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wrong motivations??

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by mkg, Nov 12, 2000.

  1. mkg

    mkg New Member

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    Dear forum readers:
    I am nervous even to pose these thoughts anonymously, but here it goes. I graduated within the past year w/ philos. & Spanish majors @ a strong lib. arts college and w/ an almost perfect GPA (3.95). I did a bit of medical writing on a temp. basis and am currently applying for some similar positions, as my current job is somewhat dead-end. The materials which I read in the writing temp. position, to my surprise, really did interest me. I have had, for a number of years, a strong desire to feel that my job makes a positive impact on others--even in some small, almost insignificant way. My interest in the clinical study reports, etc., that I read in my writing position made me think seriously, for the first time, about medical school. If I pursued such a route, I know that I would need to enroll in a post-bacc. program or in a number of science courses, as I literally avoided college sci. courses like the plague. Most of the bio. majors at my college regarded their coursework as the most hellacious path that a student could choose and made sure that humanities majors knew that their good grades and hard work were not nearly equivalent to the slaving needed for a coveted "A" in a chem. course, for example. I hated their conceited attitude and feared telling bio.-major friends that I was considering (& still am) grad. wk. (Ph.D.) in philos.--I love thinking deeply, really processing information rather than only memorizing, as I felt some bio. students began to do. (Besides, it seemed strange to me for fellow students to groan so heartily over courses that they claimed to enjoy.) In high school, I did well in all of my sci. courses--actually got my best college recommendation from my chem. teacher, who very much shocked me by saying that I was good with scientific thinking.
    Okay, enough boring rambling, but good background info. I am quite interested in looking into some pre-med., post-bacc. programs, but I am likewise very nervous about pursuing them. Any such program would cost a h*ll of a lot of money when I have no assurances that I have the proper abilities and inclinations to be a successful pre-med./med. student. I do know, however, that I am quite hard working, determined to succeed at projects I undertake, and, in one mentor's words, "intense." On the basis of grades, I could pretty certainly get into a post-bacc. program designed for students going through their science courses for the first time rather than working on improving their pre-med. GPA's. Nonetheless, I wonder if this choice would be wise . . . I seem so tremendously different in terms of academic interests than most of the college/post-grad./med. students who have posted here.
    Any words of advice? Any nuggets of wisdom? I would *much* appreciate your thoughts.
     
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  3. mophead

    mophead Member
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    Dear mkg,

    I relate to what you say, having a similar background. Despite what you saw of premeds in undergrad, here are many medical students and doctors who like to think and care about something besides their petty ambitions. Try volunteering in a free clinic (if you are in the DC area, I know a good one!). That's how I convinced myself that premeds, med students, and doctors could be interesting and caring people. Check out the field before you commit to it through a post-bacc program. Meet some other humanities majors who went into medicine.
     
  4. Emily1

    Emily1 Senior Member
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    Your post interested me a lot since I think we must both be approaching this medicine thing from similar perspectives. I was an English major undergrad, always figured I would work in the humanities, got a master's in education and taught HS English for a few years before realizing (also through a somewhat circuitous route) that I was interested in medicine. Like you, I was not at all sure if I was making the "right" choice, and, to tell the truth, I still wonder sometimes. However, I'm an M1 this year at UCSF, and there are a huge number of people in my class who have similar stories...for example, one of my classmates just finished her dissertation defense for her PhD in English lit.

    So you're not alone...In addition, I think there's a lot to be said for pursuing the post-bacc courses out of genuine interest and enjoyment, rather than the moaning over grades that you saw in undergrad...my approach, for what it's worth, was to take the courses in the evening while continuing to work as a teacher during the day, which was much more feasible financially. I really liked most of the classes, and by the time I'd taken a few of them and volunteered in a hospital for a while, I felt much more certain about making the transition to medicine. I'd be very interested to hear what other thoughts you're having about this process. (And, for what it's worth, my thoughts are published here almost daily since I'm writing a diary for this website...check it out if you're interested in other thoughts on the humanities-medicine connection...it's something that I think about a great deal). Let me know if I can answer any questions for you. --Emily
     
  5. incrediblexman

    incrediblexman Junior Member
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    when I first decided to pursue medicine, I didn't quite trust that I would stick with it. I saved up money to basically float me for a semester while I applied for loans, knowing that if that first semester didn't work, I wouldn't take the loans, and I wouldn't have suffered much damage. Indeed, the first semester was a shock, and I was glad to be able to devote my time and attention to school. I weathered the storm and as I become more used to what it was all about, things definitely got easier, and opportunities presented themselves. If you think you'd like to be a good physician, start getting used to taking calculated risks now. eric
     
  6. gower

    gower 1K Member
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    You needn't be defensive about your possible change of course. There are many who preceded you, your analysis of your possible change of course appears to be considered and mature, and postbac programs are made for people like you, not for people who had the required science courses and trying to improve their grades (although some of the latter may be in some postbac programs). Which one to choose depends upon where you live, whether you are willing to travel to enter a program distant from where you are, and comparative costs. Syracuse University's premedical office maintains a web site listing postbac programs, but I don't have to hand its web address. You might also ask a medical school admissions office in your area what is available and what they would recommend.
    A formal "postbac program" is not essential. If you live near a strong university or college, or even your old college, you can probably take the requirements as a non-matriculated student. Matriculated or not makes no difference to professional schools; you will have a transcript with the courses and grades. One possible disadvantage of this route compared to postbac programs is that you may have some difficulty getting help in putting your application package together or advice on which courses you should take when. Postbac programs are supposed to help you with all that. If you are thinking of applying to med schools in the northeast, be forwarned that they are very unfavorably inclined to see science courses only from 2 year colleges. Other areas in the US may be more tolerant, but you ought to check that out before taking community college courses.
    Good luck.
    "May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warmly on your face, may the rain fall soft on your fields..." (an old Celtic farewell, claimed by both the Welsh and the Irish).
     
  7. Cobragirl

    Cobragirl Hoohaa helper ;)
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    I think your motivation to enter medicine is probably better than most that I've heard from many other students. Quite frankly, i was expecting this post to be about future salary or job security, etc. it was really refreshing to see such a sincere inquiry. Believe me, even we conceited [​IMG] bio majors question this route MANY times! I say go for it...at least you'll never have to look back and say "what if?"! And just for the record, there are MANY bio majors out there that work in fields totally unrelated to science...like me doing accounting right now. Just go with the flow and follow your dreams! [​IMG]
     
  8. mkg

    mkg New Member

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    Thanks to everyone for your honest and supportive comments. Emily, yes, I would appreciate learning more about your experiences; I did catch up on some of your past website diary entries. Please contact me at [email protected] whenever your busy schedule permits . . . thank you.
     
  9. DrP

    DrP Junior Member
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    I recommend participating in some volunteer work and taking into significant consideration all of other aspects of your life (family, friends, etc.) before embarking. It is a huge life-altering decision that many regret, even if they don't admit it. If in all honestly you believe that medicine will give you a true spiritual and intellectual satisfaction that will be suffcient to warrant the other sacrifices you will have to make(whether you want to or not), then go for it. You sound like a fine candidate that medical schools will fight for. Do you post-bacc stuff at an inexpensive school, admissions committes will focus on those grades and your undergraduate work and institution, not so much your post-bacc institution. You'll have enough debt from medical school. Just realize (truly meditate on) the fact that medicine is not a job, a career or a profession, but a life. You will be the doctor father, doctor husband, doctor friend. That becomes more evident as the years pass. As I now enter the hospital as a doctor vs a medical student, it becomes more and more evident. It will be who you are, not something you do.
    You have to want it with a passion, not just consider it an option. If not, its not worth it.
     

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