Jul 29, 2016
3
3
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey y'all!

I know this question has been asked a hundred times on these forums (because I've read them all!) but I felt like I need some answers that aligned more with my situation. So here it goes...

A little background about myself: I just recently graduated from college, biology degree, extensive shadowing, a little research experience, 3.5 GPA, low MCAT (496). Currently retaking Organic Chem II this summer for a higher grade (made a C in it the first time), and using NextStep test prep to study for MCAT to retake in September. This is my second round of applying to medical school. I've been working on secondaries so far.

But here's the thing...

I don't know how much more of this I can take. I'm the kind of person that takes schoolwork and studying and achieving goals extremely seriously (as we all do on here!) and now that I've graduated and was not accepted to medical school, it feels like so much of my hard work and sacrifices I made in college went to waste. I honestly feel like I missed out on so much of that "college fun" you are supposed to have because I sacrificed going out for studying or was too exhausted to be social from studying and doing schoolwork. Don't get me wrong--I want to work in healthcare, and I have no doubt that medicine is for me. But my question is: to what extent? The stress and anxiety of undergrad has taken a serious toll on me emotionally, mentally, physically--I just don't know how I would handle the level of stress I would be under in medical school for as long as medical school is. I know PA school is no joke, and that it comes with its own set of challenges, but the idea of only being in that high stress environment for three more years (max) in PA school versus the four years of med school plus more for residency is very scary to me. And once school is done, is the life of a physician as stressful as I've heard? Do PA's have a better work/life balance or is it possible to climb out of med school debt as a physician while working normal hours? ... I don't think I can stay under these levels of stress for that much longer, although regardless of which path I choose, I know I need to work on my coping skills with stress and anxiety.

That being said--have any of you had these same fears/thoughts? What made you choose your path? From my more experienced readers--is medical school as terrible as it sounds like it could be? Is the life of a resident really as full of 80 hour work weeks as I've heard? Is PA school just a better deal for the schooling, or is the career less-stressful as well? Do any physicians or PA's regret their decision?

I am so lost in this. I know I want to work in primary care--family practice, to be exact. I want to develop and maintain long term relationships with my patients and help them take care of themselves in an overall, broad sense rather than being in a specialized area of medicine.

Any and all advice is welcomed! Thank you so much!
 
Apr 5, 2016
96
48
Reality
Status
Pre-Medical
The journey may seem like a waste now but it is not. Medicine is a long road and if you've come this far do not settle.
 

wanderingorion

SDN Bronze Donor
Bronze Donor
2+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2015
1,043
1,807
Status
Medical Student
Hey y'all!

I know this question has been asked a hundred times on these forums (because I've read them all!) but I felt like I need some answers that aligned more with my situation. So here it goes...

A little background about myself: I just recently graduated from college, biology degree, extensive shadowing, a little research experience, 3.5 GPA, low MCAT (496). Currently retaking Organic Chem II this summer for a higher grade (made a C in it the first time), and using NextStep test prep to study for MCAT to retake in September. This is my second round of applying to medical school. I've been working on secondaries so far.

But here's the thing...

I don't know how much more of this I can take. I'm the kind of person that takes schoolwork and studying and achieving goals extremely seriously (as we all do on here!) and now that I've graduated and was not accepted to medical school, it feels like so much of my hard work and sacrifices I made in college went to waste. I honestly feel like I missed out on so much of that "college fun" you are supposed to have because I sacrificed going out for studying or was too exhausted to be social from studying and doing schoolwork. Don't get me wrong--I want to work in healthcare, and I have no doubt that medicine is for me. But my question is: to what extent? The stress and anxiety of undergrad has taken a serious toll on me emotionally, mentally, physically--I just don't know how I would handle the level of stress I would be under in medical school for as long as medical school is. I know PA school is no joke, and that it comes with its own set of challenges, but the idea of only being in that high stress environment for three more years (max) in PA school versus the four years of med school plus more for residency is very scary to me. And once school is done, is the life of a physician as stressful as I've heard? Do PA's have a better work/life balance or is it possible to climb out of med school debt as a physician while working normal hours? ... I don't think I can stay under these levels of stress for that much longer, although regardless of which path I choose, I know I need to work on my coping skills with stress and anxiety.

That being said--have any of you had these same fears/thoughts? What made you choose your path? From my more experienced readers--is medical school as terrible as it sounds like it could be? Is the life of a resident really as full of 80 hour work weeks as I've heard? Is PA school just a better deal for the schooling, or is the career less-stressful as well? Do any physicians or PA's regret their decision?

I am so lost in this. I know I want to work in primary care--family practice, to be exact. I want to develop and maintain long term relationships with my patients and help them take care of themselves in an overall, broad sense rather than being in a specialized area of medicine.

Any and all advice is welcomed! Thank you so much!
If you are scared of the commitment/stress of undergrad, you might not be cut out to be an MD. The road is a very long and arduous one, which I'm sure you know about. It's okay to doubt yourself after not being accepted during your first cycle, but its been said that that's pretty common as it is.
IMO, if you want to do family medicine, you can achieve your goals of building relationships and what not as a PA, with less cost and schooling.
Unfortunately, this decision doesn't come from SDN, but from introspection.
 

Crayola227

The Oncoming Storm
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
15,934
17,754
All of Time & Space
If that is indeed you in your avatar, I would recommend changing your picture. Anonymity is key.
It's key that you hide your identity from us. We are psychos. Welcome.
 

piii

5+ Year Member
May 21, 2013
2,082
4,188
Status
Medical Student
Getting into PA school is no joke. You need thousands of hours of direct patient care clinical experience like nursing or MA. That's like 2-3 more years of full time job. You say you've sacrificed a lot and have put in hard work, but clearly you need to do more to get that MCAT up.
 

NotYou20

5+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2012
729
1,109
Status
Medical Student
Given your hesitance and the low chance you get in this cycle, you should seriously consider not completing your secondaries. Get more direct care experience (ideally something that would count towards PA hours) while studying for the MCAT. If the MCAT goes well and you still want to go to med school, apply next year.
 

gonnif

Only 389 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,459
31,088
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
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studentdocftw

M4
2+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2015
1,317
1,364
Status
Medical Student
Given your hesitance and the low chance you get in this cycle, you should seriously consider not completing your secondaries. Get more direct care experience (ideally something that would count towards PA hours) while studying for the MCAT. If the MCAT goes well and you still want to go to med school, apply next year.
This.