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Help me become a doctor [Update Page 5]

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Posts

  • TransporterTransporter Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    There is alot of great information in this thread, but I feel that people here might be understating one, very VERY crucial period of becoming a Doc.


    Residency/Fellowship.

    The school portion is difficult, to say this least, but this right here, this is the trail by fire. Those 3 to 5 years, you are everyone's bitch. Your hospital will overwork you(Talking 70 to 80 hour work weeks here). they will underpay you. You will get nasty looks from almost every paitent you see the first time you're introduced. You will get shit on by pretty much all of the staff(Unfortunatley, I have also done my fair share of resident shitting). No one will know who the hell you are. You will fuck up, and you will here it from every single person imaginable, as well as have to deal with any soul-crushing guilt that comes with it if it's a big one. And this is on top of the class workload that comes with whatever specialty you decide to go into. Oh, and you will basically live, eat, and breath Doctor. There's little to no free time for the rest of your life unless God comes down and personally blesses you with a profitable outpaitent clinic with paitents that aren't completley strange.

    However, the most important thing, the WAY most important thing, is that you have to enjoy working with people, and treating your paitents. Can't stress that enough. Otherwise, the job becomes really hard, really fast.

  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    There is alot of great information in this thread, but I feel that people here might be understating one, very VERY crucial period of becoming a Doc.


    Residency/Fellowship.

    The school portion is difficult, to say this least, but this right here, this is the trail by fire. Those 3 to 5 years, you are everyone's bitch. Your hospital will overwork you(Talking 70 to 80 hour work weeks here). they will underpay you. You will get nasty looks from almost every paitent you see the first time you're introduced. You will get shit on by pretty much all of the staff(Unfortunatley, I have also done my fair share of resident shitting). No one will know who the hell you are. You will fuck up, and you will here it from every single person imaginable, as well as have to deal with any soul-crushing guilt that comes with it if it's a big one. And this is on top of the class workload that comes with whatever specialty you decide to go into. Oh, and you will basically live, eat, and breath Doctor. There's little to no free time for the rest of your life unless God comes down and personally blesses you with a profitable outpaitent clinic with paitents that aren't completley strange.

    However, the most important thing, the WAY most important thing, is that you have to enjoy working with people, and treating your paitents. Can't stress that enough. Otherwise, the job becomes really hard, really fast.


    Right, again, I have known people who quit the profession in their internship, after going through medical school.

    In other words, I have known people who were in debt 200 thousand dollars and spent 4 years in school who hated it so much that they decided to walk away (into a PHD program, but still, one they could pretty much have gotten into straight out of undergrad).

    Consider for a minute that you've just put yourself $200k in debt and spent 4 years doing something, imagine how bad your life would have to be for you to just eat the $200,000 debt and do something else.

    Yeah.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    lSTill not sure why op thinks he can reliably plan the next decade of his life. If he's going to leverage his finances to get a BA he should ne prepared for a plan B if he gets a c- or a D in gatekeeper classes and permanently DQs himself from med school. I think what's bothering me about this plan is that he figures if he does his due diligence, applies himself and works smart, he'll be set. That's just a dirty lie; people have been girding themseles since they were 10 to be a doctor and they still eatdirt somewhere between the SATs, science classes and the MCATs. Think of things to do if your plan runs aground at each juncture.

    fwKS7.png?1
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    It's not that hard to become a doctor. You can always re-take a class if you fuck it up, and you have a few goes at the MCATs. It's more about knowing I WANT TO BE A DOCTOR FOR REALS and not just doing it because you watched House and it looks cool or your parents would like it.

    In the medical profession, it's a lot like policing - you see people at their absolute worst. There's a reason doctors have a crazy high suicide rate.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Yeah those people that fail somewhere along the ways are usually the brats whose parents tell them that they need to go to med school and be a doctor like them, or something similar.

    I was originally on my way that way but around the middle of high school I got involved with computer and then as soon as I graduated I realized this is something I really enjoy so I dropped on my BA and went to get an associates in computers. Now that I realize this is probably something I should've left as a hobby I'm kind of regretting not finishing my BA.

    I've also noticed that those people that you highlighted tend to be absolutely horrific people persons and are generally cocky and douches, so I'm sure that doesn't bode well in interviews.

  • TheOtherHorsemanTheOtherHorseman Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    kaliyama wrote: »
    lSTill not sure why op thinks he can reliably plan the next decade of his life. If he's going to leverage his finances to get a BA he should ne prepared for a plan B if he gets a c- or a D in gatekeeper classes and permanently DQs himself from med school. I think what's bothering me about this plan is that he figures if he does his due diligence, applies himself and works smart, he'll be set. That's just a dirty lie; people have been girding themseles since they were 10 to be a doctor and they still eatdirt somewhere between the SATs, science classes and the MCATs. Think of things to do if your plan runs aground at each juncture.

    Girding oneself to be a doctor since the age of 10 probably has a decent correlation with burning out and failing. If our childhood dreams were accurate indicators of what career would be best for us, we'd all be space monsters and firetrucks.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    kaliyama wrote: »
    lSTill not sure why op thinks he can reliably plan the next decade of his life. If he's going to leverage his finances to get a BA he should ne prepared for a plan B if he gets a c- or a D in gatekeeper classes and permanently DQs himself from med school. I think what's bothering me about this plan is that he figures if he does his due diligence, applies himself and works smart, he'll be set. That's just a dirty lie; people have been girding themseles since they were 10 to be a doctor and they still eatdirt somewhere between the SATs, science classes and the MCATs. Think of things to do if your plan runs aground at each juncture.

    Girding oneself to be a doctor since the age of 10 probably has a decent correlation with burning out and failing. If our childhood dreams were accurate indicators of what career would be best for us, we'd all be space monsters and firetrucks.

    Yes, some people burn out because it isn't what they want to do. That's a fair point. What i'm trying to point out is that the people who really really want to be doctors eat dirt in curved undergrad science courses or the MCAT before they grow to regret their purported choice of profession and burn out. It's not a burn out issue i'm trying to flag, it's that extremely motivated people fail at the entrance requirements before they get a chance to realize their mistake.

    Which isn't to say don't try, it's to realize you stand a chance of failure and to have realistic backup plans ready.

    fwKS7.png?1
  • LeCausticLeCaustic Registered User
    edited February 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    It's not that hard to become a doctor. You can always re-take a class if you fuck it up, and you have a few goes at the MCATs. It's more about knowing I WANT TO BE A DOCTOR FOR REALS and not just doing it because you watched House and it looks cool or your parents would like it.

    In the medical profession, it's a lot like policing - you see people at their absolute worst. There's a reason doctors have a crazy high suicide rate.

    You're forgetting one crazily easy way to get into medical school
    "I want to go into primary care"

    Spoiler:
  • corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    LeCaustic wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    It's not that hard to become a doctor. You can always re-take a class if you fuck it up, and you have a few goes at the MCATs. It's more about knowing I WANT TO BE A DOCTOR FOR REALS and not just doing it because you watched House and it looks cool or your parents would like it.

    In the medical profession, it's a lot like policing - you see people at their absolute worst. There's a reason doctors have a crazy high suicide rate.

    You're forgetting one crazily easy way to get into medical school
    "I want to go into primary care"

    Pathologist would probably be a good thing to say if you are worried you are coming across as a bit weird (turn that negative into a positive!).

    Ad Astra Per Aspera
  • BetelguesePDXBetelguesePDX Registered User
    edited February 2010
    I graduated from residency 5 years ago. You know everyone up there saying it is hard. They're right. I came to within an inch of quitting in my intern year, that is how tough it was. Physician payments have been falling consistently for the past fifteen odd years and will continue to fall as part of the national 'cost of healthcare' debate. Yet medical school debt is outpacing inflation consistently.

    It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the days of vacation homes and golf club memberships for physicians are ending. Financially this is not a career that is very rewarding. But seeing a kid sick as a dog come back 2 days later, after you treated them, smiling and begging for a Cookie Monster sticker makes it worth it. That should be the only reason for going into medicine.

  • LeCausticLeCaustic Registered User
    edited February 2010

    It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the days of vacation homes and golf club memberships for physicians are ending. Financially this is not a career that is very rewarding. But seeing a kid sick as a dog come back 2 days later, after you treated them, smiling and begging for a Cookie Monster sticker makes it worth it. That should be the only reason for going into medicine.

    As long as mommy is there with the paycheck, I'm all smiles. Oh wait...I'm doing it wrong!

    Spoiler:
  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I graduated from residency 5 years ago. You know everyone up there saying it is hard. They're right. I came to within an inch of quitting in my intern year, that is how tough it was. Physician payments have been falling consistently for the past fifteen odd years and will continue to fall as part of the national 'cost of healthcare' debate. Yet medical school debt is outpacing inflation consistently.

    It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the days of vacation homes and golf club memberships for physicians are ending. Financially this is not a career that is very rewarding. But seeing a kid sick as a dog come back 2 days later, after you treated them, smiling and begging for a Cookie Monster sticker makes it worth it. That should be the only reason for going into medicine.

    I think you're entirely right that things are getting tighter in the medical profession and aspects of the gravy train are going to be derailed, but it's not strictly doom and gloom. Doctors still regulate the entry into their profession the best of any org. As a lawyer I wish we did as good a job, because it keeps competition down and salaries high. Primary care physicians still readily clear in the $100s for what, at least to some, is very rewarding work. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080909205410.htm I expect we will see less phyiscians used in favor of cheaper RN/ass'ts leveraging work.

    Specialists of course earn more - so primary care doctors doubtless feel like they're getting underpaid relative to their peers and to their value added, since a good primary care doctor and preventative care can avoid expensive specialist treatments later down the line.

    They're def. underpaid in relation to valuing the opportunity cost of med school and the debt incurred during it. Physician salaries are undoubtedly decreasing in real terms as are most people's salaries; salaries are losing value due to inflation, but relative to other economic options it is still very good, and in absolute terms the financial rewards are good.

    It's still better to be at goldman sachs or blackstone capital in raw reward terms, but doctors here remain handsomely paid, and disproportionately so compared to other first-world countries.

    fwKS7.png?1
  • CBG BlenderCBG Blender Registered User, ClubPA
    edited February 2010
    bowen wrote: »
    Yeah those people that fail somewhere along the ways are usually the brats whose parents tell them that they need to go to med school and be a doctor like them, or something similar.

    I was originally on my way that way but around the middle of high school I got involved with computer and then as soon as I graduated I realized this is something I really enjoy so I dropped on my BA and went to get an associates in computers. Now that I realize this is probably something I should've left as a hobby I'm kind of regretting not finishing my BA.

    I've also noticed that those people that you highlighted tend to be absolutely horrific people persons and are generally cocky and douches, so I'm sure that doesn't bode well in interviews.

    I've seen plenty of people fail along the way that weren't "brats" and plenty of genuinely nice people who weren't "cocky douches" fail and/or burn out completely. I agree with kaliyama. Going back to college with the hopes of going to medical school is not impossible, and I certainly wish you good luck, but you need to be aware of the potential for failure along the way. There are a dozens of checkpoints along the way where it is entirely possible to screw yourself over, no matter how positive your attitude is. You can certainly do it, but ignoring the risks will not help you.

  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    LeCaustic wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    It's not that hard to become a doctor. You can always re-take a class if you fuck it up, and you have a few goes at the MCATs. It's more about knowing I WANT TO BE A DOCTOR FOR REALS and not just doing it because you watched House and it looks cool or your parents would like it.

    In the medical profession, it's a lot like policing - you see people at their absolute worst. There's a reason doctors have a crazy high suicide rate.

    You're forgetting one crazily easy way to get into medical school
    "I want to go into primary care"

    Or

    "I heard you guys had an MD/PhD program, here are my research credentials"

  • LeCausticLeCaustic Registered User
    edited February 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    LeCaustic wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    It's not that hard to become a doctor. You can always re-take a class if you fuck it up, and you have a few goes at the MCATs. It's more about knowing I WANT TO BE A DOCTOR FOR REALS and not just doing it because you watched House and it looks cool or your parents would like it.

    In the medical profession, it's a lot like policing - you see people at their absolute worst. There's a reason doctors have a crazy high suicide rate.

    You're forgetting one crazily easy way to get into medical school
    "I want to go into primary care"

    Or

    "I heard you guys had an MD/PhD program, here are my research credentials"


    Absolutely NOT. MD/PhD is one of the most insanely difficult programs to get into. It's not easy to get in and it's not easy to get out.

    It's the difficulty of getting into a PhD program added to the difficulty of getting into an MD program. Realize that you don't have ANY debt from student loans and you can see why they're so selective. I don't get why people think it's in any way easy to get in. Schools only allow few people because they're basically paying you to go to school!

    Spoiler:
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Okay, I'm looking for a little help here again.

    Does anyone know of a good school in the central new york area within easy commuting distance of Syracuse that has a good science program that I could obtain my pre-med BA at? I'd like a SUNY school but my guess is I'm probably going to be stuck with SU, which I want to avoid if possible (seems too expensive, but I may be wrong).

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Also, while I'm on this subject.

    Let's say I finish my BA and apply to med schools, is it a smart or good idea to apply to schools across country with the intention of using the schooling as a way to move? I'm interested in getting out of state but really don't have any incentive to do it (good job and no real opportunities out of state).

    I understand I'll have to be licensed in the state I want to practice medicine but this is just a what if.

    Edit:

    Also, since I work with a doctor right now can I shadow him or anything like that to get some of this community service type time in? He's really open to the idea of me becoming a doctor and wants to help me (I'm pretty sure he'd help me with all but fully paying for my school).

  • corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Anecdotally (and in the UK), experience is experience. It's what you get out of it (e.g. you know what being a doctor is about, working as a team, all that sort of stuff), rather than the fact that you pointlessly sacrificed your free time (and got nothing out of it) that matters. Paid work experience is awesome.

    I imagine you'll still want to help out at a hospice/coach the local football team/whatever though.

    Ad Astra Per Aspera
  • Evil_ReaverEvil_Reaver Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    bowen wrote: »
    Also, while I'm on this subject.

    Let's say I finish my BA and apply to med schools, is it a smart or good idea to apply to schools across country with the intention of using the schooling as a way to move? I'm interested in getting out of state but really don't have any incentive to do it (good job and no real opportunities out of state).

    You won't be working in med school, so your current job won't be a factor while you are applying. So to answer your question, I don't see why you couldn't use an out of state med school as a reason to move.

    XBL: Agitated Wombat | 3DS: 2363-7048-2527
  • LeCausticLeCaustic Registered User
    edited March 2010
    bowen wrote: »
    Also, while I'm on this subject.

    Let's say I finish my BA and apply to med schools, is it a smart or good idea to apply to schools across country with the intention of using the schooling as a way to move? I'm interested in getting out of state but really don't have any incentive to do it (good job and no real opportunities out of state).

    I understand I'll have to be licensed in the state I want to practice medicine but this is just a what if.

    Edit:

    Also, since I work with a doctor right now can I shadow him or anything like that to get some of this community service type time in? He's really open to the idea of me becoming a doctor and wants to help me (I'm pretty sure he'd help me with all but fully paying for my school).

    Firstly, don't try and restrict yourself of schools for a BA. Get into a college and get a BA with the requisites for Med School admissions.

    Secondly, you would be completely dumb to NOT apply out of state. You have to apply to as many places as you can. Don't apply Ivy League unless you have money to drop on those schools. Realistically, and truthfully, all medical schools (well, the top 50), are all the same. You're getting an excellent education from all these schools that WILL prepare you to become a physician. School rankings for med schools are all based on research and not on physican standings, so to speak. I strongly suggest studentdoctor to get information on what's going on in medical school admissions and what people are saying.

    Thirdly, you're already shadowing that physician right now, I'd assume. You work with him, so it's ultimately the same thing. Unfortunately, it'd be really difficult to tell admissions committee that you "volunteered" to shadow the guy. If anything, I'd just get a letter of recommendation from the guy. The committee isn't necessarily picky about the experience in terms of paid/non paid. They ultimately want to see a devotion/dedication to health care. If you can, get some volunteer work in. Maybe 3 hours a week just to cover the required volunteer aspect of applying. If it means anything, the MD/PhD I work under is the person I'll be asking for a letter of recommendation from, even though it's paid work. The important thing is to have someone you know in medicine to help tell the admissions committee that "Yes, this guy has been with me and knows what medicine is and I can tell you he/she'd make for a great asset in the community".

    Fourthly, and most importantly, is the fact that you have to know what medicine is. Understand what it ultimately is as a career. MANY people fall under the delusion that medicine is some exciting, fast paced career with awesome diagnosis and amazing procedures. 90% of the time, it's not. What gets you through that 90%? An ability to deal with people and apply what you know in dealing with these people. I've understood it from the start and realized how unglamorous it is, relatively. I still want to go into medicine.


    As a final - don't worry about where you go to med school. Med schools in the US are all the same. If you're interested/care about standing out, it's about your Step I USMLE scores and rotations in 3rd/4th year of Medical School.

    Spoiler:
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Yes I know medicine is nothing like House. :P

    The doctor actually recommended that I go back to school during my review this year and work towards med school, he thinks it'd be great for me.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Bump:

    So, after doing some school shopping I have it narrowed down to 2 schools in the area. My brother mentioned to me that the Air Force has some programs for people to pay for med school, residency, and all that and they paid for him to become a dentist. I tried to do a quick search but didn't really turn up too much information and I'm really not looking to be badgered by a recruiter so, I'm hoping someone here knows more about this than I do. What would it entail if I enlisted and signed up for the med school program.

    I'm not sure I care exactly which branch I go in, but if one offers something different than the others like required time to server, or, not dying, then that'd be pretty nice.

    What I did gather is that they'd pretty much pay 100% of it, give me a stipend to live off of, and then require me to serve in the military for each year they paid for with med school. After I graduate I'd be in the military doing military things, but I would practice medicine in clinics probably living in bumfuck montana or something, and I'd probably have to be in it for close to 6+ years.

    Is this everything?

  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Well right now the Air Force and Navy are turning people away.

    camo_sig.png
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    mts wrote: »
    Well right now the Air Force and Navy are turning people away.

    General enlistment or for the medical programs? I still see a lot of hiring doctor advertisements for the army (I think national guard specifically) in our area.

  • KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I had some friends in that program and they are still recruiting at my medical school. I'm pretty sure that all the branches are the same in terms of commitment to serve. You also have to go through OCS during the summer between first and second year.

    BTW, everyone gets paid during their residency, it isn't a huge amount (generally 40-50k) but the army isn't special in that regard. You do have to do a military residency, but there are some specialties that are only offered at military residencies (aerospace medicine is one that my friend was interested in).

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'm mainly concerned with the cost of schooling rather than the stipend. We do have a SUNY med school in my area which would make medical school dirt cheap for me, but, I'd really like to get my previous schooling paid for since I need to go back for a bachelors anyways.

    Kistra, does the military program pretty much guarantee me a spot in med school if I get accepted and score well on the MCAT ? I know with the SUNY route I still have to compete with god knows who else? I'm not really worried about specialist schooling either, I had planned to be primary care.

  • KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    All the people I know enlisted after they got in to medical school.

    Animal Crossing: City Folk Lissa in Filmore 3179-9580-0076
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Kistra wrote: »
    All the people I know enlisted after they got in to medical school.

    Hmm. Is this typical? From what little I've found it seems they let you enroll before you enter med school too.

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