1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.
    Dismiss Notice

When did you decide medicine was what you really wanted to do?

Discussion in 'hSDN' started by VenaCava, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. VenaCava

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    When did you decide medicine was what you really wanted to do?

    When I look at medicine, I see an exciting, innovative field. Currently I can't even begin to picture something I would rather do. Despite this, I can't help but feel that everything around me is telling me that medicine is not the right path for me.

    Right now I am a senior in high school. My marks are great and I have a keen interest in math and science, in particular I excel at chemistry and physics. Part of what worries me is that I have never taken biology. In my area, only the grade 12 level biology deals with human anatomy (as opposed to plants and animals.) I've been told by many that this is okay and that I can take biology classes in university to make up for this. Nevertheless, I'm still worried. Initially this year I was signed up for bio. I lasted about 2 weeks before feeling overwhelmed by my heavy course load. I chose to drop biology as I felt it was my least enjoyable class. I'm still afraid that if I could not even last a month in a grade 12 biology class, how could I even consider looking into medicine? I've tried to tell myself that maybe it was the teacher that I didn't like or I didn't give it enough time, but I honestly don't know.

    Secondly, I realize that in reality medicine is not what it is made out to be. It's not your typical "luxurious" lifestyle. Doctors live comfortably, but I know that they have to earn it through hard work and all the hours and I completely respect that. I've been lurking on this forum for about a year or two now, just casually reading every couple months, and it's really made medicine look a lot scarier to me. I feel that some people on here love their jobs. They work hard but at the end of the day they are happy and content with themselves and what they are doing. But others, it seems, describe medicine as a vicious cycle filled hope and expectations which are never reached. You spend your whole career hoping the future will be better, but it never is. In med school, you hope residency will be better. As a resident, you hope being an attending will be better, and so on. I just really don't know what to think. Does being a doctor have to be one of those "live to work" kind of jobs? Can you have a life? I know I've heard tons of stories of people who have managed to have families as well as a career, but they still don't comfort me. I know there are the "lifestyle" specialties, but I don't want to go into medicine hoping that I'll like one of them. I want to do something that makes me happy.

    In addition, how do most doctors cope with the emotional aspects of medicine? Do you have to be strong going in with the idea of death? Do you have to be completely comfortable with blood? Or are these things you learn to deal with as you go along? I'm not an extremely sensitive person, but I definitely don’t have a heart of stone. What if I couldn’t handle these things?

    Another reason I wonder if medicine is right for me is the fact that I'm emetophobic (fear of vomit.) It used to be terrible when I was younger, but as I've aged I've become more and more comfortable with vomit. I can watch people be sick but I don't like to go near it or really look at it. I feel nervous if I go on a long drive with someone who is known to get motion sickness. It is becoming less and less a part of my life, but it is definitely still present.

    Despite all of these worries I have, I feel drawn to medicine for reasons I don’t fully understand. I'm a fighter and I know if I decide this is what I really want, I can get through it. I look at so many doctors and see what I aspire to be. They're intelligent people, filled with compassion. Medicine excites me in a way I can’t describe. I can even feel my heart beat a little faster when I hear random medical terms mentioned. Occasionally in my free time I'll watch surgeries - c-sections, hysterectomies, heart transplants! I find them fascinating. Have I simply been brainwashed by silly medical shows on tv, or does this seem like something I could really do? I know I'm still young and that I still have plenty of time to choose what I want to do with my life, but I guess I'm really asking if you think I have a chance and how and when will I know if this is what I really want to do?

    Thanks for reading all that.
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. tennisball80

    tennisball80 Membership Revoked
    Removed 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,434
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I became interested in helping people since young age. I became interested in sciences in grade 11. I want to become doctor.
     
    #2 tennisball80, Jan 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2009
  4. Nantes

    Nantes These go to eleven
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    The truth is, only you can know what you want to do. From your attitude and the way you described your interest for medicine, it appears to me as though you know what you want.

    Additionally, and this may sound cliche, but it you really want something, you'll find a way to make it happen. Don't let the potential challenges and discouraging demeanor of some of the people on this site sideline you. Fear can be overcome, and you shouldn't worry about whether you think your personality meets quota x

    In short; you want to be in medicine (it seems apparent) - don't let meaningless negative thoughts convince you otherwise.
     
    Bubbie likes this.
  5. broken tibula

    broken tibula mostly sleeping
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,726
    Likes Received:
    8
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I've wanted to be a doctor since I was four--I wanted to give people shots and make them cry, too. I was such a little sadist child...

    Now? Learning is just about the only thing I'm good at, I love biology, I want to help people, and I thrive on stress... So being a doctor is really the only logical conclusion.
     
  6. GZA

    GZA Marcel who?
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Halfway through college, in a sort of whimsical fashion. As was alluded, there is no such capability to "know" a career is exactly right; in the end you have to simply make a choice.
     
  7. Local

    Local Stop the Shananigans!i!i!
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    If you like it go for it. Not taking a higher level biology in highschool isnt a big deal. You might have to do a little more studying in biology, but not much. I havent taken a higher level biology, and i dont think it will hinder us at all-just make sure you take biology freshman year in college.
    Here is an offical welcome to hsdn.
    Welcome to hsdn. :)
     
  8. r31ncarnat3d

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I'm a high school senior with a huge love for math and science. Yes, I am a huge nerd.

    Medicine was suggested to me by my girlfriend two years ago, and the more I research about it, the more it feels right. Something about being a doctor just clicks in me. It's scientific, and I get to directly help other people in my career. (And if anyone is curious, yes my girlfriend and I are still together :p)

    I myself NEED a challenge in life. For me, the harder the challenge is, the more I learn and the better I perform. Becoming a doctor is a struggle, to say the least, but I thrive on stress and challenge.

    Second, it's an extremely redeeming job. I love helping others, and I'm usually the one that people go to for help for club events/school help. Making a career where I get to directly help out other people is a huge plus. At the end of the day, I want to be able to go home, collapse from my 24 hour shift, and be happy that I made a difference in someone's life that day.

    There just is something about me being a doctor that feels so right in my mind. I know that I belong in a hospital, without a doubt.

    Well, we're in the same boat mate. Best of luck with your dream :)

    And wow, this forum is amazing. I wish I found out about it a long time ago.
     
  9. broken tibula

    broken tibula mostly sleeping
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,726
    Likes Received:
    8
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Welcome to SDN, love. You sound like you've got your head on straight (and you use proper SPaG--the way to my heart), and you'll find that SDN is a great resource. You know, later, when you're actually doing stuff that counts towards med school. For now, just get to know what lies ahead, and work your hardest to get there. Also, check out the social scene here.
     
  10. gabeybaby

    gabeybaby ♥♠☻
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    You sound like a great person :thumbup:

    To the OP, it seems like you love the medical field as of now. My suggestion is that you talk to other doctors, shadow, and volunteer in hospitals to get a feel if it's really right for you. If yes, then go for it. Don't let a few difficult class stop you from accomplishing your dreams :)
    Best of luck :D
     
  11. Pepipanda

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    I know how you feel. I'm high school sophomore, and I'm still not completely sure if this is what I want to do(about 70% sure). In order to help myself figure this out, I am hoping to volunteer at my local children's hospital this summer(which requires applying) and attend a short medical career exploration camp at Brown University(again, if I get in).

    My main interests are medicine, or a job involving zoology, so I will also be volunteering at the zoo. I figure that getting as much experience as I can, and finding out what life is like in my potential careers, will help me make a well informed decision, which is most of why I joined SDN.

    Also, I like helping people and have had an interest in medicine for as long as I can remember, so I'm leaning toward that choice.
     
  12. dw2158

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    5,268
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    First I want to say that overall, I'm really impressed with the level of discourse in this thread; it's far more mature than some of the stuff going on in the pre-allo forum.

    Second... what's the rush, guys? You sound like capable, intelligent, thoughtful people. For now, I would just accept that medicine is one of your (many) options and go from there. There is nothing wrong with taking all of college, and maybe even some time afterward, to make a careful and deliberate decision about your career path. Relax, toy with different ideas, try things out... you never know. As someone who wavered between pre-med and far from it ("I want to be an English professor"), I can tell you that if medicine is the right path for you, it will eventually become clear.

    Oh, and echoing what GZA said-- there won't be some profound sign from above. At some point you'll just have to decide where to go. And you'll make it work :)
     
  13. Caesar

    Caesar In Memory of Riley Jane
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Messages:
    17,041
    Likes Received:
    70
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I do want to say that part of this is good advice. Don't worry about the "timeline" I am off of it and not worried, If medicine is your calling it will keep calling even why you are doing something else. It did for me at least.
     
  14. broken tibula

    broken tibula mostly sleeping
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,726
    Likes Received:
    8
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Lol. Tell that to the rest of the people on SDN, who think we're a bunch of idiots.
     
  15. tennisball80

    tennisball80 Membership Revoked
    Removed 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,434
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    lol I wonder if we still hijack threads if we make to premed section. Its gonna crazy if we still talk like that.
     
  16. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,812
    Likes Received:
    6
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I've known I was interested since high school but it took years of shadowing and trying out some other options in college like research for me to really really really know. Its great to have something you're interested in mind as you go into college but don't stop yourself from exploring a bit. You'll either solidify your original idea or find something you love even more which is great either way. Even being in medschool I try not to tie myself to one specialty so I can be absolutely open to everything and find the course that is best for me not the idea of a specialty that I liked the most as a premed.
     
  17. CScull

    CScull Is Positive, O Positive
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,891
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    But... but... wait? We aren't idiots?

    I think I just had an epiphany! :eek:



    Oh, and so I don't get yelled at for hijacking... it was the logical choice for me. I'm not really decided, I like both Pharmacy and Medicine. I love all sciences, especially biology, and my main goal in live is to help people which lead me to medicine. I also enjoy chemistry and I think I would do better with the more flexible hours of Pharmacy... so still undecided... but I don't really mind.
     
  18. KempDrumsalot

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    785
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I think you'd enjoy being a doctor over pharmacy. I can feel it :thumbup:.
     
  19. CScull

    CScull Is Positive, O Positive
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,891
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    Ick, I don't want to kill anyone though... although I'm sure I could do that just as easily in Pharmacy...

    I feel like we're playing tag around the hSDN threads here... haha.
     
  20. KempDrumsalot

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    785
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Haha, well do your job well and try to kill as few people as possible. It's inevitable though, since you are trying to heal someone who is sick/dieing. And yes, you could easily do that in Pharmacy if you make a mistake.

    I know! I was totally just thinking that.
     
  21. CScull

    CScull Is Positive, O Positive
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,891
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    Hmmm, maybe I could just be the best doctor ever and never kill anyone... somehow I kinda doubt it though, I'm a bit of a spaz...

    Michelle: lol my mommy says i have to go to the er. :p now when i have time to go to the er I do not know.
    Me: haha, when I first read it I was like the errr? And then I was like OH! ER! I will make a good Doctor someday, I just know it!
    Michelle:
    oh course you will!
    where does it hurt?
    my tummy hurts
    we'll put a bandaid on it and you can go home!
    lol :D

    Even my friends have their doubts... :laugh:
     
  22. broken tibula

    broken tibula mostly sleeping
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,726
    Likes Received:
    8
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Fail.

    :hijacked:
     
  23. CScull

    CScull Is Positive, O Positive
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,891
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy

    :cry:

    ...
    +pissed+
     
  24. KempDrumsalot

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    785
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Lol, way to go CScull.
     
  25. AndrewWilsonnn

    AndrewWilsonnn High School Student

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    Sorry if I'm a thread hijacker, but I didnt know if these points deserved a whole thread from them. So, Back on topic, heh... This is my first post on the forums, and I've been reading them all day, because I was reasearching how to become a doctor and the strains involved in premed, MS, and finally in the hospital itself.


    I've gotta say, you and I are just alike. I'm a freshman in Highschool, trying to find something I like. I've had questions, and that's why I've been browsing this forum. You pretty much asked most of my questions in that post, which, one, made me happy, and two, made me glad I didn't have to type it out myself.

    I'm minorly squeamish, and am nervous about any thing that a doctor looks like they do, but once I get into something, I'm just fine with it. For instance, when we were in 7th grade, my teacher decided that we were going to disect a lamb eye to see what it was made out of. Now, I know that doesn't seem like much, but at the time, I was terrified. I was thinking about it the whole day, and couldn't get it out of my mind, almost dreading my final period of the day. I walked into class, sat down, and when my teacher brought around the scalpel and probe, and finally the eye, and once I cut into it, all my doubts and fears just vanished. It was the strangest thing to me! :idea:

    I have a few questions of my own to add to this thread.

    One, What are the hours like in a hospital? When you're in your residency, and when you're attending.

    Two, What is the most sought after career? Being in medicine, or surgery? I know the fields branch out from that, but in general

    Three, I know the classes you have to take in high school, but what about volunteering? Can you volunteer at a hospital or as an EMT? Anything that will help in the future medical field?

    Thanks hSDN community,
    ~Andrew Wilsonnnnnnnnnn

    Edit - Oh, plus, I'm completely hooked on any show that involves any sort of doctor, Whether it be fake (Scrubs, My TV Addiction, or House), or Real, like any show that features a camera crew following a set of doctors around the ER/ICU, filming them doing what they do in high stress situations.
     
    #24 AndrewWilsonnn, Jan 10, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  26. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    13,817
    Likes Received:
    109
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Residents/fellows will generally have a tougher scheduel than attendings within the same field. The hours will vary widely between specialities, so it's hard to give a single number, but most doctor work long hours.

    As far as your medical school app is concerned you don't put down high school activities unless they extended into college. However, volunteering or working in a medical setting would be a good way to explore careers.


    Edit: Here's a link to some specialities average hours from an 03' survey:http://www.medfriends.org/specialty_hours_worked.htm
     
  27. CScull

    CScull Is Positive, O Positive
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,891
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    :p
     
  28. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    6,575
    Likes Received:
    3,627
    Status:
    Non-Student
    No one knows what they really want to do when they are a senior in high school. Just relax and see how your first semester of college goes. An incredible percentage of people change their mind about what they want to do after their first year of college.
     
  29. Terpskins99

    Terpskins99 Fear... The Stig
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,436
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I can't remember a time when I considered anything else, frankly.

    My best advice for you (and for everyone else that plans to become a doctor), is do NOT listen to what other people tell you what your path should be. If you know medicine is your passion, then disregard those that suggest otherwise and seek out those that will help you obtain your objective in life.

    If the typical medical school curriculum looks intimidating to you, then hey... welcome to the club! I'll let you in on a little secret: it looks just as intimidating to EVERY first year medical student. And yes, it IS as hard as it looks. But at the same time, the vast majority of people who begin medical school still manage to find a way to get the job done. And so will you. So don't worry about that right now, just do what you have to do to get in.

    To be able to tolerate any tough job, you have to enjoy what you do. Medicine isn't any different. But like any job, eventually you do go home and you do have a life outside of work. You may need to make more of an effort to get quality time out of work, but when there's a will there's a way.

    To be honest, I think most doctors adjust by maintaining an emotional distance from their patients. With regard to death, well... everyone handles this in their own way. Unfortunately, I think a lot of is habituation. At first, the shock of the situation may be pretty alarming, but as you see it over and over again you eventually get used to it.

    Well shucks, nobody likes the sight/sounds/smell of puke/pee/poo. It smells just as bad to the doctors and nurses as it does to you. But just like emotional stress, you eventually get used to it. Haha... you'll find out very quickly how you can adjust once you start anatomy lab in your first year of medical school.

    Bottom line is... do what you love. If anything means that much to you, just do it. Don't seek out approval from anyone else.
     
  30. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Messages:
    16,978
    Likes Received:
    43
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    7-8th grade or so. Being a fighter pilot is out because of my vision, so I went with my backup plan.
     
  31. Kickback

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I can definitely sympathize with the OP on this... I'm a college freshman, and by no means am I an expert, but I definitely felt the same just this last semester. I would suggest to not worry that much about it now. Seriously, it's 2nd semester senior year for you. Go out and hang out/party with your friends as much as possible and have an awesome prom.

    Like psipsina said, just try out everything. Shadow some doctors, talk with them, volunteer, shadow other professions, take a variety of different classes. When in college, set yourself up to take all of the prerequisites and do all the things necessary to get into Med school. If you still feel the same way after all those experiences, go for it. Just remember, you don't have to go straight from undergrad to med school. A fairly large percentage of applicants are non-traditional. Hell, I'm a biocomputing engineering major and I'm going to get a job for a couple of years after college, and pay off debt, earn some dough, and set up long term investments. If I still want to do medicine after 3 years after seeing my current job, then I'll apply.

    Just my $.02
     
  32. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
    Administrator Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    13,635
    Likes Received:
    2,988
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    A week into the third year of medical school. :laugh:

    I honestly didn't have my heart set on medicine when I went into medical school - but the whole "med school application" train has so much momentum behind it that I found it hard to stop. I fantasized about quitting at least once a day while in first year. Second year was a LOT better, but I still wasn't convinced.

    It wasn't until third year rotations that I really started enjoying myself.

    No offense, but you're not that old and not that experienced. You might not be able to "picture something you would rather do," but do you really know what else is out there? There are so many other career options out there.

    Don't beat yourself up for it.

    You have 4 years of college to figure out if you can handle truly "heavy course loads." Don't worry too much about it now.

    These are things that you deal with as you go along. After all, how many 22 year olds (the traditional starting age for med school) are out there that are already pros at handling difficult emotional situations? Not many.

    You'll adjust. There are definitely LOTS of sad stories in medicine - I'm not that far along, and I already have many. But you'll learn how to cope.

    That's why they recommend that pre-meds shadow while in college. I would definitely recommend volunteering in the ER or a nursing home for a while - watching people vomit or (worse) urinate/defecate in their beds is a good test to see if how squeamish you really are.

    Medicine excites lots of people in that way. If it didn't, there wouldn't be a Discovery Health channel - no one would watch it. If it didn't, shows like Grey's Anatomy, House, and ER wouldn't be very popular.

    Watching surgeries on TV IS exciting....when you're sitting on your sofa. It's a little more nerve-wracking when you're the one with the scalpel in your hands.

    No one here can answer those questions. The only person who can decide is YOU - so do your research, shadow a bit, and keep re-evaluating your capabilities and your goals. Good luck. :) :luck:
     
  33. vasca

    vasca En la era postpasambre
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,155
    Likes Received:
    21
    [​IMG]

    Just the way Kyo-Oh from a great anime called Juuni Kokki would say, the better position comes with a greater responsability.

    It's completely differnt to be a student in a cozy classroom wearing street clothes in some universities (not my case, I wore a lab coat from day 1) than being there with a lab coat and having real reponsabilities. It's not that studying to ace tomorrow's exam isn't important, but in comparison to deciding how much insulin this patient needs in the next 5 minutes when you have no idea puts more real pressure on your shoulders. Can't be waking up your superiors every 2 minutes, sometimes you have to show initiative and take your own decisions. It can be scary at first, but once you get a hang of things, it bomes more easy and you learn a lot.

    Performing CPR on a patient when you've never even practised the procedure before creeped me out. I also pull long working hours. Every 3rd day I do 31-32 hour shifts. At least I do get to sleep a couple hours though.

    It's those kinds of things people don't think about when they envy the position of doctors at hospitals. The job is interesting but daunting at times and you have the life of a person in your hands. One mistake and you can kill someone.

    Like many others, I wasn't sure of my career choice until I did night shifts and got a taste of the real world and enjoyed it. Don't base your decision on quitting medicine by just the 1st year classes. They can be tedious, but a lot of the information is the basis of medical knowledge.
     

Share This Page