gaikokujin

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Ok, so I need a little advice from medical students. I have some decisions to make soon and I’m feeling a little lost making them. I’m sorry if some of this comes across as verbal diarrhea…I’m having trouble organizing my thoughts about this! But any advice or observations would be greatly appreciated!

Right now I’m living in Asia. I have an awesome life. :D I am on a 1 year deferral of medical school. The original plan was only one year. However, since coming here I realized I loved the lifestyle I have here. My job sucks and is a waste of my time and talents, but it pays well. I have lots of free time, I’m learning another language, and I am traveling all over Asia. My medical school said that I could defer for a second year if I want to, so I’m seriously considering staying (only one year more...I will not be giving up my place in med school for anything). Some days I love my freedom, but other days I just want to start med school so I can get closer to having a career where I will have some respect and job satisfaction (I have neither now). I’m already scared ****less about medical school. All I ever hear is how it's is going to kick my @ss. I hated my premed classes (except cell bio) but I enjoyed my time in the hospitals…so I figure med school is going to be just about as enjoyable as organic chem.

Basically, here are my questions (can you call it a delimma?…I don’t have too shabby of a life!):

1. After two years far far away from academia will I be at a disadvantage in medical school? I mean, it has already been 3 years since I took the MCAT. All I study now is the language, and it’s not going to be useful once I return to the US.

2. As current medical students, do you wish you did more or less before med school?

3. How do you see medical school – a soul-crushing hurdle to jump so that you can actually make a difference and do something with your life, or a fascinating adventure where you meet brilliant people and finally learn information directly related to your career choice?

Any wisdom would be greatly appreciated!!!
 

PimplePopperMD

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Hello,

This is a decision obviously you can only make for yourself. I can only tell you my opinion...

I started medical school late as well, from traveling the orient, middle east and europe, and some grad school. I am now a second year resident, and notice that the folks AT THIS STAGE who didn't pursue some dreams prior to medical school are significantly more miserable... there just isn't the time to travel, to lounge, etc anymore.

You have already done the most difficult part about medical school: gain admission. The rest is a pain in the behind, but absolutely do-able with work ethic (doesn't take brain, but does take time!) Don't worry about that part. I also didn't like my premed courses, and disliked my first two years of medical school, but enjoyed being with people, and learning how to interact as a clinician (the final two years ofmedical school). You may be similar in this.

Look, you'll never again have this opportunity to live abroad, learn a language and really do things that just please you (and not your career, significant other, children, patients, etc etc). If you don't feel terribly stagnant, like you're wasting your time, and you're enjoying yourself, you should continue doing what you're doing. If you're really tired of it, leave.

Just remember, there is no rush in life. you have a guaranteed spot in medical school, and you'll become a physician. Will it be 2009 or 2010? Who cares?

Have fun! And best of luck in your decision! (I had a similar decision when I was backpacking, ended up in spain, found a job... I flipped a coin. Ended up starting grad school 4 months later, no regrets.)
 

Ypo.

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gaikokujin said:
Ok, so I need a little advice from medical students. I have some decisions to make soon and I’m feeling a little lost making them. I’m sorry if some of this comes across as verbal diarrhea…I’m having trouble organizing my thoughts about this! But any advice or observations would be greatly appreciated!

Right now I’m living in Asia. I have an awesome life. :D I am on a 1 year deferral of medical school. The original plan was only one year. However, since coming here I realized I loved the lifestyle I have here. My job sucks and is a waste of my time and talents, but it pays well. I have lots of free time, I’m learning another language, and I am traveling all over Asia. My medical school said that I could defer for a second year if I want to, so I’m seriously considering staying (only one year more...I will not be giving up my place in med school for anything). Some days I love my freedom, but other days I just want to start med school so I can get closer to having a career where I will have some respect and job satisfaction (I have neither now). I’m already scared ****less about medical school. All I ever hear is how it's is going to kick my @ss. I hated my premed classes (except cell bio) but I enjoyed my time in the hospitals…so I figure med school is going to be just about as enjoyable as organic chem.

Basically, here are my questions (can you call it a delimma?…I don’t have too shabby of a life!):

1. After two years far far away from academia will I be at a disadvantage in medical school? I mean, it has already been 3 years since I took the MCAT. All I study now is the language, and it’s not going to be useful once I return to the US.

2. As current medical students, do you wish you did more or less before med school?

3. How do you see medical school – a soul-crushing hurdle to jump so that you can actually make a difference and do something with your life, or a fascinating adventure where you meet brilliant people and finally learn information directly related to your career choice?

Any wisdom would be greatly appreciated!!!
Hmmm...A job that "sucks", is a waste of your time and talents, and which gains you neither respect or satisfaction, but which pays well and enables you to travel all over Asia. Don't tell me, you're a prostitute, aren't you? I mean, the title of the thread as well points to it "give up my hedonisitic ways..."

Well, if you are a prostitute, I would urge you to stop this nonsense and return to medical school.

However, if you are a travelling English teacher, I say-defer another year! It sounds like fun, learning another language will come in handy as a doctor. Its hard to travel and have anytime for yourself during and after medical school. If it helps you any, I will have been out of school for three years by the time I start medical school in the fall. But I know people that had been out of school for much longer than that and did great in medical school. Bottom line is, if you can defer, then go back when you feel ready and refreshed.

Btw-was I right about the prostitute thing? You can tell me, its all anonymous here. ;)
 

Winged Scapula

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gaikokujin said:
1. After two years far far away from academia will I be at a disadvantage in medical school? I mean, it has already been 3 years since I took the MCAT. All I study now is the language, and it’s not going to be useful once I return to the US.

2. As current medical students, do you wish you did more or less before med school?

3. How do you see medical school – a soul-crushing hurdle to jump so that you can actually make a difference and do something with your life, or a fascinating adventure where you meet brilliant people and finally learn information directly related to your career choice?

Any wisdom would be greatly appreciated!!!
Ok..I'm not a medical student, but have had the experience. In reference to your questions...

1. The information you learned in your pre-med course work will not make a significant difference in your ability to learn in medical school, ie, the content of those courses can be relearned fairly rapidly. the trouble with being away from academia is retraining yourself to study and think in an analytical fashion. Don't worry about the time spent away from the MCAT or your coursework; focus on the prospect of learning new things in medical school and having an organized system to do so.

2. I did lots before medical school so have no regrets, but I agree with the above poster that many of my classmates and now, fellow residents, did nothing but go straight from HS to college to med school and missed out a lot on life. Some regret it, some don't (but I suspect they don't know any better). I need only look to my BF for an example - straight through college, grad school, medical school, residency and fellowship (almost done). This last month he had an elective which only required 3 or so hours of work a day, no call, all weekends off. And you know what? This little work-a-holic started enjoying life - trying new things, going on weekend trips and wondering why he never did it before (he was afraid he'd be bored). There is no one right answer to your question - but this will be the only time in your life (unless you can financially afford to take extended time off or retire early) when you can do what you're doing. Enjoy it, IMHO.

3. First, there are very few people in medical school who are brilliant. Most are of average to slightly above average intelligence. You'll find many posts here describing medical school as like HS - lots of cliques, partying, and somewhat immature behavior. Please don't ascribe some Algonquin table like scene to medical school. It ain't all cordials, caviar and witty conversation.

That said, I loved medical school - it was nice having control over my own hours, coming and going as I pleased (I worked for several years before school) and just being more casual. It was not soul-crushing although the tedium of the first two years could wear on one, and around exam times it was stressful. So neither soul crushing or a fascinating adventure, but a means to an end not entirely unpleasant.
 

virilep

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gaikokujin said:
Ok, so I need a little advice from medical students. I have some decisions to make soon and I’m feeling a little lost making them. I’m sorry if some of this comes across as verbal diarrhea…I’m having trouble organizing my thoughts about this! But any advice or observations would be greatly appreciated!

Right now I’m living in Asia. I have an awesome life. :D I am on a 1 year deferral of medical school. The original plan was only one year. However, since coming here I realized I loved the lifestyle I have here. My job sucks and is a waste of my time and talents, but it pays well. I have lots of free time, I’m learning another language, and I am traveling all over Asia. My medical school said that I could defer for a second year if I want to, so I’m seriously considering staying (only one year more...I will not be giving up my place in med school for anything). Some days I love my freedom, but other days I just want to start med school so I can get closer to having a career where I will have some respect and job satisfaction (I have neither now). I’m already scared ****less about medical school. All I ever hear is how it's is going to kick my @ss. I hated my premed classes (except cell bio) but I enjoyed my time in the hospitals…so I figure med school is going to be just about as enjoyable as organic chem.

Basically, here are my questions (can you call it a delimma?…I don’t have too shabby of a life!):

1. After two years far far away from academia will I be at a disadvantage in medical school? I mean, it has already been 3 years since I took the MCAT. All I study now is the language, and it’s not going to be useful once I return to the US.

2. As current medical students, do you wish you did more or less before med school?

3. How do you see medical school – a soul-crushing hurdle to jump so that you can actually make a difference and do something with your life, or a fascinating adventure where you meet brilliant people and finally learn information directly related to your career choice?

Any wisdom would be greatly appreciated!!!
what part of Asia are you in? I'd love to live a year in a place like Goa and have very little to worry about. That'd be amazing. It's pretty cool you decided to do what you did.
 
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gaikokujin

gaikokujin

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virilep said:
what part of Asia are you in? I'd love to live a year in a place like Goa and have very little to worry about. That'd be amazing. It's pretty cool you decided to do what you did.

I'm living in Japan, and I'm an English teacher, not a prostitute! hehe, but i didn't think of that implication from my post. though there are quite a few russian prostitutes where i live (and the salarymen who love them).

thanks for your responses. they are very helpful!

arigato gozaimasu! :)
 

fielight

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1. i don't think so... most people pick it up pretty quickly. maybe you'll do poorly for the first 2 months or so, but then you figure out how med school and exams work, and then you start to study better (longer) and more efficiently. as long as you are willing to put in the time, you'll be all right (contrary to popular belief, you don't need to be brilliant to do well in med school, and slacking off occasionally doesn't always mean failing).
2. probably more. the consensus among med students is that you should enjoy the time off, because you'll be busy once classes start. it's when it gets really tough that you wish you had more fun prior to school.
3. it's really not that bad (or maybe you just get used to the "soul-crushing"). i'm one of those people who went straight from college to med school... and i think, for the first time in my life, education actually becomes enjoyable to an extent. for me, it almost feels like the last 16 years of school was a waste of time (eg, gym, AP english), and finally now, i'm doing something worthwhile... because for all the useless thing they teach, you're are also learning about things that are completely relevant to life -- even though you don't always realize it (e.g., we learned about omeprazole the other day, which doesn't mean much, until the prof told us that it goes under the brand name of Prilosec, and the lightbulb goes off -- "so that's why people take it for peptic ulcer disease"). so i think med school can be very enjoyable, in the sense that you're learning useful, applicable information than may have been lacking in previous years of schooling. the other part is you're not required to go to class (at least for my school), so you can work out a really nice schedule if you want.
 

Newquagmire

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hey gaijin,

the longer you stay out of school, the harder it will be to return to it (unless you truly feel burnt-out and just need some time to relax, but that doesn't sound like the case).

i actually wish i had spent some more time out of school, but i do think it would have been all that much harder. then again, there are more than a few people in my class who have been out of school for several years, and they do not seem to be at a disadvantage. a lot of it is going to be personal motivation and drive.

and that's related to how you're going to see medical school. at first it was a "soul-crushing hurdle." recently, i've gotten more interested in the subjects and how things work the way they do, and it's made me much more happy, motivated to study, and willing to sit at a desk by the window all day and read.

good luck making your choice. whatever you decide, it won't be the end of the world.
 

Bo Hurley

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Take another year off and live it up. Medicine isn't going anywhere. If you feel bad about it just consider working an extra year when you're a doctor instead of retiring a year earlier.

From the people I've talked to once you're a doctor and doing the same stuff day in and day out for 10, 15, 20, 30+ years you will wish you had taken that 1 year to do whatever you wanted when you were YOUNG. It's not the same thing to take a break when you're 40 years old because you're burnt out or trying to make-up for the fun you could have had when you were younger.

1 extra year will not make a difference in the big scheme of things. Take the year and have as much fun as you can.