Want to be a doctor- but worry I can't do it/not smart/feeling overwhelmed

posted 1 year ago in College
Post # 106
1001 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

is_a_belle :  ha. I read that people who own pet sitting services/dog walking and take it as a serious business, not just hobby income, on average earn about $80k. Not too shabby!

Post # 107
12 posts

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.

Post # 108
1182 posts
Bumble bee

anonymousbee63 :  I got pimped so bad as a medical student! I really hope this is a culture that changes xo 

Post # 113
1362 posts
Bumble bee

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. 

Post # 114
206 posts
Helper bee

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. 

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