BornToBeASurgeon

RIP Greg Plitt
2+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2015
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After reading about many of the cons of medicine, I still want to become a physician, mainly an Orthopedic surgeon. I know I know, before, I always thought Ortho or bust if I did end up going the med school route, but know I'll be happy in any surgical field. I don't know how to explain it, but I love going to the hospital and being in that environment. It feels like home for some weird reason. I've read up on many different careers in healthcare (Dentist, Physical Therapist, Physician Assistant, Pharmacist, Nursing, Podiatry), but I always find myself coming back to medicine/surgery. I want to be the person that people come to in their time of pain after they have used up all their other options for treatment (pt, shots, etc) and need someone that will get in there and do the dirty work.

I work at a chiropractic office right now and I'm in charge of the therapy room. Even though I'm not a big fan of chiropractic care, I like what I do because I do physical therapy on the patients after their spine adjustment with the chiropractor. I like physical therapy and don't mind the work, but it's just a little too long of a process for me. I want to fix up my patients right away.

I'm 23 y/o and won't be able to start med school until I'm 27-28 y/o. I'm currently at a community college. I had a 3.75 gpa in high school, but went to a community college because I wasn't really motivated for more schooling and didn't know what career to pursue. All my friends were going to college so I felt like it was something I had to do too. Because I wasn't really motivated for more school, I got bad grades in the first few years and my gpa is now a 3.0. I still haven't taken any of the medical school pre-req classes and got the bad grades in the general ed classes. From what I understand, after I transfer to a university my gpa starts at 4.0 again. Then whenever I graduate from the university and apply to med school, they will average out my gpa from cc and uc. I'll most likely have to do a post-bach program to get accepted into an allopathic school. I would probably be able to get into an osteopathic school w/o the post-bach, but MD's have a higher chance of getting accepted for surgical residencies compared to DO's.

I also want to get this out of the way right now. Money isn't the only or primary reason I want to go into medicine/surgery, but it's a significant part of my decision. I won't be a practicing physician and be making real money until I'm around 36-37 y/o. Not to mention all the debt I'll have at that age. How long would it take to pay off all the debt and break even? What do you think will happen with physician salaries 10-15 years from now? Do you think medicine will be worth it for me at my age.

Sorry for the long rant. I just wanted to give you folks a clear idea of where I'm at. Please let me know if you need more information. If you can help me out in any way, I'll really appreciate it. Thank you for your time.
 

NotASerialKiller

2+ Year Member
Jul 7, 2015
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All college years are counted, you don't get a fresh start.

27-28 is not close to being too old to start med school.

You're going to have to work really hard to have a good enough GPA since you now have a 3.0
 

Law2Doc

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1. You hinted at a surgery or bust attitude but would you still go this route if a less competitive path was your destiny? Or equally likely you get to med school and find you hate your surgery rotation/attendings.
2. If money is a "significant part" of your interest in medicine you might not be looking at this with the right mindset. For ortho you'll be working crazy long hours for a 5-6 year residency and then probably a fellowship, and by then the reimbursements might not be what they are today. Meanwhile a lot of your college friends will be buying houses, cars etc in that interval. Money has to be very much a background perk or it won't be worth it. Especially for surgery where you'll be worked very hard and thanklessly.
3. As mentioned, coming from a community college with a weaker GPA you'll have a lot of ground to make up. Only you can decide if you have the singular focus and ability to fix things. You get no clean slates.
 
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BornToBeASurgeon

BornToBeASurgeon

RIP Greg Plitt
2+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2015
74
44
Status
Pre-Medical
You hinted at a surgery or bust attitude but would you still go this route if a less competitive path was your destiny? Or equally likely you get to med school and find you hate your surgery rotation/attendings.
I know for a fact that I don't want to be a primary care doc. I'm a hands-on type of guy. The thing that scares me is if I do get into med school, I don't know how I'll do academically compared with the other students. To be honest, I'm only interested in a few specialties and most of them are surgical.
 

Law2Doc

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I know for a fact that I don't want to be a primary care doc. I'm a hands-on type of guy. The thing that scares me is if I do get into med school, I don't know how I'll do academically compared with the other students. To be honest, I'm only interested in a few specialties and most of them are surgical.
My advice to people in that situation is to hold off on med school. Only go if you would be happy being a clinician first, and a specialist second. Or find something noncompetitive and procedural you'd like if surgery doesn't pan out. Wanting something badly may translate to doing your best, but if your best isn't competitive enough for certain specialties you need to be more flexible.
 

allantois

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Jan 27, 2013
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Jun 1, 2015
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Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
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Get into medical school before you start obsessing on a specialty.

And come to terms very quickly that you might end up in Family Medicine, ER, Psych or something other than the speciality you desire.

Can you live with that??

After reading about many of the cons of medicine, I still want to become a physician, mainly an Orthopedic surgeon. I know I know, before, I always thought Ortho or bust if I did end up going the med school route, but know I'll be happy in any surgical field. I don't know how to explain it, but I love going to the hospital and being in that environment. It feels like home for some weird reason. I've read up on many different careers in healthcare (Dentist, Physical Therapist, Physician Assistant, Pharmacist, Nursing, Podiatry), but I always find myself coming back to medicine/surgery. I want to be the person that people come to in their time of pain after they have used up all their other options for treatment (pt, shots, etc) and need someone that will get in there and do the dirty work.

I work at a chiropractic office right now and I'm in charge of the therapy room. Even though I'm not a big fan of chiropractic care, I like what I do because I do physical therapy on the patients after their spine adjustment with the chiropractor. I like physical therapy and don't mind the work, but it's just a little too long of a process for me. I want to fix up my patients right away.

I'm 23 y/o and won't be able to start med school until I'm 27-28 y/o. I'm currently at a community college. I had a 3.75 gpa in high school, but went to a community college because I wasn't really motivated for more schooling and didn't know what career to pursue. All my friends were going to college so I felt like it was something I had to do too. Because I wasn't really motivated for more school, I got bad grades in the first few years and my gpa is now a 3.0. I still haven't taken any of the medical school pre-req classes and got the bad grades in the general ed classes. From what I understand, after I transfer to a university my gpa starts at 4.0 again. Then whenever I graduate from the university and apply to med school, they will average out my gpa from cc and uc. I'll most likely have to do a post-bach program to get accepted into an allopathic school. I would probably be able to get into an osteopathic school w/o the post-bach, but MD's have a higher chance of getting accepted for surgical residencies compared to DO's.

I also want to get this out of the way right now. Money isn't the only or primary reason I want to go into medicine/surgery, but it's a significant part of my decision. I won't be a practicing physician and be making real money until I'm around 36-37 y/o. Not to mention all the debt I'll have at that age. How long would it take to pay off all the debt and break even? What do you think will happen with physician salaries 10-15 years from now? Do you think medicine will be worth it for me at my age.

Sorry for the long rant. I just wanted to give you folks a clear idea of where I'm at. Please let me know if you need more information. If you can help me out in any way, I'll really appreciate it. Thank you for your time.
 
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md-2020

The Immaculate Catch
2+ Year Member
Jun 29, 2015
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And come to terms very quickly that you might end up in Family Medicine, ER, Psych or something other than the speciality you desire.
Can you live with that??
I don't think it's bad to have specialties you'd rather not end up in. I'm pretty certain every single incoming MS1 has a few of those on the list...
For some people it's Psych, for some it's surgery.


Ortho or bust though is...dicey.
 
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BornToBeASurgeon

BornToBeASurgeon

RIP Greg Plitt
2+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2015
74
44
Status
Pre-Medical
Get into medical school before you start obsessing on a specialty.

And come to terms very quickly that you might end up in Family Medicine, ER, Psych or something other than the speciality you desire.

Can you live with that??
I'm cool with EM, but not with Family Med and Psych. Does that count?
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
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Somewhere west of St. Louis
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Its OK to have interests in something, but having an open mind is more important. In the middle of OMSIII, my student only know what they DON'T want to do!

My comments here and in other similar posts are generally triggered by the "X or bust "mentality, or the "I've never, ever shadowed a surgeon or even talked to one, but I KNOW I want to do surgery" mindset.

I don't think it's bad to have specialties you'd rather not end up in. I'm pretty certain every single incoming MS1 has a few of those on the list...
For some people it's Psych, for some it's surgery.
Ortho or bust though is...dicey.
You may have a very hard time getting past interviews.

I'm cool with EM, but not with Family Med and Psych. Does that count?
 
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BornToBeASurgeon

BornToBeASurgeon

RIP Greg Plitt
2+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2015
74
44
Status
Pre-Medical
I don't think it's bad to have specialties you'd rather not end up in. I'm pretty certain every single incoming MS1 has a few of those on the list...
For some people it's Psych, for some it's surgery.


Ortho or bust though is...dicey.
I'm not Ortho or bust. Yes, I would prefer Ortho surgery, but I'm fine with any surgical field and I guess I can add EM, Sports Med, PM&R on to the list also.
 
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BornToBeASurgeon

BornToBeASurgeon

RIP Greg Plitt
2+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2015
74
44
Status
Pre-Medical
Its OK to have interests in something, but having an open mind is more important. In the middle of OMSIII, my student only know what they DON'T want to do!

My comments here and in other similar posts are generally triggered by the "X or bust "mentality, or the "I've never, ever shadowed a surgeon or even talked to one, but I KNOW I want to do surgery" mindset.



You may have a very hard time getting past interviews.

I'm cool with EM, but not with Family Med and Psych. Does that count?
I'm not "X or bust". There is many different fields I would want to get into if Ortho surgery doesn't work out. I just told you that I wouldn't want to get into a few of them, which are psych and family med.

Also, I've shadowed surgeons before so you don't have to worry about that. :thumbup:
 

StudyLater

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Jan 4, 2015
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I also want to get this out of the way right now. Money isn't the only or primary reason I want to go into medicine/surgery, but it's a significant part of my decision. I won't be a practicing physician and be making real money until I'm around 36-37 y/o. Not to mention all the debt I'll have at that age. How long would it take to pay off all the debt and break even? What do you think will happen with physician salaries 10-15 years from now? Do you think medicine will be worth it for me at my age.
Docs have a hard f*cking job. They expect to be compensated handsomely for it. Consequently, entitlement is rampant and you'll see docs b*tching about getting say 20-30k shaved off their salary. There are also others in different professions that also have a hard f*cking job but don't get anywhere near the pay/respect that docs do even after that pay cut. As far as compensation goes, know you'll be very well taken care of. Also know that your compensation in many positions can be tied to the amount of work you do, meaning that it is technically up to you how fast you want to end up crushing your loans and "living well." in financial independence.

Debt's generally 300-400k with interest. The general idea is most are looking at a (slight) downturn in salary going forward. But not terrible. General complaint you hear is "I have to work harder for the same amount of money." So work more if money is the goal. Or don't work more and get paid a little less. If you want the nicest X and the brand new Y after getting out of residency, or if you got some uncontrollable responsibilities (i.e. 6 kids that need daycare/braces/school books/blah blah) don't expect to be beating the hell out of your debt when you get out. If you're disciplined, however, and give yourself just enough of everything with virtually 0 luxury, that debt will not last >3 years. Of course, this can be difficult to swing for many post-residency. Soldieritis. You get the **** beat out of you and you need some kind of cathartic act of freedom. But if you're gonna do that, make sure it doesn't cost much.
 
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Ad2b

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@BornToBeASurgeon - with some reticence to say this as I hope I don't get blasted ...

Money does NOT = happiness, or contentment, or ... all it does is give you the benefit of pretending; pretending the shiny new x or y or zz or two over there or that there or the new this/that = great life. For over 25 years, I've pretended well and yet here I am, pursuing something I love knowing full well, my lifestyle will change drastically. Actually, it already has as I eat: Kraft Mac - n - Cheese regularly; I've already started downsizing my life (well, that was helped along by other factors).

If medicine is not your calling, then you will never be happy and no amount of money will ever be enough. You'll chase the shiny ball the rest of your life. You can add new specialties, new assorted awards, or paths or whatever but you will never be happy. Is that worth it?

Find something you love, be passionate about it and at the money and everything else will come.
 

StudyLater

2+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2015
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@BornToBeASurgeon - with some reticence to say this as I hope I don't get blasted ...

Money does NOT = happiness, or contentment, or ... all it does is give you the benefit of pretending; pretending the shiny new x or y or zz or two over there or that there or the new this/that = great life. For over 25 years, I've pretended well and yet here I am, pursuing something I love knowing full well, my lifestyle will change drastically. Actually, it already has as I eat: Kraft Mac - n - Cheese regularly; I've already started downsizing my life (well, that was helped along by other factors).

If medicine is not your calling, then you will never be happy and no amount of money will ever be enough. You'll chase the shiny ball the rest of your life. You can add new specialties, new assorted awards, or paths or whatever but you will never be happy. Is that worth it?

Find something you love, be passionate about it and at the money and everything else will come.
We are not special. We are the same decaying organic matter as everything else.

The things you own....