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MD mentors say "do anything but medicine..." Why?

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5 years 10 months ago #92008 by AvocadoLover
I am also someone who started med school later after an advanced degree (PharmD). I had a deep passion for becoming a physician for as long as I can remember but I also recall as applications were going in I did start questioning myself over many of the same things that you are (I also have no children yet). Now, I am a MSIII and I can truly say I have never been happier. Med school is challenging but I have loved every day of it. Being a little bit older with another degree has also given me a better perspective, a good school-life balance, and stronger and more efficient study skills than some of the younger students in my class.

Although, I cannot guarantee I will feel the same way now that I will when I'm practicing, I am 100% satisfied with my decision to go to med school.
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5 years 10 months ago #92011 by Never Too Old
Thank you for that inspiring message.

Never Stop Trying

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5 years 10 months ago #92013 by AmmaMD
I love being a physician. There were few aspects of the training I didn't find fascinating and worthwhile in and of themselves. At the same time, there were part whose inflexibility and intensity were very difficult. I went to a high-ranked med school and then an "easy" specialty (psych) and a very family-friendly program. For me:
-- 1st year med school - not bad
-- 2nd year med school - hard while childless; would have been difficult but surviveable with kids
-- 3rd year med school - very, very hard. NO control. 80+h/wk many weeks, plus studying.
-- 4th year med school - much better, with only a few bad months (had 1st baby, with 6 weeks off)
-- intern year - 80h/wk most of the year
-- 2nd year - 1st half wasn't much better than intern year, but then....
-- 2nd half of 2nd year on: took a maternity leave (2nd child) then came back at part time, and am free to go whatever pace I want / can swing financially from now until... forever, really, given that it's easy to get part time psych jobs!

So: if you can make it through 3rd year of med school then the first year or two of intern year, in a program like mine everything else is bearable even with family, and eventually you're golden.

And: I Absolutely. Love. Being a Psychiatrist. The income is nice, the fact that I will always have a job is nice, and the fact that I can do anything from inpatient to consuls to major practice outpatient to running my own private practice is nice - but the number one thing that's great is that taking care of patients as a psychiatrist is f'in amazing, and I can't believe I am paid a comfortable salary to do so. I would totally do my career for free, if I were independently wealthy and didn't have to work.

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5 years 10 months ago #92015 by Never Too Old
Awesome...did it take a lot to acquire your licensure?

Never Stop Trying

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5 years 10 months ago #92017 by Emily2651
There's an old thread that lists factors that contribute to satisfaction in medicine ... it's a good read, as I recall. I'll try to find it for you. Bottom line, the fact that part-time psychiatrists are happy in medicine proves the point. There's a continuum that starts with part-time-psychiatrist-with-SAHD-partner and goes all the way to neurosurgeon-single-mom. The question is, where will you fall?

I think I'm somewhere in the middle: I'm a clinical nephrology fellow working in the neighborhood of 70 h/w and taking quite a lot of (busy/home) call on top of that. My husband works full time in a flexible job. I have two children, one in preschool and one in kindy. Just like Amma, I love being a nephrologist. Truly, I love it. This job makes my soul sing. Unlike her, however, I don't have much optimism about my future in nephrology and am very likely going to take a part-time hospitalist gig in the next year or so. This will be a profound disappointment for me, but I honestly don't see another way forward that will allow the other parts of my life to thrive. This job is too much work, plain and simple. It is so, so much work.

I will say that I'm not so sure I agree with the advice to have the kiddos first if only for the reason that you will still be in training when they start school. I am finding the tension between my very demanding and inflexible job on the one hand, and elementary school on the other hand, to be frankly suffocating. I can only imagine this will get harder as he progresses further into his education. Babies are actually quite simple to care for compared to bigger kids, at least in my experience.

The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea. -- Isak Dinesen
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5 years 10 months ago #92026 by asunshine

Emily2651 wrote: Just like Amma, I love being a nephrologist. Truly, I love it. This job makes my soul sing. Unlike her, however, I don't have much optimism about my future in nephrology and am very likely going to take a part-time hospitalist gig in the next year or so.


E, how devastating! I wish for some middle ground to appear for you :*(

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