumptions. Just asking. Before medicine, had you ever worked a job with a 70-80 hour work week?
 

Ho0v-man

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I had a question for you and I am not making any assumptions. Just asking. Before medicine, had you ever worked a job with a 70-80 hour work week?
I had a similar mindset as you when I matriculated as a non trad in my 30s. I worked 70+ hrs/week for 5 years. I had 2 days off per month. 3 of those years I was also a full time student in undergrad.

Med school, especially preclinical, was much worse for me.
 
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sylvanthus

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I had a question for you and I am not making any assumptions. Just asking. Before medicine, had you ever worked a job with a 70-80 hour work week?

Really dude? I started med school at 32 so I know what im talking about. At one point, I worked as an ED tech while taking full time courses and volunteering as an overnight supervisor in a homeless shelter. In addition to doing research and all the other fun premed stuff Was not uncommon for me to sleep in my car as it saves on travel time.

I also completed a 6 year combined residency/fellowship program in 3 fields.

I know what im talking about, you will regret this decision down the road, but have at it. All I can do is warn people and watch them make poor decisions.
 
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Splenda88

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Really dude? I started med school at 32 so I know what im talking about. At one point, I worked as an ED tech while taking full time courses and volunteering as an overnight supervisor in a homeless shelter. In addition to doing research and all the other fun premed stuff Was not uncommon for me to sleep in my car as it saves on travel time.

I also completed a 6 year combined residency/fellowship program in 3 fields.

I know what im talking about, you will regret this decision down the road, but have at it. All I can do is warn people and watch them make poor decisions.
Maybe I will regret my decision (RN--->MD), but I have not been disappointed so far as a PGY3.
 
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Roxas

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I think people need to step back and look at the big picture and realize how f’ing sad this is. Its kne thing when your single, quite another when you have kids.

With scope creep, midlevel expansion, everyone becoming independent, huge student loan debt, etc etc. Is it really worth the sacrifice? Everyone is a “provider” now, the respect is disappearing and new grads in some fields are having a hard time finding jobs.

Step back and really think about it.

Why not get a NP degree online? Ride that wave. Do cards, ICU, etc etc and make 100k with minimal effort?
I see what you're getting at, but that's not what has made the journey worth it. It sucks the extent we are undervalued as physicians, in a seemingly constant losing battle of turf wars against the nursing machine. But the goal was to be experts in our respective fields. The goal wasn't to make the most money with minimal effort, then having to spend the rest of my career justifying my existence in the healthcare arena. I can't speak for others, but I'm well on my way to what I find to be a fulfilling career, and I think it will be worth the wait (and to your point, I have had kids since day 1 of med school. Still worth it). I hope that others find the same happiness, but if not maybe they should have done PA/NP.

But give me 20 more years and maybe I'll change my mind.



Glad to see you around the forums still. You were a legend back in your med school days for your unbridled honesty about basically everything.
 
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thepoopologist

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I am totally for becoming an expert in a specialty field, and the goal is to be paid accordingly for an appropriate level of effort.

The problem is as you become an expert in your field, you enter an environment where masters level clinicians and non-clinical administrators also believe they are experts in your field. This creates a situation where you are regularly needing to justify your clinical decisions to neanderthals and because of the non-doctorate clinicians around you your pay is questioned because your expertise is questioned, except during times when legal liability arises, then you become the sole expert because you have the doctorate. I can't think of another profession where a license and legal liability can be held hostage like this, especially in the context of the amount of time and money we invest to become physicians. Depending on the job you choose this sometimes outweighs the satisfaction of the actual clinical work.

Anyways, I'm not saying that this should stop someone from doing it, I'd love to deal with more talented docs however on the same token I doubt we'd get the best and brightest if mid-level salaries neared ours.
 
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BorntobeDO?

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Hi All i was hoping to talk with a few current Med students and/or current residents. Long story short I’m an older non trad student. I would be 38 when I would potentially start med school. I’m married with three kids. We would have to move for school so we would not have any family help. I’m looking at prob 500k in debt before interest or so. Since I’m older I’m thinking of doing IM or family practice. Would this be a terrible idea? I’m starting to think the debt isn’t worth it. I have shadowed several docs and a few have mentioned the crna and PA route. One mentioned Dental but cautioned of similar debt. However, my passion lies more with being a physician. Any real world insight I would greatly appreciate. Thanks!
PA would be way better for you. The Debt isn’t worth it, especially at your age. This coming from someone who is nontrad with kids and finished school with 360k not 500 and is currently IM. The family sacrifice is huge and your payback time will be much longer. No way I would go into school at 38 with kids and wife knowing I wanted primary. The path is way too long, your spouse will end up complaining about ‘the studying never ends’ ‘ the tests never end’ ‘ we are always living poor.’ Every nontrad with family has heard those complaints, but combine that with a plan to stay in primary care and half a mil in debt. Just no.

Compare to PA where an expensive school would be 150k and you have 1 lifetime board certification vs 3-4 for general medical license depending on what they do with PE and additional specialty board certification after residency which must be done every 10 years. Even Dental only has to certify once, same with CRNA and NP.

There is no way in good faith I could suggest this track to older nontrad with family. This process is just too long and too stressful for someone with family to be starting.
 
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BorntobeDO?

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As a non-trad who's looked into alternative career paths before going into medicine, I'd say not really.
  1. The market is becoming saturated. Not at the rate of NPs, but it's a hot field for getting a high salary by working 40 hours/week, so there's a substantial move to become a CRNA. COVID probably changed that for obvious reasons, but it isn't a good enough reason for reason #2. By the time you get into the job market, the $200K+ jobs will be scarce. Travel is an option, but from a few people I know who are CRNAs, it was starting to get hard to find a nice contract ($100+/hour, no call, <45 hours/week, etc.) pre-COVID.
  2. The amount of time you're going to spend becoming a CRNA will be the same as going through medical school and a 3-4 year residency, assuming you have the pre reqs to go into medical school pretty soon. AT LEAST 7 years of work lay ahead of you, if you started pre-nursing right now this fall.
  3. CRNA school isn't exactly easy to get in, time-wise. The programs are now becoming doctorate, instead of a master's program - meaning that's 3 years of school instead of 2. You also need to get at least a year of crit care work post-BSN.
  4. Because the market is starting to saturate, schools are starting to clamp down on how many people get in.
  5. EDIT: in nursing school, the prevailing notion is to move past "just" bedside nursing by going into higher education. CRNA is, to circle back to reason #1, one of the hottest fields to do that.
Not trying to discourage you from finding the right field. Every field in healthcare has its ups and downs. It sounds to me like your passion is in being a physician. Down the line, PCPs (ACTUAL doctors) are going to only be needed more. I have my reasons that I won't state here (to keep the thread relevant to your original post), but PCP reimbursements are going up while others are slightly declining or staying stagnant.
Would note that CRNA is still faster and easier than med school by far. 1 year other bachelors to BSN linkage, get a job with ICU experience for a year, apply CRNA widely, and you will likely get in and be down within 4-5 years. And you will work a lot less hours in training as well and cost would be lower (in addition to having a backup career if your CRNA school just sucks or you fail out). I would still do AA or PA cause they are 2 years without a specific bachelors, but all these paths are better than medicine for someone at OP stage of life.
 
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Dr. Venture Capitalist

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I say go for it. Here is the most likely scenario

Entering med at 38 graduating at 42
Three year IM or FM residency put you as a attending at 45
So you are 45 and have 500k debt. That’s brutal but you are now in a 250k <45hr a week job.
1. You need to live in a Cheap COL state. No cali for you
2. After 80k taxes 170kish pay 100k to eliminate the debt for. 6-7 years.
3. after debt is paid You still got 15 year of career you can work comfortably for 250k. Then go part time and have a nice semi retirement


Hopefully your wife can work and you can lower that debt before finish residency. Start paying the debt at residency.

Or better study hard and try to go to the cheapest school posible.
 
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Splenda88

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I say go for it. Here is the most likely scenario

Entering med at 38 graduating at 42
Three year IM or FM residency put you as a attending at 45
So you are 45 and have 500k debt. That’s brutal but you are now in a 250k <45hr a week job.
1. You need to live in a Cheap COL state. No cali for you
2. After 80k taxes 170kish pay 100k to eliminate the debt for. 6-7 years.
3. after debt is paid You still got 15 year of career you can work comfortably for 250k. Then go part time and have a nice semi retirement


Hopefully your wife can work and you can lower that debt before finish residency. Start paying the debt at residency.

Or better study hard and try to go to the cheapest school posible.
I agree... I think the money is good, but the flexibility of primary care, psychiatry etc.. is even better.
 
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sylvanthus

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I say go for it. Here is the most likely scenario

Entering med at 38 graduating at 42
Three year IM or FM residency put you as a attending at 45
So you are 45 and have 500k debt. That’s brutal but you are now in a 250k <45hr a week job.
1. You need to live in a Cheap COL state. No cali for you
2. After 80k taxes 170kish pay 100k to eliminate the debt for. 6-7 years.
3. after debt is paid You still got 15 year of career you can work comfortably for 250k. Then go part time and have a nice semi retirement


Hopefully your wife can work and you can lower that debt before finish residency. Start paying the debt at residency.

Or better study hard and try to go to the cheapest school posible.

Am I the only one who sees how awful this sounds?
 
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thepoopologist

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Here's a likely scenario of entering the Olympics at 38.

1. Train hard for four years.
2. Olympic trials
3. Then participate in the Olympics.


Here's a likely scenario of becoming a stock market millionaire.

1. Buy low
2. Sell high
3. Make a million dollars
 
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Giovanotto

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I don't know what kind of drugs people are taking on these forums to justify 300k+ debt for the medical school plus residency experience, never mind starting it in your mid to late 30s.

Keep in mind, it's not entirely about the hours, it's what you are asked to do during those hours. Most days on medicine wards you're working nonstop for 10-16 hours. I have a whole gaggle of friends in other fields (some in higher up positions), and they're working 15-45% of their time at work. That doesn't exist in residency, and likely not as an attending either. You're always "on" at work, and that's a recipe for burn out. Don't even get me started on nurses paging you incessantly at all times. Don't get me wrong, the medicine is rewarding, but it's like 25% of my actual day. The rest of it is acting as a secretary and interlocutor for a bunch of other parties.
 
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I don't know what kind of drugs people are taking on these forums to justify 300k+ debt for the medical school plus residency experience, never mind starting it in your mid to late 30s.

Keep in mind, it's not entirely about the hours, it's what you are asked to do during those hours. Most days on medicine wards you're working nonstop for 10-16 hours. I have a whole gaggle of friends in other fields (some in higher up positions), and they're working 15-45% of their time at work. That doesn't exist in residency, and likely not as an attending either. You're always "on" at work, and that's a recipe for burn out. Don't even get me started on nurses paging you incessantly at all times. Don't get me wrong, the medicine is rewarding, but it's like 25% of my actual day. The rest of it is acting as a secretary and interlocutor for a bunch of other parties.

They probably forgot that med school/residency can only be started if you are in yours 20s....that there is a time limit on it...and than you gotta b**** about sacrificing yours 20s while friends are becoming millionaires in financ/tech/driving for ups.

Jeez bro...life is more complicated and while residency must be hard no doubt...there are many many other jobs people could be doing that will be paying them very little money forever(since you mentioned the 300k debt) and so an MD is a golden ticket even later in life for them....and as far as hard work, there are certainly other jobs out there that are harder than fielding pagers for 14 hrs.
 
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Dr. Venture Capitalist

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They probably forgot that med school/residency can only be started if you are in yours 20s....that there is a time limit on it...and than you gotta b**** about sacrificing yours 20s while friends are becoming millionaires in financ/tech/driving for ups.

Jeez bro...life is more complicated and while residency must be hard no doubt...there are many many other jobs people could be doing that will be paying them very little money forever(since you mentioned the 300k debt) and so an MD is a golden ticket even later in life for them....and as far as hard work, there are certainly other jobs out there that are harder than fielding pagers for 14 hrs.
Exactly, residency is just 3 years after that life as a attending can be pretty sweet in a outpatient clinic. People here think everyone in finance/tech/software are becoming millionaire. Most of those job have a starting salary less than 100k and many people never reach 200k working insane hours. Mediocre people in all those field have mediocre salary.

Any mediocre physician can a have a 200k plus salary easy. Medicine is the most secure way to a high salary. Sure you sacrifice your youth but do you know how many people sacrifice their youth in a start ups that fail? hundreds at least you have a job at the end
 
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DO2015CA

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Exactly, residency is just 3 years after that life as a attending can be pretty sweet in a outpatient clinic. People here think everyone in finance/tech/software are becoming millionaire. Most of those job have a starting salary less than 100k and many people never reach 200k working insane hours. Mediocre people in all those field have mediocre salary.

Any mediocre physician can a have a 200k plus salary easy. Medicine is the most secure way to a high salary. Sure you sacrifice your youth but do you know how many people sacrifice their youth in a start ups that fail? hundreds at least you have a job at the end
200K+ for outpatient is true but there is also other intangible costs that makes it not worth it after so old. The debt, interest, missed experience, family strain, etc. You are also comparing 200k vs 70k straight across. That doesn't account for proper investing during those 7 years, making the gap a whole lot closer especially if you are older and don't work as long. After you finish your residency, you need to pay off your 250-350k debt making it even longer to start investing and saving for retirement properly.

I absolutely love being a physician and would recommend it for any person... but im not sure I would for any one at any age. Theres just a lot more that goes into it than anyone (except for those that experienced it) can understand.
 
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DO2015CA

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For me, I'd prob place the scales being tipped at approximately 42-45 (starting school) depending on the person's health. If you are in a somewhat high paying career then id tip the scales sooner. Somewhat high paying to me is 100-120K.

Id say starting school from 38-42 is probably a wash in the long run. Meaning factor in the other aspects of your life to see if its worth it. Other aspects meaning family situation, current financial situation, etc.
 
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Dr. Venture Capitalist

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For me, I'd prob place the scales being tipped at approximately 42-45 (starting school) depending on the person's health. If you are in a somewhat high paying career then id tip the scales sooner. Somewhat high paying to me is 100-120K.

Id say starting school from 38-42 is probably a wash in the long run. Meaning factor in the other aspects of your life to see if its worth it. Other aspects meaning family situation, current financial situation, etc.
I agreed, but I dont know OP current salary and if he already got investments. He is 38, he should have some money save in retirement. If he currently makes less that 50k I would say go for the MD. If he already somewhat high paying around 100k. I agreed it is not worth the debt.
 
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I agreed, but I dont know OP current salary and if he already got investments. He is 38, he should have some money save in retirement. If he currently makes less that 50k I would say go for the MD. If he already somewhat high paying around 100k. I agreed it is not worth the debt.

If op is 38 with a 100k job, and he invested properly over the last decade, he likely has:
1. Enough to pay for school (25 k invested in index fund like spy every year since 2010 would be about 650k today).
2. Or to leave money in the market and let it grow and then pay off school debt after he has finished.

So if there is a burning desire to do medicine, it’s not about the debt anymore, it’s more about the opportunity cost. As a side note, investments in stocks can go either way - 2000 to 2010 was very different compared to 2010-2021.
 
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Kuratz

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I thought I'd just throw another N = 1 into the mix since it had been referenced earlier: My wife was a new grad PA during an awful job market from the pandemic but still got a job paying $110k + RVU bonus in a large "desirable" metro (but not NY, LA, SF) working 36 hr/wk. She gets to see consults, staff a clinic with mostly her own patients, and perform procedures with indirect supervision. Regardless of the midlevel encroachment concern, this is an amazing gig for someone who spent 2.5 years in school and only ~70-80k in graduate educational costs. Her more senior colleagues are closer to $150k and theoretically she could just pick up more shifts for more $ if she wanted. Also gets to clock out right at shift end. Sure, she doesn't get to call herself a doctor but at the end of the day I'd have a hard time pushing my kids to medical school vs PA. The work-life balance is way better and it's not like the financial component is that much different, all things considered. For a non-trad this is a nice option that should be seriously considered to mitigate the enormous opportunity costs of medical school. And this is coming from someone who generally enjoys the day-to-day of medicine (Radiology).
 
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If you want to be a physician, go and become a physician.... If you are going in it for the money- dont do it... its just not worth it. It is really a personal choice.... That being said, having 500k in debt for a current 40 year old undergrad may not be a wise choice if you look at return on investment just think of how much longer are you gonna work? you will finish your residency in late 40's-early 50's are you just gonna work until retirement to finish off your debt???, just my opinion.
 
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I thought I'd just throw another N = 1 into the mix since it had been referenced earlier: My wife was a new grad PA during an awful job market from the pandemic but still got a job paying $110k + RVU bonus in a large "desirable" metro (but not NY, LA, SF) working 36 hr/wk. She gets to see consults, staff a clinic with mostly her own patients, and perform procedures with indirect supervision. Regardless of the midlevel encroachment concern, this is an amazing gig for someone who spent 2.5 years in school and only ~70-80k in graduate educational costs. Her more senior colleagues are closer to $150k and theoretically she could just pick up more shifts for more $ if she wanted. Also gets to clock out right at shift end. Sure, she doesn't get to call herself a doctor but at the end of the day I'd have a hard time pushing my kids to medical school vs PA. The work-life balance is way better and it's not like the financial component is that much different, all things considered. For a non-trad this is a nice option that should be seriously considered to mitigate the enormous opportunity costs of medical school. And this is coming from someone who generally enjoys the day-to-day of medicine (Radiology).

I agree with what you are saying here. I really don’t think that this decision is entirely about financials, but I agree that it is certainly a big part of it. So since we are talking about financials: A pharmacist in 2005-2010 was earning about 130 K a year, not too far off from what a pcp was earning at that time. For 6 years total schooling after high school and a clock in clock out type job, it was a fantastic deal - just like the PA scenario you gave. Fast forward to 2020. Pharmacist are still at 130 k (trust me - I know) if they are lucky and maybe lower - the same pcp is at what 220-250 k? Well pharmacy screwed themselves over by pumping out grads left and right. The same is happening to mid levels. I will venture to say, their market will not be much different in a decade compared to what pharm is going through now. The forums here where filled with doom and gloom about the physician market back in 2005-2010. They made out okay financially. Who knows what the future holds though ?
 

BorntobeDO?

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Three year IM or FM residency put you as a attending at 45
So you are 45 and have 500k debt. That’s brutal but you are now in a 250k <45hr a week job.
1. You need to live in a Cheap COL state. No cali for you
2. After 80k taxes 170kish pay 100k to eliminate the debt for. 6-7 years.
3. after debt is paid You still got 15 year of career you can work comfortably for 250k. Then go part time and have a nice semi retirement


Hopefully your wife can work and you can lower that debt before finish residency. Start paying the debt at residency.

Or better study hard and try to go to the cheapest school posible.
Your ignoring that interest on 500k is like 30 grand a year at current rates so he would likely be over 550k by time residency is over (repaye will subsidize half while in residency). 6-7 years would likely not be enough, and even if it was, him and his family will have been ‘living like a resident’ for 12 years at that point. I.e. they have been poor/low middle class (depends on loc) for his kids entire childhood. Sorry that sucks, and is completely unrealistic. Most people are not taking poverty vows and it’s extremely unlikely that plan will be executed perfectly.

But this is not worth arguing. The majority of people advocating this path haven’t actually been down it, especially not with a family the entire time.
 
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BorntobeDO?

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I agree with what you are saying here. I really don’t think that this decision is entirely about financials, but I agree that it is certainly a big part of it. So since we are talking about financials: A pharmacist in 2005-2010 was earning about 130 K a year, not too far off from what a pcp was earning at that time. For 6 years total schooling after high school and a clock in clock out type job, it was a fantastic deal - just like the PA scenario you gave. Fast forward to 2020. Pharmacist are still at 130 k (trust me - I know) if they are lucky and maybe lower - the same pcp is at what 220-250 k? Well pharmacy screwed themselves over by pumping out grads left and right. The same is happening to mid levels. I will venture to say, their market will not be much different in a decade compared to what pharm is going through now. The forums here where filled with doom and gloom about the physician market back in 2005-2010. They made out okay financially. Who knows what the future holds though ?
We are saturating too, it’s just happening at the medical school level and not residency (well maybe somewhat at residency too but much slower). OP will be worried about matching by the time he gets there. And that’s a completely different situation that I am ignoring for the sake of the thread. Also remember our market is not independent of mid levels. If you think it is just look what is happening with EM where pay has dropped significantly over the last year and people are having trouble finding jobs. Don’t believe the fallacy, physicians are not immune to market forces. No one can predict exactly what is gonna happen, but I don’t think the trends are encouraging.
 

sylvanthus

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We are saturating too, it’s just happening at the medical school level and not residency (well maybe somewhat at residency too but much slower). OP will be worried about matching by the time he gets there. And that’s a completely different situation that I am ignoring for the sake of the thread. Also remember our market is not independent of mid levels. If you think it is just look what is happening with EM where pay has dropped significantly over the last year and people are having trouble finding jobs. Don’t believe the fallacy, physicians are not immune to market forces. No one can predict exactly what is gonna happen, but I don’t think the trends are encouraging.

^^this, Im EM/IM/CC was doing great picking up ED shifts in the side, id get begged to pickup shifts with significant bonuses at times.

Now? I cant find a shift anywhere. When a shift opens, its gone within 15 min. Pure EM guys are getting screwed hard.
 
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DO2015CA

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^^this, Im EM/IM/CC was doing great picking up ED shifts in the side, id get begged to pickup shifts with significant bonuses at times.

Now? I cant find a shift anywhere. When a shift opens, its gone within 15 min. Pure EM guys are getting screwed hard.
ya I've heard my friends struggling. Used to get 350-400k contracts out of residency. Now they're lucky they are getting 250k. Granted I live in the middle of the country so the previous salaries are ERs outside of main cities
 
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^^this, Im EM/IM/CC was doing great picking up ED shifts in the side, id get begged to pickup shifts with significant bonuses at times.

Now? I cant find a shift anywhere. When a shift opens, its gone within 15 min. Pure EM guys are getting screwed hard.

How’s the CC side? I’m assuming that’s your full time gig?
 

sylvanthus

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How’s the CC side? I’m assuming that’s your full time gig?

So far so good, prob more pay than fulltime ED now sadly. Just hoping that the new law in my state doesnt pass that reimburses NPs at same rate as docs. If that happens, theres nothing holding hospitals back from replacing more inpatient docs with midlevels. Why not bill the same and pay the “provider” less and pocket the rest after all? Ugh sorry just really regreting life choices atm. Even being triple boarded I could be replaced quite easily by the powers that be.
 
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So far so good, prob more pay than fulltime ED now sadly. Just hoping that the new law in my state doesnt pass that reimburses NPs at same rate as docs. If that happens, theres nothing holding hospitals back from replacing more inpatient docs with midlevels. Why not bill the same and pay the “provider” less and pocket the rest after all? Ugh sorry just really regreting life choices atm. Even being triple boarded I could be replaced quite easily by the powers that be.

You know I would kill to be you right now, triple boarded ! Funny how life works like that man. Here I am mid 30s just beginning the journey to get where you are...life choices indeed!
 
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