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OnMyWayThere

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How do you steam off people telling you what a bad move you're making going into medicine? I mean, in the midst of taking 18 units and preparing for the MCAT, my aunt is sitting there telling me, "You're gonna be doing business in the end, because medicine is not going to pay the bills. Why are you wasting your time. You're giving up the best days of your life to pursue this..."

I ask, "What about your son who just got an Anesthesiology residency?" and she says " He's giving up the best 5 years of his life doing that residency". Her older son is a physician and she claims he rarely practices because there is no income and he needs to have a side business.

This negativity is not real. It's just that she is threatened since she is such a competitive type - the ones who must be on top. IT still DOES have an impact though hearing all of this negativity.

Anybody else experience this, and how do you deal with?
 

TTSD

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Just let it slide. They don't know what drives you, making presumptions, but they mean the best for you and that's what counts.

It's interesting though when doctors tell you the same thing too. "Go do something like business. Earn some money and get out of this rat race as fast as possible. Medicine is not what it use to be." But I guess that's what every older generation says to the younger, "I know, you're full of spit and vinegar. After 10 years, you begin to question yourself. After 20 years, you begin to run out of excuses as to why you're still around. After 30 years.."

And you know, if it was just a doctor who treated medicine as a job.. I wouldn't think much of it. But I've gotten that speech from several doctors who kicked everyone elses @$$ and really had my respect.. so it's strange to hear that. But also, remember, they only want what's best for you. In their opinion it's just not worth it to practice anymore when insurance rates become unbearable. You can't treat patients the way you want to. The stress is a killer (like half of them have heart problems).
 

OnMyWayThere

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I hear ya... then again, lots of people in business say the same thing. How it's so cut-throat and medicine is such a healthy alternative ( I experienced this also as a business owner). It all comes down to what you want to do everyday.
 
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There is absolutely no job security in business (unless you start your own company...then...you should keep in mind that 90% of small businesses fail and go out of business). People in "corporate America" are expendable...they can be hired and fired in the same day. One of the major benefits of working your *** to the bone for 4 years in undergrad and then for another 4 years in med school is that you get to enjoy job security...you are not expendable to anyone and your license is good across the nation. If you move to another state, you don't have to pass that states licensure exam in order to practice (lawyers need to pass the bar exam in both states if they want to practice in both states). I'm not saying this should be a REASON why anyone goes to med school...I'm just pointing out one of the major benefits for med school grads.

So if anyone tells you this BS about how you should be in business...you should keep in mind that it's just that...BS. If you're passionate about medicine, then you should pursue that with every fiber of your being. Don't let anyone else's opinions rub off on you...you know what you want from life...and how you want to get it. Good luck!
 

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Yeah, that shouldnt bother you. If med is what you want to do, then do it. Parents/family always try to tell you what to do to make a good living. The reality is, if you find something you enjoy doing and are really good at it, you can make a very good living and have a very enjoyable life.

Just curious, are you Asian?

Also, in the end, if you do happen to end up in business, that doesnt mean you MD was for nothing. An MD can lead you to a lot of interesting things--look at Bill Frist, Howard Dean, or Michael Crighton.

In the end, it's your choice, do what you want and do a good job.

Best,
Lochmoor
 

OnMyWayThere

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Thanks for the great responses. BerkeleyPremed, you're absolutely right about everything you said. I was a little surprised about not having to take a state's license exam to practice there... how does that work? I thought we have to take state boards after we're done with all the fun at medical school.

Lochmoor, I'm not Asian. I'm Middle Eastern.

Very good posts guys, thanks.



:thumbup:
 

camstah

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dude, it doesn't seem to matter if you're middle eastern, asian, or any other race, there's always some family competition.....i'm middle eastern too, and i see it.....my friend who's korean got a ton of what you're talking about, and not just from her family, but from customers in the store they own....people just get jealous of others who want to become something these threatened people feel makes them "better".......when your aunt says this, you know you're on the right track then :) she'll become more vehement about it once you start hearing back from med schools too....use it as motivation!!!!
 

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I find that many people, close friends, relatives, or perfect strangers may never understand why one would want to be a physician. At the very least, they may not understand the process which it takes to become one, but for the most part, some people just completely don't understand.

Why?

1) They're just ignorant
2) They're jealous
3) They just need need to learn more about the field*

*Of course this is the one that is redeemable, since all you have to do is tell them the great story of why one would want to be a doctor. However for points 1 and 2, it may be totally out of your hands.

It took me a good year to help my parents realize how different the application process is compared to other fields. Grades do matter, but not as much as what people think. The thing i really emphasized was, "regardless of ones grades, it does not gurantee entrance in the school of your choosing".

How did that saying go? Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in their shoes? I find it as a waste of time to even worry about what people think (but yea, its hard to ignore it). Just move along, and keep going towards your goal. Becaue the thing that would piss them off the most is to see you succeed, and be happy with your job. Nobody has time to stop and gripe about what people say at present. The ultimate victory is when you get your MD/DO and surpass these people by being a successful and happy physician.
 

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Hi, All

I have no documented evidence of this, but my impression of older doctors discouraging me from going into medicine is that they want to minimize competition from younger, up and coming physicians. Oddly enough, there may be a jealously factor at work. In general, your average pre-med today is more versatile and talented than med school applicants of 40 years ago. Why? Because we have to be. Medical school is far more competitive to get into as opposed to 40 years ago. Average MCAT and GPA scores are higher and applicants in general are expected to have in depth activities under their belt like research, volunteering, study abroad, etc. With the inclusion of more URMs, the applicant field has greater diversity and thus greater talent. Some doctors who are mindful of this may become jealous as a result.

Yes, medicine is tough. Yes, medicine will get tougher. Even so, I couldn't imagine myself wanting to do anything else with my life. So don't listen to the naysayers and fight on. They're drowning in their own pessimism and bitterness.

theprizefighter
 

TTSD

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That is of course just from your point of view. The doctors who tell me it's a rat race are those who will not be practicing by the time I get out there and even if I do get out there while they're still practicing, it'll be amazing if I can even BEGIN to compete with them. Their names are already engraved somewhere for their respective fields.. screw that, some of them still hold 30 year old unbroken records from their top medical schools.

So do I stand a chance as competition? No.

But I think they're very paternal/maternal.. they're even going to try hard to steer their children away from medicine as well. I think it's about changing perspectives. When they were earlier, they were demons on the playing field getting into and practicing medicine. Then they had families..

Originally posted by theprizefighter
Hi, All

I have no documented evidence of this, but my impression of older doctors discouraging me from going into medicine is that they want to minimize competition from younger, up and coming physicians. Oddly enough, there may be a jealously factor at work. In general, your average pre-med today is more versatile and talented than med school applicants of 40 years ago. Why? Because we have to be. Medical school is far more competitive to get into as opposed to 40 years ago. Average MCAT and GPA scores are higher and applicants in general are expected to have in depth activities under their belt like research, volunteering, study abroad, etc. With the inclusion of more URMs, the applicant field has greater diversity and thus greater talent. Some doctors who are mindful of this may become jealous as a result.

Yes, medicine is tough. Yes, medicine will get tougher. Even so, I couldn't imagine myself wanting to do anything else with my life. So don't listen to the naysayers and fight on. They're drowning in their own pessimism and bitterness.

theprizefighter
 

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I just danced with an accountant the other night who graduated college a few years ago and has since worked sixty plus hours a week.

My father is a tradesman who works a reasonable forty hours, monday through friday. When the economy was well, his coworkers sometimes put in sixty to seventy hours a week and finished the year earning more than most physician generalists. Of course, the physical nature of the trade has left my father and others susceptible to back injuries and some jobs have required them to work in the wintery outdoors or in a filthy hole.

Now, I work retail. In order to make any sort of a career out of retail, you have to put in at least fifty percent more hours than you get paid for. You'll have to manage a crew of very young and very old people earning approximately minimum wage (turnover is very, very high). You also feel tremendous pressure to outperform stores in your district and to meet the absurd performance demands of your corporate office while adhering to the absurd corporate guidelines for running your store. Your superiors call you up at night or in the morning to yell at you, your associates show up late or don't show up at all and yell at you, and one out of one hundred customers will yell at you, and yell at you for something that either you cannot control or that you can control and control for a very good reason that seems to escape the irate customer. And for whatever reason, the majority of your colleagues will be dishonest and every time you make a mistake, someone will threaten to fire you.


Then, there was the time I worked in fast food. Man, there was so much drama there, I was convinced that if I didn't get the fries into the little cardboard thing in under thrity seconds, someone would die. I confess that I enjoy working under pressure, but it seemed silly when an associate burnt his hand on the fri-o-lator and then slipped and fell on his face in an effort to beat the drivethru buzzer. You'd think with all of that urgency and elbow grease he was trying to save someone's life.


The most chill job I ever had was actually in a hospital. The worst things that ever happened were if you were attacked or if you had to stop somebody from attacking somebody else including themself; but that wasn't every day. For the most part, the job taught me how to work with and in some rare instances "help" very sick people, while keeping myself happy. If I was JUST a little bit older when I had that job, I would have been able to go out with my colleagues every night after work. The downside was that the pay sucked.

I think you can find some things to complain about with every job. Why should medicine be any different? Medicine is sort of a trade involving some physical risk, you work with the seldom satisfied public, there is often a sense of urgency, there is ample competition, and the hours are damned long. Without going into capitation salaries and malpractice suits we already have enough to contemplate and biyatch about! But hey, the alternatives to medicine ALL involve hard work with at least a tiny degree of physical risk (telemarketers get backpain from sitting so long), there will be nasty people (the high school groundskeeper has to deal with little punks vandalizing campus), there will be a sense of urgency (the guy at the mall food court giving out free samples of general tso's chicken will lose his job if he doesn't bring in customers), there will be competition (hundreds of people actually audition to wear the Mickey Mouse costume at Disney World), and the hours will be damned long... provided you want any quality of life.

I guess life is just hard no matter how you slice it... so, when somebody rags on me for pursuing medicine cuz it's "demanding" or I won't get to "enjoy my money," or because there's too much beurocracy and a lack of autonomy, I simply explain that I am going into what I feel I am best suited for and what I find to be more interesting and rewarding than anything else. And then I ask them if they know of a job that requires no training and provides countless hours of satisfaction, a salary and benefits you can live off of, and about as much stress as you would expect from receiving a nice back massage. The best anybody has been able to come up with was gigolo, followed by person married to rich person; neither of those fulfill my intellectual curiosity, so I'm sticking to medicine.
 

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Smile politely, nod your head, and say "thats very interesting".

Then, go and do what you want to do, and erase the disagreeable a-holes from your life.

You have a lot more to worry about than aunt ******* or whoever.
 
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Spitting Camel

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Originally posted by flighterdoc
Smile politely, nod your head, and say "thats very interesting".

Then, go and do what you want to do, and erase the disagreeable a-holes from your life.

You have a lot more to worry about than aunt ******* or whoever.

Being middle-eastern, I can relate to onmywaythere. It is complete competition that is making your aunt act that way. I have been in a similar situation, with my uncle trying to talk me into skipping the US applications and going straight to Mexico. He can't bear to see me get to stay in the US when both of his sons had to go to mexico and take 3-4 years longer to become doctors. In fact, 1 is still TRYING to pass the boards!! Just say, "yes ameh, but this is what I have decided to do. I will deal with whatever comes, ok?"

When you're middle Eastern, there is no aunt *******. Each relative deserves the proper respect and onmywaythere is obviously dealing with preserving that aspect of our culture. Just take my advice, smile, and nod. Know that she feels threatened that her children didn't enjoy it so she wants you not to enjoy it as well.

By the way, since I've been accepted, I haven't seen or heard from that uncle. It will be interesting when I do.

Keep hope alive, man! :thumbup:

p.s. What country are you from?
 

OnMyWayThere

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Thanks for the responses, they are all appreciated. To AlreadyInDebt, congratulations on your acceptance. To answer your quesiton, I am Persian which I assume you are as well. I will tell her, "khaleh, you are absolutely right" and then go on an study some more. I assume these negative comments become less important once you have an acceptance. I better go study my arse off for this MCAT so that I can answer these people back with confidence (and an acceptance in my back pocket)
 

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Hi everyone,

It's very interesting hearing your guys' stories because I have had the exact opposite, in terms of my Persian family. My father's family is Persian; he grew up in Iran. I have an uncle and a cousin that are practicing physicians and another cousin who is a MS3. They have all been super supportive, encouraging, and even very respectful to me.

My Aunt (the mom of the cousin who is practicing and who lives mostly in Iran) asked me at the beginning of the cycle what I would do if I didn't get in. She said that in that case, "I should try agian because I am smart enough to do it."

Although my practicing cousin has complained to me in the past about the long hours that she works as a OB/Gyn when I first became interested in medicine and I was asking her about it, she does not dwell on that at all and has been very helpful during this application process; she was helping me practice what I would say at interviews. My cousin that's an MS3 has spent long conversations with me on the phone (even though he's super busy with rotations) talking to me about the app. process. My uncle has been a resource for my worrying dad who knows nothing about getting into med school (my dad's an electrical engineer and I was supposed to be one too). I have often heard my family complain about the long hours, but they never used it as a reason for me not to go into medicine.

But this respect doesn't just come from my family. My friends, peers and coworkers think it's awesome that I am going to become a doctor.

I have always read these kinds of threads 'cuz I think it's very helpful to know the full story of what I am getting myself into. I really appreciate you guys talking about the people who tried to convince you not to go into medicine (esp the dr.s), because for some reason I really haven't had that experience. Maybe it's because I did a lot of my clinical work around psychologists. There were psychiatrists but they never talked to any of the volunteers.

Well thanks and keep the stories coming.
 

Paws

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I was just thinking about this because I have started telling a few old friends and family members about my going to school in the Fall and while most people are awesome about it, a few people have just never responded to my letters or emails.

That makes me 1) feel sad, 2) feel mad and 3) not know really what to think.

A couple really old friends have been supportive up to now, and so I was surprised not to hear back after I told them I was in.
:confused:

I guess people have feelings and like with one of my brothers, I think he's a little freaked out that I'll be a doctor. I have to just let it go but it sort of rankles me and bugs me -
 

dancinjenn

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I hear ya...I even had one friend tell me off and go all emotional because now I'm going to be "too good to assoc. w/her" and junk...

and I'm "Mo(-boo-hoo-)ving away"

I mean what is her deal, can't she just support me like she has done in the past?

I have the feeling that she will come around again, but until that point I can't deal with her negativity, I have so much to look forward to!! I'm going to do my life dream after all!!!
 

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I have also noticed physicians saying that they wouldn't recommend anyone go into medicine in this day and age. I suppose that is evidence that the system is headed in the wrong direction. These doctors have seen much of their power and freedom taken from them over the past 20-30 years of practice. That is sad.

I always find it amusing when people say, "Go into business, because you can make a lot of money and don't have to be in school for nearly as long." I have to laugh, because these people have absolutely no clue about the business world. As someone stated earlier, there is little job security in the business world. On top of that, only a select few are making $100,000 plus a year, even with an MBA. You can be a relatively crappy family practice physician and still have little trouble bringing in $100,000 a year. Be a crappy businessperson, working in corporate America, and you will likely have trouble making more than $70,000 a year. Be a crappy businessowner and you're headed for real financial troubles. A good businessperson can achieve a good salary, but a good businessperson who also holds an M.D. degree can do even more amazing things.

I think medicine is great for those who truly want it. The move toward managed care sucks, as does the decreasing freedom of physicians to make clinical decisions. Our lawsuit-happy society is to thank for that. The fact that most of us realize the downside of medicine, yet are undeterred, speaks highly of our drive and motivation to become doctors.
 

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Also a fellow persian, I feel your pain. Are your parents supportive of you? I realize that you would be castrated if you ever were to raise your voice to your elders, but as long as your parents support you that is the most important thing. I've had a few relatives tell me medicine is not worth it. Also, I've applied to a couple of osteopathic schools which really gets to some of them. At the end of it all, you will have a VERY WELL PAYING INCOME, have the best job security, and will be happy as hell.

Farhoud
 

OnMyWayThere

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Originally posted by HoudyK
Also a fellow persian, I feel your pain. Are your parents supportive of you? I realize that you would be castrated if you ever were to raise your voice to your elders, but as long as your parents support you that is the most important thing. I've had a few relatives tell me medicine is not worth it. Also, I've applied to a couple of osteopathic schools which really gets to some of them. At the end of it all, you will have a VERY WELL PAYING INCOME, have the best job security, and will be happy as hell.

Farhoud

Yeah, everyone that I've chosen to inform, including immediate family are all very supportive... We live in a competitive world and some people will just take some drastic measure to try and hold you down. I left a 6 figure income to pursue this dream. I've heard a lot from classmates and acquaintance saying " you're crazy, you left something like that " and that has minimal effect. Coming from close relatives though, that kinda sucks but it shows how they are and who you can really share your happiness with. As you said, in the end we will be happy as hell. Good luck in Florida man!
 
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