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Queen Tinfoil, types iwth a baby in her lap
7+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
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The fact that you are counting the years of med school and internship, or that you don't see that 5 years to practice being a doc or more realistically 7 years is a given MINIMUM, so you're debating 7 vs 9 yrs, makes me think maybe you haven't committed to medical practice in the first place.

If you are interested in being a heme onc doc, and that's what made you look at medical school, great, but I recommend shadowing a great deal of docs, and that if you can't see yourself as more than one type of doc, especially if you had to be a less competitive type, like primary care doc, a psychiatrist, a pediatrician, that you really should think twice. Medicine is a long road that doesn't always take you where you want to go. The competition doesn't get less fierce when you get in, the stakes just get raised higher. People who come in dead set they will only be happy if they become a neurosurgeon after 4 yrs med school plus 7 yrs residency, which is very long and competitive to get into, can find themselves crushed when they aren't the top 10% of all med school graduates.

Heme onc as you say is long training (as any doc really), and fiercely competitive. The money is good but it's good in most specialties, medicine is a career that will try to suck the very marrow of your bones out in ways you can't really imagine, so you need a passion for it that money can't buy. Everyone I know who did it mostly for prestige, money, make their parents happy, and have "good hours" typically find themselves unhappy.

Anyway, I recommend thinking long and hard about how much you like science, science, science, sick people, body fluids, working 60 hours per week for most of undergrad, 60-100 hr per week of medical school, then 80-100 as a resident for at least 3 years, 30 hour shifts at times, staying up all night for weeks, and most docs when they finish training get bumping along at 60 hrs per week on average. You will spend almost half your time working doing paperwork. You will always take some work home with you. Your family will always see less of you than they would like.

You will owe about $250-300K in debt as well, which doesn't sound like a lot compared to a physician's salary, but add a house mortgage and a couple kids on to that if that's your thing.

It can be very rewarding to be a doc, but it is a calling. Maybe that is hemeonc for you. I hope you find your calling.