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Second Thoughts about Medicine

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by poiuyt123, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. poiuyt123

    2+ Year Member

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    I'm currently a freshman in college and I'm having second thoughts about pursuing a career in medicine. While there are some premeds out there who are unaware of the med school debt/decreasing reimbursements/malpractice/paperwork/long hours/etc, I understand these problems somewhat because I've read many threads on SDN and read about these issues elsewhere.In addition to this, I come from a family where pretty much every single person is doctor except my parents and a few others. After seeing that many of my family members are making good money, I was inspired and realized that I should work hard and become doctors just like them. Before any of you jump to conclusions and accuse me of "chasing the dollar" and entering medicine just for the money, please understand that I actually have a genuine interest for medicine. I am not expecting any extravagant lifestyle and would be content becoming a primary care doctor who earns 150k-160k. However I've recently realized that many of my family members who are doctors or are currently studying to become doctors, never had any debt. Many of them studied medicine in a foreign country and came here when doctors were paid extremely well. They had no debt to worry about because education wasn't too expensive there and lived great lifestyles here because they were paid so well. In addition, many of my cousins who are currently in the process of becoming doctors don't have to worry about medical school debt because their parents are doctors and are willing to fully pay their debt. Most of them are currently in residency right now and I see them having a great time because they have no debt worries and some are even getting married soon. If I was to become a doctor I would be the only member of my family who has to pay for it all by myself. My parents make a decent amount of money but not really that much and they want me to make the right choices and be better off than they are. I keep telling them that there are some disadvantages in becoming a doctor but they dont listen to me and they continue telling me to become a doctor because its such a great field. I'm really having second thoughts about it because I know I wont have such a great lifestyle compared to my other family members. I'm really confused sometimes because I don't know if I really want to be a doctor. After taking a course in economics and watching the economic crisis I have been really interested in business/finance/accounting type jobs. I have no one to ask advice from because all my family members will say medicine is great because they never had any debt, there will be other people who say medicine isn't worth it, and I can't count on my parents. What do you guys say about this? I apologize if this is a little bit too long but I have been really thinking a lot about this lately.
     
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  3. Emmet2301

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    You should do what you want and like. There are many paths to success. Medicine is not the only way. Maybe shadow some doctors and see if you like the job.
     
  4. cliffhuxtableDO

    cliffhuxtableDO Hand sanitizer on deck
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    as a freshmen its ok to have doubts. explore as much as you can and see what happens. i had been torn between medicine and another career path until this past summer when i finally recommitted to medicine again. the only downfall i had was since i wasn't sure which route i was gonna take my grades stayed around the 3.0 area and i'm trying to play catch up now. so, i say explore what you can, but be better than me and keep your grades up.
     
  5. 135892

    135892 Guest
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    You're just a freshman... you should barely be having first thoughts about medicine. At this point in time, just take classes that interest you, and explore what fields you like and dislike. Most importantly however, try to get the best grades you can in all your classes. A good gpa will help you out tremendously in whatever field you decide to pursue...
     
  6. poiuyt123

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    I kind of want to plan accordingly though so I can decide what things are important and avoid certain classes that will ruin my GPA.
     
  7. Handy388

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    A heartbreaking tale of medicine, money, and parents. Hang in there little buddy!
     
  8. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels
    Moderator Physician Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Performing well in school, having great extracurriculars, and studying towards a science degree will help you regardless if you end up in medicine or another field. Strive for excellence.
     
  9. HeatherMD

    HeatherMD Queen of Passiveagressiva
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    switch for business, then.

    Whatever, it's just school.
     
  10. Twiigg

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    I agree with this. Try and get some shadowing done to see if this is what you would really like to do. Then you'll know if it is worth the other troubles.
     
  11. niranjan162

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    I kno where your coming from. My dad is a doctor and my mom is not. My mom is always trying to push me, while my dad is trying to dissuade me. He also had no debt, but unlike my mom hes been in the system and actually knows how it works. Dont listen to ur parents if theyre not in the doctors because they know very little about it.

    I wouldnt worry so much about making a plan. You can get into medical school with any major. Worry more about figuring out wut u want to do. Take some business classes, take some history classes, and do some shadowing.

    Its definitely prudent to think about the future and this includes money. Lets face it if dr.s didnt make good money hardly anybody would go through the torture, even the most altruistic on these boards. BUT medicine is definitely not a field u should go into cuz u see people have good lifestyles. Dr.s earn every penny they make. I went to work with my dad for a week, just one week. I was there every hour he was there (72), and I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the week. But it def gave me a good look at how the lifestyle really is.

    The best thing u can do is forget about a plan for medicine and make sure its what u want to do. Its natural to have doubts. But if u make up this whole plan and go through it and then figure out too late that it wasnt the right path u will regret it. The easiest way to get rid of them is rule out other stuff. Since your only a freshman u have plenty of time for experimenting.
     
  12. tdittyx2x3

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    Just a small piece of advice from personal experience. Be careful being choosy with classes just because you think they will be easier to get a better grade. The BS classes were the ones that didn't drive me to study, and I deserved the mediocre grades I received in them.

    I found that the more difficult a class was, the better I did.
     
  13. poiuyt123

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    Yea same here. My mom wants me to really be a doctor and whenever I think about another career, she always dissuades me. On the other hand, my dad doesn't really mind...he just wants me to do whatever I like and be happy doing it. He never really forces me to do medicine. Like you said, my mom really doesn't know the reality of it and still thinks medicine is like the best field ever. I always try telling her that this isn't true but she doesn't believe me. I kind of just stopped listening to my parents for career advice because they don't really know what they are talking about most of the time and its better to just research these things myself and ask people who actually know about it. I'm not really going into medicine for lifestyle or the money, I'm saying that if I do become a doctor I have to accept the fact that my situation will be much different then theirs and I can't have those expectations. If debt wasn't really an issue at all, medicine would be great even considering the other disadvantages. I guess I'll just take some courses that I'm interested and maybe shadow a doctor to decide what I actually want to do like many of you said.
     
  14. alibai3ah

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    You are just a freshman, dont worry. Take the pre med classes on the side just incase. You will realize your interest more in college....take lots of different clases. And dont' worry about the debt, sure it sucks, but if you are ONLY going to be happy donig that job, isn't that worth it? Thats what i tell myself, b/c i'm not interested in anything else....
     
  15. Docere

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    Hmm sorry, but that seems like a naive way to be looking at it. Sure, you don't want to be worried about debt, but in reality, you will be when you start getting all the statements. It makes sense for someone to not want to go into the field of medicine because they want to avoid all the monetary troubles. Just because you're not interested in it doesn't mean it's not there. It's great if you want to be a doctor solely because you're interested in medicine, but it's perfectly understandable if the debt puts you off from it.

    I've heard this somewhere before, either on these forums or from a doctor I shadowed, but I've been told that if you have an equal amount of interest in another field, pursue that instead. Like everyone has said, shadow a doctor to see if you think you can handle that sort of lifestyle. Ask TONS of questions to make sure you have the complete picture. If possible, shadow a family member who you know loves what he/she does and then shadow a family member who you think would've wanted to be someone else. That way, you can get the complete picture.

    For the time being, take classes that interest you. Science, culinary arts, fine arts, engineering, whatever. It may put you behind one semester when you do decide on what you want to go into, but I'd rather waste one semester taking classes I love than a whole life doing something I don't.
     

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