Is pre-med a good idea for me?

any advice would be very helpful

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Re: Is pre-med a good idea for me?

#21  Postby Tyrannical » Jan 22, 2011 7:51 am

I don't want to teach english.


You might want to rethink that. In certain countries like Japan teaching English as a second language is a good opportunity for a young person to see another country.

http://www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/work/esl/index.shtml
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Re: Is pre-med a good idea for me?

#22  Postby Mike_L » Jan 22, 2011 8:54 am

inkaStepa wrote:I really don't want to be responsible for so many people and their health...I don't know how I'd feel about being in a hospital all of the time either.

This line suggests that you're probably not suited to a career in medicine. You may well have the capabilities, but the necessary passion is distinctly lacking.

I'd like to be able to travel the world. I don't want to join the military, and working for the embassy would mean that I don't always have a choice in where I live. I don't want to teach english...so I thought if I became a doctor I could volunteer and travel that way.

Travel desire is not a good motivator for a career in medicine!!!! You'd have to spend at least six years in med school before you were able to travel the world as a qualified doctor. Studying abroad might give you a glimpse of the world, but you'd have precious-little time to satisfy any wanderlust.... your studies would necessarily consume most of your time.

Perhaps you should take a year to do some touring around the globe. Do it on the cheap if necessary (backpackers lodges, etc.), work odd jobs in your host countries (waitress, maid, etc.) to pay your way. Once you've satisfied your desire to see the world, you can focus on your studies.

I did another career/personality test and the things that come up are all art related, but I'm afraid that having a "creative" type of career won't be enough to realistically support myself. I don't know what I should do

Don't rule out a career in the arts if that is where your interests and abilities are. It's not just paint and canvas.... barefoot in a studio with a broken skylight. Professions like graphic design and advertising can pay quite well if you make a name for yourself. You might even find a niche in a speciality field...
Mike_L wrote:Hmmm. You're interested in both art and medicine. Perhaps a career in medical illustration might be an idea? :think:
It's maybe worth having a look at the Careers Page of the Association of Medical Illustrators. Gives information on career opportunities, what skills are required, what education is required, where to study, etc.
Link...
http://www.ami.org/medical-illustration/careers.html
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Re: Is pre-med a good idea for me?

#23  Postby inkaStepa » Jan 22, 2011 6:54 pm

Thanks Mike L. I'm tempted to study arts and teaching english really could be a great idea travel wise....but in all honesty, and I know this sounds stupid, but I want to become something prestigeous- like a doctor. My older sisters all had kids young and my brothers can't support themseleves (my brother failed out of college after last semester). I want to make my mother proud and she's counting on me to be the one who "makes it" (I'm the youngest). Also, she's 60 and I know I'll have to support her soon because she doesn't have a retirment plan. I'm afraid that getting a degree in art or english won't be enough.
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Re: Is pre-med a good idea for me?

#24  Postby Mike_L » Jan 23, 2011 7:16 am

That's a heavy burden on young shoulders! :shock: My feeling is that your career path ought not to be determined by the needs of your parents and/or siblings.... you should make the choice based on what's right for you. On the plus side, you're still young. Whatever your choice, if at any stage you feel it wasn't the best one, you've still got plenty of space for a change in direction later on. (I personally know quite a few people who changed careers very successfully in their mid-thirties). Wishing you well! :thumbup:
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Re: Is pre-med a good idea for me?

#25  Postby Tyrannical » Jan 23, 2011 3:45 pm

inkaStepa wrote:Thanks Mike L. I'm tempted to study arts and teaching english really could be a great idea travel wise....but in all honesty, and I know this sounds stupid, but I want to become something prestigeous- like a doctor. My older sisters all had kids young and my brothers can't support themseleves (my brother failed out of college after last semester). I want to make my mother proud and she's counting on me to be the one who "makes it" (I'm the youngest). Also, she's 60 and I know I'll have to support her soon because she doesn't have a retirment plan. I'm afraid that getting a degree in art or english won't be enough.


You can scratch Art or English off of your list. All a degree in that is going to get you is after graduation debt.

You like Biology, have an interest in medicine but perhaps becoming an MD is too daunting a task but want something different than a Nurse :think:

Ever hear the Doctor say they have to send to something to the lab for testing?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_Laboratory_Scientist

Respectable and prestigious? You get to wear a white lab coat to work! It may not be Doctor or Lawyer, but my daughter is a scientists ain't that bad.
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Re: Is pre-med a good idea for me?

#26  Postby natselrox » Jan 23, 2011 3:51 pm

Tyrannical wrote:but my daughter is a scientists ain't that bad.


I always thought you were a teenager. :lol:
When in perplexity, read on.

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Re: Is pre-med a good idea for me?

#27  Postby renee377 » Jan 23, 2011 5:38 pm

I always just assumed I would be a doctor without really thinking through my other options. And now that I am there, and I see how much of my life (personal life) I have given up, and how much I will be giving up in the upcoming years, I really wish I had looked more seriously into becoming a PA. PAs, at least in the hospitals I've been, are some of the smartest and hardest working people around. Plus, they have the luxury of being able to change specialties (they can work in the emergency room one year, then change to a primary care office the next, then work in surgery the following). They make a lot of money, and most importantly, they have the freedom to be able to work a reasonable amount of hours per week. If I were you, I would shadow PAs in a variety of settings, and maybe even some doctors if you can. See who is happier and whose lifestyle fits yours best. Medicine is a long, long road and isn't for everyone. I wish I had researched it more thoroughly.
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Re: Is pre-med a good idea for me?

#28  Postby Lizard_King » Jan 23, 2011 6:50 pm

Just discovered this thread (a little surprised to find this in Nontheism ). In my opinion, the best way to rule out a career choice or to be encouraged in pursuing a career choice is simply to try it for a while. I would recommend an internship or something similar (I obviously don't mean the internship that is part of a medical education, I just don't really know how else to call it). When I was thinking about becoming a physician, I went to a hospital and followed the surgeons around for a week, both in the OR and the ER. After that, I was pretty certain that a medical education was the right choice for me.

On the other hand, I was thinking about becoming a lawyer once (no offense to any lawyers out there, but what the hell was I thinking... :tongue: ). After two weeks of internship, I realized that this was no job for me (I actually fell asleep in the office one morning).

So, I don't know how this sort of thing is handled in the USA, as I have never been there, but I'd suggest getting out there and experiencing what it's like to work in a hospital or a doctor's office. Maybe you won't like it, and you can then think about other careers, or maybe you will find your dream job. Best of luck to you :cheers:
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Re: Is pre-med a good idea for me?

#29  Postby inkaStepa » Jan 28, 2011 8:25 pm

Okay, I put in a request to shadow a PA and an MD- whichever responds first. My dream job would be something like a natgeo photographer, or anything that would be exciting...but I think people who work in hospitals seem to have more of interesting work-life compared to other fields (except the military- but I'm too scared to join). Thanks for the replies everyone, and renee, how is it like being a doctor?
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Re: Is pre-med a good idea for me?

#30  Postby inkaStepa » Jun 14, 2011 4:41 am

So I shadowed a doctor and it seemed sort of easy but there were like no breaks (he's a general practictioner). I was thinking about doing my last semester of bio, first year of chem and physics next semester...but is that realistically possible? I got a B last semester in bio but I didn't really try too hard. I just want to get the med school requirments over with.
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Re: Is pre-med a good idea for me?

#31  Postby Tyrannical » Jun 14, 2011 1:16 pm

inkaStepa wrote:So I shadowed a doctor and it seemed sort of easy but there were like no breaks (he's a general practictioner). I was thinking about doing my last semester of bio, first year of chem and physics next semester...but is that realistically possible? I got a B last semester in bio but I didn't really try too hard. I just want to get the med school requirments over with.


Three lab sciences all the same semester seems like a lot of work.
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Re: Is pre-med a good idea for me?

#32  Postby inkaStepa » Jun 15, 2011 5:26 am

Yea, I think I will only do bio and chem next semester. I still don't even know if I want to be a doctor but I can't think of anything else. I'm going to be 21 in November with no degree. I like to help people and to solve problems...I don't like to write alot or speak alot...I can analyze things well...I wish I could stop time until I figure this out it's such a bugger.
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Re: Is pre-med a good idea for me?

#33  Postby Tyrannical » Jun 15, 2011 5:32 am

Why not medical technician?
Last edited by Tyrannical on Jun 15, 2011 6:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is pre-med a good idea for me?

#34  Postby z8000783 » Jun 15, 2011 5:33 am

inkaStepa wrote:...I wish I could stop time until I figure this out it's such a bugger.

There really is no rush. Time is the bestest friend you will ever have and is what you need most to figure it out.

John
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Re: Is pre-med a good idea for me?

#35  Postby inkaStepa » Jul 13, 2011 10:32 pm

Tyrannical wrote:Why not medical technician?
Well, I want something that I can be flexible with. I'm still waiting to hear from the University I applied to, but I know I want something I can travel with so I might just get a degree to teach english while taking pre med classes. If I could I'd take lots of history and philosophy courses but I don't because there' no money to be made there.
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Re: Is pre-med a good idea for me?

#36  Postby iMMz » Jul 19, 2011 12:43 am

Nobody can answer your question regarding this being a good career choice for you, except you. Sounds slightly corny but it's the sad truth. Get out there and expose yourself to various specialties until you get a real test of what medicine is like. Regarding your questions I can try to answer them objectively.

Workload - I start up in a couple weeks, but from what I hear the material itself is not that different from what you would find in a 400 level biology/chemistry class. In fact the 400 level biochemistry I took uses the same book as the school I'm going to be going to. The problem lies in the amount of material you have and your ability to prioritize, cram, and be efficient will no doubt be tested.

Family life - A lot of it will depend on what field you get into and what your spouse does. I'm in a situation where I'm engaged right now and my fiance is also starting medical school. If both parties know it will be difficult and acknowledge accommodation is vital then will power should be able to get you through. A close family friend of mine met his 'soon-to-be' his 2nd year of medical school, in medical school. They both ended up becoming ophthalmologists (an extremely competitive field to get into), both work part time, have kids, and contribute a lot in their community. Their philosophy is as I mentioned (because believe me, I've asked), will power is essential.

However, get into medicine for the wrong reasons and it will be the biggest regret of your life. Don't think PA school is the 'easier' alternative either. Most programs pretty much cram the first two years of medical school into one full (no breaks with the exception of a week off for winter holidays) 12 month year. There is a reason why PA school is almost as competitive as medical school these days. Not to mention you literally need to have thousands of paid hours for most programs.

Do your research, take your time, and make a wise informed choice.
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