(Closed) Quit work for med school? Don't know what to do. Help? :(

posted 7 years ago in Career
  • poll: What to do?
    Stay in current field - hope that another company is more rewarding : (5 votes)
    23 %
    Explore other hobbies as possible careers without going back to school : (4 votes)
    18 %
    Go back to school for some other speciality : (3 votes)
    14 %
    Go to med school : (10 votes)
    45 %
    Other (explain) : (0 votes)
  • Post # 3
    186 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    FI’s entire family are medical doctors and he is currently in Veterinary school. The thing I have learned from watching him and his brothers both work towards being accepted / being in medical school is that you have to be 100% committed to make it happen. Congrats on getting in, that’s a big first step! But if your heart is not in it 100% then I believe it will be much harder to succeed in school. A lot also depends on your support system, my Fiance is always studying or at school. Our lives revolve around school breaks still. Luckily, I work 50+ hours a week so he doesn’t feel pressured to spend more time with me when he should be studying instead. Medical School is a great option and a good gateway into a job it sounds like you would enjoy more than what you’re currently doing, but I think you and your Fiance will need to commit 100% to you getting through in order to succeed. 

    Post # 4
    261 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    @peonies327:  +1

    I agree completely that you really have to be 100% committed. I am only in my first year of med school, and while I have no doubts that I want to become a physician, the process can really bring you down. I have times (especially when studying for exams) that I wonder what I have got myself into. But I tried really hard, and I could not think of anything else that I would enjoy doing for the rest of my life, or find so fulfilling. And FWIW, I really enjoy medical school (the material and organization, not the long hours lol).

    It does take time away from spending with my Fiance, but he understands, and he has his own job. The training might seem like it takes forever, but there are some career paths as a physician that are more “lifestyle friendly.” No matter what, it is a LOT of time to dedicate if you are not sure it is what you want to spend your life doing.

    Post # 5
    993 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I think you really need to consider what is right for you ad our family.  If you want to have kids, that’s probably going to be on hold for a significant amount of time.  Med school is extremely time-consuming and demanding. Maybe talk to your support system and see how they feel about you going to school and offering to help out.  There is alot of stress that comes with exams.  if your hubby is able to take over the things you won’t have time to do that would probably help.  Its really a decision between the two of you.

    When it really comes down to it (I know this isn’t really the view we’ve been raised to hold in this generation in North America), work is just work.  It seems like there are many other things in your life that you enjoy and you want to spend time with people.  I think med school would likely take you away from that.  If you feel it is your calling, go for it!  But I also see that you have jumped around a bit and you haven’t been wholely satisfied with other career choices.  You work does not make you and does not need to define you.  Why not defer your acceptance a year, think about it, and try your hand at some of those hobbies?  If you still really want to do it – go for it!  Talk to other people in the program and talk to female doctors about work-life balance.  Never hurts to do your research.

    Congratulations on getting in!  I hope you are able to find the right decision.

    Post # 6
    261 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    I should probably add that if something is important to you, you find a way to make time for it in med school. I wake up early in the mornings to work out every day. It might not be ideal, but I am okay with it. A lot of my class is really big on partying, and there are allways big social events going on. I am not into that, but I only do light studying most weekends and spend a lot of time with my Fiance and traveling.

    Post # 7
    2424 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    Honestly, I would do some more research for the PA/NP route. My Darling Husband is a nurse and I have a best friend applying to PA programs now, so I know a little bit about that field and find it hard to buy that you need 60 credits or pre-reqs on top of your engineering degrees. That’s 3 full time semesters! For the NP route, you need to get an RN first, but there are plenty of BS-RN programs out there that are 1 year and many of them are online, Darling Husband was able to do a similar program while working full time and taking “full time” online classes. Then it would be another 2 years for the actual NP. PA I am not as sure about, but my friend is starting it after getting an MS in Chemistry, and all she really needs to take are some statistics and bio courses, which she takes part time at a community college. The most limiting factor with PA programs is they have a required number of patient interaction hours to be admitted, so you generally have to work/volunteer as a medical assistant for a while first.

    I would do either of those routes before med school, for most of the reasons you have listed in your OP. They take less time (3-4 years instead of 8-10) and cost less money, and still pay great salaries and you get the medical and patient interaction you crave. Would be much easier to have a family, etc with either of these options.

    ETA: I wanted to add, while I am not in med school, I am in a very competitive PhD program, and can attest that at times I really resent it and wonder if it’s worth it, because it is REALLY hard to balance it with my home life. We would love to start trying for kids now, but can’t because it really doesn’t work well with what I do. And I hardly get to spend time with my husband because of conflicting schedules. While I know it’s worth it in the end, it’s nothing something I would start if I had any doubts, because the whole process is emotionally and intellectually draining, and it’s very easy to become jaded and bitter when school is holding you back from your home life.

    Post # 8
    202 posts
    Helper bee

    this is a good article on time and money/student loans that go into becoming an MD:


    it really puts into perspective how many working years you truly get after med school and what your accrued debt will be for various specialties.  he even goes into what your hourly wages would be based on the debt you accrue for all of the training (school, residency, and fellowship).  i highly suggest reading it and make sure you’re willing to go through with the rigorous training for an income that is probably lower than you’re expecting it to be.

    Post # 9
    5399 posts
    Bee Keeper

    I think you should talk to some actual doctors. I was always planning to go to med school but changed my mind for some of th reasons you listed, and also because I have a lot of issues with the way medicine is practiced. Once I asked my gyno about how she liked her job and she really gave me some straight talk. 

    If you have a masters, have you looked into teaching at the college level as an adjunct or lecturer? Could you get a phd in whatever your field is and have a career in academia? If you’re in engineering, you could likely get your phd paid for through assistantships and tuition remission programs. I think you need to talk to some people, and really consider your options. Also consider a phd in other fields–you say you’re very into learning about the human body and an engineering background would probably set you up nicely for a phd in other sciences (biology, chemistry, exercise science/physiology, pathology, the list could go on and on). Careers in academia include a lot of writing, which you say you like. 

    I also don’t buy you need 60 credits for PA/NP school. Have you considered other health professions like physical therapy, pharmacy, optometry, etc? There are other health professions that will offer a better work/life balance. Is a tough decision but I wish you luck in deciding what you want to do!

    Post # 10
    416 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2011

    As someone who’s through med school and now in residency, I agree with PP that you have to be 100% committed.  You also have to have supportive family, especially if you’re a little older.  But if you really want to do it, it can be really rewarding and exciting.  Plenty of my classmates had kids in med school or residency, but their spouses picked up a LOT of the slack on top of supporting them with full-time jobs.  I think that midlevel practitioner jobs (NP or PA) can be similarly exciting and rewarding, without the same time/debt committment, but it’s not for everyone.  So just think it through, and good luck either way!

    Post # 11
    21 posts
    • Wedding: December 2010

    my husband is a 2nd year surgery resident and has more than 200k in loans. im not dismissing the amount,but i wouldnt let the loans be the reason not to go. many residents have that much in loans (and more!). it can be done (and i dont think its even that uncommon.

    i do work full time make more than double what he makes and no student loans. so i think a working, supportive spouse is helpful. but i won’t be staying at this job once he is an attending.

    its worth it to us because he LOVES his job. he couldnt do anything else. even in a lower paid specialty like family practice, there is public service loan forgiveness. and almost every hospital is a non-profit and qualifies. and your residency counts toward it to. so all your loans could be forgiven after 5 yrs as an attending.

    bottom line… if its what you really want, go for it!

    Post # 12
    435 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    First of all, CONGRATS!!!!! 🙂

    I fully understand how difficult it is to get into medical school so just being accepted, well — feel proud! You’re in an elite group! That being said, I know you came here for advice but no one can really give you advice not knowing your financial situation, your SO and his/her financial situation, your support system etc. It’s true that you will probably have to put off having kids for a while. You will not be the ideal wife for the first four years. You will be studying for Med school than you have USMLE then you have to match then you have residency. It’s a huge time committment and I’m sure it’s very demanding. Only YOU know if that is all worth it for YOU!

    I wouldn’t worry about debt because you will have it all paid off in the end.I think you should think about your other options! Really, what RN program have you found that has 60 credit hours of reqs?? As another PP stated, I would look again at your options because I find it hard to believe that you (with an advanced degree) couldn’t get into a RN program! I was premed and just recently started second guessing med school. I started looking into other options and found a 1 year BS to BSN program. After that, I could study two additonal years and become a nurse midwife. I think that’s a WAY better path FOR ME!


    Anyway, good luck and congrats again. 

    Post # 13
    1423 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2009

    Only go onto get your MD (or a PhD for that matter) if that is the ONLY thing that will make you happy.  They are both fields where it is difficult to balance career and family — the best option is to put off having kids until you are established in your career.  If you are older starting out, that isn’t always possible.  My friend managed to have a baby during a research year of her residency, but I think her husband is hoping to quit his job and be a stay at home dad once she starts making real money.  As for women in PhD programs, I don’t personally know any women who have managed to have kids while in staying in her program.  I also don’t have any younger female friends who are professors and have kids — it’s hard to fit when you are still trying to get tenure (and once you finally have tenure, you are often close to 40). 

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