× Women Premed Students

being sure about medicine

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14 years 8 months ago #34586 by eterrell
How are you guys so sure that medicine is what you really want to do? (other than the "since I was six" story) I feel like I could deal with the stress of medical school and residency, but I really want to enjoy my career, and I don't know how to figure out if medicine is that career or not. I currently volunteer in the ER at Children's Hospital, which is fun, but it is only 3 hours a week, with no responsibility--e.g. not exactly a glimpse of life as a doctor. Who have you spoken with who helped form your decision to pursue medicine, what books have you read, or how did you come to this decision?
I think that the worst thing we pre-meds can do is rush off to medical school without taking the realist view on the profession, only to become disillusioned later on.

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14 years 8 months ago #34587 by Natasha
I am so glad to see this question posted! I've been grappling with the same question for a very long time and am eager to see what kinds of responses it brings. Thanks for posting this.

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14 years 8 months ago #34588 by Duck
This is an absolutely great question!!!
I know it sounds really "hokey", but many of the people in this site, have really truly wanted "this" since they were young. For a multitude of reasons or situations our dreams were deferred.

When I decided to finally go for it...I literally devoured all information about completing prerequisites, the admissions process, financial aid, specialties in medicine etc. I also quizzed medical professionals and students about the pros and cons. I became the question lady :) I often asked them if they had it to do all over again would they? Most said yes. One day I typed non-traditional medical student in the google search...and discovered this site :) It was amazing to find that other people shared the dream.

There are thousands of ways to find out if medicine is for you. You touched on a few in your post. I know medicine is for me because the dream has been in me forever. I want to help babies (neonatal).I know that medicine is for me, because after all I've learned (the good, bad, and ugly)I am still excited about what's ahead. I am finally preparing for what I was meant to do...I know this in my mind and heart.

Why on earth would a 43 year old woman take science classes from 8 to 2:30 on Saturdays and Sundays each week? :goodvibes:

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14 years 8 months ago #34589 by Cabinbuilder
This is a very difficult question. As a third year I find myself saying OH, S*** what have I gotten myself into? I just started OB yesterday and I know today I have the be the "doctor" and do all the pelvic and paps today. Not my cup of tea at all. I find myself questioning this path when I am on rotations that I just hate, or there is a resident who makes your life miserable or an attending who just hates you. I know its what I want but the desire to be done is compounded by the fear that I know nothing and that in 15 months I will graduate and then what? Yikes. They say its very bad to get seriously sick in July because everyone who takes care of you is new resident who literally 2 weeks before couldn't write scrips and now have the power to.

On the flip side, when I am in the OR or having a great rotation with great doctors I know I can do this. Even now I don't have a good grasp of carrying a beeper and being on call and doing office hours - the students are pretty much shielded from the true daily life. My friend tells me that knowledge packs into your brain like the layers of an onion. In the end you are ready to pick and it will be ok. I a still happy with this path and know its right. I think for me I hate not having any say or any power over my life right now - I am at the mercy of what my attending wants. I just want to be my own boss.

I hope everyone else out there finds the right path for them. Good luck in the journey, medicine can be fun and exciting, but don't forget your humanity in the learning process, someone's illness is your classroon.

LECOM Class 2006
Osteopathic Family Practice Resdincy 2009
Locum Tenens: Urgent Care/Rural Medicine.

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14 years 8 months ago #34590 by Popcorn
I wasn't going to be a doctor at all... in fact, it never really crossed my mind until one day at the end of my spring semester of sophomore year in college. I was taking a mammalian physiology lab, (an animal lab), and for part of the experiement, we were doing ovarectomies on rats. My lab partner, already accepted to nursing school, wanted no part in it. So I did it.

And BAM! I realized that this was the single coolest thing I'd ever done - open up a living creature (under anesthesia, of course), change something, close, and it survived!

Kinda lame, but still very cool for someone who'd never given medicine a second though. (I was a microbiology major - bugs are waay cool, but I'd always thought I'd end up in research.)

I spent 4 weeks trying to talk myself out of this crazy idea. (Long hours, lots of sacrifice, years of training for a field that isn't as glorified as it used to be, and of course, the "good ol' boys club.) That summer, I shadowed two uber-specialized surgeons (cardiothoracic vascular and facial plastics). And I loved it.

I changed my schedule around, crammed in the handful of prereqs that my major didn't include, and applied. Didn't get in the first time. Blessing in disguise. Got a job, worked my tail off, swore that not even residency would be that bad. (80 hour weeks + 1200 miles of car travel each week. For measly pay, no less.) Realized that yes, I REALLY wanted to go into medicine. And not only that, but that once I was back into academics, I would never leave. (It took me several more years to fully accept that I was destined for academic medicine. :) )

Reapplied. Got in early decision. Worked my tail off for 4 years. (Most of which is now rose-colored, because I'm done.) The second shift of my first EM rotation, I knew I was "home." Got the "You've Matched" email yesterday.

I think that the worst thing we pre-meds can do is rush off to medical school without taking the realist view on the profession, only to become disillusioned later on.

I think you're absolutely right. They say in medicine that to only go into surgery if you can't imagine yourself being happy doing anything else. I really think that medicine in general is the same way. Especially now, as there are numerous alternate pathways to similar ends. (PA, NP, MPH, research, some PhD programs, etc.)

Good luck in your soul-searching,
Danielle

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14 years 8 months ago #34591 by efex101
I knew that this was for me because I wanted it so bad that I could taste it. Also, if you are willing to sacrifice everything you hold dear (not that you have to) like tons of time for yourself, time with your family, time to just do nothing at all, that is how I knew this was the right path for me. Like other posters have said though, many times you DO question why in the heck you went this route. It is NOT glamorous at all and the hours are brutal...but it is very rewarding. I would not change it but it does come with a hefty price tag IMHO. I do *not* get to spend a lot of time with my family like I used to, I am constantly stressed out with exams, knowing enough to become a good physician, expectations to pass for I moved my whole family here! So beware and go in for the right reasons and be realistic about what this path will entail.

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