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Would you do it again knowing what you do now?

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7 years 2 days ago - 7 years 2 days ago #87579 by tr_

AmmaMD wrote: The discussion of the factors that sway one one way or the other is interesting. Emily, I like your system =). I'm another example of someone in psychiatry who says "yes! I would do med school again! (I think...)". The thing I'm far less sure about, actually, is the PhD part. Which sort of shows you the "grass is greener" part of it


I had a pretty miserable PhD experience and my biggest regret about all of this is that I didn't choose a different lab for my thesis research.

That said, I really feel like the freedom from debt is the only thing that is allowing me to continue to pursue research right now. My friends report they are spending $800-$1500/mo on loan repayment. That's like child care for another kid, or rent for a single or couple. There's no way we could continue with me making fellowship money (vs cutting out to a fully clinical position) if we had a bill like that every month.

And actually come to think of it I am hella glad I did the MD at all because my personal alternative (if I hadn't gotten into an MSTP) would have been straight PhD, which honestly now seems like a road to despair and boy am I ever glad that I *did* do the MD given what my alternative path ended up looking like.
Last Edit: 7 years 2 days ago by .

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7 years 2 days ago #87581 by Doc201X

tr_ wrote: which honestly now seems like a road to despair and boy am I ever glad that I *did* do the MD given what my alternative path ended up looking like.


The PhD only is slowly becoming the "dinosaur" in the room, LOL!!!!

And I personally don't think ANYONE ought to "just" get one without adding something else like an MD/DO, PharmD, DDS, ect.

My Scientist/Physician Journey
www.Doc201X.blogspot.com

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7 years 2 days ago #87583 by sahmd
I like Emily2651's scoring system. It makes sense retrospectively, for those of us who are already there and already know our scores. For the average pre-med, most of the factors are still unknown, because they are not married yet and are still hopeful that they will have minimum loans and a specialty that fits their future (unknown) needs.

On the other hand, since these factors are within one's control, it might be educational for pre-meds and med students to arrange things so that they don't choose a surgeon husband and do choose certain specialties. IMHO, delaying childbearing will help them minimize their loans and will enable them to spend more time studying so that they can get into the competitive lifestyle specialties.

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7 years 2 days ago #87591 by AmmaMD

tr_ wrote: And actually come to think of it I am hella glad I did the MD at all because my personal alternative (if I hadn't gotten into an MSTP) would have been straight PhD, which honestly now seems like a road to despair and boy am I ever glad that I *did* do the MD given what my alternative path ended up looking like.


YES YES YES - I'm 100% with you, here. I think about this periodically. For me, the money part is dicier because it's not clear that given the timing of our kids relative to my and my husband's career paths I'll actually be able to stick it out in a research fellowship... but actually, in terms of being able to take the financial risk of a research career despite the crappy funding climate and ridiculous competativeness of it, the MD (+ actually really liking clinical work) is my total saving grace. I feel so much more comfortable just saying "well, you know, I'll just do what seems like a good idea, and see where it takes me! no harm in trying - not particularly harder to jump to 100% clinical work in 5y if this doesn't pan out, so might as well give it a shot!" I think if I didn't have such a solid backup waiting for me I would be MUCH more reluctant to even try, and would feel like I just needed to find an entirely alternate career path - or would just be way, way more stressed out about my work than I already am. Which is concerning, given my tendency to stress =).

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7 years 22 hours ago #87610 by newmommdphd
I know this is about getting an MD, but just thought I'd add to the discussion about MD/PhD for any pre meds considering that path. I loved every second of my PhD training. All of it. I would not change a single bit of that. If anything, I would possibly have not done the MD. Not all MD/PhDs regret their PhD. I think I am in the minority of MD/PhDs at my school in that I loved graduate school, but most of us would still have done the MD/PhD if we could do it over again -- and that's because most of us love research. If you don't love research (and I mean love it so much you think about it when you wake up in the morning, can't imagine doing anything else), then don't do an MD/PhD. Financially it is more advantageous to have those extra years as an attending to pay off loans, rather than being debt free but losing 4-5 years of working life due to the PhD. I have seen the calculations, and MD only graduates with debt come out ahead of MD/PhDs because we lose so many years of being attendings. All that being said, I am one of those people who loves research (and I do think about it when I wake up in the morning) so I would not trade my combined MD/PhD training for anything.

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7 years 22 hours ago #87614 by lyn2006
I am an anesthesia resident and would definitely do it again! There are days I feel a little down about leaving my boys with the nanny or with my mother in law while I go to work - but usually I am happy to go to work in the morning, feel fulfilled by what I do, and love my time at home in the evenings with my kiddos :)

I think that the biggest recent change in how happy I've been with how my life is, is we hired our nanny not just to watch the kids, but also to clean, do laundry, grocery shop, etc. It frees up all my at-home time to just relax with the kids.

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