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Who regrets going to med school and what would you have done instead?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by helpfuldoc2b, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. helpfuldoc2b

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    Who regrets going to med school and what would you have done instead? Obviously you know now more being a student, resident, intern, etc... Who regrets they went to med school, what stage of medical education are you in, what would you have done instead.
     
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  3. Tired

    Tired Fading away
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    I spent most of my 2nd and 3rd years regretting going to med school. My military and loan commitments prevented me from dropping out, but I fantasized about it on an almost daily basis. I was so angry at the perpetual rudeness and demands thrown my way that I would have done almost anything to get out. Now that I'm in my 4th year, matched, and about to start internship, I of course feel happy that I stuck it out. We'll see what I say in six months . . . :D

    What would I have done? I would have gone to grad school in the sciences and set myself up with a small research lab in some mid-level school. Plenty of vacation, intellectual stimulation, nice salary. Alternatively, I would have gone to work in industry, made more money and worked a few more hours a week.
     
  4. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster
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    This will be interesting.
     
  5. Biscuit799

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    I'm an MSII and just starting to study for boards. I wish I would've gotten an MBA, worked in real estate for a couple years, then opened a dive shop. I'd work in it for 40 years, sell it, and retire. I'd be poor and happy!
     
  6. mudphudwannabe

    mudphudwannabe Senior Member
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    I wouldn't say I regret going to med school, but I do wonder -- when I was in undergrad, I wanted to go to vet school but I gave up on it because I thought I wouldn't be challenged enough as a small animal vet, and I thought I wasn't smart enough to specialize. I don't think I gave myself enough credit. I'm almost done with 2nd year, and I think I could enjoy (human) medicine. But I think I'll always wonder what might have been.

    If you have doubts and aren't in med school yet, get them cleared up as much as you can before you start. Being in med school can be very emotionally draining, and the more sure you can be about this decision, the easier it will be for you.
     
  7. Ashers

    Ashers Bacteria? Don't exist.
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    M2 -- haven't started boards stuff... still overwhelmed by class. I would've gotten a marine bio degree and spent my life diving with the humpbacks in the winter off Maui and traveling to other places I've always wanted to go throughout the rest of the world.

    Not that I could make a living doing that; I'm sure I'll enjoy school more after boards.
     
  8. naegleria brain

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    i was always told i'd make a great lawyer. and i loved politics. it was the perfect match; my profs at undergrad encouraged me to take the LSAT. i took the damn MCAT instead and did really well. and that's when the horror began...

    i spent all of first year wishing i went into law instead. now i'm determined to kick medical school's ass, become a prominent figure in whatever specialty i go into, become the forefront figure in ___ology or ___surgery, and totally trash this bull**** i'm doing fifteen years from now.

    then i'm coming back to med school, laughing in the faces of the Phd's who still havent done jack **** with their lives and made my life hell from day 1.

    i am a ****ing king goddammit! and i will make medicine my bitch!



    ...and that's without the roids

    i now tell myself that the potential for greatness lies so much more with medicine than law. i may never become president now, but i can win a nobel prize or change the face of medicine. so that's pretty sweet
     
  9. soeagerun2or

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    I was thinking nuclear engineering or a CIA operative.

    Lately the practice of medicine has left me jaded about the philosophy of serving others. Briefly, patients are their own worst enemy. Thus curing an "incurable" disease only prolongs the inevitable mortality and gives the patient more of a chance to mess themselves up.
     
  10. the POONisher

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    i regret it

    i should of pursued modeling instead

    medicine blows and everyone knows it

    :thumbdown:
     
  11. dutchman

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    That was your first miatake. Don't you know you are too pretty for medicine?
     
  12. Hawaiian Bruin

    Hawaiian Bruin Breaking Good
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    For a couple years before I started med school, I worked as a ski patroller in California during the winters and taught high school geometry in Hawaii during the summers.

    There isn't a single day that goes by that I don't wish to have that life back. I was broke, but I was very, very happy. I remember reading about a 2 foot dump of snow where I used to work while I was at home one day studying about the hexose monophosphate shunt or some other goddamn useless factoid, and wanting OUT.

    If I hadn't found anesthesia, I might have seriously considered going back to that life after I got out of school (although the $250K debt is a pretty big motivator too... ). Having found my "calling" though, I'll be just fine.
     
  13. soeagerun2or

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    If I walked in to Ford Modeling now they'd probably not recognize me anymore :( Then laugh because I look older, heavier, and more worn out than before medical school :*(
     
  14. Agent Splat

    Agent Splat Viruses? Don't Exist.
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    I think in the long run I would have been happier continuing on with EMS and going to paramedic school and getting an RN on top of that. And I regret not doing that nearly every day of medical school since I started. But, the desire to become as knowlegable as I could in the field made me try for more because I've always held myself to a higher academic standard. Hopefully in the end I'll be okay with what I'm doing, but that doesn't stop me from regretting it right now.

    I should have listened to the voice that was telling me EMS was my passion long ago.
     
  15. tulane06

    tulane06 Private Joker
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    :laugh: :laugh: :thumbup:
     
  16. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!!
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    your username is completely over the top, and i like it.
     
  17. DarksideAllstar

    DarksideAllstar you can pay me in bud
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    Actuary. Or homeless.
     
  18. inked_caduceus

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    Secretary. Get paid to dick around on the internets all day, flirt with the cute sales guy.

    I'd keep a blog called "my boss is an ass." anonymously, of course.
     
  19. humuhumu

    humuhumu nukunuku apua'a
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    You should consider pediatrics....
     
  20. akpete

    akpete Drinks, anyone?
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    I've been questioning my decision since about halfway thru M1 year. I feel like my life is on hold right now, and I don't like it. And I'm worried that once I start rotations in July, and going to hate it. I only worked in sports medicince, and that's really what I came to school for, but ortho is so damn competitive (don't want the FP/sports fellow tract). So now I'm looking at anesthesia and path. Apparently I'm not as much as a people person as I once thought. Many days I think I should have done vet school. Or just have stuck with nursing and gone to tech school like so many people I know. 2-3 years school, then working right away - it would be nice now.

    Man, I kinda rambled on there. Bottom line - I hate having my life in limbo and not having all the other important things in life. Even if it meant going back to being a waitress.
     
  21. ColinHay

    ColinHay Its A Mistake
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    I've always wanted to be the guy that sits on the edge of the boat and yells:

    Row! Row! Row!
     
  22. naegleria brain

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    plan before med school: become doctor, settle down, have a family, learn how to hyperlink

    plan after med school: find this guy to get me to look more like this guy so this girl and this girl would follow me to this state and they would repeal this lawand i can drop out of med school

    at least one of my original plans followed through
     
  23. helpfuldoc2b

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    :laugh:
     
  24. helpfuldoc2b

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    Why not do a MD/JD, do you still got an interest in law, what made your interest in medicine over-ride that of law since they both different fields and made you decide on medicine instead of law, curious...
     
  25. naegleria brain

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    family always wanted someone to do medicine, and i thought it was interesting, so i took the MCAT without much preparation and totally rocked it. i figured that should be a sign medicine is for me (actually more of a confirmatory thing than a sign). so with that i gave up any ideas of law school and went to medicine. i had no freakin clue how much work medical school was.

    now i just wanna get out of school
     
  26. Medpilot

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    I had always been an easy-going optimist until the day I started medical school. Now everyday is a struggle to pull myself out of bed and care about any of this ****. Like many of you so far, I signed up because I had done well in undergrad/MCAT and had idealistic ideas about what being a doctor meant. I've got one year left and I still think of quitting from time to time.

    There was a summer in college when I worked as a trail guide in Colorado. I was little more than a pack mule for rich folk who didn't want to carry their own junk. We'd be out in the mountains for weeks sometimes with all kinds of people just keeping them fed and safe. It was the best job I have ever had and that was easily the happiest time of my life. I don't think I could have supported myself (and definately not a family) with it, but it could have taken my life in a totally new direction.

    The good news is that an MD opens a ton of career options outside of the regular clinical track. You just got to be creative with it.
     
  27. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon
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    I'm glad I went to med school. I guess I'm always confused by people who seem to have made a horribly wrong decision. Every week over on pre-allo someone posts a "My Family doctor told me not to go to Med school" thread. How does anyone go into med school expecting it to be anything but really hard?

    I blame 3 things...

    1. Medical TV shows. If you watch them, chances are they influence you - whether you want to admit it or not. Glamour is played up, post-call BO is played down.

    2. Cherry-picked "shadowing." I think it is Panda that says if you want to shadow you should meet up with a resident and take a call with them, i.e. round at 7am and then stay all night. If your pre-med shadowing experience is nothing more than a few shifts in a busy, urban ED then medicine is going to seem pretty rocking.

    3. Pre-med cheerleaders. Enthusiasm is awesome, don't get me wrong. One of the coolest things about pre-meds is the fact that most of them genuinely care. But there is a large subset that think that a) they're going to change the face of medicine and b) they are going to be able to tailor-make a career for themselves that exactly fits their fantasy (EM/IM/Peds triple boards with 6 months/year parachuting into disaster zones to set up field hospitals).
     
  28. Gut Shot

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    PGY-2 here.

    I don't regret med school at all. It sucked nard from time to time, but it has left me with a world of opportunity in a field I love.

    Besides, however bad med school was, it beat the **** out of getting my PhD.
     
  29. 8o8o8o8

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    I don't regret it, but there are times I wish I had pursued a career in graphic design & gone to work for DreamWorks ...
     
  30. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster
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    Dude, you are killing the party.
     
  31. Biscuit799

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    I had a very similar idea when I was in college. Get bio degree, go to Miami for grad school, work with sharks. I was in Maui a month ago, it was gorgeous. We went snorkeling w/ humpbacks. The diving was gorgeous.

    As an aside: I was a lifeguard at a waterpark in Tampa for a summer in HS. I had a ton of money bc I worked 40 hrs/wk and didn't pay rent. It was awesome.

    And by "studying for boards" I meant that I bought Kaplan Qbank and put First Aid in my book bag.
     
  32. DoctorFunk

    DoctorFunk Get down with the boogie
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    I would have completed a creative writing master's program and probably gone into teaching just to make money to support myself while I played bass in my former rock band and wrote poetry.

    Can you tell I've given this just a little thought?
     
  33. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!!
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    i'd appreciate it if you'd lay off the personal attacks.
     
  34. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    I don't regret going into medicine but I do sometimes wonder the 'what ifs'. I was offered a job in Chicago with one of the Big4 consulting companies. I didn't take it because I wanted to do medicine and I sometimes wonder where I'd be had I taken that route. Would I be married? Engaged? Flying around major cities, partying it up on the weekends? Would I have bought a house now?

    My frustrations with medical school deals with two things:

    1. I study and I still feel I'm preforming at a substandard state. If I was performing satisfactorily, I think I would be happier in med school.

    2. It's hard to have a social life or find a significant other while in med school. I miss going out every weekend and having fun. Med school won't let you do that and I didn't realize this until now.

    However, I really don't regret my choice to do medicine. I know that if I didn't do medicine, it would always be a big thing hanging over my head. Despite what some others would say, the urge to do something can and does tug at people for many years if it's something you truly wanted (like it did for me and medicine). I'm glad I scratched that itch, just hate the fact it's such a long road.

    Had I (for whatever reason) not done medicine, I think I would have still left IT. The truth is, I wasn't very good at it and I disliked my job intensely. Also, engineers have a short half life and watching my parents struggle in careers due to their advancing age, I didn't want that. I think I would have gone into something else that would reward me for my experience. Probably pharmacy/dentistry/PA type of job where its still healthcare related and would give me the the type of economic security that I wanted. Or maybe law school. However, after doing my research in law school (my father had wanted me to do it), I think I would have been deeply unhappy with my choice.

    Overall, I'm glad I am doing medicine. I just wish med school didn't intrude on my life as much as it has.
     
  35. OncoCaP

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    :thumbup: Thanks Gunshot & AmoryBlaine. I was about to start a new thread just for balance, but you all took care of that.

    I'm still bracing for impact (waiting to start medical school), but I look forward to it. It's not like everyone in every other career is just sooo excited to get out of bed in the morning. It's a mix. Some people seem to figure out how to make the best and have fun even in a warzone while getting shot at whereas others could never enjoy themselves even in the best of circumstances. My opinion is that if you are looking for a career to "make you happy" you are taking a chance and your situation may vary a lot ... in my experience most people seem to find most of their enjoyment outside of their job. That's a big issue with many medical specialties ... that there isn't enough time to do the things that people enjoy, so it's understandable that many people are unhappy and stressed-out in medicine. I guess one needs to make spending some time outside of school & the medical profession a priority or life is really going to be unpleasant.
     
  36. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Not a bit; not yet anyways. Making a career out of landscaping would be much worse (for God's sake, it's SNOWING outside right now - more like a blizzard, really), and being an EMT at the grand income of $7.97 per hour just won't cut it. There are a few fairy-tale jobs that I could see myself doing and enjoying (I'd be one of the Mythbusters or a fighter pilot [that's out cuz I'm colorblind]), but this is the real world...

    I've felt stupid on more than several occasions, tired on a quite a few more occasions, but life isn't bad. It IS a bit discouraging that a lot of the posts in this thread are from the M2s at my school. :p
     
  37. 78222

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    Sometimes I wish I'd gone into marine science or worked for a think tank regarding international policy. Most the time I am happy with my career choice though.
     
  38. 78222

    78222 Guest

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    I agree, sometimes we are short sighted in our complaints about medschool. The fact is, there is **** in every field.
     
  39. DoctorFunk

    DoctorFunk Get down with the boogie
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    Let's stick to the gripes here. Other fields may have the same rate of BS/hour as medicine, but the fact remains that over the span of a career medicine will force you to spend far more precious hours of your life wading through the filth than most other career paths.

    I understand that we shouldn't be looking for our career to define us or make us happy, but when that job demands that you have next to no time for yourself the field's deficiencies become all the more apparent.
     
  40. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster
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    Why would you do something like that? Havent we concluded that medicine is the land of misery? This thread is for regrets, bitterness and anger. So quit with the positive attitude.
     
  41. OncoCaP

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    :laugh: Well, ok then ... med students are like cows going to the slaughterhouse of the medical profession! Are you happy now?

    [​IMG]
     
  42. evade

    evade Our Lady of DNA
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    Onco, how can you really have perspective about something you haven't started yet? Honestly, that shiny happy premed attitude will change, and even if it does not totally change (I wouldn't expect it to in most people), it will be tempered. You, too, will have days where you question your choice. Even if you wake up the very next day overjoyed that you'll be a doctor, there will be days that will make you crack. There will be days where you'll wish you were doing anything but this. Overall, you will hopefully be happy. I sincerely hope you enjoy yourself in medical school. But it's just so silly to enter these threads claiming to have totally made the right decision when you can't really have any idea yet.
     
  43. XildUpNawth

    XildUpNawth Member
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    You know what that guy is called? The coxswain. (Pronounced "cox-en;" often called the "cox" or "Coxs'n.") No lie--check Wiki.
     
  44. OncoCaP

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    This thread is like a movie sequel Medicine Sucks Big Time Run For Your Lives Part 13282. How many of these threads do we really need? Let's make it a sticky. After about twenty of these threads about how much people hate medicine, what's another thread? This is surreal. That's what I'm joking around about. It's not that I have some special wisdom. It's just silly. You don't have to be in medical school to see that. If you hate medicine and it isn't what you want to do, get out now. Don't wait until tomorrow; leave today. There is no way I would let $150K or even $200K of debt chain me to anything that I don't think I should be doing. I'm not saying that I would get out because it's unpleasant. My question is simply, where is the best place to apply my talents?

    I'm not going into medicine because I want to be happy but because there is some work I want to do in this area. I'm already happy. I'll just do my job and move right along. If I don't think I have anything to contribute, I will leave immediately. There are so many cool things one can do in this life, there really is no reason to waste one's time. Medicine offers a lot of cool opportunities to contribute for those who want to. I'm not saying it's going to be fun, rewarding, or anything more enjoyable than shoving feces 15 hours per day at a Mexican sewage plant. I'm just saying it's a job worth doing and some people have a talent for it and it can be worth a lot of hard work in some cases.

    I'm not doing this because I'm trying to be fulfilled in some way. I'm not going into this because I want people to be nice to me, to like me, to get to do fun things, or even to get paid an appropriate wage. I'm going into this because this is something I can do, there is a need, it's going to pay above the poverty line of $20,000/yr for a family of four (even more, so I've heard). I know I have it nice. At the same, I'm really unsure as to why so many people choose to flog themselves because they are afraid of paying off a large debt. Yes, it would suck trying to pay off a $200K college loan teaching biology, but it wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen. It would beat, say, being falsely accused of rape and then thrown in prison for rest of your life and being "Bubba's" love slave for the rest of your life. I could think of a million situations infinitely more unpleasant than anything medical school could throw at you because you can always walk out that door and never ever come back. What's stopping you? Debt? Fear of being labeled a failure? So you are going to be a drugged-up stressed-out overweight heart-attack candidate so that your supposed friends who will hate you no matter what will like you? Get real. For example, teaching junior high in the inner city would be quite an unpleasant job for many of us. Yet, it is a job that some do out of love for the kids or other reasons. For some strange reason, the experiences I have had with medicine have been extremely positive, but I realize that they are not representative of being a physician -- there is no easy way to "try out" being a physician. If I was looking for an easy, fun, worry-free career, medicine would not even be on the list. I'm going into this because I want to do something, not because I'm trying to get something.
     
  45. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster
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    How do you concieve these things?
     
  46. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    Point #1 - Maybe you WILL like med school, because you're clearly a glutton for punishment. Posting as a pre-med student in this thread, predicting the attitude that you'll have a year from now is just asking for a verbal beatdown. (A verbal beatdown that, no worries, I'm not going to participate in.) You're either masochistic or very ballsy, especially seeing as you do this on a lot of threads. But, please, PLEASE, do yourself a favor and do NOT repeat a similar stunt with a resident. Particularly a resident who is just coming off call or a month-long rotation in the ICU.

    Point #2 - I think that you're missing the distinction. Let me break it down for you:

    * Do I regret coming to med school? Yes. At least 2-3 times a week. (This is a drastic decrease from first year, where it was at least 8-12 times a week.)

    * Do I regret coming to my particular med school? No. The things that made me miserable are universal to med schools or else specific to my particular personal situation. I'm actually quite glad that I'm here.

    * Do I regret that I'm on my way to becoming a doctor? No. Not at all. Not for a second.

    See the difference? There's nothing wrong with going into medicine, except for residual regret that you won't get to try wacky, poorly-paid-but-super-cool jobs (like studying dolphins off the coast of Maui or something) any more until you retire. But yes, a lot of us regret going into med school, which can be awful and tiring.
     
  47. smq123

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

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    I think that now you understand the distinction. Trust me, there ARE people who leave med school because they find that they hate medicine. (The # of matriculating students is always less than the # of students graduating 4 years later.) But, most of us, even though we hate med school, do NOT stick it out because we're afraid of debt. We stick it out because we're reasonably sure that, at the end of a LONG road through school, residency and fellowship, we'll be doing stuff that is useful to society and that really gives us satisfaction.
     
  48. Herman Bloom

    Herman Bloom Member
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    Medical school isn't nearly as bad as working for a living. Even if it does seem absurd to learn some of the garbage that we are all forced to regurgitate/forget.

    And I have to say it: naegleria brain, stop trying to hide your massive ego behind what little self-depricating humor you can muster.
     
  49. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster
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    Why all the hostility towards Onco? Believe it or not, there are some default happy people out there that can in fact, suffer and smile at the same time. I won't be surprised if he is singing the same tune in the next 2 years. I have never agreed on anything with him, but he sure does sound like he has enough "happy kool-aid" running through his veins to last him through all of his medical education. We cant all be bitter.
     
  50. diosa428

    diosa428 SDN Angel
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    I'm willing to bet that a lot of people don't hate medicine. They are burned out. Medical school is hard. And when you are physically and emotionally exhausted, and can't possibly study anymore, and still have piles of work to do, and maybe are wondering what specialty you want to go into, or if your grades are good enough, and a million other things, and you come on SDN to vent, having some cheerful premed talking about how your opinions are wrong, and you should love medicine or do something else with your life even though you've spent a ton of money, years of your life, and effort on this process, is unnecessary and annoying.
     
  51. Sol Rosenberg

    Sol Rosenberg Long Live the New Flesh!
    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Welcome to the real world. News Flash: Real life isn't much different.
     

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