× Debates, Issues & Talk

Things you know now, as an MD

5 years 7 months ago #92708 by Freedom00
Hello everyone

I am a 27 year old woman from California, who has just turned down an acceptance letter to a pre-medical post-bacc program. After many anxious hours spent contemplating if medicine was my route (I've been working in education), I couldn't get myself to take the leap of faith. It wasn't so much the academic workload; it was more about the financial and emotional load that I couldn't fathom handling. Maybe I was a bit of a coward.

Anyway, I was wondering if any nontraditional MomMD's would like to share the chronology of your changing views on medicine as a career. To be honest, as an outsider, medicine as a career is so ideal and profound. I wonder if it is a fantasy of mine that developed as I watched my colleagues and friends go through the training. I wonder if I'll ever be able to put off this feeling of "what if I went with the post-bacc?"

Please share some stories...

Thank you all!

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5 years 7 months ago #92712 by English
I don't fit in the non-traditional route, but I encountered this article that I thought was interesting-- especially since I'm a primary care doctor. I love the profession on a good day, but it gets harder and harder to do right by your patients with all the governmental & insurance red tape and just having middle management who doesn't see patients dictate patient care. I'm sure you will get a lot of feedback from women who love the profession and practice of it, but I'm not sure if you can find a full time primary dr who would say the same. Sad since we take care of the bulk of the community's health concerns. Good luck!


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5 years 7 months ago #92716 by Popcorn
Ha! I was going to post a link to the same article.

I'm not a PCP - I'm a specialist. I make good money. I really love what I do some of the time, and sometimes, I can't wait until my shift is over. I don't have to deal with insurance red tape, but it is very different than it used to be.

I only owe 90K on school at this point, and I've been in practice (out of residency) for 6 years. And as I mentioned, I make pretty good money (not nearly what some make, but better than a PCP.) I don't have offspring, and have no idea how women with children do it. (And yes, I know this is MomMD... I'm the odd one out. I still don't know how they do it!)

I hope I've made the right decision to send that chest-pain patient home today. Or the abdominal pain. Or the vague shortness of breath patient. I could be wrong. I could get sued at any moment, just because I happened to pick up the chart of someone who was going to have a bad outcome no matter what I did. The 5th shift in a row isn't terribly fun. It's exhausting and terrifying and please-God-don't-let-me-miss-something. Even though people make mistakes and doctors are only human, we aren't allowed to make mistakes. Stressful? You bet.

There are plenty of docs here who will tell you that you are absolutely making the right choice. There are a lot of wonderful, fulfilling careers out there. Medicine can be one of them. At the same time, it's a grueling life and it tends to take over everything.
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5 years 7 months ago #92721 by SW to MD
Not an MD yet, will be next month. I am as nontraditional as it comes- married, with children, and had a whole other career before med school.

I would do it again in a heartbeat, even after going through the exit counseling today and seeing the true amount I owe. (Yikes- had to take a few DEEP breaths after that)

That being said, it has been a very draining path- emotionally and financially. I am on the 'hopefully I will retire without debt' plan. Recently with having so much extra time at home, I have really been feeling inadequate as a parent, and have had moments of 'gosh, I wish I could be at home more'. But I also know deep-down that I am a better parent/wife/etc when I work full-time, as the day-to-day get to me.

I do still have four years of residency in front of me, so perhaps I will have a different answer at that point?

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy - MLKJ

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5 years 7 months ago #92732 by niash
Yes, SWtoMD. It will be interesting to ask an OBGyn in 10-15 years what you think of it :) But then, u managed very well during the med school with 4 kids so, may be you will be one of those OBGyns who will enjoy their career. Good luck to you.

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5 years 6 months ago #94139 by HAM
Honestly, it's a long hard and expensive haul. It changes you completely. I too love it some days and hate it others. But the debt is sizable and really the best options for lifestyle don't pay particularly well (except derm), making it hard to be a mother, wife and good doc. If I had it to do over again, I can't say I would do it. But I can't say I wouldn't. I wanted to be a doctor since I was 5 and wouldn't have accepted anything less (largely bc my ambition and ego in youth dominated my decisions). Medicine is not what you expect it I be at all. The politics, regulation, constant insurance battles, and overall clerical workload have transformed it completely.

I currently work as a medical liaison for a drug company in which I teach other docs about diabetes treatments, answer scientific questions and work from home. It's a sweet gig and can be attained with a pharm degree, which doesn't require 3-6 years of residency. It doesn't pay as well as some physician jobs but the lifestyle is much much much better.

For what it's worth I guess.

And if you want kids or to see kids you have, don't do it. You have to sacrifice a lot just for training and I don't think it's worth it.

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