I seem to find myself a little stuck right now and I'm hoping to hear some advice from you lovely ladies.
I've been accepted to med school and will be starting in August. For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to do EM, and while I know you never really know for sure until you start rotating through the different specialties, I can't help but question my other interest - Peds. Now, ideally I would like to do inpatient peds, but I'm not opposed to outpatient either.
So why is this even an issue right now? Well, I've discovered the NHSC SP which pays for medical school if you specialize in a primary care specialty and serve x number of years in an underserved area.
Is it worth it to take the risk and make the devotion to peds?
What is a normal day like for you? Do you still have a good family life? What does an average salary look like? Has anyone heard anything about the NHSC SP program? Is it possible to start off in general peds then move to specialize later after having been out of residency for a few years?
I'd take any suggestions or advice you have to offer.
I think you're right about not knowing what you'll want to do at least until you've been through rotations. It would be scary to commit to a specialty that sort of seems like a compromise from the get-go. General EM and inpatent peds are worlds apart in a lot of ways.
I don't know much about the NHSC, but I thought you had the option of signing up for it after medical school, and they'd pay back your loans retrospectively? Might be a good option.
Also, the way I understand it, if you wanted to do a peds specialty but needed for some reason to do general peds (such as to honor this agreement), I think the easiest thing to do might be to finish your training in your specialty, and then you could always work as a generalist for a while. Might be easier than trying to go back and do a fellowship later. HOWEVER, I guess the main point here is there is just no way you can plan all these details ahead of time.
I would say do what you have to do, but if you can avoid signing contracts or prematurely picking a specialty, then do. And assuming you don't live a crazy lifestyle and you end up graduating, there will most likely be options for paying down loans. The debt is definitely nothing to shrug off, but most sensible people can manage it.