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MD to DPT - Crazy or best idea EVER?!

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by SeaBreeze12, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. SeaBreeze12

    SeaBreeze12 2+ Year Member

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    Mar 5, 2007
    I am about to finish my 1st year of medical school and I am having doubts on whether or not I want to continue. Both of my parents are doctors and I am starting to wonder if me going to medical school is something I wanted or something I did to make them happy. I enjoy biological sciences and patient contact so I know I want to work in the healthcare field, but I am not sure if I have the stamina to become an allopathic physician. I also am worried that becoming a doctor is not going to allow me enough time with the family I hope to have one day. I never really considered doing anything else as an undergrad until it looked like I wasn’t going to get to medical school after I graduated last spring. (I know I should have thought about it sooner!) I started looking into going into physical therapy, did some volunteer work at an out patient PT clinic and realized that field might be a better fit for me (I understand it to be a field that has less stress and more flexible hours than a physician). Well I did get accepted to medical school and I have since done well in all my classes, I like the people in my class, and I like what tiny bit of patient contact I have had, but I just don’t know if this is the right path for me. I have started doing some serious research into making the switch to a DPT program. I guess I am posting this to get other people’s thoughts on the issue; what I should do right now, this summer off before my 2nd year, etc… (the other postings I have read on here have seemed to be quite insightful). So I guess my question is do I stick it out and see if this is what I really want, or get out while I still can! :confused: :scared:
     
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  3. TheMightyAngus

    TheMightyAngus 5+ Year Member

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    Finish the process. I think it's a bad call to drop out of med school only to join another health profession. There are many more career opportunities for an MD than any other degree out there.

    Why does being a PT sound so appealing to you?
    Why don't you want to finish med school?

    If you are worried about family. You can always work part-time. This sort of arrangement happens often.
     
  4. carn311

    carn311 Dead tired. 10+ Year Member

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    Check out PM&R as a medical specialty if PT seems attractive. There are good lifestyles to be had in medicine you just have to do some research to find them. Good luck!
     
  5. dutchman

    dutchman 7+ Year Member

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    That was what I was about to say.:thumbup:
     
  6. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

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    Help me out here. What is DPT? No disrespect intended; I just haven't heard of this degree path.
     
  7. akpete

    akpete Drinks, anyone? 7+ Year Member

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    Madison
    In the last several years, many physical therapy programs have moved to a doctorate program rather than a master's. It's partially in the interest in having a terminal degree in the field (if not mostly).
     
  8. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

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    Is it also 4 years start to finish?
     
  9. lord_jeebus

    lord_jeebus 和魂洋才 Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

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    GMT+9
    PM&R!!!


    (did you know sdn has an all-caps filter?)
     
  10. akpete

    akpete Drinks, anyone? 7+ Year Member

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    Madison
    Don't remember...I'd have to look that up. I was only pre-PT for a semester. :)
     
  11. glp

    glp Vegas Baby Vegas 5+ Year Member

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    Oklahoma
    the above posters that suggest PM&R are spot on. in OK the only dpt program is 3 yrs (masters programs are 2 yrs). you would have to wait until 2008 to start so in the end it would be 3 more years of training to do PM&R versus PT. 3 years of training to make a minimum of 2-3 times as much is a good deal to me. plus, if during thrid year you fall in love with another specialty, you havent closed any doors. you are obviously willing to sacrifice earnings to have more control over your schedule, but there are medical specialties that allow you to do this without dropping out of med school altogether. here are some links:

    salaries (PM&R=physiatry):
    http://www.allied-physicians.com/salary_surveys/physician-salaries.htm
    http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/layoutscripts/swzl_nationalrangebell.asp?jobcode=HC07000015&error=1&jobtitle=Physical%20Therapist&narrowcode=AR04&narrowdesc=Sports%20and%20Recreation&yearsofexp=

    information:
    http://residency.wustl.edu/medadmin/resweb.nsf/f7d261b19325755a86256f900062b64f/2a20a564b2ed7d2c86256f8f00747a45?OpenDocument

    funny:
    http://pandabearmd.blogspot.com/2007/02/two-minute-drill-vi-special-edition.html
     
  12. bigdan

    bigdan SDN Donor 15+ Year Member

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    OP-

    Don't jump blindly. Make sure you think things thru, including finance. If your mommy and daddy are paying for medical school, you can stop reading this now, but if not - MD grads average like 88K in debt. Then add your PT schooling expense. Now work in paying that off with a likely 55K/yr salary. Don't forget that the vast majority of insurance companies won't pay you without having completed a residency, so the MD degree will be tough to use. Check the PT thread where we did some math on the subject.

    All that being said, rehab is a great field and is very rewarding.

    Good luck with whatever you choose.

    dc
     
  13. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster 2+ Year Member

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    In what country? I think the average is about 150K.
     
  14. indo

    indo Feed me a stray cat 7+ Year Member

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    Both of the parents are doctors. Debt isn't an issue.
     
  15. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

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    yes, I did. go for PM&R
     
  16. SeaBreeze12

    SeaBreeze12 2+ Year Member

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    Mar 5, 2007
    Thanks for all the advice so far, def. gives me a few things to think about.
    And yes, debt really isn't an issue for me, since my parents have been gracious enough to fund my education.
     
  17. SeaBreeze12

    SeaBreeze12 2+ Year Member

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    Mar 5, 2007
    I noticed a lot of suggestions for PM&R. How competitive is that residency program?
     
  18. msl2007

    msl2007 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    I think it is one of the less competetive currently, but it could be on the upswing.
    PM&R= Plenty of Money and Relaxation

    Differences from PT- you can prescribe the meds, oversee and control all the treatment but do much less hands on the patient.

    To those of you syaing that "parents are doctors, debt isn't an issue" and "mommy and daddy are paying" - that's disrespectful and unfair to the OP. If the OPs parents are paying (as the OP confrimed), that is wonderful and we should be happy for him or a bit jealous, but not spiteful. It is not his fault that his parents have the financial ability to pay, AND that they have chosen to do so.Plus, if you have the stereotype that a two doc family must be able to pay $50k/year for their kids education for 8 years, then what are you going to say when people start asking you about your future mansion and collection of Vettes? Doctors don't make as much as the stereotype insists, especially in peds and FP.
     
  19. SeaBreeze12

    SeaBreeze12 2+ Year Member

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    Mar 5, 2007
    Thanks for that msl2007, yes I have been extremly fortunate that my parents have be able to provide me with an amazing opportunity, and it also helps that they didn't have to pay for my undergrad education b/c I received scholarhips that covered 100% of my tuition.

    And don't assume all med students are "him's".... :p ..... b/c I am not!
     
  20. turkleton

    turkleton Capeless Crusader 2+ Year Member

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    Don't drop out. Medicine is the definition of the field which starts of sucky and keeps getting better. If you do PM&R your 1st two years of med school will be far more hours intensive and harder in general than any year of your residency or life thereafter.
     
  21. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

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    :thumbup:
     
  22. SeaBreeze12

    SeaBreeze12 2+ Year Member

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    Mar 5, 2007
    Thanks again everyone, it's hard sometimes to keep things in perspective....
     
  23. Doc 2b

    Doc 2b 5+ Year Member

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    To OP -

    PM&R is getting rather competitive but I wouldn't rank it up in the derm, plastics or ortho category. Just like anything, it's subjective. If you are really interested in PT though, you could consider going to a DO school. It's pretty much the same thing, you just learn the medicine along with it. You could probably find a school that would let you make a lateral move and make up the manipulative medicine portion during your summer. BTW, DO's are highly sought after in PM&R.
     
  24. msl2007

    msl2007 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    And don't assume all med students are "him's".... :p ..... b/c I am not![/QUOTE]

    Neither am I. :laugh:
     
  25. SeaBreeze12

    SeaBreeze12 2+ Year Member

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    Mar 5, 2007
    So I took one of those "what type of residency program is right for you" quizzes and PM&R was at the top of my list :laugh: !! I started looking into it more and it really seems like this might be a career path I really want to consider. What is even better is that my preceptor's wife is in pediatric PM&R (connection what what!!), which is exactly what I would want to do! Funny how things work out like that....

    Thanks everyone who gave me advice, I'm back on track... and now back to biochem...:eek:
     
  26. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student 7+ Year Member

    I just wanted to add that you're career choices may change as you age so going to DPT is a poor choice if you decide you weren't interested in that field anymore. Medicine allows you more choices in what you want to do (almost any part of the body, diagnosing/cutting etc). Stay in med school. It'll give you more options and more bang for your buck since you would need to reapply for DPT programs which are 2-3 years long.
     
  27. bigdan

    bigdan SDN Donor 15+ Year Member

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    You're right. My mistake.

    Average med school debt (public): ~120K; ave private: ~150K.

    dc
     
  28. DPT Number 1

    DPT Number 1 D.P.T> Student

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    My parents are doctors also and I decided to go with the P.T. program w/ differs the degree based on which school you choose. Im attending the DPT program and I really like it so far.

    Like you said, you mite want to decide b4 all the debt and time.

    P/S..... Its a 5-6 year program for the DPT.
     
  29. Northerner

    Northerner Coquettish Haberdasher 10+ Year Member

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    See, this is what pisses physicians off - you're misleading people, it sounds like you're trying to say it's 6 years post-college. When people refer to the length of medical doctor programs, they do not include college. That's why they get irritated when non medical doctors call themselves "Doctor", too. It might not TECHNICALLY be incorrect based on the way peripheral healthcare providers are augmenting their status/education, but it's misleading, especially to patients.

    It's not a 6 year degree. It's a 3 year degree, but they accept you after 3 years of undergrad. If you want to compare apples to apples, fine, a DPT is a 6 year degree, and an MD is a 8 year degree.
     
  30. 1Path

    1Path Banned Banned

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    I think you should take a look at Mommd and Oldpremeds before you decide to stay in med school. Sure people like to talk about part-time opportunities in medicine but the reality seems VERY different based on what the Docs over there are saying.

    Advice in general is cool, but you're taking it primarily from people who don't balance careers in medicine with having a family. If family is very important to you, then getting a DPT seems like a better decision IMHO.
     
  31. Delicate Genius

    Delicate Genius Member 2+ Year Member

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    Not every DPT program accepts you after 3 years. Most are 4+3=7 years if you count undergrad. Anyway you slice it, getting a DPT is only a year less then getting an MD.

    With that said, I totally agree that DPTs, and any other non-physician healthcare professional, should not refer to themselves as doctors.

    Just to clarify, the DPT was created mostly in an effort to get respect amoung the medical community, and thus get direct access to patients. (And not because they wanted to be called doctors!)
     
  32. SeaBreeze12

    SeaBreeze12 2+ Year Member

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    Mar 5, 2007
    I hate to play devil's advocate here, especially after everyone has been so wonderful in giving helpful advice (yes I am going to stay in medical school :D ), but I noticed a lot of people bring up the argument of time and money, in whether a DPT is worth it. Yes, I understand that the debt issue is a valid point. However, the time argument I don't agree with. It's true that technically the DPT is only one year shorter than med school, but after you get your DPT you are done with your training, no residency programs. And also I know that it is hard for many of us just starting out to see the big picture and "wasting" a year or two that would be unavoidable in a switch from one prorgram to another seems insignificant in the long run. If you are going to be in a profession for 30+ years, it would seem worth it to lose a year or two to transition into something that would ultimatly make you happier in the long run....
     

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