Aug 8, 2016
5
0
Hello, this is my first post on the Forums but I'll try to keep this concise.
I'm a:
1) 1st generation college student I don't know anyone who's even been to college and my parents didn't graduate high school...so I feel so lost....and I feel the pressure to succeed

2) I will be entering my senior year of college with a 3.7 GPA and trying to decide whether to take the DAT vs MCAT

3) I have shadowed 7 physicians (3 of them for several months) and several supporting health fields such as PA, Optometrists, chiropractor.

4) EC: summer of hands-on research
President of 3 clubs
Assistant Manager at work
Volunteer tutor for underclassmen in Chem, anatomy, physio, physics and micro.
Several community service events

Problem: out of the 7 physicians I have shadowed 6 have discouraged me from entering the medical field. I was heartbroken.

They blamed their misery on insurance companies and loss of physician autonomy.

One physician cited medicine as the source of his failed marriages.

My main reason for wanting to go into medicine is quite personal to my heart. I had two love ones pass away from cancer during my senior year of high school. At the time I was a dishwasher at the time and i was finishing up the dishes late one night. Then it just clicked for me... I just knew that there had to be more to life than just making money and then dying..
It was crippling to watch two healthy individuals deteriorate into skin and bones...
Being the oldest and a 1st generation college student, I have been feeling the weight to succeed since my early childhood...I want to show my younger brothers what the possibility of an college education can do...

Sorry for the cliche...

I'm just feeling so lost right now...

Some physicians recommended looking at dentistry claimed that's where I should go.

This is what I want for my life:

1. To do meaningful work/1.my family

2. I don't want to be a cog in a machine.(complaint by physicians)
I would like to be self employed.

3. I want to see how far I can go, I'm not afraid of hard work and am fully willing to plow ahead. (Medicine or dentistry)

I've been blessed that I love to learn and have always been naturally curious.

And so naturally, medicine seemed like a perfect choice.

However, due to the circumstances my family
(Younger Brothers) are equally as important to me.

The physicians said medicine was a strain on their marriage and other relationships their hours were long and some said they missed their children grow up...

I don't want to get to the end of this journey with regrets...

If I went the dental route,I would have always wondered "what if"

And I don't want to complete medical training with a disastrous personal life.

If I went the dental route, I would have the business aspect and sciences In one career..but I don't know how fulfilling it would be...

Best advice from the only physician who loved his job:
" When you die, it's over....meet God exhausted with nothing left to give."- a family physician.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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Mar 7, 2005
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Very few physicians are self-employed anymore. If you highly value self-employment, then dentistry wins out over medicine although that may change in the next 20 years if practices are bought up and dentists become employees of chains rather than independent small businessmen. The exception to the rule in medicine might be psychiatry.

There are people in every profession who have an unhealthy work/life balance. Much depends on how well you manage your time (self-discipline) and to what you give your time (values).

There are always paths not chosen and we can live with regrets or we can let it go and embrace with joy that which we have chosen.

Dentistry requires eye-hand coordination and visual-spatial reasoning that is not tested in pre-meds. Take a look at the DAT to determine is you have what it takes for dentistry.
 

Goro

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Jun 10, 2010
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EDIT: What does your heart tell you?

Kudos to the divine LizzyM for talking me off the ledge.



Hello, this is my first post on the Forums but I'll try to keep this concise.
I'm a:
1) 1st generation college student I don't know anyone who's even been to college and my parents didn't graduate high school...so I feel so lost....and I feel the pressure to succeed
 
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LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
23,199
32,951
Status
Academic Administration
Let's stop right there, because I've seen way too many posts like these.

F your parents. It's YOUR career, not theirs, and so you do what YOU want to do.
Goro, with all due respect, not all pressure is from parents. Some people feel internal pressure to succeed because they will rise or fall solely by their own efforts and there is no family money to fall back on if things don't work out. It doesn't appear that the OP feels parental pressure but has a desire to live a life that has meaning and medicine seems to be a noble calling that can make a difference in people's lives. I think that you were off base with this one.
 

RuizMD

2+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2016
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Work hard and continue what you want to do. Years from now you'll regret not even trying. If your passion and determination belongs to medicine, go for it. Any job can make your life depressing but that's life. You have to be optimistic and work hard. There will be small moments that will remain with you and in the end you'll reflect and be proud. Of course I would love to make a lot money and live my life in luxury, but something about working yourself to the bone to become a doctor is great. Your health may be greatly affected but that's why you must learn and teach yourself how to manage your studies, your health, your life, and your personal goals. In the end, I love to travel around the world and provide health care when I'm old or have free time. There's so much to do when medicine is involved. I volunteer as an EMT and there are grueling hours of tedious cases from a small cut to a full coding. I have my moments where I just want to go home but since I run with such a great crew I'm glad they are pushing me to my limit to do more and learn more. As a human, you're prone to error but it helps you improve and gain more respect for yourself and the patient. I hope one day sometime in 2018 I can say I got accepted to a medical school and share my stories and pictures with y'all. I told myself I'm not good enough sometimes but, hey, where all in the same boat and some might have a bigger advantage than others but this shows you that you have so much room to grow and learn. Keep your chin and make sure to show the same respect to everyone. From the janitor to the head surgeon, everyone is there to help each other.
 

yungspleen

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Oct 12, 2014
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What's the least amount of money you would be content with making per year? I know that's a taboo question on here, but it's probably the most important one.
 

ndafife

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Jun 16, 2014
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What's the least amount of money you would be content with making per year? I know that's a taboo question on here, but it's probably the most important one.
It really isn't. You speak as if dentists live in poverty.
 
Aug 3, 2016
5
2
Status
Pre-Medical
1) 1st generation college student I don't know anyone who's even been to college and my parents didn't graduate high school...so I feel so lost....and I feel the pressure to succeed

Very similar situation. My parents were 17 when I was born, one has a severe mental illness and the other is extremely successful in business with only a GED. My mom constantly tells me that she is happy if I am happy, but the desire to succeed is an intrinsic feeling that's hard to describe to many people. When I was younger it always felt that I had to prove that she is -and as an extension of her, I am - successful, that we have overcome it. I saw a therapist to work through some of that, and I would suggest it if you are comfortable/willing. It helps to remember that no matter what you do, physician or not, some people are going to be happy for you and proud of you, while others will be bitter, jealous, or indifferent. Some people would view being a physician as an accomplishment, others will view it as a waste of time/money. Try not to view success as a social construct, define it for yourself and think about what that looks like for you personally now, in five years, ten, and beyond.

Problem: out of the 7 physicians I have shadowed 6 have discouraged me from entering the medical field. I was heartbroken. One physician cited medicine as the source of his failed marriages.

I think that sometimes people enter a profession for the wrong reasons, which is why they may get discouraged. I think that sometimes people get married for the wrong reasons, which is why their marriages are unhappy/fail.

Last note: Don't choose medicine because you feel it's the only way to succeed, choose it only if it's what you want. We all have to be prepared to work hard and sacrifice for what we want, regardless of the profession we choose. BUT there are ways to improve the "negatives" of medicine and I do believe that you can enjoy some of the "business side." Examples: You can work part time when your children are young or when your family life is hurting. You can have space for your children in your practice to visit you after school (what we plan to do for our daughter). You can expand the scope of your practice to provide other services for your patients, generating additional income and more services (there are some great articles on how to do this with a simple google search). If you are committed to making something work, you will make it work. Don't let other people's experiences (good or bad) convince you of what you should do, they are not you... they don't interact with the world in the same way you do, experience it the same way, feel the same way, etc.

It's OK to change your mind, it's OK to do something else, at any point in your life. Think about your reasons for each profession, write a pro and con list, remind yourself that life always goes on and is always changing. You will succeed because you care and work hard, regardless of the profession you choose. Sending you love, :love:
 
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yungspleen

5+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2014
448
281
North Carolina
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Medical Student (Accepted)
It really isn't. You speak as if dentists live in poverty.
When did I say that I was talking about dentistry? Money plays into everything. If he's happy making $100,000, he can work less days per week or be more selective about which patients he takes, regardless of his specialty
 

gonnif

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Very few physicians are self-employed anymore. If you highly value self-employment, then dentistry wins out over medicine although that may change in the next 20 years if practices are bought up and dentists become employees of chains rather than independent small businessmen. The exception to the rule in medicine might be psychiatry.

There are people in every profession who have an unhealthy work/life balance. Much depends on how well you manage your time (self-discipline) and to what you give your time (values).

There are always paths not chosen and we can live with regrets or we can let it go and embrace with joy that which we have chosen.

Dentistry requires eye-hand coordination and visual-spatial reasoning that is not tested in pre-meds. Take a look at the DAT to determine is you have what it takes for dentistry.

already starting

image.jpeg
 
May 4, 2015
916
374
Status
Medical Student
My ankles hurt after standing up so much in healthcare settings. So I resort to wearing better shoes. I found a physician who tried to dissuade me from medicine indirectly, but I knew the source of their dissatisfaction and I found physicians that want to go all in with medicine. They spoke genuinely and were more down to earth and successful because of their hardwork in both their job and home life. Why am I referencing these things? Medicine is a hard route but if you always spend your time crying, it's not just marriage that is the problem. As a doctor if you choose a life of working 10 hrs each day, and on your off days you don't care to ask your spouse abt their day, it is bad reflection on you. Why did you do the shadowing and volunteering? They were there to teach you selfless actions without any renumeration. Dentistry's future cannot be predicted and I didnt work this hard to be someone you are not. I think you should really assess which doctors you met, like were they recent graduates or in training or seniors who were used to better days. Ask yourself regardless of the field you go into, which one is your dream? Don't stop until you achieve that goal.
 
Jul 28, 2016
13
5
Kenosha, WI
Status
Pre-Medical
I am a non-traditional that has worked in healthcare for 8 years now. Part of the reason I am going back is because I see so many physicians that are in it for the wrong reasons. We are already starting to feel the pain of a primary care physician shortage. Docs don't want to do primary care because the pay is lousy compared to specialties and they don't really want to develop relationships with their patients. Those under-insured are considered undesirable because they can not afford basic medical care. How messed up is that notion?!? The ACA was supposed to address that issue but by giving in to the insurance companies demands, it hurt the average American by raising their co-pays and deductibles. Suddenly employers are paying way more than they ever had before for "benefits" that ultimately increase the cost of living for everyone.

The system is seriously broken and the algorithm for how hospitals and clinics work is changing rapidly. The use of nurse practitioners and PAs is changing how a physician uses their time. Our current reimbursement model is flawed and the cost of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies continues to rise. This is probably a BIG reason the physicians you shadowed are disheartened. But the standards set by our government/medicare/insurance companies are there for a reason. While some of them are just to reduce cost, some are also there to protect patients from negligence. There were far too many physicians that fueled the opiate pain med epidemic that took way too many lives until the government finally stepped in and pushed for more regulations. Did this take away part of a physician's autonomy? Sure. Was it necessary? ABSOLUTLY!

Being a physician isn't about making money. It is about helping those who are ill and keeping your patients healthy. If that is something that you feel called to do and are willing to accept the challenges that come with that responsibility, then MD is the right path for you.