× Thinking of a Becoming a Doctor

Accountant to MD. Should I do it? Just burntout?

8 years 1 month ago - 8 years 1 month ago #83216 by t510
I would love some feedback. This is really holding me back and it's something that has been on my mind for a long time.

I am a 25year old chartered accountant. I work at a public accounting firm. I work long hours and deal with some really complicated business structures, in specific tax structures (ie M&A). I worked my butt off to get here and financially speaking I have a very promising future (200k+/yr within 5-10 years).

I've always thought about being a doctor but for the last year I have had such a strong urge to just forget about business and go for it. I researched what it would take for me to get in...probably 1 year of sciences + mcat + volunteering, etc. But to be honest, with my work ethic that I've developed I really think I have a strong shot. But anyways, the reason why I have thought about medicine is because I keep thinking to myself is this (business) something I want to do for the rest of my life. I think I would be so much more fulfilling to be a doctor. Also I really do not like the marketing side of business. Being a doctor you can go to work and pardon my language "be an asshole" but as along as you are great at what you do, there should be no problems? Am I correct?

Here is where I need your help. I am really trying to learn about the most I can about being a doctor. I am not going to give up my gig without knowing what it's like everyday. For example, I know my family doctor probably sees 100 patients a day (guessing)... I don't know if I would hate that or love it?
I need to know what the negatives are about the profession. Can you show me any posts that go over this? I know there are tons of doctors that hate it, are depressed, quit, etc. But why? I know dealing with illness and death must get to you? Also do you know how to shadow a Doctor?

To be honest I may just be burned out from working such long hrs, having no life, saving all my money, not taking vacation, etc.

I picture the doctor being this powerful, respected, brilliant person who really respects themselves for what they've accomplished. And I definately work better under pressure and what bigger pressure is there than to deal with someone's health. Working with people all day must be fun too (I currently am at my desk for probably at least 10 hours a day)

Thanks for listening. Any feedback would be extremely valued.
Last Edit: 8 years 1 month ago by .

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8 years 1 month ago #83217 by obgyninWI
Well, t510, I am not sure where to start. You have some misconceptions of medicine. Doctors in private practice have to run their own businesses in addition to seeing patients all day and dealing with hiring and firing staff, etc.
It is not an option to "be an asshole" and practice medicine. It is a very people-forward field and you will daily be dealing with referral doctors, nurses, patients, patients families, and potentially supervising PA's or other extended providers. Check out sites like "health grades" or "vitals.com" and you will find that patients can post in public anything they like about their doctors...anonomously. (whether it is true or not). The business side of medicine (surviving and making money) for most of us depends on word of mouth of other patients. So, far from being a jerk, medicine is all about remaining calm, sometimes in the face of verbally abusive family members, nurses who question your judgement, patients who are uninformed or unreasonable, and staff that may have issues of their own.
If you have great communication skills, you are going to need them, studies show physicians who have a good relationship with their patients are less likely to be sued.

You asked for negatives about the profession:

1) high cost of malpractice is driving many out of medicine (after 8 or more yrs of med school and residency, you are likely to make less than the 200,000 you quoted)

2) Declining reimbursements, doctors are given effective pay cuts by managed care on a regular basis, the only way to make the same pay is see more patients in the same amount of time. See the thread: medicaid mills

3)High stress, if you get it wrong, you may affect someones life forever. Even if you get it right, you may be sued for an unforseen complication.

4)No time to yourself. Most Docs I know have scant social life and have difficulty at home due to limited family time (see threads all over this forum ie: "what have i done".

5)The current age of internet information makes everyone feel like an "expert". The respect of the "brilliant" physician is not what it used to be. Be ready to have your opinions and recommendations questioned all the time.

6) Suicide. No I am not being dramatic here. the statistics are clear that physicians are at a high risk of suicide. Sometimes no matter what you do someone young or unexpectedly acutely sick dies in your care...or you make a mistake... or you are drowning in debt from medical student loans (200,000+).
Or your marriage and family are crumbling because of the demands of your profession...

Having said all that, taking care of patients is a privilege.
you sound like you have the smarts and the work ethic.

Don't go into medicine for the money, or the image of the"powerful and brilliant" respected person, or because you are burnt out from long hours. You will find the pay, the hours and the admiration not up to your expectations.

The main reason to pursue a medical career is because you care about people, you can put others needs above your own (even if you are tired and cranky, or sick) and you feel it is what you were meant to do with your life here on earth.

Many "would be" career changers need some time off to get perspective, you admit to being burnt out. A vacation or short leave may be the perspective you need to see your current job clearly.
Working as a volunteer in a hospital would be a start too... if you really feel you have the calling. (and would look good on your application). If you find the work stimulating, great... on the other hand if you find dealing with the public difficult (and getting puked on as a side benefit (remember these are sick people-not at their best)...then you know. Following a Doc would be great, but remember that in residency you will have your share of transporting patients, being puked and bled on and most residents would not describe their jobs as "glamorous". Volunteer in the local ER and meet the public and see if you have the desire to serve people.

I meant this to be realistic, and not discouraging. If you really want to be a doctor, there is a great demand. Just make sure you get some exposure to patients before you begin such a long and arduous journey, so that when you get there it will be a place you are happy (most days) to be :)

The following user(s) said Thank You: Morgana_Irish

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8 years 1 month ago #83218 by t510
thanks for the response!!!!
do you have links to those threads? I tried a search but nothing happens

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8 years 1 month ago #83219 by obgyninWI
ever wonder "what have I done" is on pg 6 under the "women physicians" forum on mommd. The topic of medicaid mills is under active topics button on the top of the mommd page. Please note that while you can read the "women physician" posts, you are asked not to post this forum unless you are a physician. Just looking under the many topics on mommd or Sermo will give you an idea of the challenges MD's are facing. Hope that helps!

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8 years 1 month ago #83223 by Emily2651

t510 wrote: Being a doctor you can go to work and pardon my language "be an asshole" but as along as you are great at what you do, there should be no problems? Am I correct?

No. What? NO.

Plus, how is this an upside? Who wants colleagues who are a-holes?

The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea. -- Isak Dinesen

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8 years 1 month ago #83224 by t510
Sorry for the choice of words.

To elaborate I'm finding in business there is huge pressure to sell. Go meet new clients, go meet lawyers, sell your services. I hate doing that. I'm really good at what I do but I don't want to be a salesman. I just thought if I was a doctor I can focus on the patients needs + the technical knowledge and be a good, successful doctor. I like to focus on the work not on being the best friend to everyone around me.
I rather have a doctor that comes into the clinic completely focused on his job rather than ensuring she's going around saying hi to everyone with a smile on her face...
:) lol sorry this probably makes little to no sense if I were to read it over but whatever

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