Apr 10, 2011
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My only advice is to shadow some physicians in different settings if you haven't done so already. Make sure its an undertaking you are willing to take. The job and lifestyle is not without its drawbacks (major ones) like time and stress. There's a recent article in The Atlantic titled 'Doctors Tell All--and It's Bad. It talks about the rampant dissatisfaction among doctors today in how they practice medicine in the current healthcare environment. They are overworked have to see more patients than ever and don't feel they are providing quality care based on The time constraints and paperwork. I don't mean to discourage you but just make sure to do your research before dishing out money for a postbacc. I think your math background shows you can easily handle primed coursework. Its lot of memorization and regurgitation, this is boring to a lot of people and I hear the first 2 years of medschool can be boring as well for the same reasons. Look up free courses online to see if its something you would like or be good at. Also, why the switch from math/finance? Is it mainly worry about job stability ? If that's the main reason I would consider PA school as well, only 2 years, good pay (ER PA friend makes $130k) and very stable. Also if your heart lies in Ploy Sci have you considered an MPH in Health Policy or dual with a JD? By the way what's your masters in? Is it Quant Finance or Financial Engineering? My bro is pursuing that and loves to trade as well. Sounds like an interesting field.
 
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silleme

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If all you're looking for is job security, then this might not be the route for you. There are plenty of engineering fields that are desperate for graduates, and you won't have to slog it out in school for another 4 years plus 3-7 years of residency in something you don't even know if you like.

I second ehwhatsupdoc when he said to shadow physicians. And not just one or two . . it sounds like you have almost 0 exposure to the field, so you won't know what you're getting into until you see it from a bunch of angles.
 
OP
R
Oct 23, 2014
68
1
Status
Pre-Medical
My only advice is to shadow some physicians in different settings if you haven't done so already. Make sure its an undertaking you are willing to take. The job and lifestyle is not without its drawbacks (major ones) like time and stress. There's a recent article in The Atlantic titled 'Doctors Tell All--and It's Bad. It talks about the rampant dissatisfaction among doctors today in how they practice medicine in the current healthcare environment. They are overworked have to see more patients than ever and don't feel they are providing quality care based on The time constraints and paperwork. I don't mean to discourage you but just make sure to do your research before dishing out money for a postbacc. I think your math background shows you can easily handle primed coursework. Its lot of memorization and regurgitation, this is boring to a lot of people and I hear the first 2 years of medschool can be boring as well for the same reasons. Look up free courses online to see if its something you would like or be good at. Also, why the switch from math/finance? Is it mainly worry about job stability ? If that's the main reason I would consider PA school as well, only 2 years, good pay (ER PA friend makes $130k) and very stable. Also if your heart lies in Ploy Sci have you considered an MPH in Health Policy or dual with a JD? By the way what's your masters in? Is it Quant Finance or Financial Engineering? My bro is pursuing that and loves to trade as well. Sounds like an interesting field.
In recent times, I've been to doctors and see that it looks rather stimulating, getting to talk to interesting people sometimes, not just do Excel/Bloomberg stuff, and make legit money on a stable and dependable basis. I also find the pharmaceutical side fascinating, how such physically simple appearing things can do such complex and crazy things. Memorize/regurgitate is pretty much what I do anyway here. Many of the HW and test problems are recycled with formulas and situations one can just remember from the sample quizzes/tests. Tho there is a lot of analytics and several formulas for the same output and a ton of stats I need to know.

I'd never consider being PA because if an ER PA makes 130k (probably MAX in life), what does a non-ER PA make? Why spend 100k to be a second act when if you spend 200k for the real deal, you'll probably make more than twice as much in the end, and probably as a resident. Also there's less prestige in being a PA. You're one step above a nurse. And for finding a wife worth talking about, that does kind of matter.
 

Goro

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I get the sense you're looking at Medicine as merely another career choice, like sales vs advertising vs HR vs finance vs whatever. Medicine is a calling, like being a policeman or a priest.

I suggest that you shadow some doctors, and do some patient volunteer contact work to see if you really want to be around sick and/or injured people, and their families.

BTW, patients don't always take your advice.

graduated undergrad less than 3 years ago, and I'm currently getting an advanced business degree in a quantitative field (not an MBA but still a degree for which I had to take the GMAT and potentially get rejected at). After college I was a trader shortly, and then tried to get hired in other parts of the industry thereafter. I got interviews but no jobs. I did get above 600 on the math SAT (total M:640 V:730 W:690). I went to a mediocre undergrad, studied poli sci, really wanted to work in a think-tank but the schools' brand name was not enough. I got a 3.4 there, with a 3.8 in my major. I also had a leadership role in a political club I helped start. I also wrote for the yearbook and was in a frat.

Admittedly, I shied away from math because in HS, altho I was great at it until 11th grade, I became a lot better at writing and history/politics. My 11th grade teacher was terrible, and math, being the bridge it seemed to be, started to crumble for me. But now, seeing how much math I'm having to go back and learn here (and this is a very strong school I'm at, its dope at engineering/stats/computer science), I feel like if I can get this stuff down, shouldn't I be able to do well in sciences if I apply myself?

I'm scared I'll either have trouble getting a job in finance/consulting, or whatever I get won't last too long. I'm doing alright here but nowhere near the top of my class. Job security scares me, or lack thereof. Assuming I can learn all the stuff (minus trig) up to and from Calc I and II, how much of a challenge would I have (both conceptually and tactically) would I have with a premed curriculum? My current degree in process is nearly entirely math-based, and I've proven my liberal arts mettle. Also, I do like to feel good about myself. I love giving advice to people and it working. I also have a passion for fighting obesity: I'm normally in shape but I've been fat at times but reversed it with diet and exercise. I'd like to do bariatrics or pulmonary.

If I were to do post-bac premed, would I have a chance getting in there given my background? And if I got thru that, could I get into an American medical school for MD? Money isn't an object for me: and if it were, given that I'd rather be making a garnished salary than no salary, the choice is obvious if it were.

I know its a keyboardful, but thanks.
 
Apr 10, 2011
132
37
Status
Pre-Medical
It really depends on what you want out of life and I would not go into medicine just for prestige. You mention as a PA you would play second fiddle but the thing is you would also have a lot more free time as well to find said wife. You would also have more free time to pursue other interests (like trading for instance), our lives shouldn't be just about what we do for a living. I've met a Radiation Oncologist, older gentlemen, super smart who went to Harvard medical school and he's married to his job. He has no wife or kids, but he's happy and content with his life. I don't agree that the "prestige" of being in Medical School and slogging through a residency will help you find a good wife more so than a less "prestigious career". I've heard many SDNers mention that the whole process caused a strain on their marriages, many times ending in divorce and for those dating it was challenging as well.
 

Holmwood

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graduated undergrad less than 3 years ago, and I'm currently getting an advanced business degree in a quantitative field (not an MBA but still a degree for which I had to take the GMAT and potentially get rejected at). After college I was a trader shortly, and then tried to get hired in other parts of the industry thereafter. I got interviews but no jobs. I did get above 600 on the math SAT (total M:640 V:730 W:690). I went to a mediocre undergrad, studied poli sci, really wanted to work in a think-tank but the schools' brand name was not enough. I got a 3.4 there, with a 3.8 in my major. I also had a leadership role in a political club I helped start. I also wrote for the yearbook and was in a frat.

Admittedly, I shied away from math because in HS, altho I was great at it until 11th grade, I became a lot better at writing and history/politics. My 11th grade teacher was terrible, and math, being the bridge it seemed to be, started to crumble for me. But now, seeing how much math I'm having to go back and learn here (and this is a very strong school I'm at, its dope at engineering/stats/computer science), I feel like if I can get this stuff down, shouldn't I be able to do well in sciences if I apply myself?

I'm scared I'll either have trouble getting a job in finance/consulting, or whatever I get won't last too long. I'm doing alright here but nowhere near the top of my class. Job security scares me, or lack thereof. Assuming I can learn all the stuff (minus trig) up to and from Calc I and II, how much of a challenge would I have (both conceptually and tactically) would I have with a premed curriculum? My current degree in process is nearly entirely math-based, and I've proven my liberal arts mettle. Also, I do like to feel good about myself. I love giving advice to people and it working. I also have a passion for fighting obesity: I'm normally in shape but I've been fat at times but reversed it with diet and exercise. I'd like to do bariatrics or pulmonary.

If I were to do post-bac premed, would I have a chance getting in there given my background? And if I got thru that, could I get into an American medical school for MD? Money isn't an object for me: and if it were, given that I'd rather be making a garnished salary than no salary, the choice is obvious if it were.

I know its a keyboardful, but thanks.
Look for post-bac with linkages to medical school, lol. But I think those require significant ECs to apply.
 
Oct 22, 2014
69
77
Status
Pre-Medical
... do you even want to be a medical doctor? It will be extremely challenging, near impossible, if you do not want to be a doctor. Medical schools will not care (too much) about your background, and more about your motivation (and numbers).

Just think: 1-2 years of a $50K post-bacc, 2-5 months lost to MCAT studying, 4 years MD school ($240-$400K debt) where you are emotionally & mentally abused. 3-5 years of 80hr (min) work weeks as a resident where you make $50K (maybe) and get pooped/peed/vomitted/bled on. Also, it is 3-5 years of further emotional abuse. Thousands of dollars to qualify for your USMLE exams. Then, when you get your real job 10 years later, lawyers will be suing you for malpractice. The vomit/poo/pee/blood thing still happens. And here's the trap: if you did not want to be a doctor, you are now chained to a soul-sucking, horrifying, relentless hell that you cannot leave, because you have loans, and you can't do any other job, because your last work experience was 10 years ago in a quantitative GMAT-requiring field.

If you haven't checked, quantitative professions earn $100K/year easily in comfortable, secure, 37.5hr work week jobs. You will be a millionaire in the same amount of time it takes you to become a half-million-debt-ionaire doctor.
 
OP
R
Oct 23, 2014
68
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Just think: 1-2 years of a $50K post-bacc, 2-5 months lost to MCAT studying, 4 years MD school ($240-$400K debt) where you are emotionally & mentally abused. 3-5 years of 80hr (min) work weeks as a resident where you make $50K (maybe) and get pooped/peed/vomitted/bled on. Also, it is 3-5 years of further emotional abuse.
Not that entry level accountants and non-IBD finance workers (middle and back office) guys make anymore. Nor does ANYONE in finance get treated any better. Not everyone who "works on Wall Street" is an "investment banking/private equity/hedge fund analyst." Getting those positions is probably as hard as getting into med school itself, assuming both have success rates (job offers and US MD program acceptances) of less than 10% company/school.

Yea its expensive, tho paying for med school may or may not be an object should this ever happen. Its the job security, layoffs, and long-term unemployment that I think about. And also I would rather interaction with people than always doing Excel/Morningstar/etc. My last job was to sit at a computer for 12 hours a day while the bosses yelled, it was rough.
 
Oct 22, 2014
69
77
Status
Pre-Medical
Ronald, you have to want to be a doctor to succeed in the training; you don't have to articulate it here and now, it is a personal reason - some would say a calling - but you should [eventually] be able to justify to yourself why helping others has meaning for you. I would introspect about your personal motivation, drive, purpose, reason that you want to pursue the self-sacrificing life-commitment of medicine. Shadowing doctors, or speaking with them may help you better understand yourself. Volunteering is another experience that will help you learn about your motivations.

The lack of job security in finance is a very poor reason to pursue medical training.
 
OP
R
Oct 23, 2014
68
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Ronald, you have to want to be a doctor to succeed in the training; you don't have to articulate it here and now, it is a personal reason - some would say a calling - but you should [eventually] be able to justify to yourself why helping others has meaning for you. I would introspect about your personal motivation, drive, purpose, reason that you want to pursue the self-sacrificing life-commitment of medicine. Shadowing doctors, or speaking with them may help you better understand yourself. Volunteering is another experience that will help you learn about your motivations.

The lack of job security in finance is a very poor reason to pursue medical training.
I would like to be a doctor. Until now tho, I seriously doubted my math skills to get into med school, and thus to be one. I wasn't in accelerated in high school, should've failed calc I but the prof gave B as the minimum freshman year, and avoided all math except a few econ things in college. Therefore, naturally I thought I should avoid it. I thought finance was my out (utterly erroneously), relative to medicine and engineering and law has and had no career prospects. I actually did used to shadow a doctor a lot when I was really young: a certain relative (tho he was a piss poor example of both a doctor and a human being). But seeing how much math I have to learn, I've already learned a TON of statistics and relearned a lot of calculus (including some new materal, linear, etc.), so I imagine that if I can get this down, I figure physics should be similar to the math I'm doing, and bio should be memorize/regurgitate. Chem may be harder.

Also, "calling?" Save me the sanctimonious stuff. Its not a coincidence many people who chose medicine choose it against engineering, finance, and biglaw, not against priesthood and public interest law.
 

kraskadva

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Apr 28, 2011
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You kinda do need a "calling" if you're going to put with all the icky and unpleasant parts of medicine for the rest of your professional life. Or at least a strong enough interest in all the other bits to outweigh the unpleasantness.

But at the moment you don't have either (and no, you can't be sure you have the latter) because you don't have any clinical experience.
Would you buy a car without test driving? Of course not.
So don't commit yourself to ~$500k in debt and a decade+ in training, before learning what a day in the life actually looks like.
Get thee to a hospital and smell some patients before getting snarky on the internet to people who are providing the advice you solicited.
 

silleme

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I think the one thing you're forgetting is that when you have to fill out your personal statement on the application, and at most interviews, you will be asked 'why medicine?' They don't want to hear it was a financial choice, they want to know the defining moment that called you to medicine, or the person or experience that caused you to apply yourself to medicine over all other fields.

Shoot, they even ask you what you'll plan to do if you don't get in; and don't you dare answer another career field if you're hoping to get accepted. They want to see that you're committed to medicine, and will try to get more experience in areas you're lacking and apply again.

That's all people are trying to tell you, and maybe if you'd read around a bit more on this site (like in the school-specific application threads) you'd see exactly what information the schools are looking for.
 

chooks

5+ Year Member
Oct 3, 2014
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So you thought you were poor at math so you went into...finance??? Umm.....what?

You may scoff at those who mention medicine being a calling, but my friend, if you are not 100% committed then there is no way you will make it through years of 80 hour weeks and maximum of 4 days off a month only to land in a profession with falling reimbursement, increased unemployment, and one of the higher suicide and divorce rates among all professions.

Only you can ultimately make the decision about your career but you would be well served to listen to the advice of the wiser minds here, do your research and make sure you are committed to this course of action. You are 26 and have plenty of time to educate yourself. Pharm school, dentistry, pathology assistant, HVAC (not kidding) etc... are all jobs you should be looking at if you are just looking for a stable career.

And at least develop a better story than financial security, respect, adoration of the opposite sex, etc... because no adcom will buy that.

- chooks
 
OP
R
Oct 23, 2014
68
1
Status
Pre-Medical
So you thought you were poor at math so you went into...finance??? Umm.....what?

You may scoff at those who mention medicine being a calling, but my friend, if you are not 100% committed then there is no way you will make it through years of 80 hour weeks and maximum of 4 days off a month only to land in a profession with falling reimbursement, increased unemployment, and one of the higher suicide and divorce rates among all professions.

Only you can ultimately make the decision about your career but you would be well served to listen to the advice of the wiser minds here, do your research and make sure you are committed to this course of action. You are 26 and have plenty of time to educate yourself. Pharm school, dentistry, pathology assistant, HVAC (not kidding) etc... are all jobs you should be looking at if you are just looking for a stable career.

And at least develop a better story than financial security, respect, adoration of the opposite sex, etc... because no adcom will buy that.

- chooks
Well it does seem that a lot of semi-smart (read: nowhere near as smart as doctors, dentists, scientists, petroleum engineers, etc.) meatheads, athlete types work on Wall Street so I figured that if I'm as smart as them, I could too. I'm surviving tho here. Obviously I know the adcom wants to hear "I am fulfilled most when I make a positive profound and lasting difference in the lives of other human beings, especially in the things I don't see that they can do because I gave them the right treatment," etc. or things like "I'm amazed by seeing how the tiny molecules/ions/etc. in drugs can change human lives and history." Finance hours except for quants (algo traders, professional economics) are not much better than doctors. How many residents have jumped out of hospitals like the Bank of America intern last year? I like dentistry too, and I did well on those 3d images I looked at from the DAT, tho I hear the rest is almost identical to MCAT. I really do like making a positive impact on things, helping others, and going to sleep at night knowing I'm making the world a better place.

I have also heard stories about people going from Wall Street to med school. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/hmn/W03/feature2.cfm
 

kraskadva

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How many residents have jumped out of hospitals like the Bank of America intern last year?
A med school class-worth of med students, residents and physicians commit suicide every year.
Here's one of the more recent:
http://nypost.com/2014/08/18/nyu-medical-grad-jumps-to-his-death-from-dorm-roof/
And a piece in the NYT on physician suicide:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/05/opinion/why-do-doctors-commit-suicide.html?_r=0

It ain't as carefree and 24/7-emotionally (&/or intellectually) fulfilling as you seem to think...
Just go get some clinical experience before you decide to make the transition.
 
OP
R
Oct 23, 2014
68
1
Status
Pre-Medical
ok also, how do the extracurrics look? I have a political club I helped start and was president of at ugrad, joined a startup frat, was in my major's honor society, and interned at a consulting internship and held a job trading before now.

Also, does anyone know a good way to relearn all the trig, imaginary numbers, and limits I've forgotten? I've relearned derivatives and integrals (still putting finishing work on the by-parts method but u-sub is dick easy). Also, will they care about GMAT scores? My verbal was mid 80% percentiles but my math back then (almost a year ago) was a factor of that. Or does that depend on the MCAT.

I know earlier it looked like I want to do this solely for money and job security. While I would be a sanctimonious dick to deny those as factors, I do want a career in which I can proactively make a positive difference in people's lives (as opposed to some bs "we take away price inefficiencies"), feel good about both myself and what I do, interact with people more than Excel, and learn new things.
 
Last edited:
Aug 6, 2011
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Also there's less prestige in being a PA. You're one step above a nurse. And for finding a wife worth talking about, that does kind of matter.
I'm getting the feeling that you might be going into medicine for the wrong reasons...
 

brainnurse

Inquisitor, Assassin, High Summoner
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Sep 6, 2014
170
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premedbrainnurse.blogspot.com
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Just jump in then, if you're so sure you can hack it. People from other fields become doctors all the time. Come join the tens of thousands out there working towards that goal.

I'm sure you'll disregard this post too, since it's from someone whose prestige is less than that of a PA, but I'm gonna throw this out there anyway.

Go volunteer in an actual hospital. Go shadow. Do that while you're doing your prereqs. Really know what you're getting into. For example, did you really think residents make that much? I'm a nurse in a southern state (ie, I make less here than my counterparts in the rest of the US), but I still make more than most residents.

Also, you are so, incredibly misinformed if you don't think doctors spend more than half their time in front of a computer. They spend maybe five minutes doing a Physical per patient, unless you're in surgery, anesthesia, IR, or doing a procedure of some sort. I'm sure I missed a specialty or two, but there are very few that require minimal computer interaction.

Giving advice.. I don't even know what to say about that. It's indicative of how little you know about the field you want to enter. Same goes with your comment about suicide. Medicine - the training, the schooling, and the resulting career - does not compare to wall street on any level. Healthcare deals with human life; finance deals with paper. And the truth is, most of the time, we're not making a difference in people's lives, so that also invalidates your "feel good about myself" reason.

By all means, join us in this crazy path, but at least get a realistic view of what you're considering before you leave your Excel world.
 

silleme

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ok also, how do the extracurrics look? I have a political club I helped start and was president of at ugrad, joined a startup frat, was in my major's honor society, and interned at a consulting internship and held a job trading before now.

Also, does anyone know a good way to relearn all the trig, imaginary numbers, and limits I've forgotten? I've relearned derivatives and integrals (still putting finishing work on the by-parts method but u-sub is dick easy). Also, will they care about GMAT scores? My verbal was mid 80% percentiles but my math back then (almost a year ago) was a factor of that. Or does that depend on the MCAT.

I know earlier it looked like I want to do this solely for money and job security. While I would be a sanctimonious dick to deny those as factors, I do want a career in which I can proactively make a positive difference in people's lives (as opposed to some bs "we take away price inefficiencies"), feel good about both myself and what I do, interact with people more than Excel, and learn new things.
Your extracurricular activities look fine, although you might want to get in some volunteer hours at something medical-related. They want to see an ongoing commitment to service, and it looks like you were fine in undergrad, but I don't know what you've done since then.

The won't care about GMAT scores, as the only metrics they look at are GPA and MCAT scores. You'll be taking the new, extended MCAT, so the scoring system will be changing radically. Some helpful sites to re-learn math include going to MIT open courses, and to using the Lamar education site here.

And while appreciate your change of heart, or re-direction of information, the way you phrased things in your first few posts made it seem a whole lot different. That's why you're getting burned here some . . . a lot of people are dedicating their whole life to this path, and ADCOMS and fellow students alike will not appreciate the joking tenor of your sudden desire to change to a more financially secure vocation. They want it to be a calling, like firefighter, priests, etc; not a business decision. Starting at the bottom of the ladder all over again isn't for everyone, especially when you'll be treated the exact same as someone who has no life experience outside school; so think long and hard before committing.
 
OP
R
Oct 23, 2014
68
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Your extracurricular activities look fine, although you might want to get in some volunteer hours at something medical-related. They want to see an ongoing commitment to service, and it looks like you were fine in undergrad, but I don't know what you've done since then...They want it to be a calling, like firefighter, priests, etc; not a business decision. Starting at the bottom of the ladder all over again isn't for everyone, especially when you'll be treated the exact same as someone who has no life experience outside school; so think long and hard before committing.
Hmm..if I should get hired in a healthcare company, like finance/accounting for that, or do IB covering healthcare (the drug industry is really interesting, I just did a presentation on it), does that help?
 

jl lin

7+ Year Member
Oct 9, 2009
5,098
1,261
Seriously, resident physician pay is less than HALF of what most PAs I know make. It's like $50,000- maybe $60,000 after 3 years in residency; so if you have to do 4th or more, that's what you are looking at--along with working 80 and + hours and doing a lot of work and study and presentations on your own time at home. LOL. You have to consider medical residency for what it is--a working /learning/service (and then some) stipend.

People do go into medicine for financial reasons, but personally, I think that is nuts.


Some other considerations:
Of course, if math is an issue, you may have problems in these areas as well:

1. Petroleum Engineer
$93,000 (median starting salary)
$157,000 (median mid-career salary)
Petroleum engineers design and develop procedures for extracting oil and gas from deposits located below the earth’s surface and from old wells.
Personal characteristics: An aptitude for math and science and strong analytical skills.

2. Aerospace Engineer
$59,400 (median starting salary)
$108,000 (median mid-career salary)
Aerospace engineers design new technologies for defense systems, aviation, and space exploration, as well as missiles.
Personal characteristics: Strong analytical skills, creativity, and an aptitude for math and science.

3. Chemical Engineer
$64,800 (median starting salary)
$108,000 (median mid-career salary)
Chemical engineers design and develop processes for converting chemicals and raw materials into useful and valuable substances. They also pioneer new materials and related processes essential to fields such as fuel cells, nanotechnology, and biomedical engineering.
Personal characteristics: An aptitude for chemistry, physics, and mathematics, as well as strong analytical skills.

**I have friends in Chemical Engineering. They have, in only a few years, well-exceeded that median salary with a BS in CE. They were smart enough to attend schools with great co-ops though. My one friend is now in $200,000, and on top of that, they moved her to be a part of her company in a region with much lower cost of living compared with most other places, and she and her family LOVE it there.



. Electrical Engineer
$60,800 (median starting salary)
$104,000 (median mid-career salary)
Electrical engineers are involved with the generation and supply of power, as well as designing, developing, testing, and supervising the manufacturing of electrical equipment, systems, or components for industrial, commercial, scientific, and military use.
Personal characteristics: Accurate, creative, and strong analytical skills.

Salary range can vary there as well, but it still beats the average salary, and it's still a four-year degree.



5. Nuclear Engineer
$63,900 (median starting salary)
$104,000 (median mid-career salary)
Nuclear engineers are involved in finding medical and industrial uses for nuclear energy and radiation. They also design nuclear power plants.
Personal characteristics: Creative, logical, precise, and good math skills.


There's a ton more, but I don't feel like looking them up. Also, if you get into sales with these or other fields, such as pharmaceuticals, or biomedical equipment sales, you can make some nice bank. Also, if you go into any of these areas and you move into a leadership position, you will exceed the given salary end range in many cases.

So, in sales, lots of room for growth if you are good at it.
 

jl lin

7+ Year Member
Oct 9, 2009
5,098
1,261
Hmm..if I should get hired in a healthcare company, like finance/accounting for that, or do IB covering healthcare (the drug industry is really interesting, I just did a presentation on it), does that help?

Uh, no. Not really. Think big amount of direct, clinical exposure.
 
OP
R
Oct 23, 2014
68
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Uh, no. Not really. Think big amount of direct, clinical exposure.
how about with a medical group (ie I could be witnessing patients and doctors' comings and goings, etc. I also plan on getting a CFA in the near future. Like an in-house auditor or financial analyst, that kind of thing. Seeing as being in private practice is almost like either running a business (if ur solo, tho thats kinda passe) or in a group (like a partnership, etc.) I would say its probably a good thing to know business.
 
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jl lin

7+ Year Member
Oct 9, 2009
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how about with a medical group (ie I could be witnessing patients and doctors' comings and goings, etc. I also plan on getting a CFA in the near future. Like an in-house auditor or financial analyst, that kind of thing. Seeing as being in private practice is almost like either running a business (if ur solo, tho thats kinda passe) or in a group (like a partnership, etc.) I would say its probably a good thing to know business.

Especially if you would end up doing private practice, yes, it is.

That, said, however, it's not the point now. You are trying to find out by direct and up - close clinical exposure if the whole deal from beginning to end would be worth it to you. Of course no one really knows this for sure until after they do it, but there are tons of regret-posts about going into medicine here. There are many people that will share the same with you in private. Also, medical schools want to see that you have more than a cursory view of what clinical medicine is about--and what the whole, long, drawn-out, expensive, tiring, aggravating, stressful experience--one that you will be in for 7-10 years and ~ $150,000 to $200,000 in debt (not including lost wages in time) or more--is about. Trust me, the people that don't get a great amount of clinical exposure are often the ones that end up totally miserable and then they stuck, b/c they spent a tremendous amount of time, money, and energy in pursuit of something they were essentially clueless or dreamy-eyed about. It's just not a benign process. I think a doc wrote a book titled like that--how medicine school and medical training was not at all a benign process. The process can bite much more than other career processes; so you really have to have some passion and stubborn insanity about doing it. You won't know this until you get a lot of direct clinical exposure under your belt.

I'm willing to bet everything I own that there are more physicians, medical students, and resident physicians that wished that had given themselves more clinical exposure before jumping in, b/c the water is deeper, colder, and choppier than most people ever imagined. Even those true blue into medicine bemoan the process and/or what healthcare and medicine has become today.

So, not trying to give you gloom and doom. Just saying expose yourself to a lot of clinical medicine and do yourself a huge favor. But even then, eh, who knows how you will feel about it after 7-10 years or so? Better, however, to be a bit more informed than completely dream-pie/fantasy land about it though. It's just too huge of an expense with your money, life, and time not to get some good insight into it and see if it's truly a good fit for YOU.
 

kraskadva

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how about with a medical group (ie I could be witnessing patients and doctors' comings and goings, etc. I also plan on getting a CFA in the near future. Like an in-house auditor or financial analyst, that kind of thing. Seeing as being in private practice is almost like either running a business (if ur solo, tho thats kinda passe) or in a group (like a partnership, etc.) I would say its probably a good thing to know business.
If you get a gig doing the books for a practice (single provider or group) you could at most see the doc for maybe 10 minutes during the day, and that would be at lunch when s/he won't want to talk about cases. You wouldn't see patients at all, unless your doing double duty as a receptionist or something's off with their billing, and they won't want to talk medicine then either.
This isn't clinical experience. Knowing the business is all well and good, but it doesn't tell you if you want to do clinical work.

Clinical/Shadowing experiences can be cleaner or messier, but basically, if there's no possibility of encountering body fluids at all, then you're not on the right track.
 

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graduated undergrad less than 3 years ago, and I'm currently getting an advanced business degree in a quantitative field (not an MBA but still a degree for which I had to take the GMAT and potentially get rejected at). After college I was a trader shortly, and then tried to get hired in other parts of the industry thereafter. I got interviews but no jobs. I did get above 600 on the math SAT (total M:640 V:730 W:690). I went to a mediocre undergrad, studied poli sci, really wanted to work in a think-tank but the schools' brand name was not enough. I got a 3.4 there, with a 3.8 in my major. I also had a leadership role in a political club I helped start. I also wrote for the yearbook and was in a frat.

Admittedly, I shied away from math because in HS, altho I was great at it until 11th grade, I became a lot better at writing and history/politics. My 11th grade teacher was terrible, and math, being the bridge it seemed to be, started to crumble for me. But now, seeing how much math I'm having to go back and learn here (and this is a very strong school I'm at, its dope at engineering/stats/computer science), I feel like if I can get this stuff down, shouldn't I be able to do well in sciences if I apply myself?

I'm scared I'll either have trouble getting a job in finance/consulting, or whatever I get won't last too long. I'm doing alright here but nowhere near the top of my class. Job security scares me, or lack thereof. Assuming I can learn all the stuff (minus trig) up to and from Calc I and II, how much of a challenge would I have (both conceptually and tactically) would I have with a premed curriculum? My current degree in process is nearly entirely math-based, and I've proven my liberal arts mettle. Also, I do like to feel good about myself. I love giving advice to people and it working. I also have a passion for fighting obesity: I'm normally in shape but I've been fat at times but reversed it with diet and exercise. I'd like to do bariatrics or pulmonary.

If I were to do post-bac premed, would I have a chance getting in there given my background? And if I got thru that, could I get into an American medical school for MD? Money isn't an object for me: and if it were, given that I'd rather be making a garnished salary than no salary, the choice is obvious if it were.

I know its a keyboardful, but thanks.
Medical schools welcome applicants from nontraditional backgrounds because you will bring a unique perspective!

If you are considering career changer postbac programs, there are lots of options. Most posbac programs are focused on helping students complete the premed requirements which have changed dramatically in recent years. With the new MCAT, Biochemistry is now required. However, many schools have dropped a lot of their required courses.

The premed requirements at most schools look like this now:

1 year of Biological Sciences
2 years of Chemistry (General and Organic Sequence)
1 year of Physics

*Biochemistry as required for MCAT

Given these changes, it's much easier to meet the requirements. It's essential that you also focus on getting clinical experience. You can start by shadowing a doctor to make sure that medicine really is the career for you. Once you have decided that you want to go for it, you can spend time earning the community service, leadership experience and clinical background that will support your application.

For more information and a complete list of postbac programs, I have just published a book on posbac programs, available on amazon, titled, "The Definitive Guide to Premedical Postbaccalaureate Programs: The Handbook for career changers and academic record enhancers who want a chance at medical school." I hope this is helpful! I wish you success.
 
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The premed requirements at most schools look like this now:
1 year of Biological Sciences
2 years of Chemistry (General and Organic Sequence)
1 year of Physics
*Biochemistry as required for MCAT
Given these changes, it's much easier to meet the requirements.
So say I should hired from here, and I have time to take the classes at night: how long am I looking at? Also, in light of full time work, how much slack might or might I not get on sGPA/MCAT for a US MD or DO program?
 

kraskadva

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If you haven't had any chemistry, then you're looking at a minimum of 5 semesters (2 sem of gen chem, 2 of orgo, 1 of biochem) because this sequence has to be done in order. If you're taking the other classes as well, and not at the same time, then more.

FT work gets you very minimal slack. i.e. they'll understand if you're not in school full time and if you don't take more than the required classes, but you don't get to have lower grades or MCAT scores than everybody else.
 

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I agree with the timeline provided by kraskadva. It's an unfortunate necessity to take all those Chem classes in-order, and not stack them up. Even as an undergrad you wouldn't be able to stack them, so it's not a knock on us; it's just how the curriculum is set up. You'll also have to make sure you have whatever math is required by the schools you're looking at; for some it's statistics, and for the majority of others, it's calculus. So if you haven't taken calc, add that to your list.

Also, I hate to do it, but I have to second the idea that we don't get slack for working full-time while going to school. They may view it as impressive if you carry a 16 hour credit load and pull all A's while working full-time, but they won't cut you any slack for taking 12 credits and tanking your courses. It's up to you to know how to balance your time, and if you're getting overwhelmed, either schedule better, or ask for help. You really don't want to have a big GPA hit, or have a string of Ws on your transcript. Plus, the $ hit from withdrawing hurts a lot more than anything else when you're paying out of pocket.
 
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If you haven't had any chemistry, then you're looking at a minimum of 5 semesters (2 sem of gen chem, 2 of orgo, 1 of biochem) because this sequence has to be done in order. If you're taking the other classes as well, and not at the same time, then more.

FT work gets you very minimal slack. i.e. they'll understand if you're not in school full time and if you don't take more than the required classes, but you don't get to have lower grades or MCAT scores than everybody else.
how about the calculus? Could I take 1 biochem and 1 chem at the same time, in addition to calculus? If I can get trig done then I think I can do well in that at minimum.
 

silleme

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how about the calculus? Could I take 1 biochem and 1 chem at the same time, in addition to calculus? If I can get trig done then I think I can do well in that at minimum.
You can take calc at anytime, but it may make physics easier if you understand it. And you can't double up on the chem courses, not even biochem. Unless of course there's a different requirement at your school for pre-reqs, then forge ahead.
 
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You can take calc at anytime, but it may make physics easier if you understand it. And you can't double up on the chem courses, not even biochem. Unless of course there's a different requirement at your school for pre-reqs, then forge ahead.
also do you think doing this and studying for the CPA or CFA at the same time (as a backup against full med school rejection) would be feasible? I do also think having one of the designations or tests under my belt could be a big push in my favor. In an interview, I can talk about my views of the pharma industry, how the knowledge of finance/accounting would help me run a private practice (group or solo), etc.
 

kraskadva

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how about the calculus? Could I take 1 biochem and 1 chem at the same time, in addition to calculus? If I can get trig done then I think I can do well in that at minimum.
You can take other classes alongside the chem sequence (physics, bio, math, psych.soc, etc. as you like). But as @silleme said, you generally can't double up on the chems. Gen chem 1 is the pre-req for Gen chem 2, which is the pre-req for orgo 1...and so on. There are rare exceptions, but with neither a chem background nor having proven your mettle to the school, you're not going to get a department to sign off on you skipping pre-reqs.

also do you think doing this and studying for the CPA or CFA at the same time (as a backup against full med school rejection) would be feasible? I do also think having one of the designations or tests under my belt could be a big push in my favor. In an interview, I can talk about my views of the pharma industry, how the knowledge of finance/accounting would help me run a private practice (group or solo), etc.
Having a Plan B is always smart.
No idea on feasibility, since I have no knowledge of either those tests or your abilities/time-management skills. I feel like it'd be a pretty full work-load no matter what, but 'feasible' depends more you.
Having the certification would be...let's say, a "point of interest"... it would make you stand out a bit from the rest of the pool. However, it wouldn't balance out other deficits in your app (like your lack of clinical experience). Keep in mind you'll also need to explain (in detail and with well-thought-out reasons) why you're trying to switch careers.
 
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However, it wouldn't balance out other deficits in your app (like your lack of clinical experience). Keep in mind you'll also need to explain (in detail and with well-thought-out reasons) why you're trying to switch careers.
What about weekend volunteering at a hospital, should I have a five day work week? How much competition will I have for such a spot? And how many hours a day should I do in that case?
 

kraskadva

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What about weekend volunteering at a hospital, should I have a five day work week? How much competition will I have for such a spot? And how many hours a day should I do in that case?
Say... 6 hours/weekend * 50 weeks * 2 years = 600 hours, which would be respectable, though the more you do (and esp with seeing actual doctor-patient interactions) the better.
Dunno about competition. 1) I didn't go this route & 2) it would probably depend on your location.
 
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Say... 6 hours/weekend * 50 weeks * 2 years = 600 hours, which would be respectable, though the more you do (and esp with seeing actual doctor-patient interactions) the better.
Dunno about competition. 1) I didn't go this route & 2) it would probably depend on your location.
How does seeing patients with a doctor work, in lieu of doctor-patient confidentiality? And I might plan to do it until I apply to med school, if possible, so it could be more like 70 weeks. I like that, especially if he's an attending at a hospital bc then its a networking contact for residency.
 

kraskadva

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How does seeing patients with a doctor work, in lieu of doctor-patient confidentiality?
If you're shadowing- You're a fly on the wall. You're in the room (after the doc asks the pt if it's ok) and you observe. You do not speak, except maybe to thank the patient for allowing you to observe. Outside of the room you can ask questions and talk to the doc about what you saw. You will have to sign HIPPA forms- essentially NDAs for what you see there.
If you're working (in a low level clinical position i.e. CNA or phlebotomist) then you would have more direct patient interactions and also get to see some of the doc-pt interactions, but less so.
And I might plan to do it until I apply to med school, if possible, so it could be more like 70 weeks.
Yeah, I was thinking 50 weeks of the year * years if you start ASAP and continue till application, given that you still have 2+ years of classes to go. Which would be 100+ weeks
I like that, especially if he's an attending at a hospital bc then its a networking contact for residency.
Only a useful residency contact if you're doing this at an academic center/a hospital that has residents. Could be good for a med school app Letter of Recommendation (LOR) though.
Also, ya' know, there are female docs too...
 
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so I've thought of this idea: when I finish my degree here in the summer, I'll only have one required business course to get the degree, so how might it fly if in that semester, I start doing DIY pre-med here? This is a large, well-known research university.
 
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Also, how important is the med-school interview? Residency interviews? Just curious to see how they compare to "regular job" interviews. Does the interview hold the same importance for med school and residencies as in business?
 
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with regard to PA programs, how hard is it to get into the top 50 PA programs? A PA program (regardless of ranking/etc.)? How many hours minimum of "direct patient contact" would I need to do PA? What exactly is "direct patient contact?" What kind of sGPA would I need to be competitive?

Also for both fields (doctor and physician assistant): is my background an asset or liability? Y/N
 
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[QUOTE="echo-112, post: 15827705, member: 648172 3-5 years of 80hr (min) work weeks as a resident where you make $50K (maybe) and get pooped/peed/vomitted/bled on. Also, it is 3-5 years of further emotional abuse. [/QUOTE]

Is this true? I mean even primary care residencies? Like I can't imagine getting pooped on ever in a primary care residency or rads residency?
 
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you can clean that stuff off. You can't clean off extreme boredom or plutocracy of some career paths, nor especially unemployment/lack of anything to offer (for a man) or a bargaining chip (for a woman).