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OT: Doctors/ med students. I'm thinking about going to med school.


goaway

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I'm in my fourth year of college. My parents told me to pursue what ever i was interested in, not something that just pays well. so naturally my first choice was recording. yeah...useless degree. wasted a whole bunch of time on that. I've tried secondary education and I'm realizing what I always knew to be true about that, I would hate it but it would make my parents happy....but seriously, I'm dying inside :lol:

 

 

Ever since early high school, med school was always what i could see myself doing but the work load scared the crap out of me, and i would feel like a douche cause my parents are paying for it. like they've worked ridiculously hard so i could get an education without going into debt.

 

so anyway, i tell my parents i was considering it and much to my surprise they were very happy about it...they told me not to worry about the money (apparently they're more well-off than i realized) so basically what i'm asking is for you guys with experience to help me decide if its really what i want to do. i want both positive and negative experiences.

 

 

 

i feel like i rambled a lot. TL;DR, i want to go to med school i think. tell me about it.

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Medicine is a great career, if it's what you want to do... I love it, although things are a bit different here in NZ as far as healthcare provision goes.

 

Where do your impressions of medicine come from? It may seem a funny question, but I think it helps. What I do now bears very, very little relationship to what I thought medicine involved when I started. And if you find part of it that you love (which I have), then it's the best job in the world. On the other hand, if you don't, it's pretty much the worst.

 

It is pretty all-consuming, although I still managed to play guitar a fair bit and gig occasionally as a student... Have not been in a gigging band since graduation, but record and jam and play in church. But there will be times when music takes a major back seat.

 

You learn a lot about how you learn, how not to sleep and how much work you can tolerate in med school, as well as about medicine.

 

If you want to ask specific questions, PM me.

Steve

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Medical students drink far more than any other type of students.

 

 

Impossible. We philosophy students are straight up abusers. Chaff out the {censored}ing neo-Platonists and you've got a tiny population of hard core drinkers.

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Do it bro! I love medicine too but My family and I are poor as hell so the farthest I got was Paramedic school. Seriously, you will ALWAYS have job security in medicine, especially as a Doctor. Just take the studies and work one semester at a time. Good luck, I'm jealous as hell.

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Talk with Gae, I think he just finished Med school in Italy last year. Med school is a big commitment, something like 4 years of med school, 4 years of a residency, and then a couple more years depending what you specialize in, and this seems to be where a great deal of money is made, or not made. A general internist will not make the $ that a cardiologist would, but it's all relative too. Finding a field where you can work normal hours might be important to you as well. Lots of bull{censored} is attached to the medical field these days, cost of insurance, red tape forms, etc. It still seems like a great career path to me, but it isn't as lucrative as it once was, so bear that in mind.

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One does not simply drift into med school

 

Do not commit until you have done some volunteer work with vulnerable people and are sure you have the personal strength to deal with the things doctors have to deal with on a daily basis, it is a job that can turn you into a bitter human being

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"Just a dentist" here, but I was fulltime faculty at one of the best med/dent schools in the country for three years.

 

There are some good insights and things to ask yourself (above).

 

 

 

Volunteer - make sure you have compasion, and can deal with people under extreme stress.

Look at how you did in OChem - were you really able to apply the basics across the periodic table, or were you a formulae memorizer?

 

Do you have :

coolness of nerve,

analytic skills that persist in emergency,

awareness to know when you are in over your head

selfcognition to know what you don't know

ability to ask intelligent questions

 

...and by the way, you have only 3 seconds to come up with the right answers.

You need to make swift decisions, and accurate ones.

And you need to do it with compassion.

And ethically.

And for the love of all that's holy, don't be a jerk/asshole/pompous/condescending/gossipy/lecherous.

Don't ever use yourself (or your good health/genetics/luck) as an example when talking to a patient.

It IS all about them, not you.

Be humble.

Be right.

Be human enough to accept your mistakes (you WILL make them).

Be smart enough to analyze those scientific papers/journals...read critically...there's a lot of 'bad science' in the world.

Understand that your patients may not read the same materials as you...there is a war of words out there, and good science does not always win.

Learn how to 'teach' in a way that get's your 'student' excited. This is what you will do for the rest of your life, and your patients' health will improve if you can do it.

For chrissakes, be 'man enough' to describe the risks of the procedures you advocate. PARQ: it is a way of life. If you cannot do it, humanely, then don't even think about starting.

 

---So what's it like in medicine?---

 

I'll give you one simple example that happens nearly every week in my dental practice:

 

"Joanne" comes in at 9 AM. Hasn't seen a dentist in 20 years. Has a swollen lower cheek, swelling is bright red, diffuse, runs about halfway down her neck and she says it wasn't there at all last night...not much pain, but feels like she has a fever and is weak. She says her 'old poison mercury fillings rotted her teeth and now it's got into her blood".

BTW, Joanne is

-an NIDDM diabetic, didn't take her meds this AM (cuz her MD always has her do that) and hasn't eaten today cuz she doesn't feel good.

- is on kidney dialysis, 3-2-3, and is due to go in tomorrow for her next.

- has hypertension, smoked 2 pack/day for 30 years, shortness of breath, is 50 lbs overweight, built like a bowling ball.

- had her left hip replaced last year

- has an active ulcer

- is deathly afraid of needles.

- hates hospitals even worse, gets chestpains everytime she walks in.

- Allergies to Sulfas, "those -mycin antibiotics', and a 'backwards reaction to lorazepam...makes me all jumpy and crazy'.

 

...and btw, in the time you collected all this info, you see the redness has spread down her neck another quarter inch.

 

The tooth in question is rotted off at the gumline. There are four others in similar condition inher mouth.

And her can only open half way.

 

What she wants today? : "Some medicine so she can get better....and no offense, but I hate the dentist!!".

 

 

....so my friend, what's your plan?

 

(I could have given you a MD-scenario instead of a dentist one, but I'd like to hear how your mind thinks with the additional constraints of being "only a dentist".)

 

STEVEMCB and the other MD/DO/Chiros/Naturopaths: .....no fair giving hints.

This is more of a test of your "oh {censored}" threshhold.

 

....have fun, or not...

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One does not simply drift into med school


Do not commit until you have done some volunteer work with vulnerable people and are sure you have the personal strength to deal with the things doctors have to deal with on a daily basis, it is a job that can turn you into a bitter human being

 

 

Good advice. I experienced this firsthand and chose to pursue a Ph.D. instead.

 

To the OP, I'd be a little worried about making this decision during your 4th year. Anything's possible but the amount of scholarly and extracurricular preparation required just for entry into grad school takes a significant portion of those four years.

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I just finished (july) university so I can give you my POV.

First of all think at yourself, your habits, what you like to do and what not and keep in mind that Med is extremely time consuming, sometimes it just takes all the time you have. This mean that doesn't exist saturday or sunday, or christmas or easter. Obviously there will be moment less or more busy, and this doesn't mean you have to cut out all your hobbies, but just keep in mind the time you will have for yourself can be very very little.

I haven't ever believed in people telling to be a doctor you have to feel some kind of mystical call or a particular sense of duty, but it's really really really important always remembering a thing (at least this is the idea I've come up with after all these years): the doctor, as a concept, is a really strange occupation, since you live on people's disease. Starting from this it doesn't mean you have to feel guilty everyday for what you do, but should help you to remember that everything you do, don't or will is for the best of the patient. This is extremely important because, unfortunately even the doctor, in the end, is a job, and the biggest risk is that it becomes just routine. That's what you need to avoid, because patients are not numbers, they're all different, and you won't find that a certain approach is appliable to everyone. Than medicine is a big way, with lot of very differents destinations. So you could find a certain thing suits you better; there are fields where you need to manage urgencies, other when the work is much more relaxed, and so on. It's impossible to choose before even starting, but my advice is to try to make up your mind just a little; you don't want to risk to finish your course without a strong idea, and believe me in medicine more than any other job, you need a really really strong belief in what you do, because there are times when it seems that just everything is against you. Trying to understand if you are more than a surgery or a clinical and what fields you could enjoy better, is a good exercise IMO.

So it's a long and winding road, that probably will take you to make some sacrifices, that will influence your social life and people around you. Once you're ok with this, it can gives you a lot of satisfaction, because it could seem a clich

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STEVEMCB and the other MD/DO/Chiros/Naturopaths: .....no fair giving hints.

This is more of a test of your "oh {censored}" threshhold.

 

 

I'm not sure how I'm "giving hints". I don't really want to talk about exact details of what I do in an open forum online (see the Internet Footprint thread). But I do want to help, and the way of doing that to my mind is to first establish what people's understanding and expectations are - before launching into a complex clinical scenario of which people who haven't yet studied medicine yet will have difficulty evaluating.

 

There are a wide variety of medical specialties that require varying balances of the skills you describe. No-one expects a first year medical student to make instant life and death decisions, that's a skill that is taught and developed with time and the knowledge to back it up. A pathologist never has to make instant life and death decisions. They're still a doctor.

 

So goaway, what are your impressions of medical practice based on?

 

Steve

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Just my 2 cents (for the TLDR version skip to the end)

 

I'm also a Doctor, graduated in June last year from UCL (London). I did and do nothing but medicine and music, so neither really took a major back seat for me. I'm still very heavily involved in my band and trying to push things forward, but it can be gruelling and demanding with the job obviously taking up a lot of my time and energy. If you want something bad enough you'll find the time and energy regardless. Student life on the workload side of things really wasn't too bad either, and I'm by no means the sharpest tool in the box. Put the work in when it's needed and anyone can come through the other side, it's all about finding the right balance and working out what works for your stride.

 

I do however know that there's a world of difference between the American and British medical/health care systems, and the training is no exception. There seems to be a different kind of "drive" as it were. It also seems as though the hours are a bit longer over in the US, the competition perhaps a bit fiercer, and everything generally being a bit less flexible to accommodate a life outside of a hospital, but I don't know the ins and outs of things over there. I'll say this though, long hours pass very quickly in this job, you will ultimately be as competitive as you want to be based on your own personal desire so it's almost an irrelevant thing to consider, and flexibility to do other stuff can always be moulded from whatever you're given, no matter how seemingly stringent.

 

I personally won't pretend for one second that I did it because I found it to be my "calling in life" or whatever. I'm fairly sure I won't ever be the biggest and best consultant in whatever speciality I end up choosing, I have no interest in that kind of accolade or indeed give a {censored} about being that competitive, but I want to be in an environment where professionalism is key, and where what you do can (at least have the potential) to make a real difference to someone, somewhere, somehow, as that's just how my brain works. I don't buy into the whole "it's ridiculously tough and can turn you into a c**t" malarky... if it turns you into a prick you were probably one to begin with, you've just lost the energy to hide it as well.

 

Music is and has always been my main passion, and heck, these days, I may struggle with time to dedicate to it, but I work hard and play hard, and with the employment situation the way it is, I'm glad I don't have to worry about money to fund my music when its needed. It's a tough job, but I really enjoy the challenge ultimately, and every day throws up something new to learn, and then I really, REALLY, get to enjoy my time off.

 

 

 

The TL/DR version: I'm not particularly clever, but I made it through to become a Doctor (and thusly I feel that anyone can), and I still hit my music hard... Best of both worlds...in a weird topsy turvy kind of way...IMO.

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