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The Real World Post Med School

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by rocketbooster, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. rocketbooster

    rocketbooster Membership Revoked
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    so, for those of you who are going into medical school straight from undergrad, you probably don't know of the pain trying to get a job. I've learned you can barely do anything with a BS.

    now, I always assumed once you get into med school you'll be good. if you think about it, all of us will be finishing with an MD. all of us will be competing for residencies, then fellowships, and finally a real job. what is the success rate of med students? what % get through med school? what % get residency? what % get fellowship? what % get a job? are there any MDs running around without jobs?

    a family friend is an older physician who specialized in a type of neurosurgery. he had a lucrative career for a long time. like 10 years ago, new technology made his main procedure outdated. the new technology was cheaper and more efficient. most of his practice was made outdated because of it and had trouble finding patients.

    I've been searching for a medically related job before med school begins and I'm having a hard time. the only readily available jobs are in the food industry. all of this stress from finding a part-time job and thinking about how hard it might be to find a job post-med school is sending me over the edge. I think I'm going to throw up :eek:
     
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  3. OCallag

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    Calm down. You'll pass med school. Get a job. Make a good living. Move to the burbs and have an army of children.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. nick_carraway

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    As I understand it, the attrition rate in med school is extremely low and the match rate--in general--is very high. I wouldn't worry about doctors not being able to find jobs. Although in some areas, it is hard to do well with so much competition.

    This experience should show you, however, that yes a BS in bio means jack. Friends with bioengineering degrees have taken 6 months to find a job.

    Hopefully you've learned that you have to be special to get the job that you want. For some, that means getting a BS in chem. engineering instead of the rest of us bio idiots. For others, that means getting a fellowship in Mohs surgery instead of adolescent medicine.

    Regardless, you'll be fine. Stop freaking out. And start calling in favors from friends/family.
     
  5. Nomdeplume

    Nomdeplume (nom nom nom)
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    A while ago, I asked a doctor who I was shadowing about how many people made it through his medical school class. I believe he told me that nearly every person made it, with only one or two dropping out.

    From what I once heard from a medical student, medical schools don't take students who they aren't extremely confident in. They really don't want to waste a penny, let alone a seat, on somebody who won't finish training. I'd like to speculate that it's possible, if the previous account is accurate, that those who dropped out could have done it for personal reasons (change of heart), or due to unforseen circumstances (family issues, for example).

    So, in short, I would estimate that the percentage of US allopathic students (sorry, never asked a DO before) who finish med school is very close to 100%.



    Ah, yes, finally somebody who understands the utility of having a large number of children to use as a workforce. Gotta man the farm somehow, right? :p
     
  6. Auron

    Auron Cruisin' the Cosmos
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    I have worked several jobs throughout undergrad (and right now), are you assuming pre-meds don't work or are you referring to jobs that pay semi-decent?
     
  7. Nomdeplume

    Nomdeplume (nom nom nom)
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    I took this to be in reference to full-time jobs that are part of a typical career track. For example, an entry-level engineering job at a firm, for somebody who has an engineering degree.
     
  8. Narmerguy

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    Not too useful in the suburbs though :(

    Yes I think this is what he meant.
     
  9. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado
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    Luckily there is, and will probably always be, a physician shortage here in the states.

    But yes, if you are a plastic surgeon moving into Beverly Hills... I could foresee a possible difficulty establishing a practice. But you could probably land a TV show...
     
  10. Raryn

    Raryn Infernal Internist / Enigmatic Endocrinologist
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    Something like 98% of US allopathic students make it through med school and pass the first two steps of the boards.

    92% of US allopathic students match into residency their fourth year of residency. Of the remaining 8%, the vast majority get a spot in the following "scramble."

    I'd say with all the various shortages of physicians, 100% of residency trained physicians can find a job. Somewhere. As long as you don't have some big ethical violations on your record or something equally ridiculous, you will be able to find work.

    Statistically, the biggest bottleneck is getting into med school. Thats practically a crapshoot. Now that you've gotten in? Work hard, and you're pretty much guaranteed a career as a physician. Maybe not in the specialty you might 100% want, or at the hospital you 100% want, but you will be a physician.
     
  11. Mobius1985

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    I've read similiar (reassuring) statistics, that 5% of those accepted to medical schools drop out or flunk out, but the rest successfully find a residency spot. The statistics are similiar at US MD and DO medical schools.
     
  12. Dr.D-man

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    If you want a medically related job before med-school, one thing you can do that will almost certainly get you a job is go get CENA training. I believe it is usually a two week program and costs a few hundred dollars.

    As for finding a job as a physician, there are tons of job openings. Don't even worry about it. Google search "physician jobs" and take a look for yourself.
     
  13. hopefuldoc87

    hopefuldoc87 Killer tofu
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    When I read your thread title, for a split second I thought there was a season of the MTV show filled with medical students, sharing a house.
     
  14. doc20

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    there is no such thing as unemployed doctors
    our government couldnt afford to pay unemployment benefits to doctors anyways ha ha
     
  15. dahdah

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    The problem isn't post medical school, but pre medical school. The reality of life is that biology, biochemistry, marine biology, and the like are not valued in society because there are too many people with these jobs. There are more people with these degrees then there are jobs. So a good number of people with bio degrees are not able to get a job in there area. I'm sure people here on SDN know exactly what I'm talking about.

    Sure you can get a job teaching high school science or get a lab tech job, but your value is nothing. To have any value in the sciences and medicine, you have to have an advanced degree. There is no way around it.

    There are some good jobs out there with just a bio degree, but they are very hard to find and get hired for (no experience means no job offer).....but even these jobs have little value and you still need an advanced degree to move up in a position.

    Getting a job after residency isn't that hard.

    I know of plenty of people who got degrees in biology that ended up going back for nursing or getting a degree in an allied health field (radiology tech, PT, RT, nursing, medical school, PA, etc).
     
  16. nontrdgsbuiucmd

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    the AAMC does put a tight bottleneck in the number of MDs/accredited med schools; I can support this now that I've made it through, but any type of monopoly tends to restrict supply/force up price on any good. Doctor unemployment rates in general are quite low, although I'll be researching specialties closely to ensure I'm not well trained in a type of procedure/specialty that's about to be displaced by better technology.

    Not sure how common it is, but I believe any physician can try to go through the match process again - one I know went from rad onc to FP/Pediatrics before even practicing in rad oncology. Lots of years training!

    Regarding getting a job out of undergrad - this seemed tough to me too; it will be much tougher if you interview places stating that you intend to enter med school in 1-2 years, given as a graduating senior one likely has little work experience, and it'd take 6+ months to train that graduate - how many employers would spend that long to train someone who says they're leaving after a year?

    Many medical-related fields (lab tech, hospital assistant) seem to pay not-so-well from what I've seen, an alternative is to enter industry at a higher pay level and volunteer on weekends. Check out pharmaceutical firms, health insurance firms (blue cross/Kaiser Permanente) possibly. There's a great book called "knock'em dead" by Yates I'd strongly recommend; success often requires a dozen + contacts per day for months; NOT a call to a few relatives/friends before landing that role.

    I'd ignore anyone who says it'll take "X months" to land a job -- if you make 50 contacts per week versus 5, I'll guarantee a much shorter job search. (having been through a number of them in very tough markets).
     
  17. Valvool

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    During my medschool orientation they showed us a line graph projecting numbers for the year 2012, the year I graduate. The line for the number of doctors projected to be in existence was well below the line representing the number of doctors that will be needed. Thus a shortage, not a competition.
     
  18. biophysicianai

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    I don't think this could be further from the truth. I worked full time jobs (plural) in high school, that is to say, prior to graduating from anything but middle school. You'll only have trouble finding work if there is work that you're too proud to do.

    I don't want the above to sound like an abrasive affront. I don't mean it that way. I mean it to be encouraging. With your degree, you will find work, even if its not work you like. If you hate your job, you can always keep looking. The job market may have gone down the ****ter in recent months, but it could certainly be worse.
     
  19. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    This statement isn't accurate. There is a physician shortage in the US due to the increasing number of baby boomers living longer. But once they die off, the generation behind them is substantially smaller. Some colleges are already seeing a drop in applications due to the fact that the baby boomers didn't have as many kids as the prior generation. So this shortage will end, and this notion is part of the rationale for US med schools not going nuts in how rapidly they are increasing. This party will, in fact, end in a decade or two.

    However getting into med school currently pretty much means never having too much trouble finding employment. The attrition rate for US allo is less than 5% and for academic reasons is closer to 1.5%. So pretty much anyone who get into a US allo med school will get an MD, eventually. Then US allo students have historically done better than 94% success rate in the match, with most of the remainder finding slots in the scramble. A few folks sit out a year, but give or take a couple of years, it's safe to say that all US allo med school grads who want a residency find a residency. Coming out of residency, as mentioned, there is currently a shortage in most specialties, so the odds of finding a job are better than 90%. If you went into a very specialized field or a field that became outdated you might have to re-tool (perhaps do something more general or redo a residency) or relocate, but the odds of coming out of a residency and being unable to find any form of job or path are quite low. In a decade or so you might not be in the same situation as the population shrinks, and if the economy stays crummy, then certainly the market won't bear as many cosmetic surgeons, etc., but then you'll see folks simply finding ways to retool and do general surgery, not have to panhandle.

    So I'd say that IF you get into a US allo med school, you won't face any of the concerns suggested by the OP in the short term. Might you pick a field that becomes obsolete? Sure. Might you pick a region of the country where you can't find the kind of work you want? Sure. Might certain fields of medicine require crazy hours for lower pay than you might command in other paths? Sure.

    But if you choose wisely and are flexible about retooling, relocating, and salary, you should be in better shape than a lot of careers. Certainly in law, where there has been a glut of attorneys for decades, there have been folks who could not find good jobs in their region or specialty of interest, and those that did tend to be subject to layoffs and firm closures when the economy hits a low, like today. It, like most business oriented paths is subject to many more ups and downs and far less job security. You can often earn more on those paths, but you can also find yourself on the unemployment line. You likely won't experience that in medicine unless Obama seriously changes things.
     
  20. dahdah

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    No, a biology degree is limited. Sure you can get a job helping elderly people full-time or part-time, work at a call center, etc, but those are not biology related jobs.

    I've been telling people this for a while now. If there are basically no biology related jobs in your area and you are not able to move to get a new at some other place (aka limited in the bank account), just get a small job doing something else and work your away into a graduate program and say F't with the entry level work crap.
     
  21. hedgehog1

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    HAHAHA :D that'd be amusing
     
  22. RoyBasch

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    :lol:
    I would totally watch that show!

    I would have said what Raryn has to a 'T'. The main bottleneck in the medical career at this point is matriculating to medical school. Once you get through that if you can avoid a major slip (change of heart, mental breakdown, huge ethical violation, etc.) you will become some kind of physician.
    -Roy
     
  23. Sangria

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    What's CENA? my google search wasnt helpful
     
  24. 236116

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    ?cna
     
  25. rocketbooster

    rocketbooster Membership Revoked
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    he meant CNA - certified nurse assistant. and yes, I was debating this.

    I like how GPA doesn't matter when getting hired for a job. GPA only matters for admissions to higher education. however, standardized test scores always trump GPA. and, of course, when looking for a job, experience always trumps GPA.

    for example, when applying for a hospital or lab job. the lab PI doesn't care about a bio BS of 3.2 vs. 3.7. the 3.2 with substantial lab experience beats the 3.7 with little experience everytime.

    fortunately, based on this thread, none of this will matter if you get into med school since we won't have to deal with it. :thumbup:
     
  26. dahdah

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    That is because jobs require skills. A skill is not developed in a class room reading page 10 of your newest version of organic chemistry. Having a resume that shows that you have made solutions, done PCR work, etc, shows an employer that you already contain the skill to do that task. Therefore, they don't have to spend time and money to train you (sure some training is needed, but you should already have the foundation).

    I'm in the running for a job that pays at the masters degree level getting organs from people who have passed away. If I get this job, I will be able to perform a physical, surgery, and perform eye exams (in a lab setting and hospital setting). My past job experience BEFORE and IN college is what is helping me get this job. I was never asked about my GPA. They just wanted to know what skills I had, why I could perform the job, what I bring to the job, etc. Learning about pathology, anatomy, immunology, genetics, chemistry, organic chemistry, and the like have a limited role in just about EVERY SINGLE job out there unless you become a professional in that exact subject.
     
  27. neurolddoc

    neurolddoc SDN Lifetime Donor
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    I don't think that is quite the case. If the median boomer was born somewhere in the 1953-1955 range, then she is currently 54-56 years old and has an actuarial life expectancy of ~30 years.(Life expectancy is higher for those who have already made it to age 56 than at birth) This should take any person entering training into mid career and by that time the echo boom (currently peaking in the college class of 2013) will be of the age when they will have increased resource utilization as well. Also note that boomer physicians will have retired by then as well.
     

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