I’m making this post because I’ve been considering a career in medicine, but have quite a few questions. When I started college I thought I wanted to do medicine, but for reasons I don’t really remember I decided against it. I received my B.S. in Engineering Physics this May from a top 15 public University with a 3.99/4.0 GPA, where I completed a research project that led to two conference poster presentations. I was also just awarded an NSF GRFP (fairly prestigious award) fellowship, and am working on a M.S. in Electrical Engineering while performing research. However, I’ve been doing some career soul-searching and am not sure I want to be an engineer for the rest of my life. As such, I’ve also been considering a career in Medicine, which is what brings me here.
First, I was hoping to get some advice on whether or not I should pursue a career as a physician in the first place. I know that some people love their jobs in medicine, but then there’s other people that say if you could be happy doing anything else you should do that. I’m planning on shadowing some doctors soon to get a better feel for the field. In particular, I’m interested in radiation oncology, radiology, and urology and am looking for advice on how to find shadowing experience in these fields?. Other than shadowing, what else do people recommend to really decide if medicine is “for you”? Although I don’t have any industry experience as an engineer, I’m just not sure I’d be happy designing things as an engineer the rest of my life. Obviously there’s the management route, but I’m not sure this would be any better. But, I’m also not sure I’d be happy in medicine, and with the opportunity cost of going to medical school, unless I’m sure it’ll make me happy I would think I should just be an engineer.
Next, if I do decide to go into medicine what do I need to do before I apply? I know I need to take some MCAT/Med school prereqs such as OChem 1 and 2, but other than that I’m not sure. I’ll have quite a bit of research experience, but so far don’t have very much volunteer or clinical experience. Does anyone have advice on what type of volunteering and clinical experience would be best? I have two years of grad school to the prereqs and volunteering, but it seems to me that I would have to take a minimum of one year between grad school and medical school to fit in the MCAT and then applying/interviewing. Of course, I’ll need to commit to medical school before doing the prereqs, but I want to figure out everything involved in being able to apply.
Finally, I’m wondering how competitive of an applicant I would be applying to med school? I know this depends on my MCAT score (I feel confident I can score at least in the 80th percentile with studying), but I’m looking for some rough idea of how competitive I’d be. Also, I have a good friend who is attending law school, and he received many substantial scholarships including a full-ride from a top-14 school. Do these sort of scholarships exists for medical school, and if so what would be my chances be for these assuming a good MCAT score?
I know this was a pretty long post, but I’d appreciate any and all input people can give. I tried to keep it short, so I’m of course willing to expand on anything if people need clarification before lending any advice. Thanks!