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1D7

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  1. Money isn't bad in medicine but it's vastly over-estimated. Here are some rough numbers for a average family doctor career compared to a nursing career. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4 years of medical school = 25k tuition/yr + 50k lost wages/year = 300k down compared to nurses by the end of medical school. There is also debt that is accrued on top of this (especially with loans from pre-med), and/or a loss of other income opportunities/investing so we'll round up to 330k. R1s and R2s take home about 45k/yr while paying for expensive board exams, so they're continuing to build debt; by the end of residency it's closer to 350k down in earnings compared to a nurse. The important question now: How long does it take the average family doctor to match a the lifetime earnings of a nurse? Average family doc is grossing 250k/yr and after tax it's roughly 150k/yr. Nurse grosses about 70k/yr and takes home about 50k/yr. With a 100k difference in take-home pay, a attending family doc would take about 4 years to start out-earning a nurse after residency. That's a total of 10 years to catch up assuming the nurse does not take on admin roles or change to become a NP. If he/she does, the family doc might take closer to 12-18 years to catch up, i.e. mid-late 30s by the time. During that time, there are many intangible costs, i.e. sacrificing your 20s-30s studying hard and working long and odd hours for no to little pay. Occasionally being relocated far away from your friends, family, and maybe even your partner. In comparison a nursing career has much better protected time and there's almost no risk of needing to train in a far off province. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The reason many doctors live great lifestyles is because they graduated at a time when tuition was low, houses were cheap, and probably had great parental support. If you're coming from a lower socioeconomic background, you can rest assured that you'll eventually live comfortably. But if you compare a family doctor's earnings to a good software engineer or 'business' (high end finance career/consulting), the numbers are pretty bad. And to answer your question about people who come into medicine purely for the money: Yes I know a few of those individuals. 100% of them regret their decisions because they've ran the numbers. They're mostly spending time figuring out how to work the least for the most money--admirable maybe in other fields but appalling and even dangerous in medicine. Luckily there's not many of these people; spending years of your life studying tedious basic sciences and knowing that there's a long road ahead tends to weed out most of them. Lastly, I just want to say that I don't think there's anything wrong with being partly motivated by money to pursue medicine, as long as it's not the only or main motivator. Some people like to romanticize or idealize medicine--I find that those are rarely the people that grew up struggling. I don't recommend listing this on a personal statement or mentioning it in an interview directly though haha.
  2. If you only see 1-2 patients per day, that's a choice you make when structuring your career. There's always more to be done in medicine. Anyway, even though you're essentially describing FM/IM & subspecialties/peds, I would suggest seeing everything first, since people often change minds.
  3. Dread does sound a bit excessive tbh. Is there an underlying reason?
  4. I'm curious, how do these surgical residents maintain their surgical skills? Take call while doing their PhD? Have built in surgical rotations in their research year(s)? Bite the bullet of being out of an OR for years?
  5. Personally I found that coming from an immigrant family background, the fundamental way that I interact socially differed from many classmates. Nothing that made class or work interactions unpleasant, but it was difficult to connect beyond anything superficial. Perhaps it's because of my different upbringing, where the majority of my friends were ethnic minorities and I had a lower-middle class background. Or maybe perhaps many of them just worked too hard in their premed days and were 'letting it out' in medical school. In any case, just make your own circle of friends and work. Remember that you're ultimately in medical school to become a physician, and to do that you need to acquire the prerequisite knowledge and mindset to be competent.
  6. 1D7

    Are there any normal non arrogant pre-meds?

    Most strong premeds in my program were reasonably nice but plain, probably a result of focusing on work & studies above all else. Jerks were more common in the early 'unspecialized years' since the program hadn't had a chance to weed them at that point. I remember one year, we had a senior undergrad student who passed on his excellent notes down to his junior friends for free, and one dude tried to make money off of it by selling those notes for $$$ to other people. In my cohort most of those jerks went onto other careers or Caribbean/overseas med schools. OP just find your own group of friends and do your own thing. Try your best and if it doesn't work out, find something else to do. Medical school seems like everything at this point, but it doesn't have to be.
  7. A realistic (i.e. tough) clerkship is more useful than a soft one when it comes to preparing you for residency and also teaching you what being a resident in X specialty is like. The biggest career mistake a medical student could make is choosing the wrong specialty because they got the wrong impression of what it was like. The issues are that preclerkship curricula do not do a great job at preparing students for clerkship, and many students have the wrong expectations from the get-go.
  8. 1D7

    Am I screwed now?

    Read up on the GPA policies at each school and you'll find that your application won't be hurt much, as long as you do well from here on forward.
  9. 95%+ of preceptors are understanding and realize that if you're just starting clerkship, you probably barely know how to do a physical exam, and almost certainly not one with any real value. There is some expectation of knowledge (that you know the steps to an exam, and can correlate basic findings with disease), but it's pretty minimal. If you're unlucky, you'll get someone who has forgotten what it's like to be a medical student; certain specialties have a higher concentration of these personalities. Nothing you can do about that except bite the bullet and try to learn from it. It's the same as any 'real job'. It's important to not be late, but no one is going to expect or even want you to come in early unless you have assigned work or a reason for doing so. The only rotation where I showed up early for was Surgery, and that was because there was a bunch of equipment/charts to set up, plus the expectation that we could present new patients during team rounds. Other than that, I typically aimed to arrive on time or just early enough to print lists.
  10. I agree with the previous answers: it's important to take time to protect yourself and connect with friends/family. However, for my answers below, I'm going to answer you assuming you want a competitive specialty and that you are on a rotation where you want to work extra hard because you want a strong LOR. Please don't stress out if you just want to be able to pass the rotation or if you want a specialty with low competitiveness since being a reasonable person can often get you a pass by itself. 1) With studying there should be 2 goals. The first is understanding the clinical knowledge well enough to function well while on service/in clinic (e.g. having a good DDx & approach for common presenting complaints, learning about how the diseases you typically encounter are treated). The second goal is gaining the knowledge to be able to answer pimp questions and pass the rotation exam (usually some clinical knowledge but more often pathophysiology of disease, common associated condition, complications of treatment, random 'fun' facts.). On my IM rotation, during the day I would read up on patients and their conditions if time permitted--usually this totaled to less than 1 hour on average since the service was busy. In terms of clinical resources, I found DynaMed the most helpful, with occasional references to UpToDate when I needed further clarification. After work I would study 1-3 hours using an assortment of resources, i.e. OnlineMedEd lectures, Boards & Beyond lectures, CaseFiles/UWorld Step 2 CK question bank, and clinical resources (DynaMed/Medscape/UpToDate) as needed. With clinical resources, keep in mind that there's a ton of knowledge beyond the scope needed to impress as a medical student--you will have to be the judge of what you need to know, what you should know, and what you don't need to know. If I felt my clinical knowledge was weaker, I would focus on reading up via clinical resources, as well as going through OnlineMedEd lectures and CaseFiles. If I felt my general/science knowledge was weaker, I would focus on Boards & Beyond lectures and UWorld. Occasionally I had to sit down and draw out flowcharts or take notes, but 95%+ of my learning was just listening to lectures on 1.5-2x, going through cases/questions, and reading the occasional Medscape or DynaMed page. For Peds I would focus on using pedscases.com as your primary clinical lecture base. For Surgery I would probably pick up whatever textbook is recommended by your upper years. Many preceptors and residents commented on my strong knowledge and my evaluations reflected that. 2) & 3) 80% soft skills & social awareness, 20% medical knowledge. Intrepid86 and freewheeler put it best.
  11. The best way is to speak to profs in person, though typically you can only do this for ones you have classes with. Outside of that, you have to email a ton of profs like everyone else has said. I've done both, and the former method is usually much easier and natural.
  12. Why would you think being nervous is a red flag...
  13. Just curious given your signature, do you think you would have been better off financially continuing on with nursing as a career instead?
  14. 1D7

    Income and Lifestyle

    Live frugally and invest well. You can buy houses in the GTA at sub-1 million dollar prices if you're willing to live in the periphery of the GTA.
  15. If you are considering it, you should plan out your complete career. Realize that medical school is 3-4 years, residency is 2-5 years, and fellowships are 1-3 years--and at each stage, you will potentially move cities. At a minimum that's a 5-6 year commitment and 2 potential moves, meaning a significant disruption to your children's/spouse's lives. That's assuming you already have everything else in place.
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