gbu730

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It seems like there's been a lot of discouraging threads going on and conflicting opinions about going to medical school, so may I ask, the really happy AND unhappy medical students, specifically what schools do you guys go to?

This might help us premeds look at the central problem--if it is school-specific or people-specific or just universal.

Come on, I know you're reading! Just leave a quick reply!
 

daisy44

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Hardly conflicting. Almost everything I've been reading here is overwhelmingly negative, and I'm getting sick of it. I feel like people from all directions (not just on this website, but family and friends too) are telling me I'm screwing myself over by entering medicine. I was confident about my decision before, but all this talk has me feeling completely discouraged.

Can some happy med students/doctors please emerge from the woodwork? Tell us that all hope is not lost.
 

jvesco22

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It's people-specific.

In any job, you'll find people that hate their job, people that are content, and people that love their job. It's as simple as that.

However, you'll find more negativity online because people that feel negative like to express it more than their counterparts who've had a positive experience.

Take reviews for examples, whether it be apartments, appliances, customer service, etc...people think twice about posting something positive, but someone with a negative input wouldn't hesitate to let the world know how they've been "wronged"

When you have someone telling people to stay away from medicine, take it with a grain of salt. It's one thing to give their personal account, but then to try to discourage others from taking that journey is just selfish. But hey, if your mind can be changed based on reviews/anectdotal evidence, then maybe medicine isn't in your future.
 

amakhosidlo

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Remember, as with any sort of feedback system (Opinion polls, online forums, whatever), there's always going to be a significant reporting bias.

People who are perfectly happy with their lives have no reason to go onto internet forums and tell the world that they regret their career choices and warn others against them.

I don't pretend to know the first thing about working as a professional in the admittedly caustic environment that exists in many health care settings, in fact I'd be willing to believe pretty much everything negative posters have had to say about their current predicaments. After all, they've been there. We haven't.

But at the same time, you have to realize that there are many physicians that absolutely love their jobs (for the time being at least) despite the negative aspects. I've definitely met my share that are living their dream.
 
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KeyzerSoze

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When you have someone telling people to stay away from medicine, take it with a grain of salt. It's one thing to give their personal account, but then to try to discourage others from taking that journey is just selfish. But hey, if your mind can be changed based on reviews/anectdotal evidence, then maybe medicine isn't in your future.
It's selfish to try to dissuade others from making a huge mistake?
 

Zoom-Zoom

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It's selfish to try to dissuade others from making a huge mistake?
Usually those posts are a thinly veiled attempt to whine about their problems and take out their frustrations on others. This is a site for helping people pursue careers in medicine, not the other way around.
 

URHere

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Can some happy med students/doctors please emerge from the woodwork? Tell us that all hope is not lost.
Don't be discouraged before you've even started medical school. I can't promise you that you'll love it, but I can tell you that worrying so much now will just upset you and keep you searching for the moment when everything comes crashing down.

I've posted this in other threads, but I am very happy at OHSU where I go to school. I know several other classmates who are happy, and I know several who feel overwhelmed and awful. My school isn't a golden ticket to happiness, but I like it here.
 

Narmerguy

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You'll probably get more answers to your original question in the allopathic med students forum than this pre-allopathic forum. I'm curious to hear what people say too :)
 
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gbu730

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I guess I was trying to at least stay away from schools that would make me miserable and search for schools that truly look out for students and provide a nourishing environment.

Any current med student/residents/attending wanna comment on this?
 
OP
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gbu730

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You'll probably get more answers to your original question in the allopathic med students forum than this pre-allopathic forum. I'm curious to hear what people say too :)
Good idea, MCATBear. I'm posting right now!
 

mboaz

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It's interesting to hear what people have to say about their own experiences, but I wouldn't worry too much about the opinions of people you've never even met. If you have adequate experience to make an informed decision about why you want to study medicine, that should be enough for you to feel confident that you're doing the right thing.

Personally, I kind of like the horror stories. Nobody ever said this career path was a walk in the park. If it was all roses, everyone would do it. I do think that we're all at least a little bit crazy for wanting to put ourselves through the stress of medical training. Sure, it's a privilege and an honor and it's rewarding on a number of different levels, but a huge part of becoming a doc means eating $h*t for years and years. Some people can't deal with that stress, and realistically I don't think that there's anyway to predict whether you'll be able to handle it or not. My buck o'five.
 

VoiceofReason

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it has nothing to do with where you go to school.

I don't think this issue has to be as philosophical an undertaking as some posters would have you believe. Instead I see it as pretty simple: make sure you genuinely love the intellectual content before coming to medical school because its the only way you'll plow through it without despair (you aren't gonna love every second, i just said you'll be able to get through it), and also make sure you truly internalize the idea that this will be a job and as far as jobs go, it's better than most.

I'm pretty happy and I think it boils down to this. thats my opinion, anyway.
 

WellWornLad

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Most unhappy people in med school are the ones that are really struggling to pass. It's hard to develop an interest or appreciation in something that is constantly kicking your ass. If you look at all those anti-medicine posts by residents, a common theme is that they complain about spending all their time in medical school studying.
 

CCLCMer

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It seems like there's been a lot of discouraging threads going on and conflicting opinions about going to medical school, so may I ask, the really happy AND unhappy medical students, specifically what schools do you guys go to?

This might help us premeds look at the central problem--if it is school-specific or people-specific or just universal.

Come on, I know you're reading! Just leave a quick reply!
I think it's a little bit of both. Some people are just naturally miserable while others are more happy-go-lucky, and some schools are more supportive than others.

I think my school (CCLCM) is as much fun and low-stress as medical school can possibly be (although it isn't always fun and definitely isn't low-stress!) We have no tests (except boards), no grades (not even for rotations), no rankings, no AOA. There are only 32 of us to a class, and the administration and faculty know us by name and really look out for us. I honestly don't think I could have had a better experience at any other medical school, although I'm sure I could have still had a good experience at some of them. If you want to read more about what it has been like to go to CCLCM, feel free to click on my blog link. Apologies in advance for being a bit behind in posting my clinical rotation entries from last year. :oops:

You'll probably get more answers to your original question in the allopathic med students forum than this pre-allopathic forum. I'm curious to hear what people say too :)
No, don't do that. The mods will close the thread and infract you for double-posting.

I guess I was trying to at least stay away from schools that would make me miserable and search for schools that truly look out for students and provide a nourishing environment.

Any current med student/residents/attending wanna comment on this?
I really think CCLCM treats its students incredibly well, to the point of spoiling us. See my previous comments.
 

jvesco22

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Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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Good idea, MCATBear. I'm posting right now!
OP, please don't cross post the same thread in different forums. It's not necessary; medical students read and respond in the PA forum also.

FWIW, I have found medical school to be a kind of roller coaster. Some days are really awesome, and some days are the kind that just make you want to get back in bed and pull all the covers over your head. I think this is common in general.

The physicians I know run the gamut from loving their jobs on the whole to regretting having done medicine at all, like some of the posters on this forum. For me, I'd say I'm somewhere in between. I went into medicine with the intention of doing clinical research, and I have come to appreciate the huge difference between graduate training versus medical training. There are some things I loved that I expected not to like (seeing patients) and other things I expected to like that I hated (rounding in the hospital for hours). On the whole, I don't find medicine as interesting as I found chemistry, but I think I can find a niche in medicine that will allow me to make use of both sets of skills. There are specialties like anesthesiology that require a lot of pharm and physio knowledge, which could be a good fit for someone with my background. In the end, I do think that going to medical school will have been a good career move, and it will allow me to do things that I never could have done with just my PhD.

My advice to you would be to do some heavy duty soul searching before you decide if you want to go to medical school. Make sure you have an idea of what you want to be when you grow up, and go into medicine knowing that sometimes it's going to suck, while other times it will rock. I think it also helps to have a bit of an altruistic streak, because you will almost certainly never be properly monetarily compensated for the amount of time and effort you will put into becoming (and practicing as) a physician.
 

guestdoc

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Hardly conflicting. Almost everything I've been reading here is overwhelmingly negative, and I'm getting sick of it. I feel like people from all directions (not just on this website, but family and friends too) are telling me I'm screwing myself over by entering medicine. I was confident about my decision before, but all this talk has me feeling completely discouraged.

Can some happy med students/doctors please emerge from the woodwork? Tell us that all hope is not lost.
As I offer this comment over the Internet, I would say to take Internet advice with much less confidence than from trusted people you know!

If they both say the same thing, though, then +1 interwebz. :laugh:
 

niranjan162

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Usually those posts are a thinly veiled attempt to whine about their problems and take out their frustrations on others. This is a site for helping people pursue careers in medicine, not the other way around.
This site is also about learning. Ignoring one aspect of what people who are currently going through what you will have to is idiotic.

The people complaining are at one end of the spectrum, you seem to be at the other. However, I put more stock in the people farther along in the process.
 

MrBurns10

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I think you know that everyone's experiences, even within the same school, are going to be different so I won't restate the obvious. (see what I did there? :p) I had originally written a detailed post about my experiences but thought better of it. I think the thoughts I've written here are most relevant to the questions posed.

It's been a rollercoaster for me, but I don't think I would want to do anything else at this point in my life. The truth is that you, pre-med who is reading this right now, have NO idea whether or not medicine is right for you. I don't care how much you like science or how many hours of shadowing you've done, you have no idea if it's for you until rotations. I know because I went through the personal identity crisis that often comes in the hospital. And even after having gone through rotations it's still impossible for anyone to know for sure they'll be happy, fulfilled attendings for years. Having said that, I think there is a specialty for almost everyone, and a lot of happiness and excitement comes from finding out what that is for you (and lots of stress before that point comes!). And if there isn't a field that you really like, there's no point in stressing about that now...you'll cross that bridge if you come to it.

My advice: At the very least, consider what the people who come on here telling you to get out of medicine now because it sucks have to say and decide for yourself. Their opinions are just as valuable as the resident who comes on here saying "medicine is great!!!!" because they've also gone through it. But decide for yourself. If this is something that you really want to do and you can't think of anything else you want to do more, go for it. There's no sense in always wondering "what if?"
 

coldweatherblue

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I feel good about medicine every day. It's the summer so I'm just working, making money, doing research, hanging out most the time.. a normal life. Sometimes during exams I get sick of studying, but I wouldn't say it's ever been "bad" so far.. medicine really is sweet all-round, you know those cliche positive things people attribute to medicine around here like "using science to make people's lives better"? if you have the right attitude you can get really excited about stuff like that; meeting new people and working together to help them better enjoy their time. The bad parts.. well.. just fulfill all your daily responsibilities without complaining and when it's done relax, you'll be fine. pretty standard working-man's life.
 

sprinkibrio

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When I was first posting on SDN before med school and even first year, I was really upset with all the negativity on the forums. I was a healthy contributer to the negativity, but it still upset me that so much of it was around. Then second year I got happy. I come on here and the negativity doesn't upset me anymore. You choose what to allow your brain to focus on... happiness in med school is 100% person dependent. Also, I now understand what they've been going through and I don't find their complaining excessive or discouraging--I've been there, many times! EVERYONE will feel like these posters lots and lots and lots of times in medical school. EVERYONE is going to feel burned out, down, hate medicine, and want to quit. If you're not ready for that, get ready, because it's not a piece of cake. It is possible to survive an amazing overall experience with some hard times, though, if you have the right attitude. Most people on here do, or they wouldn't have made it all the way through. Occasionally, you need to vent.
 
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vasca

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I guess I was trying to at least stay away from schools that would make me miserable and search for schools that truly look out for students and provide a nourishing environment.

Any current med student/residents/attending wanna comment on this?
But that's relative. I wasn't really happy at my university, but it appeals to preppy millionaire snobs (I know a lot of really nice people, but the demographic is dominated by the former). I come from a lower middle class and foreign background with virtually nothing in common with most of my peers. It's not easy to be hanging around people who can splurge 50 dollars on beers every Friday afternoon mommy and daddy give them whereas you are counting your chum change to see if you'll be able to afford to go home by bus, much less actually buy something to eat.

As an intern I've met a lot of great people from lesser tier univerisities with socioeconomic backgrounds I can relate more with and are really cool people. Plus some of the schools my peers went to are a lot easier to get to from where I live. Had I known how these lesser tier school were like and the good medical knowledge level my peers got, I would have aimed for those schools instead.

Good advice: go for the school you'd enjoy being at (as long as cash and competitiveness to get in isn't an issue) with the kind of people you'd actually be able to get along with.

If you can't stand the idea of leaving home, don't to to a university in the other side of the country either.
 

Depakote

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I'd say I'm a happy med student. Granted I'm still very early in my 3rd year, but the first two weren't that bad.

I did have some trouble getting used to the work load M1, and I put a lot of time studying in over the past two years and for Step I, but I still enjoyed it. I'd say if you're determined to be miserable, you're going to be miserable wherever you wind up, but if you've got a positive attitude, you'll do fine. Just how it goes.