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should i go?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by catherine brown, Feb 18, 2000.

  1. catherine brown

    catherine brown New Member

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    Help! I was accepted to medical school last year, deferred for one year, and I am suppose to go this fall. I am having second thoughts. I am considering applying to PA school, even though I was accepted to medical school. I am just scared that it will be too much, that I will be missing out on life. BUT, I have working in NYC in a "job" and know that I need to be in health. I LOVE science, health, people, and have to be either a PA or physician. Is it really as hard as it seems, could I have a life? HELP what should I do????
     
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  3. rowerman

    rowerman Member
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    Go to med school, no regrets...you owe it to yourself.
     
  4. KimR

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    I've seen PA's treated like slaves, plus they are there to treat simple cases not really difficult interesting ones. What do you want to accomplish in health care. I used to have the same doubts but after working w/PA'a and NP's I am definitely made for medicine.
     
  5. tennisboy93

    tennisboy93 Junior Member
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    Gringo: What do you call a "damned good paycheck"? How much is that? Depending on who you talk to, that could be anything? You know what an average paycheck is, and do we know what all of their responsibilities are? I guess it might differ from state to state.
     
  6. scully

    scully Senior Member
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    Catherine-
    I know how you feel! I love science and medicine, but also don't want to miss out on life. Many of the doctors I have met say that they have no life, lots of stress, no time with family, etc... I don't want to end up like this. I would be interested in hearing the stories of anyone else who had these concerns and what happened!
     
  7. merchpa

    merchpa New Member

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    Catherine,
    I am a Physician Assistant in Orhtopaedic surgery and I love my job. I spend about 40% of my week 1st Assisting in surgery and the remaining 60% seeing new and established office patients. I work between 50-60 hrs per week and share call with the 2 surgeons I work for/with. I have a fair amount of autonomy in the office and when doing hospital rounds but the surgeon always has the last call. As far as PA salaries go, they range from $45,000 to around $90,000 depending on the specialty. Productivity bonuses can raise your income to the $135,000 range in the surgical subspecialties.
    With all that said, I think if I were in your shoes, I'd go to medical school. As a PA it is nice to have a Physician (a DO and an MD in my case) for back up but I often wish that I was the one who had the last call.
     
  8. catherine brown

    catherine brown New Member

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    Thank you for the comments. I guess I am so sad and confused b/c I just do not want to make the wrong decision or have regrets. I know that I would love being a doctor, but I also do not know that I would not be just as happy or happier having the "life" of a PA. I do not care about the money, I guess that is secondary. I know that I want a family, but def. want some type of health related career too. I do not want to go through the "hell" of medical school and sacrifice a life for four-seven years and then only work 20 hours b/c I have three kids. I may feel more fulfilled by being 100% PA and 100% parent, instead of a half ass doctor (excuse my language) and a parent. I know I am rambling, help. What other career could I go into where I could be hands on health, but not the intensity of medical school? I am really into Women's Health and preventitive medicine. Any ideas?
     
  9. DO Boy

    DO Boy Senior Member
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    Go PA. You'll be happier if you have to question being an MD this much.
     
  10. JMS

    JMS New Member

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    Catherine,
    Have you looked into Naturopathic medicine? I've been researching it a little myself but still don't know too much. School is 4 years and the requirements are the same as med school except MCATs aren't required. After finishing the program you have a doctorate in naturopathic medicine and most graduates go into primary care positions. This field is particularly interesting with the resurgence of alternative medicine and complementary medicine. I don't know if this interests you but please share any information you come across. I totally relate to all of your fears and desires. It gets so scary to think that a single decision affects so many aspects of your life. But I guess the true test of character is how you create your destiny regardless of the situation. That's my zen moment for now. Take it easy!

    JMS
     
  11. Naturopaths in no way shape or form compare to MD, DO, or PA in terms of treating patients.

    I heard a lengthy lecture given by one last year. While she was very competent and intelligent, the main focus of her practice was treating "diseases" such as migraines and menstrual cramps - NOT primary care, although she did emphasize preventive education
     
  12. confused

    confused New Member

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    Catherine,

    I completely understand where you are coming from--i'm going throught the exact same dilema myself. I've always dreamed of being a doctor, but now that i am married, i am wondering if my priorities have changed.I love medicine and i would love to be a doctor, but i am concerned about the impact it will have on my husband and our relationship and later in my life when i want to have kids. Is med school really worth all that? Some days i think yes, some days i think no. I was accepted to medical school this year too, but i am seriously considering PA school now too. After interviewing at one of them this past weekend, i was really impressed with their ciricullum and the fact that you do the same type of rotations that med students do. In fact i even felt less competitive and more overwhelmed at the PA school becasue everyone else had so much more experience and becasue they teach the entire medical school anatomy and physiology cirriculum in one summer! But it is over in 2 years and that's the great part. I know that this really hasn't been much help, but for what it is worth, i completely sympathize with your dilema and I think PA is a great option too.
     
  13. scottygn

    scottygn New Member

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    Catherine:

    My heart goes out to you. Remember that the love in your life....that is, your husband and your children should come first.

    Keeping them first will never be a regret.

    Best of luck with your decision. Whatever you decide, give it your heart and don't look back.

    (At least, as a doctor, you call the shots...)
     
  14. joanna

    joanna New Member

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    Catherine, I had similar concerns to yours after college and especially while applying to med school 3 years later and planning a wedding. Well, I am a second year med student now and it was the best decision I ever made! Of course, you have to work hard but it is certainly not impossible and it is definately worth it. You've already worked very hard to get where you are now anyway. I've had minimal problems balancing my personal life with med school. It can be done! As for residency, that will definately be tough but it does depend on what field you go into also. With surgery, you will not have a life, but with something like derm, etc. you can. (Although you probably will have no life the year of internship no matter what field!) Also, there is the option of working part-time. You really should go for it. I think you would regret going to PA school after already getting in the med school.
     

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