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How to get unstuck

10 years 3 months ago #637 by snowflake

Originally posted by consult2health:
AS for your suggestion, I feel that if I go for a PhD for 4 years and work for 4 years after that, I'll be 40 yo and fear it will be even harder for me to make the change.

Not sure how similar my situation was to yours, but thought I'd throw this out there in case it was helpful. I was also admitted to a PhD program last year (in genetic epidemiology), full scholarship and all, and I had a LOT of stress and indecision about whether to just do the PhD and go from there, or not start at all. I decided not to start, and I am so glad I didn't. My heart wasn't in it and I think it would have been 4-6 very stressful years working towards a degree I didn't really want or need. I would suggest not starting the PhD unless you really want to spend that time researching your subject/are very motivated to get the degree. I also have a friend who is just completing her PhD in a medical subject and wishes that she hadn't started--she wants to go to medical school and feels as though she's wasted her time for the past 5 years since she doesn't need the degree and did not enjoy getting it. Also easier to not start a PhD than to drop out half way, as the inevitable questions arise for any future application to medical school, jobs, or other degree programs (did you drop out because you couldn't handle it? Is it a sign that you make commitments you don't keep? etc).

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10 years 3 months ago #638 by EarthSky
I wouldn't recommend starting the PhD unless you really feel you have the (some?) inner drive for it. You said you already have a high paying job, so it's not like you need it for economic security.

In your situation, I actually wouldn't tell my friends my plan right away. I'd take a couple pre-reqs and start volunteering. Once you have time and effort invested in the idea, it adds a lot of gravity to the plan (in their eyes at least).

Then again, if you have a friend who really can keep a confidence, and has a track record of being supportive and inspirational... you sure could benefit from the support. If not, then you can always come here and get support & inspiration!

But personally, I'm stuck in a sense too - for different reasons and at a different point. The biggest block is that I've "quit" before. Sure, medical issues played a big role in that, but I still doubt myself and fear starting something that I may not have the physical (intellectual?) stamina to complete.

So for now I'm waiting for my baby to get a bit older... surely that buys me a few months?? LOL

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10 years 2 months ago #639 by Backatit
I like what someone else said. Make the decision and stick with it. All or nothing. I agree whole heartedly. My biggest fear is waking up one day full of regrets. There will be many reasons to quit along this LONG journey so make sure this is what you want and go for it. Like the NIKE mantra, "Just do it".

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10 years 2 months ago #640 by Doc201X
I think if I were you I'd carefully plan this premed thing out over a couple years while paying very close attention to how much money I was putting away so that when you do matriculate in med school, you'll have a solid financial cushion. I'd also target state schools (although I recognize most applicants can't be picky) to keep your future costs down to a minimum. And I agree with not starting the PhD program.

Basically you're looking at a situation where all the financial responsibility falls on you which requires a VERY different plan than if you have a husband/family you could rely on. Good luck!!

My Scientist/Physician Journey

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