Want to be a doctor- but worry I can't do it/not smart/feeling overwhelmedposted 1 year ago in College
- 1 year ago
blueberrycupcake28 : Yes, what you went through with the dentist does sound like a modified version of “pimping” which is a training tactic that is widely used during medical school, except that during “pimping” the attending would not be teaching you things, they would just expect you to know it from your studying (ex. https://www.statnews.com/2017/02/03/medical-students-pimping-testing-knowledge/ ). Now I’m not saying that I agree with his behavior at all, but bullying of trainees is very prevalent throughout medical school, medical training, and actually even in the medical workplace especially when you are starting out. Medical training is an insular, highly heiarchical system, and it perpetuates a culture of bullying and mistreatment. Just by working in a medical clinic I have seen it both verbally and physically (e.g. slapping a trainee’s hand away in the OR). I absolutely do not thing it is right and made an anonymous complaint to the hospital’s HR, but nothing changed and the physician tried to sniff out who had made a complaint.
I am absolutely not saying that any of this is right, because I do think that it is wrong. I do not think that there is anything wrong with you being a sensitive person either, but what I am saying is this: make the decision with eyes wide open to the culture within the field. Don’t go into a career where some of your superiors will behave like assholes if you are going to be very affected by this–I feel like that’s common sense, since you don’t want to be miserable. The bullying culture of medical school/training has been documented in the media as well, I am not making this up. I think that the way people in medicine treat each other absolutely should change, but I also have been immersed in this culture in certain ways and I know that these things are hard to change, particularly because of the insular, hiearchical system within medicine.
A lot of doctors will tell you the same thing you hear from the veterinarians–“if you can imagine doing anything else, do that.” I have heard it so many times, especially being an older student. It’s not bad advice, especially when you see where they are coming from in terms of debt, reimbursement, etc.
As far as debt load, yes you are right that the debt load ratio for veterinary school is high as compared to the income, but I also agree with blackpink : that people take on a lot of debt in many professional fields–medicine, dentistry, law, etc. The other thing is that as a CA resident, you are more likely than other state residents to have to go out of state to a private medical school, where costs can easily go to $400-500k for medical school alone when all is said and done. You said you’ll be 32-34 when you graduate, and then you’ll have to do a 3+ year residency in which you will be paid $50k if you go into medicine (and your loans will accrue interest while you are in school and also while you are in residency).
Honestly, I think that at this point you should let your interests in activities/classes/etc decide what field you end up in. You seem to really have a passion for veterinary medicine, and you seem to like the people you are working with in the clinic. Keep exploring and let feelings like that be your guiding light for where you end up! And if you ever decide that you are “in it for the money” then my advice is not to go into the healthcare field at all…there are other fields where you can be much more effective at earning money without the sunk cost in time and debt required to get the education that you need to enter the field.
- 1 year ago
Update! I can NOT get over how much I love working at a vet clinic so far! I have no desire to explore any other careers anymore besides ones in veterinary medicine, as it seems like such a good fit for me. I’m currently deciding exactly what role in veterinary medicine I will be happiest (RVT or veterinarian). Thank you so much everyone for all your help, feedback, advice, and support!
- 1 year ago
anonymousbee63 : Thank you so much for the indepth response. You brought up a lot of really good points. At this point, I am not even considering human medicine (MD, PA, NP, RN, or MA) at all. I am looking at the different ways to grow in vet med, and deciding what role in vet med I would like the most. 🙂
- 6 months ago
SomethingBleu : Soooo I am actually wanting to pursue physical therapy now! I have been working at the veterinary clinic for about 6 months now (and now work as a vet assistant instead of kennel, along with reception), and realized that it is not the field for me. I want to work with people. I have been shadowing and talking to physical therapists, and feel that is is a great fit. More so than medicine ever was. 🙂
- 6 months ago
Just to update all you lovely bees, since you took so much time to help me.
It took me some time to realize it, but I have decided that human medicine (nursing, PA, MD) etc., and veterinary medicine, are not the careers for me. I have shadowed doctors, and have been working at the veterinay clinic for about 6 months now. I love my job (and have been promoted to a vet assistant and taking on more office work), but not enough to want to stay in the field as a career. I have no desire to work with animals long-term.
After more introspection, I think part of the reason I was so stuck on them both is that is what I originally set out to do back in high school, and I wanted to finish what I started. I now have realized that I have grown and changed a lot in that time, and want different things. I also had an idealistic view of both professions, looking back. I know 8 months ago I said that I didn’t want to work in a different field, but I said that short sightedly. I think I was just so happy to be out of food service that it made it seem like a dream job.
I have been doing a lot of talking with more college counselors, and have decided that I want to go into physical therapy. I have been shadowing in different settings and talking with physical therapists, and feel that I would be the perfect fit for me. I love how it is a slower pace than medicine, the hands-on aspect, you get to work with PEOPLE, the different settings and things you can do with it, the debt to salary ratio is reasonable, and the fact that it is a 3 year degree, amongst other things.
I’m looking for a job as a physical therapy aide (I’ve seen several postings in the past searching for pre-PT minded people with no experience needed) currently, and continuing my education as a psychology major, so that I am can transfer next spring.
Just wanted to update you all, thank you for your advice and helping me see that I was being short-sighted. Back to studying! 🙂
- 6 months ago
blueberrycupcake28 : kudos to you for going out and figuring out first hand where you feel you belong!
As a first year PT student, I just wanted to share a few things. Little nuggets, if you will. First, it is an absolutely amazing profession. With that said, the debt to salary ratio is not as reasonable as you think. Sure, we aren’t racking up 400K in student loans, but our salaries are also much much lower than MD’s, so just wanted to throw that out there. This isnt the profession of making money lol. And the 3 years is on top of a traditional 4 year degree.
I think getting a tech position is a fabulous idea. That’s what I did prior to starting school. It’s a great way to get a realistic idea of the field, because it is much much different then observing. It’s an amazing experience in itself. Also, I’d continue to make sure you do well in school, particularly your higher level science courses. Because holy moly, any class you think is challenging in undergrad, multiply that by 5 and that’s every semester in PT school. It is the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life, and challenging in so many ways.
With all of that, I’ve had an amazing experience since school started and if you are in it for the right reasons, patients make it totally worth any and all of the blood, sweat, and tears. I go on my first 10 week rotation in August and can’t wait to be back and involved with patients. They really remind you why you are doing it. Good luck to you!! Its not for the faint of heart and requires a lot of soul searching, but if it is something amazing to be a part of.
- 6 months ago
blueberrycupcake28 : Yay! I am absolutely biased haha PT is an amazing field with so so many options for patient care. A tech position is a great idea! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out(: I am extremely passionate about PT and am really excited for you to start this journey.