1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Med School Questions

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by BenJ, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. BenJ

    BenJ Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,

    I have a few questions regarding med school.

    - The first two years are preclinical?
    - The last two years are in the clinic?
    - Once in the clinic, what type of hours are there? Regular 8 - 5, or do you have to be there at night?
    - After med school, how long is residency? (Is this when the hours are crazy?)
    - If I'd want to specialize, do I need to first do residency then speicalize? Or can I go straight from med school to my specilization?
    - How long does it take to specialize in, say cardiology?

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. doepug

    doepug Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2001
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hi -

    You should be aware that many of the answers to these questions vary somewhat by institution. Since virtually no med students have experiences at >1 med school, these are some of the questions you should try to answer by reading each school's brochures.

    - The first two years are preclinical?

    This is generally true. At my school, we begin on the wards in April of our second year. Most schools require you to wait until the summer after second year.

    - The last two years are in the clinic?

    Yes. But you won't just be in a clinic, you'll be in a variety of settings. When you interview for med school, you should ask about the structure of rotations. Many schools require students to take their required rotations (e.g. medicine, surgery) first, and wait until 4th year for electives. At my school (Hopkins), we can take clerkships in any order we choose. I actually started with two electives. This becomes a great advantage for exploring your interests.

    - Once in the clinic, what type of hours are there? Regular 8 - 5, or do you have to be there at night?

    This varies widely by rotation and medical school.

    At my school:

    Outpatient rotations (e.g. derm, ambulatory medicine) are typically 8-5, M-F or thereabouts.

    Required inpatient clerkships (e.g. peds, medicine, surgery) require more of your time. For peds, I typically arrived around 6:30 am, and left around 4:30-5. As a med student, you will take call on these rotations. Call schedules vary, but you're typically expected to stay late every 3rd or 4th night. At my school, we do not take overnight call for medicine or peds, but we do for surgery. Some electives (e.g. anesthesiology) and advanced clerkships (e.g. subinternships, ICU rotations) require overnight call. Sometimes you get the next day (post-call day) off, sometimes you don't. This depends on the rotation.

    - After med school, how long is residency? (Is this when the hours are crazy?)

    This varies widely by field. For most fields, a one-year internship is required, and the interns almost always have the worst hours. Typically, residents work longer hours than med students, but most residents have decent (i.e. liveable) schedules, unless they're aspiring surgeons.

    - If I'd want to specialize, do I need to first do residency then speicalize? Or can I go straight from med school to my specilization?

    This varies greatly by field. If you have questions about specific fields, post them.

    - How long does it take to specialize in, say cardiology?

    Cards requires a 3 year medical residency (= 1 year of internship, 2 of medical residency), followed by a cardiology fellowship (usually 3 years), for a total of 6 post-graduate years. Some cardiologists specialize further (in, say, cardiac electrophysiology), and this requires another 1-2 years of training.

    Good luck,

    doepug
    MS III, Johns Hopkins
     
  4. BenJ

    BenJ Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the info, it's really helpful!

    My only question is.. should I go for it or not?

    I'm currently in 1st yr of a pretty good dental school. Dentistry is cool and interesting, and to be honest, the hours/pay seem a lot better now than medicine.

    However, ever since I was a child I've been interested in the circulatory system. All my projects in school (elementary through college) have been on the heart and it's workings, effects, implications, etc.

    I decided to go to dental school instead of med school, since the time required to become a dentist is shorter, and for the hours/pay mentioned above. In addition, I do want to have a family and I want to be there with my family, not on call or in the hospital.

    But I keep having this nagging feeling that maybe, just maybe, I should have went all the way and gone through medicine.

    Does anyone have any advice or opinions on this?

    Much obliged!
     
  5. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2002
    Messages:
    2,829
    Likes Received:
    5
    If I were looking at med school applications, and I saw a dental student was applying, I would look like this ---->:confused: because the first thing that would pop into my mind was that this dude doesn't know what he wants to do with his life. Now, you might have perfectly good reasons for doing what you are doing, but as one who has already begun at a professional school, you would be considered a pretty non-traditional applicant, I think. Be sure you can explain your goals and motivations well if you decide to apply. Ultimately this is your decision and you need to do what will make you happy. Good luck!
     
  6. GuitarMan

    GuitarMan Guitarman for President
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2002
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    As far as I know, cardiologist's have one of the worst call schedules of all the medical (as opposed to surgical) specialties. There is a lot of variation, but cardiologists usually work 70+ hours per week. If you want to be home for the family you probably don't want to be a cardiologist.

    But, I don't want to discourage you because this is all second hand knowledge for me. Grab the phonebook, call up some cardiologists, and ask them how their life is?
     
  7. Street Philosopher

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    6,276
    Likes Received:
    7
    If I was in dental school, I'd stick with it. The lifestyles of doctors and dentists can be VERY different.
     
  8. laviddee

    laviddee Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2002
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    0
    i say go for it.

    get out while you can before you lose 3 years of life and a LOT OF money for dental school.

    ask yourself why? is it only b/c you are 'interested in the circulatory system?' or is it b/c you want to save lives, make differences, things like that.

    man. i say live life without regrets. in 20 years, are you going to be happy as a dentist... probably so. but might you regret that you didn't go for medicine when you had the chance- that's for you to ponder.

    there's something pulling you to medicine and i doubt it's just your 'interest' in circulation...
    who cares what adcoms think.. often people want to change careers and that's the decision you made. if you have the acumen to become a doctor and you have the scores and stats... and THAT IS WHAT YOU WANT... go for it. '
    you can be a doctor and have a family...
     
  9. monster2

    monster2 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2001
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    0
    Are you sick or something? While hours/pay are good, a physician commands more prestige than a dentist. How can it be more interesting than medicine if all you do is look for cavities and if the only advice you give is brush your teeth?
    In my opinion doctors are "better" than dentists. By better I mean smarter, more aggressive, highly confident, and have a lot of stamina and resilience. They have
    the capacity to seek delayed gratification and don't just act on impulse but think rationally before they decide. Much of the general population lacks this, even other
    professionals. I mean I can just tell I am smarter than many of my professors when they were my age and anyone with half a brain can become a lawyer. So yes
    doctors are held above dentists, and you must remember that not long ago they were held above all others...it is just recently that HMOs have made medicine into a
    business and the reputation of doctors is on the decline...but hey as long as a surgeon pulls in over $500K a year at least, I could care less about what some average, TV
    watching, $15 per hour American thinks about me...or anybody else for that matter.
     
  10. PimplePopperMD

    PimplePopperMD Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2000
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for the laugh! Once you get into your third and fourth years of medical school, I think you'll realize how much respect we command.
     
  11. BenJ

    BenJ Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for all the help everyone.
    I do have the grades, ability, and time to pursue a career as a physician. However, I guess I need to ask myself if I really want to do it. The main drawback I see is that a career in medicine, especially a specialization, takes a LOT of years.

    As for monster2;
    A) I'm not in it for the prestige. I just want to be happy with my career choice ten years from now.
    B) If you think doctors are the smartest people on this earth, you need to get out more...
     
  12. omores

    omores sleep deprived
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2000
    Messages:
    571
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    But only two of those years feel like school (even less than two, if you go to a school with a different curriculum). The last two years of medical school are on-the job training. You actually get to "play doctor" for real, and you learn an incredible amount. Residency and beyond are more of the same. The first year or two can have a really arduous schedule, but it gets easier after that (at least in most fields -- don't know about cardiology). And you're getting paid for it as well -- not enough money to get rich on, but it certain will make it feel more like an apprenticeship than school.
     
  13. CaNEM

    CaNEM Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2002
    Messages:
    635
    Likes Received:
    4
    If you are so worried about the amount of time it will take, and you just want to get out into the work force, why are you considering dropping out of dental school? Getting into dent school, going with the flow for a while, then dropping out, applying to med school, and starting over is not exactly the quickest way to get practicing. You should have just done what you wanted to in the first place, and you should do the same now.
     
  14. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Messages:
    1,302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow...what an ignorant statement. Do you think before you write? So many overgeneralizations, and not that anyone really cares what you think either. Being a doctor hardly signifies intelligence, confidence, etc.; hard work perhaps (and for many, that applies only in med school and residency), but not much else...

    -RA
     
  15. DrMom

    DrMom Official Mom of SDN
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    43,317
    Likes Received:
    20
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Yeah, Monster should make a lovely physician with that understanding attitude. :rolleyes:

    Probably will become a surgeon with absolutely no bedside manner. ;)

    Just a hint, Monster: patients generally don't like physicians who look down on them because they earn $15/hr. And by the way, there are general surgeons who make less than 50K because there's such a glut of general surgeons in many areas.
     
  16. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Messages:
    1,302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh yeah...so let's say residents earn about $45K/year. So that's about $865/week. And residents probably work about 100 hours a week. Chumps; they only earn $8.65 an hour. Should we look down on residents, because they don't make as much as the <sarcasm>much less intelligent</sarcasm> Average Joe who makes $15 and hour?

    -RA
     
  17. Caffeinated

    Caffeinated Army Strong
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    BenJ,

    I made it through 4 years of optometry school and I have 2 years of practice as an active duty Army optometrist behind me. I am now going back to school in medicine (contingent upon acceptance, of course). Here are my lessons learned:

    1. That "nagging" feeling doesn't go away. You just suppress it, and when it resurfaces, it does so with even greater momentum. Make sure you aren't having "grass is greener" syndrome."

    2. It's never too late, so when you make up your mind, start the process.

    So what's your family situation? Are you married/in a serious relationship? If so, this is something you need to discuss with the other person in your life.

    Just so you know we aren't the only ones: I know an opthalmologist that started as a veterinarian. I know 3 optometrists (besides me) that have gone back to med school optometry school. One went straight out of opt school, the other 2 practiced in the Army for a few years. I was talking to one of them the other day (he's a general surgery resident) and he said that he scratches his head every month when he signs a $1300 check for his optometry school which he is not even using. So the moral of the story is that if you leave now, you will owe some money. If you leave after dental school, you will owe more money, but you might be able to make a living as a dentist to feed the debt.

    Some thoughts to chew on....
     
  18. none

    none 1K Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,903
    Likes Received:
    5
    Wow...this is a really hard decision. You should realize that, at best, your current position in dental school will hinder a medical school application. It's one thing to drop out of a graduate program...it's different to drop out of another professional (yes I know professors are professionals, but you know what I mean) program. And time should definitely be a concern. It would now be another two years until you actually started medical school. You'd be nearly done with dental school and ready to practice! If you drop out now, you run the risk of never getting into any professional school again. If you don't drop out, you're going to be saddled with lots of pointless debt. I think you can make any medical profession whatever you want. If you want prestige in dentistry, it's certainly out there. If you want money or challenges, that's out there too. Dentists go out to help in 3rd world countries just like physicians. You're probably not going to be involved in cardiology, but there certainly are specialities out there for dentists who want to spend the extra time. As you can see...I'm leaning towards you staying in dentistry mainly because you're already there and, frankly, your reasons for pursuing a medical career haven't sounded solid so far.
     
  19. BenJ

    BenJ Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks again for everyone's help.
    The more I think about it, the more I think I've made the right choice.

    Before I even applied to dental school, I spent a good amount of time asking myself what I want to do and why. I went through all the pros and cons of both professions, and ended up deciding on dentistry.

    I was excited to go to dental school, and was pleased that I got accepted to a pretty good school.

    But once dental school started, I kept having a naging feeling that maybe the grass is greener on the other side. By talking about it in public, I've been able to relieve that stress, and it's made the choice more clear. I think I'll enjoy dentistry, and I love working with my hands.

    Anyway, thanks to everyone for their input.
    For now, I'm staying right where I am.. :)
     
  20. Caffeinated

    Caffeinated Army Strong
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    BenJ,

    You may also consider an accelerated medical program. I think there are some MD programs that are accelerated for students that already have a DDS. Now, this is with a concentration on maxillo-facial surgery, so I am not sure how easy it would be to do one of these programs then hop over to a specialty that had nothing to do with face and teeth. I think I remember seeing one time that Mayo has this program, but please don't quote me on that.
     

Share This Page