Well, being an inexperienced pre-med I can only say...THANK YOU so much for sharing your experiences everyone!...I feel that I have found a gold mine of wisdom to draw from. In sharing your hearts, you are enlightening the next generation of women in medicine, preparing us to face inevitable challenges more informed. I hope each woman who unveils her struggle realizes this!
Run like the wind, honey. Don't stop, do not pass Go, just run as far away from this profession as you can possibly get. I'm a board-certified Internist who has escaped running and screaming from a dull, lifeless career in clinical medicine.
Well, perhaps I'm being a bit extreme, but this is my advice unless you absolutely LOVE medicine. You must LOVE it enough that all that you endure is worth it--the debt, sleepless nights, endless studying (this doesn't stop with residency graduation), differential diagnoses, nurses who resent doctors, long hours, a beeper permanently attached to your hip so that you never really ever feel free, medical record keeping, managed care, analyzing the statistical strength of the latest article from the New England Journal... Should I go on?
Sit down with an executive coach or career counselor, write down your skills and talents and come up with a list of potential professions. Then, do informational interviews with people in those professions (including doctors) until you can't see straight. Shadow people in these professions until you're accused of being a parasite. I'm not kidding. Find out as much as you can about WHAT IS GOING TO MAKE YOU HAPPY, and if that's medicine, then God bless you and go for it. If there's something else that requires less heartache and hardship, I'd take that road a thousand times before choosing the medical route.
I'm only speaking from experience. I had always wanted to be a doctor, but never fully explored what that really meant. Then, when I got there, I wasn't happy and now I've gone on to serve the world in another way.
Save yourself the time and trouble. Do your homework up front.
I apologize for not having earlier thanked everyone who has been writing- Angela, Lady Surg, Beth, Brenda. I have been reading and re-reading these posts. (There is a simultaneous discussion on the same/similar issue occurring in the "Family and Parenting" section under "Advice please," so I've been bouncing back and forth). I am so appreciative and grateful to everyone who has shared her thoughts.
I must say a got a quick chuckle just now. I earlier read the last post with a sense of "Finally! Validation!" and humor. I didn't get the chance to reply immediately. As I didn't recognize the name of the poster, I didn't remember it. Next time I was at the computer, I saw a post in another section about changing careers, by a "Lena," and I thought, oh geez, I have to reply to this post immediately, even before going back to that one I read earlier. Now I see that both posts were written by the same person!
Well, if anyone is curious about how things went with my residency director today (well), (and I'm plugging forward with residency for now), I wrote all about it (excessively, I'm afraid) in the aforementioned section.
I am a 30 yr old w/ 2 kids and a great husband who is considering going back to med school. This has been a really great discussion as I try to decide if I am going to take the plunge and go back. I had always wanted to be an MD, but chickened out and ending up getting a PhD in Analytical Chemistry instead because I thought work/family balance would be easier. Now I find that I'm moving up in the business world, still working 50-55 hrs in the office and bringing the laptop home on nights and weekends. So if I'm going to work like a dog anyway, I think maybe I should go back and do what I always wanted. I don't mind working hard, but with two kids (3 and 1) am I ever going to get to see them through med school/ residency?