Let me state flat out that I regret my decision to go to medical school. I actually love the subject matter, the work, and the people. But I hate what it has done to my family. I'm a non-trad, married with kids. Spent 4 years working full-time through undergrad, applied and got in, and am now a third year. My wife got sick of me being gone all the time and had an affair. I scarcely give my kids the time they need, and when I do I'm often so tired that I can't keep up with their energy level. And forget about me being able to provide fun things like vacations and dinners out for my wife and kids, much less hardly the things they need. Now many will answer by saying, "This may all be true, but in another 5 or 6 years you'll be making amazing money at a stable job". This is true. And assuming I am by some miracle still married, and assuming my kids aren't in prison because their dad was never around, we should have a pretty killer lifestyle. (Let's just say I ain't going into General Surgery or Family Medicine). But so what? How does that compensate for what my family is missing out on now? What they will end up having missed out on FOR 11 OR 12 YEARS!!!! Let me put it to you this way: Pretend there was a career out there which paid 20 million dollars a year and had 100% job security. But say it also required a full 30 years of training, 100 hours a week. 30 years of living on loans, dirt poor, and working insane numbers of hours. Would you do it? I doubt many of you would say yes. But why not? Heck, even though you wouldn't start your career until like age 60, you could work for just 5 years and make 100 million dollars and retire in insane luxury. So why wouldn't you do it? Why would I definitely not do it? BECAUSE NO MATTER HOW GREAT THE BENEFITS AT THE END MIGHT BE, THE SACRIFICE WOULD JUST NOT BE WORTH IT. Raising your kids in poverty, never seeing them, losing your marriage..... not worth it. So you could give each of your kids $20 million bucks when they were in their 40's. Still not worth it. So apply that to medicine. Sure you'll make good bucks. Sure you'll work nice hours eventually (if you're smart about it). But at what cost? Are you OK with your kids spending 2/3 of their childhood not seeing you enough and living at poverty level? Are you OK with the real possibility that your marriage will fall apart? Believe me, my wife is the last person anyone would have expected this from. Go back and read Panda Bear MD's stuff. I always thought it sounded like as bad as the process was, his family would make it. And look what happened. No one is immune, and if you want to take the risk fine, but don't kid yourself into thinking it couldn't happen to you. I only need to look next door to understand my mistake. My neighbor is an electrician, he'll probably never make over 50 or 60 K. But he comes home every afternoon and never works a weekend. He can frequently, so I am told, be seen in his yard playing ball with his kids. Never misses a t-ball game, never misses a birthday, never has to explain to his family why something else is, or at least seems, more important than them. He takes his family on a trip every summer. On occasion he buys nice steaks and throws them on the grill. He is saving for retirement, and paying down his mortgage. He has time to exercise and isn't killing his body. Money isn't everything. Having a "noble career" isn't everything. In the end, his kids might not live in a huge house or travel all over when they are 15. But they will have had their dad. They will have thousands of fond memories. They will have had a great childhood. If you absolutely have to do it, do it. Don't get me wrong. Medicine is interesting. I love my patients, I love those I work with. But I love my family even more and I have failed them. Ask yourself if the sacrifice is worth it. Will you be happier making $250K in 12 years when your kids are all but grown, than you would be making $60K as a nurse or $100K as a PA but getting to be with your family? It's something to think about. I wish I had. In the end I will finish because I'm 5-6 years away at this point, am in tons of debt, and would spend a few years training to do something else anyway. But if I had it to do over, I'd choose my family. Just something to think about. Best of luck in whatever you decide to do.