Dec 20, 2013
1
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello everyone,

This has been on mind for several months already, and I am sure that I will end up with gray hair by the end of my senior year of hs. I have always wanted to be an MD since I was 12. You know, the usual story, its so cool, exciting, personal family reasons, etc. But here are my reasons for doubt now that I am 18 and NEED to make a decision now.

1) I got into a combined degree program. This means I will do three years of school at my choice university, and four years of med school. Saving me a year of my life. But here's the catch: the med school is in Europe (Poznan Poland). I am deeply afraid that I will not be able to get into a residency to get back to the US. No matter how hard I will work, there is some possibility that I will end up somewhere in the UK (which I do not want).

2) I am the oldest of four kids. I am afraid that my financial burden will be a burden on my siblings and my parents.

3) Now this is typical: I do not know if I want to lose 6-7 years of my life studying, whereas my friends will probably be already working. I do want a family, house, etc by 30 like my parents.

4) I have been looking at other options such as being a NP and PA, which are similar in profession, but not in knowledge or level of position. PA seems the most appealing to me because you are the extension of a physician. I will be doing similar tasks as a doctor, but not on my own.

The reason my head is going to explode is because I can't sleep on it for a year or two and then decide. I need to start now, and my parents will tell me to do what makes me happy. But as the oldest child, my brain has been wired to be there for my family and think about 'me' second. This is the first time in my life that I am actually thinking about myself, and what I want as an individual. And I still don't know. Input will be much appreciated.
 

justAstudent

7+ Year Member
Apr 12, 2011
803
492
California
Status
Medical Student
I don't think anyone here or anyone in the world can answer the question of whether you should or shouldn't do it. I would suggest researching more on the topic and then writing down all the pros and cons of your options. Then try to make a decision that makes you happy.
 

organdonor

10+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2009
863
178
Midwest
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I'm writing this assuming you are an American citizen looking at American universities in addition to your European school. If this is not the case then take my advice with a grain of salt.

Do not go to the European school. A year shaved off sounds good but it is not worth it. Your concern about getting a good American residency after a Polish medical school is a valid one. Foreign medical grads (FMG's) must work much harder and have much higher test scores than their American counterparts to be considered equal. If you are in the states you can get firsthand exposure to residencies which you are considering: many hospitals just plain WONT let foreign students rotate there. That leaves you at a huge disadvantage when it comes time to apply there.

You are really overthinking the situation. Do the traditional 4 years of college in the US and then apply to American medical schools.

PA is another great option. Their training is shorter and they have less responsibility but usually must answer to a physician and get paid quite a bit less depending on field. If you try for med school but grades aren't high enough, PA could be a viable option.

In fact, if you go to a regular college and try for medical school, and you are unsuccessful or your interests change you are still set up well to go into PA, podiatry, dentistry, PT, or any other related fields.

A US college followed by a US med school is the best option for you. It gives you the best chance of becoming the kind of doctor you want to be and still leaves you with backup options should your application to med school not be strong enough or you change your mind.
 

rainbow girl

5+ Year Member
Aug 20, 2009
107
42
Status
Pre-Medical
I have to agree with organdonor
You have lived 18 years and many more to come. Saving 1 years doesn't mean much.
Attend a regular college, explore your options, you are still very young and a lot of opportunities are waiting for you.
Focus on making good grade, involve in volunteer and EC
 

TexasPhysician

Moderator
10+ Year Member
Sep 1, 2008
4,775
1,955
Status
Attending Physician
This is what I will advise my children interested in medicine. Take it or leave it.

Major in nursing at a USA college and complete med school pre- reqs along the way. After a few years in college, you can decide to pursue an MD, continue on with an advanced nursing degree, or stop and have little difficulty landing a stable job.
 
Nov 6, 2013
185
177
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Really this is your decision. Personally, I'd say if you aren't jumping for joy about this program you're accepted into then obviously it's not the right fit. I'd agree with everyone else that staying in America is your best bet. If you're worried about the financial burden on your parents and siblings then easy solution is to not let them pay for everything. Financial burden shouldn't sway you from attending medical school because yea you may have to take out loans but such is life and you will be able to pay it back (not really as big a deal as many people on here make it out to be because being rich shouldn't be a main motivation to go into medicine). Stop caring what your friends will be doing, if they're working longer than you so be it as long as you're doing what you want to be doing.

Think your options through and make a decision you're comfortable with.
 

Ismet

PGY-almost done!
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
May 15, 2011
9,949
9,798
Status
Resident [Any Field]
1) I got into a combined degree program. This means I will do three years of school at my choice university, and four years of med school. Saving me a year of my life. But here's the catch: the med school is in Europe (Poznan Poland). I am deeply afraid that I will not be able to get into a residency to get back to the US. No matter how hard I will work, there is some possibility that I will end up somewhere in the UK (which I do not want).

2) I am the oldest of four kids. I am afraid that my financial burden will be a burden on my siblings and my parents.

3) Now this is typical: I do not know if I want to lose 6-7 years of my life studying, whereas my friends will probably be already working. I do want a family, house, etc by 30 like my parents.

4) I have been looking at other options such as being a NP and PA, which are similar in profession, but not in knowledge or level of position. PA seems the most appealing to me because you are the extension of a physician. I will be doing similar tasks as a doctor, but not on my own.
1. Do not do this combined program. As other posters said above, go to a 4-year university in the US, major in whatever you want, take the pre-reqs, get a good GPA and MCAT score, shadow some docs, volunteer, build up your app, and apply to US MD schools.

2. Going through college and medical school is a large financial burden, but you can always take out loans and pay them back when you are earning a salary. Go to an in-state college to save a lot of money, and apply for scholarships. Scholarships are easier to come by for undergrad than for med school, so take full advantage of the free money opportunities while you can.

3. People always assume that med students don't have a life. This is false. You have time for a life. You have time to meet people. You have time to get married. You have time to have kids (if you're a woman, that will take a LOT more planning, but it's possible). I have classmates who just got engaged. I have classmates who just got married. I have classmates with children (one of them has 3!). If everything works out (finding a spouse, etc) it is entirely possible to have the lifestyle you're looking for by 30.

4. Look into this more. REALLY research it, maybe also shadow NPs and PAs, so you can make a really informed decision. This is just my opinion, but I think that if you are seriously considering these professions, medical school might not be the best choice. I am in no way devaluing these careers, as I do understand and appreciate their importance, but medical school is difficult and draining, and if you're not committed going into it, you're definitely not going to be committed when you're neck deep in it. I've heard so many physicians say that if they could go back and do it again, they wouldn't have gone to med school. I'm not even halfway through so at this point I don't feel that way, but I can definitely see how some people think that way.

tl;dr You are 18. You don't need to make these decisions right now. Calm down, you have plenty of time. First step is to turn down that combined program. Enjoy your college experience, and while you're taking your pre-reqs, you can look into this more. Shadow docs, shadow NPs and PAs, interact with patients, etc.