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More certainty?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by TexasRose, Aug 17, 2004.

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  1. TexasRose

    TexasRose Gotta run Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jul 24, 2002
    where else?
    So in my small discussion group there are 8 of us and a physician. 7 of the students are traditional (no more than 1 yr out of ugrad) and then there's me. During our first discussion, we went around the table and introduced ourselves and included what field of medicine we thought we wanted to go into. More than half the students said they didn't know and the other 3 (?) gave wishy washy answers. When it came to be my turn, the doc said to me "I'll bet you know exactly what you want to do."

    Well, it's true. I was surprised by the lack of specific interests from the other students, but also surprised that the doc would expect me to be certain of mine.

    Is it because nontrads have, as a rule, had more time to think about career paths? Or that specific events in our lives prompted the decision to pursue medicine?

    What do y'all think?
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  3. flighterdoc

    flighterdoc Rocket Scientist 7+ Year Member

    I think that we've seen more life, and have more to make a judgement on - and, for me, anyway, I'm not willing (right now) to get involved in anything that requires a residency longer than 3 years. I can't imagine how (for example) Natalie can handle a surgical residency, but I sure admire her for it.

    But, I'm willing to be convinced that something other than EM/IM is right for me :)
  4. N-toxicologist

    N-toxicologist the accidental tourist 5+ Year Member

    I guess a little bit of both?

    Specific experiences made me pursue medicine, but narrowing down a specialty has been an ongoing epiphany. But I am pretty certain what I want to do. I guess when you're older, you don't really do too much without being certain. Or, maybe we just have the self assurance to say "yeah, I want to do this," without all the agonizing self-doubt that comes along with some brands of immaturity. I have some high strung classmates that freak about little stuff. They're uncertain on a daily basis.
  5. EvoDevo

    EvoDevo Forging a Different Path Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2003
    Crazy Town
    I believe that a major reason for this is that the older you get, the more you truly come to know yourself.

    Remember, your teens and early twenties are ALL ABOUT (sometimes obssessively so) figuring out your identity. As we get into our late twenties, we start to get comfortable in our skin (at least I have) and we also have clear ideas about what we want out of life. When you're 20-24, life is still a wide-open range. At 32, I know exactly what I want from life (marriage, kids, career, material gains) and I'm therefore focused on getting there.

    FD, I second your thoughts regarding Natalie and surgery. I seriously wonder if I'm capable of devoting five+ years to residency.....but you never know. ;)
  6. Megalofyia

    Megalofyia 425 lbs and growing 10+ Year Member

    Oct 13, 2001
    It might be that because I look like a traditional applicant that people seem to dismiss the fact that I do feel that I know exactly what I want to do when I finish medical school. They always tell me that what I want is what I want now but it will change. But I've had a long time to think about what I want to do and for 15 years now it's revolved around 3 specific residencies. The only thing at this point that would sway my choice would be the length of the residency.
  7. N1DERL&

    N1DERL& HP4!!!! 7+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2004
    I suppose I'm going to be the fish swimming against the current. I haven't pinpointed what specialty I'd like to practice in. I have a general feeling about what I'd like and not like, but I want to stay open to everything. I've taken such a risk to get this far that I don't want to dismiss anything that comes along my way.
  8. WillowRose

    WillowRose hot mama-yama 7+ Year Member

    And then there are those of us who are *less* certain now than we would have been 10 years ago!! Straight out of undergrad, I would've put money down that I'd end up in peds. Couldn't imagine anything other than spending my day taking care of those sweet little darlings!

    Now that I have two of those "darlings" of my own...... (Oh, I must say my new plumber is awesome and removed the Q-tip and bubble gum clog in the bathtub)...

    I think I have a good idea of what I *don't* want to do. I've got some ideas of things I think I would like, but I'm trying hard to keep my mind open going into school. I want to be sure that I don't rule out neonatal dermatology before I even give it a try! As I learn more about different specialties, they start to pique my interest.

    One thing I can say for sure is that I am now more certain of my own capabilities than I would've been right out of college. I may not know what I want to do, but I'm pretty sure of what I can do! LOL And I can tell you right now that if I even think of going into psychiatry, someone will have to lock ME up!

  9. N1DERL&

    N1DERL& HP4!!!! 7+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2004
    :laugh: I know what you mean! I don't have the patience at all! I think I would get really frustrated, blow up, and then set them back in their progress! :D
  10. NubianPrincess

    NubianPrincess Perpetually Bored 7+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2001
    The Dirty Dirty
    To be quite honest, I know myself well enough to realize that without exposure to specific fields of medicine, any idea of a special interest at this point for me would be a guess. When I was younger I would always tell people that I would go into pediatrics. Now I realize that I have no idea what it would be like and that I should just wait until my clinical rotations to see what I enjoy.
  11. dtreese

    dtreese Caramel Gollum 10+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2001
    KY, The Jelly State
    I have a particular interest, but I've seen others change their minds a dozen times in rotations. I'm not going to limit my options. Still, cardiology is really, REALLY cool.
  12. AnAppleADay

    AnAppleADay Red Delicious 7+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2002
    Neither here nor there
    I think that non-trads enter med school with a variety of life experiences, and because of this know themselves quite well. Better than say, a 21 year-old who's a few months out of undergrad, and mom and dad's house.

    I am fairly certain about the direction I want to head, however without having been exposed to other facets of medicine, it's really hard to say. There are things I'm certain I don't want to do however...
  13. LovelyRita

    LovelyRita Blade Slinger 10+ Year Member

    Apr 26, 2002
    where it's bleeding
    For me, I'm making a hard core decision because I'm not going to have the extra few years to waffle and change my mind.

    I'm doing this one time only! :)

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