I am applying to medical school this summer with the intent of becoming a psychiatrist. In general I am excited about this goal, but lately I've been hearing so much doom and gloom about how horrible things are getting for doctors in the U.S. and how grueling and dehumanizing the long training process is that it's hard to stave off the second thoughts. I know this question has been asked many times on this board, and I've read many of the responses, so forgive me if I ask again: knowing what you know now, would you do it again? These are some of my rationalizations as to why I'm not insane to be going into medicine; if anyone wants to disillusion me, feel free. 1. Common complaint: Medical school is ridiculously hard and life-consuming. My expectations: The first two years of medical school should be manageable. I don't mind studying, and while I'm sure it will suck to study 12 hours a day at times, I think I can handle it. From what I've heard, there will be some pretty hellish times in the clinical years, but that's only two years, and only some of the rotations will make me want to wish I'd never been born. 2. Common complaint: Residency is ridiculously hard and life-consuming (and soul-sucking). My expectations: This was a big concern for me. When I first started thinking about going to medical school I almost wrote it off completely because the idea of having no time to spend with what I predict will be my growing family during those years was untenable. When I found out that psychiatry residencies are typically not all that bad, especially after intern year, I reconsidered. 3. Common complaint: Reimbursements are declining, and with the huge loans they take out and the loss of many productive (money-making) years of life, doctors get a raw deal financially. My expectations: I'm not in it to get rich. I want to be able to pay off my loans and support a family comfortably in my fairly-low-cost-of-living city. This seems like a reasonable thing to expect as a psychiatrist. 4. Common complaint: After sacrificing eight years of their lives to training, doctors still have to work long hours, often with undesirable schedules. My expectations: I don't see this being as much of a problem for psychiatrists. If I don't want to work more than a regular work week, I can just get a salaried position somewhere, right? If I go into private practice I might end up working a lot, but ultimately I have control over that. The conventional wisdom today on the subject of becoming a doctor seems to be "Don't even think about it." I guess I just want to see if psychiatrists agree with the consensus. It seems like most of you who post here are fairly happy with your jobs, but I suppose that doesn't necessarily mean you would choose them again. I'd appreciate any thoughts on the subject.