not sure about applying to med school

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 15, 2011 10:56 PM GMT
    I graduated in May with a bachelors and i did the premed program. I am now studying to take the MCAT to take in September. Im at the point where Im not sure this is what I want to do anymore, I keep bouncing back and forth from it. Im not sure if i want to spend another 4 years in school plus residency whereas now I could find a job and move along with a career, and basically move on with my life sooner rather than later. And what if I dont get in? Should I pursue something else, or should i spend another year doing things to make my application look better? Im just not sure what to do anymore. Does anyone have any advice? I'm so lost.
  • ooomonkeys

    Posts: 3

    Aug 15, 2011 11:04 PM GMT
    4 years is going to happen anyways. Wouldn't you have rather spent that time making the most out of yourself?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 15, 2011 11:07 PM GMT
    You need to do this. You will always have that nagging question and curiosity about "what if"......so do it and find out.... failures teach and lead you to your real calling, successes confirm that you are on the right path....time passes regardless...GO FOR IT!icon_cool.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 15, 2011 11:10 PM GMT
    Sporty_g saidYou need to do this. You will always have that nagging question and curiosity about "what if"......so do it and find out.... failures teach and lead you to your real calling, successes confirm that you are on the right path....time passes regardless...GO FOR IT!icon_cool.gif


    This.
    100% agree.
    Enjoy the journey!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 15, 2011 11:15 PM GMT
    I'm basically in the same boat, I could either head off to medical school (or try to) and become a doctor, go to graduate school and get a masters in psychology, or just move on with my life.
    The thing is when I look at medical school I honestly don't think I can make it, I am probably one of the few people who wasn't preparing for it since high school. But I look back on my life to see how far I've come just to make it to this point and look at the choices. It may not have been my first choice, but I figure that life lead me to this point, if I don't get in well I have another chance to try next year. If I do well good, since I'm going to try my hardest to keep up with everyone else. Either way at least I know I tried, and if I wait a year or so to try again it's not going to kill me.
    So I'd say try to get in if they accept you, take the offer if you think it's best, if they don't you still have another chance.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 15, 2011 11:52 PM GMT
    Bascially I'm going to have a total of less than 2 months study time for the MCAT. The reason I waited is because before i started studying i decided to work on a career for a couple years and then apply to med school, but i was motivated to apply this year from a 44 year old friend who has been accepted into med schools. During that time I also wanted to do volunteer work because I lack that on my application and take an MCAT prep course because Im bad at standardized tests.

    I feel like I'm really not going to be able to get accepted. I also feel like Im not going to do that well on the MCAT. So i guess Im thinking I should take it next year since Ill actually be able to take a prep course for it, and I could do volunteer work.

    Im worried that Im rushing through this and Im worried that Im not preparing myself for the MCAT properly. What should I do? Any thoughts?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 16, 2011 12:24 AM GMT
    If you're not sure, don't do it. Medical training is harsh, depersonalizing and rough. There are good times too, but mostly, it's brutal. There's no rush. Do you know what's worse than regretting not going to medicalschool? Regretting going to medical school with a crapton of debt. Think about it and get some self-awareness. Figure out what you want and why. If you still feel the calling, go for it. Personally, I haven't decided if I regret it or not yet. Ask me in 3 years when I've started a practice.
  • cageym

    Posts: 99

    Aug 16, 2011 12:26 AM GMT
    I work with a lot of physicians and it is fascinating to see who loves what they're doing, in spite of all the hassles and burdens, and who is unhappy because they went into the profession with the wrong intentions or expectations. I am in no way questioning your motivations, but at this point in my life I am a firm advocate of pursuing something that you love. If you have any doubts about whether you want to go through the grind of medical school and post graduate training because there are other things you want more in life, go for the other stuff. Really, do what you love. Please.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 16, 2011 12:29 AM GMT
    Is medicine something you really want to do? If yes, then why not apply?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 16, 2011 12:41 AM GMT
    ooomonkeys said4 years is going to happen anyways. Wouldn't you have rather spent that time making the most out of yourself?
    This is the absolute best answer I've ever seen.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 16, 2011 12:42 AM GMT
    I think you should spent a lot of time shadowing physicians (don't just volunteer where all you get to do is staple papers) in hospital and office settings. That's the best way to figure out if you want to devote your life to medicine...medical school might not be fun for you AT ALL but the practice of medicine might be.
    I was also also on the fringe about all this stuff, had some great opportunities to be exposed to the field and have decided to matriculate next year. I might be able to help you.
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Aug 16, 2011 12:42 AM GMT
    I'd review why you want to become a physician. If you don't have a final goal in mind, it is going to be hard to stay on track when things get rough.
    Did you get into it to help people? Do you like the monitoring of people's health, talking with patients and families, making a difference? Are you in it for the money/prestige? Are you doing it for yourself, or to prove it to yourself or others?

    Med school is rough. Dental school is rough. All health profession programs are rough. As a dentist, I am done after 4 years and I can get on with my life. My physician counterparts are starting their residency now, and have accumulated nearly $300,000 of debt already, and still have many years to go before they will be completed. I have seen the toll med school and residency has taken on their personal lives and their lives, but they love what they are doing, are so incredibly intelligent and gifted, and they are very satisfied.

    Do some really deep soul searching to try and see if it is worth it. It is a significant commitment financially, emotionally, mentally, and physically, and you really have to want it in order to succeed and be happy.

    One does not just walk into med school icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 16, 2011 12:43 AM GMT
    bryanc_74 saidIf you're not sure, don't do it. Medical training is harsh, depersonalizing and rough. There are good times too, but mostly, it's brutal. There's no rush. Do you know what's worse than regretting not going to medicalschool? Regretting going to medical school with a crapton of debt. Think about it and get some self-awareness. Figure out what you want and why. If you still feel the calling, go for it. Personally, I haven't decided if I regret it or not yet. Ask me in 3 years when I've started a practice.


    One can ALSO say the same things about schooling and training for other professions. ... so that shouldn't be a legitimate deterrent against med school.

    People often feel hesitant about beginning schooling or jobs. Lots of fluctuating thoughts occur. It's natural to change one's mind. But as it was, you already spent years doing a pre-med program because of your interest, not some recent sudden last-minute idea. Preperatory investment for a career is always important, and it does take years for something worthwhile.

    Are you actually "so lost" or just very discouraged due to anticipation (e.g. - of the MCAT) and life's extraneous frustrations?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 16, 2011 12:46 AM GMT
    Youngin06 saidI graduated in May with a bachelors and i did the premed program. I am now studying to take the MCAT to take in September. Im at the point where Im not sure this is what I want to do anymore, I keep bouncing back and forth from it. Im not sure if i want to spend another 4 years in school plus residency whereas now I could find a job and move along with a career, and basically move on with my life sooner rather than later. And what if I dont get in? Should I pursue something else, or should i spend another year doing things to make my application look better? Im just not sure what to do anymore. Does anyone have any advice? I'm so lost.





    Maybe your burned out with attending college, have you considered taking a year off to give yourself time to rest from all the study and to give you time to think about what you would really like to do with your life ?

    As one of the guys said above, the four years are going to pass no matter what you do, so will five years if you take a break from college to make sure that med school is where you want to be. A career is a lifetime investment so why not take time to make sure of what you want. There's not a thing wrong a 'sabatical', if it would help you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 16, 2011 12:48 AM GMT
    You have to do and find what you love. I didn't even know what an audiologist was until 2007, I was 26.

    It's clear even in my small department who will be doing it for the rest of their lives and who won't. When you find your passion you'll know it.
  • jammer11

    Posts: 18

    Aug 16, 2011 12:56 AM GMT
    In the same situation. Should I go get my MBA right away or no... people say work others say do it right away... I want to get it over with. I would say do it.
    "You will only regret the things that you don't do." icon_idea.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 16, 2011 1:13 AM GMT
    jammer11 wroteIn the same situation. Should I go get my MBA right away or no... people say work others say do it right away... I want to get it over with. I would say do it.


    Many MBA programs require a few years of work experience before they will admit you. Make sure you check into the admissions requirements of the programs that interest you. Good luck!
  • tautomer

    Posts: 1010

    Aug 16, 2011 1:31 AM GMT
    First see if you can get in. THEN decide if you want to do it.
  • DeadLiftr

    Posts: 33

    Aug 16, 2011 1:43 AM GMT

    I know this is different, but for law school, I was the type of person that put a lot of forethought into applying (and spent a lot of time in jobs/volunteer activities/extra-curriculars that would enhance my application). Then when I didn't get in where I wanted, I took a year off, worked, and re-applied.

    That said, I had a lot of friends in law school who were there mostly because they just wanted to make money or they came from lawyers, but it wasn't their passion. For those people, they didn't enjoy the experience as much, and some outright regretted it.

    My point is, if medicine is your passion, then go for it full-throttle and do whatever you have to do in order to make it. But if you're just interested because of job security, earning potential, and prestige, then you're better off spending your 4 years/ $100K doing something else.

    Besides, if you change your mind in a couple years, med school will still be there.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 16, 2011 2:18 AM GMT

    Its funny that in reading your post I was reminded a lot of where I was at when I graduated college. I'd done all the pre-req's for med school, had a decent GPA, poor to mediocre MCAT, and had just come out of a not so good intern experience in a hospital which left me feeling more confused (essentially because the staff didn't see the reason why I was there and I always got pawned off onto nurses who didn't want me around). So when I was deciding what I was going to do next, I did a quick eval of what I wanted to do:

    1. Not live with my parents
    2. Try out a new city
    3. Live with other people like me
    4. Not lose money

    I ended up doing a year long volunteering program where I worked in DC, lived in a house with other volunteers, and had an amazing opportunity to live on my own, outside of college, with a chance to really come to grasps with what made the most sense for me. The clincher and the main reason why I did end up applying to medical school was that I finally got a real, on the job, experience working in a clinic, with nurses, doctors, and other professionals where I felt included.

    Bottom line is that I wasn't ready out of college, was terrified of being rejected from schools. Some people are ready and that's great, some aren't and that's just fine too. I can sympathize with feeling lost or stuck, and I'd try to come up with a game plan. If you feel like you want to give applying a shot, make sure you have a back-up plan in case it doesn't work out. Applying again (while sucking because the only thing worse than going through the med school application process once is doing it twice) is fine, you will just need to approach the application differently. It happens, my friend got rejected from everywhere the first time around and when he did it again, he got in to his top choice. While that isn't always the case, it happens more often than you'd think.

    If you're wondering what types of things to do during your year off, here's a couple
    1. Volunteer (ie AmeriCorps, JVC, Peace Corps, Teach for America) where you are actually financially supported
    2. Research (in a field you're interested in)
    3. Work (health related fields are ideal but not required)

    feel free to PM me for other ideas, but try to do something you're actually interested in or something that you will be able to talk about in an interview and speak from the heart.

    In regards to the 4 years plus residency questions, when thinking about the years you're going to spend in school don't think of them just as time in between where you are now and where you want to be. These are still years of your life where you are living. It's a cliche, but I think it holds very true. Life's not about a destination, its about the journey. Lots of people make medical school out to be nothing but studying. While it can be, that is up to you. There's opportunities to do so much more than just study, after all good doctors aren't just book smart, they have to be well rounded people too which comes with doing things outside of just schooling.

    I know you feel lost right now, but have a little faith that things will work themselves out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 16, 2011 3:27 AM GMT
    Youngin06 saidI graduated in May with a bachelors and i did the premed program. I am now studying to take the MCAT to take in September. Im at the point where Im not sure this is what I want to do anymore, I keep bouncing back and forth from it. Im not sure if i want to spend another 4 years in school plus residency whereas now I could find a job and move along with a career, and basically move on with my life sooner rather than later. And what if I dont get in? Should I pursue something else, or should i spend another year doing things to make my application look better? Im just not sure what to do anymore. Does anyone have any advice? I'm so lost.

    Go for it. Medicine is a great career. It's not as gung-ho or as masochistic as it used to be even 15 years ago. It still is a waiting game. Medical training is hard, but then the things that are easy are not worth as much. Medicine is not instant gratification. You have to wait and put in a lot of work and make your body go through a lot of hardships. But you are 23 years old. Your body can take it. You probably have no family to support. You will have a lot of debt. But debt is small compared to what you will make throughout your lifetime.

    You have less than 2 months to prepare for the MCAT. Don't take it in September if you are not prepared. You will waste about $230 and be discouraged. AMCAS wont' be taking applications until June 1st for the 2013-2014 season. You can still apply, but it is very late now to apply for 2012-2013 season. Your application won't be ready until Mid-November, it will take even longer to be verified by AMCAS and then receive secondaries and fill them out. A lot of schools have rolling admission and you will be competing for very few spots especially in a state like Massachusetts. AMCAS is also very expensive, along with the secondary fees and interview costs. In a bad economy like this, application numbers to AMCAS are very high and despite the increasing number of seats, very competitive.

    Take the MCAT early in January or February or even March. You will have plenty of time to study and take practice tests and think about what you want to do. You will have a chance to shadow physicians, some research if you want to, or just time to go travel and relax or even a job. You can start preparing your letters of recommendation or committee letters and start writing your essays and looking into medical schools to apply for. Keep in mind most people apply to 12-15 schools.

    I would strongly suggest you not apply for a spot in next year's class.

    With that out of the way, there will be times, you will strongly regret your choice of being a physician. I don't think there is anyone who always had a great time. When it got to 3rd year and beyond, there was a lot of work and a lot of stress. My intern year was horrible. I HATED medicine. I hated my patients. I hated my colleagues. I hate myself and my life with every breath I took. I don't know how many times I stopped myself from jumping off the roof and ending the misery But you know what? It got better. I applied for another residency and now I'm in my last year.

    People stay medicine is tough. It is. But more than 2/3 of physicians would choose medicine again if they had to do it over again. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/740086
    Check out this report.

    If you don't get in, work on your application, and apply again. A lot of people don't get in the first time. Being a PA is nice with good works hours and great compensation. But being a physician is different. The buck stops with you. If it turns out you don't want to practice medicine, there are many venues otherwise. You can go the academic route, or go into research, or go work for insurance companies, or drug sales, etc.

    Good luck! If you have any questions, send me an email.