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Everything posted by gogogo

  1. I am very interested in FM and definitely recognize its benefits, but it is important to be critical of any specialty so that we can understand what we are getting into. It's important to remember that all specialties will exaggerate their pros and downplay their negatives; it's marketing just like anything else. So, for the sake of being a devil's advocate, let me give a different perspective on the benefits of FM: Jobs It's true, FM has jobs everywhere. But let's be realistic: How many job openings do you actually need? It's not as if you're going to switch your clinic every year. You'll find a clinic you like and stay there, in all likelihood. I also think that the tight job market in at least some of the other specialties might be overplayed. Speaking to people in certain specialties, they seem to be confident about the job market, even in specialties that, from the outside, I'm told have a tight job market. Of course, if you want to work downtown Toronto, then it'll be difficult to get a job. But if you're okay with working in the suburbs/community, it seems there are jobs available. I think it's important to talk to people in the field, especially residents in their final year, to get a different perspective. Lifestyle FM has the best lifestyle, but other specialties have it pretty good as well, like dermatology, ophthalmology, and outpatient IM specialties. I've also been told that you have a lot of control over your hours as a staff even in the more demanding specialties. I also check the hours of FM clinics in my area, and there definitely are FM doctors who are working 50-60 hours a week, including on weekends, and pretty late into the evening. Residency lifestyle seems awful for any specialty and is temporary, so probably not worth thinking about. Income I'm still learning about FM salaries, but it seems AB is an outlier (isn't AB in the news now for trying to unilaterally slash funding?). In ON, it seems reasonable that, on average, you'll make ~200-250k as an FM working 40-50 hours/week. Some are efficient and can do more, but some are not as efficient and work more hours for less (especially when you include the time they spend doing paperwork outside of clinic hours). And being efficient to make more money might not be enjoyable for some people because it requires faster appointments. Of course, 200-250k is a good salary, but your colleagues, who only put in ~3 years more than you, are making 100-200k more (or even 2-3x more in specialties like ophthalmology or dermatology, with an equally good lifestyle). I know this shouldn't matter, but as med students with type A personalities, it's hard not to allow comparison to be thief of joy. And to elaborate, you have to be in the 80th percentile of FM in ON to make 320k after overhead (see here). It's good to be ambitious and be inspired by these numbers, but there is a reason that only 20% of FM in ON are billing that high. We can't just say that 80% of FM in ON are lazy or inefficient doctors. If so, then perhaps be prepared to be like them, because by definition, we can't all be in the top 20%. Scope There are niches in FM, but again, there is probably a reason most don't do them. For example, to be a cosmetic FM, you have to build a clientele and compete against other specialties doing cosmetics, like derm, ENT, and plastics. Splitting your time between regular FM and a niche could also prove to be difficult, because the days you spend doing the niche (e.g., cosmetics) are days that you're not giving time to your regular FM patients. The latter patients will then be angry with you. ER has a rough lifestyle, OB has a rough lifestyle and probably requires that you work outside of the city, etc. I also find it almost self-denial to say you want to go into FM because of the +1 opportunities. It's basically saying that you want to go into FM so that you can *not* do FM. If you are interested in a niche, perhaps it's better to just go into a specialty that does that niche? Matching I agree with this. But there are negatives to everything. Instead of sucking up to staff and residents to get research opportunities, as an FM doctor, you have to "suck up" to patients by putting up with their vague complaints and frustrations with the healthcare system (because you are their primary care provider/their first exposure to healthcare). For example, dealing with a chronic back pain patient who says nothing works for them is a very frustrating experience for everyone involved. Overall, despite everything I said above, based on my limited training thus far, I think FM is great. But I think it's important to critical. FM is not an easy waltz into a 300k salary and requires sacrifices just like any specialty.
  2. I have heard of people using those and they seem to like it. Part of med school nowadays is finding the resources that work for you. I don't use those because I'm satisfied with my resources. First aid has nice quick summaries of topics, but you shouldn't use that until you have the background from sources that go more in-depth (like Merck and Costanzo); First aid can be your "refresher." Pathoma is the same idea, but for diseases. Boards n beyond seems pretty good, but I don't want to pay for it. Not sure about Step 2 ck.
  3. As a med student, I think GP income is quite an enigma and still haven't been able to get an handle on it. Offmychestplease's numbers seem justified for Alberta (based on another post, he'll show you the data to back it up). But, I've spoken to residents who will say that the typical family doctor will gross (i.e., pre-overhead, pre-tax) 300k in FFS and 400k in FHO (I'm speaking about Ontario specifically). FHO positions are very hard to come by in metro areas and usually only open up ~2+ hours outside of the city. If you want another source of data, go here: https://www.cihi.ca/en/national-physician-database-metadata. Download the NPDB data table release and go to the table showing "Gross clinical payment per physician, by specialty, 2017–2018" (Table 3.3). Looking at Ontario, those in the 60th percentile are grossing 335k (roughly 234k after an average 30% overhead) and in the 80th percentile 460k (roughly 322k after overhead). Trimming the data by those who gross at least 100k, we find that the mean in Ontario for FM is 364k (roughly 250k after overhead). So, 250k seems to actually be the average rather than on the low end. But also remember that this is an average of those who work FFS and those who work in a capitation model (e.g., FHO). FHO is likely pulling it up a bit. From my understanding, to beat this average, you can (a) go rural, (b) do high volume/be efficient (e.g., cut out social chat or do walk-ins), (c) some niche (e.g., pain clinic), (d) work longer hours (your 50 hours is above-average, from what I hear), or (e) learning how to maximize billings properly. Some also state that family doctors make extra income from private fees (e.g., workplace forms). But, I'm not sure how prevalent that is. All in all, I think it's safe to assume 200k-250k, but with some creativity, perhaps you can exceed that.
  4. I think you got a good response above. I'll just add two points that have helped me: Anki and other resources First, anki is very important. I recommend doing Zanki step 1 for pre-clerkship (and step 2 closer to clerkship). Step 1 will have some cards that are very nitty-gritty and obviously just for the step 1 exam; I suggest suspending these. But, it's very good for understanding the basic physiology of every system (supplement it with reading the Costanzo textbook for physiology; this textbook is a very good balance between depth and conciseness) and a decent overview of the diseases you'll learn about in pre-clerkship (supplement that with Amboss, Osmosis, Merck Manual, and youtube as needed). Zanki Step 1 will not cover everything your curriculum covers, however. For that, you should make your own cards and add them to fill in the gaps. For every disease and system, I suggest starting with Osmosis for a broad overview (it'll explain things in simple terms for someone who has no background). After that, read Costanzo to solidify the physiology. Then read Amboss or Merck for solidify understanding of the disease (American Family Physician is also good). Lilly is pretty good for cardiology. I don't recommend textbooks for any other system because it'll be overkill. Toronto Notes is good for knowing an approach to presentations, but for someone just starting med school, I think it's too bare bones and you won't really understand anything until you've developed the fundamentals. Change your mindset towards studying and knowledge I also came from an academic background that was not content-heavy and required more problem-solving and applying concepts vs. memorizing facts. For this reason, I've found that posts from engineers about their experience in med school to resonate with me (there are a few if you search google). I started med school trying to understand everything in a broad, conceptual way. I found that this did not work very well, was inefficient, and also made me lag behind peers. I noticed that the most successful students in my class weren't focusing as much on the "why" and more on the "what" and "how." They spent way more time memorizing. So, I changed my mindset. Med school is not like engineering where the emphasis is on understanding broad concepts and applying that knowledge via critical thinking. Of course, you have to understand the basics of physiology and anatomy. But, at least for now, once you know the basics of the physiology, way more time should be spent on memorizing anatomy, pathophysiology, lists of symptoms, indications for tests, names of medications, etc. Those who come from a traditional premed path may find this easy and perhaps even a review of what they already know, but for those without this background, I think it's quite an adjustment. Be prepared to spend long hours memorizing rather than problem-solving.
  5. Another consideration is how much of the kind of work that you don't enjoy as a resident will follow you as staff (e.g., research, administrative roles, etc.). If staff are doing similarly boring tasks as you have to do as a resident in this specialty, then you either (a) have to get used to it or (b) stop considering this specialty. If it's just a hump you have to get over to "pay your dues," then I think it's worth it to achieve what you want in the end.
  6. Someone more knowledgable should chime in, but I believe you're right: the big incentive is that it allows you to practice FHO in a non-high need area. I see job postings from a clinic in downtown Toronto offering this option frequently. Good luck getting an FHO spot in downtown Toronto otherwise. I do occasionally see postings for FHO spots 1-2 hours outside of downtown Toronto (not NGEP, just normal FHO), so if you're willing to move there, I don't see why you would enrol in this program and restrict your income. The compensation of ~180k over 3 years is low, but if you look at the postings here from new FM grads, those working 35-40 clinic hours a week in the GTA are making ~200-220k, so it's not that much lower. From what I hear, FHO can be very lucrative, so perhaps after the 3 years of restricted income, your income could probably double. On the other hand, if you're willing to work hard FFS right out the gate, NGEP would not be a smart choice financially. But NGEP does come with the assurance that you'll have set up your practice after 3 years and can count on that and down the line, probably work fewer hours to make just as much as the hard working FFS family physician.
  7. I feel the same as you. I'm pretty set on FM because I am content with it (I don't mind the "negatives") and have chosen to focus more on other aspects of my life that make me happy. I think it depends on your personality. Personally, I used to be much more ambitious when I was younger. But I saw what pursuing success at all costs leads to and I realized it wasn't worth it to me. I like the rest of my life too much. Case in point: As intellectually satisfying and enjoyable it can be to understand something, I find that whatever pleasure I get from an intellectual pursuit is the same pleasure I get from simpler things, like having free time, being around family, and pursuing my hobbies. If you cannot live life without feeling as if you've reached your maximum career potential, then that's the only reason I'd say you should consider a specialty; but understand that pursuing your maximum career potential means sacrificing other areas of your life. There's much more balance with FM that I think is appealing and only becomes more appealing the older you get. But maybe clear your headspace first to make sure that you're not choosing FM just because it's an escape.
  8. I am not at all trying to dissuade you. Medicine, from a purely career standpoint (pay, respect, impact, stability, autonomy, etc.) is very good and very hard to match in another industry in Canada, as long as you know what you want from life and pursue a specialty that fits that (e.g., if you want money, probably don't go into peds; if you want lifestyle, probably don't go into neurosurgery; if you want a specific location for work, probably don't go into general surgery, etc.). I will point out the many pitfalls in other careers for people who think that the grass is greener in other careers. Most other careers don't enjoy the purely practical benefits that doctors get. And that part is fantastic for doctors. I was specifically responding to your idea that medicine provides a career where you get to practice science every day. If that is what you are looking for, I don't think medicine is the right pick, because I don't consider most medicine that scientific in practice (it is obviously based on scientific research, but most doctors don't want to deal with that). P.S. Some of the issues you pointed out with engineering (low stability, office politics, hours) could end up being issues in medicine too. So, just be careful about which specialty you pick (if you decide on medicine). Specifically, some specialties have less stability (e.g., many surgical specialties have a poor job market); most hospitals have lots of politics; and hours are usually long. But back to my point above, if you know what you want from life and know what you are willing to sacrifice (e.g., I've heard that you have to pick two of the three: money, prestige, and lifestyle), then you can find a specialty in medicine that will provide that.
  9. Congratulations on making the career switch. I did it too and medicine is better than my previous career. I am also "older" than the average med student, though not that much (27). I do not agree with you about how med school and residency won't force you to put life on hold, however. By "on hold," I don't mean life has to stop. You can for sure get married, have a kid, buy a house, etc. if your circumstances allow. So instead, by "on hold," I mean not have as much time for those things as you would want. I am speaking as a med student in a long-term stable relationship and who has older parents in my class. Med school is all-consuming, especially clerkship. Residency is probably the same. Of course you can "make it work" during this time. But I don't think it's ideal. I am putting off kids for after residency because I can't imagine how I'll be a parent while I'm studying all the time. My partner is extremely supportive and understands why I barely have time to spend with her. Even when we do spend time, I am studying 90% of the time. The fathers and mothers in my program are going through the same thing. They don't have much time for their family and it's the partner who is shouldering most of the domestic duties. So of course, you can get through med school and residency while being a parent, but it's a very, very tough ride. Many of the younger students in my class also broke up with their partners pretty soon after med school started. Your experience may be different and I hope you find a way to make it work!
  10. I feel like I could've written your post a year ago. I also first studied in a scientific field with poor job prospects and saw medicine as a perfect solution: it's scientific, has great salary + security, and it allows me to communicate with people--all big plusses to me. Now that I'm in med school, I see it a bit differently. I can only speak about medicine from the perspective of someone in their first year (who is also burnt out from studying all the time), so you may to wait for staff to comment on what I'm saying too. But to reply directly: 1. Economic security is very important. Again, I know how you feel because of my previous field and how after all of my sacrifices, I was faced with an undesirable financial situation and job prospects. But make sure you enjoy medicine because otherwise, no amount of money will compensate for the misery it causes you. This is a very common path to disappointment that many doctors are on. I had heard of people saying "don't go into medicine" before I started and I didn't understand where they were coming from. It seemed like a perfect job to me. But I am starting to understand their feelings now that I'm in the field. Just do you due diligence to figure out if you like medicine for the right reasons. 2. I do not consider medical practice a science. Maybe this changes when you are staff and again, maybe it's different in academic centres where you come across rarer diseases and need to figure it out. But so far, it's a ton of memorization. The students doing really well in my class are not that focused on the "why" of the disease, but rather, just the "what." They can, in a split second, list the common symptoms of any disease, the way to diagnose it, and the first-line medications/management. This is very different from conceptually thinking about a problem to come to a creative and critically-planned solution. When you practice, from my perspective, it seems like almost everything you see in clinic becomes mundane and you just get faster/more efficient at recognizing what the problem is. You follow algorithms. For example, if a patient comes in complaining of fatigue, you are taught to follow an algorithm to rule out the various causes of fatigue and narrow down your diagnosis. There isn't that much thinking in this, especially after you've done it 20x, because you're just following the steps until you have your diagnosis. And then when it comes to medications, you again just look it up to find which medication is the best fit for your patient. If you want more detail on what the practice of clinical medicine is like, just search "[disease x] american family physician" in google and go to the page to see how doctors approach a disease (here's an example). This is just family medicine, but my impression of other specialties so far shows me that it's pretty similar. As for specific examples of engineers going into medicine, here's an example (scroll to the response by HeyNow_HankKingsley, an engineer who didn't enjoy medicine). Here's another thread (look at what elevation and MarsRover have to say). I want to emphasize that I'm just a med student, so please see if staff agree with this assessment or they think medicine is scientific with a lot of critical and creative thinking. 3. Lots of people in tech are also self-taught. Maybe consider that as well. I know the dissatisfaction you feel, but maybe take some time to reflect. Don't make a decision out of disappointment.
  11. I agree with offmychestplease. Three more points for you to consider: 1. Do you actually think you'd be okay with starting medicine at 30? That's a major life disruption. Basically, you'd have given away your 20s and 30s to academic work. Please consider this seriously. Your life will be on hold until you're ~40. If you decide to marry and have kids during med school or residency, you won't have much time for them (even if you do family medicine, your life during med school and residency will still be nearly all-consuming). I am studying nearly non-stop every day and I started med school at 27. Please make sure that you are willing to sacrifice your 20s and 30s for what, at the end of the day, is just a job. 2. Those who go into medicine from a field requiring more creativity/thinking sometimes struggle/don't enjoy medicine. There are specifically posts from engineers in this forum and in others online where they lament that medicine is just memorization and they miss *thinking* like they did in engineering. I agree with this, too. I came from a field that was more about the big picture and critically thinking about problems. So far, my experience in medicine is that there is almost none of that. You memorize symptoms, indications for tests, etc. and follow guidelines. It feels pretty robotic. So, perhaps reflect a little more deeply about what drives you. It may be that medicine is not in fact the "engaging, challenging and science adjacent career" because, personally, I don't consider clinical medicine akin to practicing science at all. It is basically pattern recognition and you just get faster at that (academic medicine may be different, though the vast majority of doctors are not in academics). I encourage you to read more about engineers who switched into medicine and see if you'd be okay with the transition. Of course, this may be different once you start practicing; I can only speak about med school and my impression of the field. 3. Is there something else closer to engineering that you may enjoy? What about doing a degree in CS and going into software engineering, or doing a masters in data science and pursuing that? These are options that are closer to your field with a good job market/good pay but which would require less sacrifice and would allow you to start working sooner.
  12. No worries. It'll seem daunting at first, but just download the program, download AnKing, and start. You'll learn through doing it. It took me ~1 week to get the hang of it and just make it a habit. Look into basic guides on how to use Anki but don't go overboard.
  13. As far as I know, we don't have one specific for Canadian med schools, but medical knowledge doesn't really change by country . Step 1 and Step 2 will cover such a vast ground that you'll have all the knowledge needed for pre-clerkship (I can't comment for clerkship--not there yet--but I hear that step 2 + UWorld is a good combo). The Step 1 deck will sometimes cover things that are very nitty-gritty and are obviously just for the Step 1 test, so you could always just suspend those cards (i.e., turn them off and not see them again). So, I still highly recommend doing AnKing even it it covers stuff you won't cover or details that seem extraneous (again, just suspend them). AnKing has been developed over years with many contributors and it would take a lot of your time trying to create cards. It'll provide you with a very broad and sufficiently in-depth understanding of pre-clerkship medical knowledge. Don't worry that by following AnKing, you may not be following your school's curriculum. A good compromise would be this: Imagine you've started cardiology at your school. Look through the AnKing Step 1 Cardiology deck and compare it to your school's curriculum. If you find that there is a topic your school really focuses on but AnKing doesn't, then add cards just for that. Like that, you can "fill in the gaps" where needed but also have the assurance that the rest of the deck is covering everything you'd need to know.
  14. Anki is fantastic for learning. Look into the AnKing deck (or make your own, but I recommend the former). In the AnKing deck, Step 1 will cover every system's physiology and pathology. Step 2 will be more clinically oriented and is supposed to be for clerkship (so I recommend AnKing Step 1 to get a foundation). It's a lot of cards (25000+), so start soon and be committed to the reviews (otherwise, you will forget things easily). The biggest "issue" people point out about Anki is that it promotes memorizing little details that would only benefit on a multiple choice test. I agree with this *if* you just use anki as a memorization tool. So to counter that, whenever I do a card, I make sure to do a quick summary of the clinically-relevant/big picture stuff when I answer it. For example, if the card says "[blank] is a risk factor for coronary artery disease," I'll answer the question, but *in addition*, I'll quickly remind myself what coronary artery disease is and how it presents. You also have to constantly be making the big-picture connections between cards, otherwise you'll again just learn small facts without understanding the concepts. So do all the background reading needed and then go back to the cards to solidify that learning. If you do what I say above and do your anki reviews every day, I promise you'll be a top student during med school.
  15. I would say it matters. I may be assuming here, but if you're in your early 20s and just starting med school, you may not care. But once you hit your late 20s/early 30s and are a resident with 100k-200k in debt, and you see that your friends who started working out of high school/undergrad are married, have kids, and a house, you'll really want to rush to get started on your life. If you limit your debt during med school, you can get a down payment faster, then house, etc. Of course, your staff salary will be nice, but it takes time to raise a decent downpayment and catch up to your non-physician friends who have been working for ~10 years already.
  16. Average seems to be about 100k by the end of med school, but if you have no support and no savings, 150k is common, and 200k isn't unheard of either. If by "aim to reach" you mean what level of debt is reasonable, that also depends on your situation. Schools differ in terms of cost of tuition and cost of living. My advice is to figure out your fixed costs (e.g., tuition, rent) and variable costs (e.g., recreation, food) and find ways to reduce both (e.g., cooking at home vs. eating out, renting a cheaper place, cheaper car, etc.). Although you'll make it all back later, I think some students go overboard with using their line of credit irresponsibly, such as getting a nicer apartment than required. The lower your debt at the end of med school, the more you can use your resident and staff salary for yourself. So, try to find a balance between comfort and frugality during med school. Finally, be very persistent about scholarships. I wasn't eligible for many of the ones at my school and had to go through a bunch of administrators and email them reminders over 5 months. In the end, I got ~$7500 from funding that wasn't advertised on the scholarship page of my school. If you're persistent, you can probably find scholarships to offset costs.
  17. I agree there are definitely paths to success in all industries. The difference with medicine is that it's all laid out for you. Get these grades, do these tests, etc. and you can move onto the next step of med school. Then in med school, it's another list of things to do, and then onto the next step. If you want a career that provides that level of certainty in reaching upper middle class or higher, I think medicine is the safest bet. Of course, you have to enjoy it and find it meaningful or none of this will be worth it to you. Other industries can reward people with the right mix of intelligence, hard work, luck, and networking. If you don't mind, can you share what your friends do and make and what they lives are like?
  18. This is a huge point. I think many med students over-estimate how much their success academically and in the medical world would translate into success in other industries. In my class, I haven't met many people who I would classify as high in intelligence. They're smart people, for sure, but there are smart people in every industry. Moreover, amongst us non-trads, many of us were working in lower paying industries before. For example, I have someone in my class who was studying philosophy before med school and another who was in the culinary industry. Do you think these people would've found just as much success in philosophy or working in restaurants? No...they realized that some industries have much higher floors and switched. Success in corporate is also very much down to luck and connections. In medicine, we have a few specialties that are similar in that they need connections and being the right "fit": ophthalmology and dermatology, for example. And guess what? 99% of med students don't go into those fields, and even among those who try, 50% fail. Except the people who fail to make it into these coveted specialties have a "soft landing" in FM or IM, which will get them 200k minimum. In corporate, if you fail to reach the upper echelons while competing withe everyone else all of the time, your soft landing is going back to your 60-120k job for 40-50 hours a week. We complain about match rates, but don't recognize that we have 95-99% of our cohorts matching every year into 200k+ jobs that are guaranteed for life with autonomy, prestige, impact (obviously, your experience will vary depending on which specialty you choose, but that's your choice). There is no other industry like this.
  19. I agree mostly. I do think doctors are underpaid and under-appreciated. But it's still a good career if you know yourself and what you want from life. Obviously there are anecdotes on both sides. You can find someone working in corporate working cush hours making a lot. But I'm talking about averages. The people are the top of IB or consulting companies, for instance, who are making 500k are extremely stressed. They may not have someone's physical life in their hands, but they have their clients' millions of dollars in their hands. If they make a mistake, they can lose a client or a sale. It's just a different kind of stress. And the 5-8 years of training after medical school is paid with pensions/benefits. You will still be done in your mid-30s and have a career that rewards you after. If you've chosen a specialty that requires terrible hours for the reward, that was your choice. You could've finished residency in 2 years and made 200k as a family doctor--again, the minimum salary in medicine, which is still a salary that is almost never achieved in non-physician careers unless you are very, very good at what you're doing with decades of experience. I've spoken to consultants and managers at Deloitte and McKinsey (the biggest consulting firms). Most of them are travelling on a weekly basis and many are working 50-60 hours a week. Just go to any forum with consultants in it and you'll see how miserable their life is. I know a partner at McKinsey who, while making a ton of money (he's the breadwinner in his family), he absolutely never sees his kid. His wife is miserable. This is typical. Moreover, in consulting, their salaries don't reach family doctor levels until 3-6 years of this lifestyle of long hours and travelling (it depends on the firm). Consulting is a very stressful career the higher you go. And finally, most people do not stay in consulting or IB. The average tenure at a consulting or IB company is 2-3 years, after which, again, you take an easier job for a paycut. So pointing out that IB can make more than 150k is pointing out the rare person who stays in the field. I can also point out people who do family medicine and the switch over to pain medicine and make 800k right out of residency. An MBA does cost 100k, and like the person above said, way more in the US. You have been dismissing what I say without providing any evidence. Of course you can get your company to pay for your MBA, but this doesn't happen easily, and in return, they ask that you stay at the company for several years afterward. I can also point out the doctor who works rurally for loan forgiveness. Medicine does have its negatives, and I completely agree. It's not a perfect career. But I am trying to show people that other careers are nowhere near perfect as well. We do not have a monopoly on working in a career where mistakes are costly, people are stressed, or hours are long. For example, in many of these white collar jobs (IB, consulting), taking mat leave or pat leave is heavily looked down upon and could set you back in your career ("mommy track" is pejorative term used). 1. Interesting. How much are your friends making? Middle management still can take 5 years minimum, from what I've seen. And in my experience, middle managers are making 120k-150k maximum. I just compare that to a family doctor who, if working 40-50 hours a week, trumps that salary for only 3-4 years of negative income (i.e., med school). And exactly, if you're not rising in IB or consulting, you're getting kicked out; most leave on their own after 2-3 years because the job is too demanding and not worth it. The same doesn't happen in medicine. 2. But if you're in a surgical or tough IM residency, you have chosen that specialty, and will be rewarded at the end of it by making 400k+. That was a decision that you thought was worth it to you. You could have not done that. Consultants also work terrible hours, as do lawyers, accountants at the big firms, especially in the beginning of their careers, and especially if they want to rise in the company. Tech is one of the few fields where this doesn't always happen, but it still happens at many companies. Even if you're in a tough IM residency, you can choose one of the lifestyle subspecialties (after 3-4 years of IM, right?) and then come out okay. We're splitting hairs at 8/9am vs. 7am--IB life is hell. 3. My friend left IB after 2 years because it was too demanding and all of her colleagues were on cocaine (this is at a big bank in Toronto). This is typical in these kinds of careers. Comparing most nonphysician careers, if you do anything except for IB, most people never touch 200-250k+. With the right investments, a family doctor can expand their net worth nicely. And again, this is just family medicine. Once we talk about specialties that are 300-400k+, no other professional career will ever come close to that unless they have the right connections + work decades at their company + are the very best at what they do + do not piss any one off at upper management + are willing to work 50-60+ hours a week + usually travel to clients + go to corporate social events outside of work hours and network well. 4. Yes, all true. There are ways to make it work in any career, including medicine. You just have to know where you want to be in the future and find the path to get there. Though I'm currently a med student, I'm non-trad and came from a different career before.
  20. Happy to help, man. I think we have it amazing in medicine. Of course it's hard, but why shouldn't it be? We are dealing with the most precious thing that people have. And we are rewarded amazingly for it.
  21. I didn't say non-physicians need a PhD to earn a lot. I was talking specifically about tech and brought up the example of data science, which is one of the hottest jobs in tech right now. Many of the people in data science have a PhD, meaning they have almost just as much training as a family doctor, but are earning half of what the average family doctor does. And that's just family medicine, which is one of the lower paid specialties (on average). The cardiologists, ophthalmologists, etc. making 500k+ are making a salary that you won't touch in tech/corporate unless you're the very best of the best and have decades of experience (or are in Silicon Valley, which again, is rare, can come with long hours too, and is usually a short-term option for Canadian tech grads who eventually move back to Canada and take a huge paycut). Here are the notable jobs in our society that make 250k+ (I'm not including insanely rare jobs, like professional athlete, artist, etc.): 1. Partner at a professional firm (e.g., law, accounting) 2. Corporate executive 3. High up at a consulting firm/investment banking 4. Independent business owner/founder All of the jobs above usually require just as many hours as medicine, if not more. Consultants, for example, are in a different city *every week* from Monday to Thursday. One consultant I spoke to was married and had to take a project in Sweden, meaning he wouldn't see his wife for 6 months. People in IB are basically working nonstop everyday (100 hours a week is typical). The same for law firm partners. And being an independent business founder/owner is so rare that it's probably not worth discussing. Also remember that these jobs are not guaranteed like in medicine. There's no guarantee you'll become partner at a law firm, for example. In medicine, once you're in, you have the job for life. If you choose a lifestyle specialty (e.g., family medicine, endocrinology), you will make a salary that the people in the above jobs are working a minimum of 60 hours a week to achieve. Except they also have the risk of being fired any time, losing their job during a recession, have to travel for corporate events, etc. For instance, a friend who was making 150k in investment banking 2 years after undergrad seemed to have it all. The bank was even paying for her taxis to drive her home at night. But then I realized that she was working every day from 7am to 1am. And that's for 150k, a salary you could easily double as a family doctor working on your own terms. The level of autonomy, stability, and salary for the hours worked in medicine is not easily replicated in other industries. If you are working resident hours as staff, you are doing it because you chose a specialty with those hours, and you are being compensated nicely for it. For instance, the cardiologists working insane hours are making 500-600k. That would take beating a lot of competition in corporate after 1-2 decades just to get there. It's not any easier. As for debt, unless you're bad with money, you can pay off medical school debt within 5 years of practice. There are also scholarships during med school that can offset costs, as well as the tuition tax breaks I mentioned above. Finally, again, it's not like people in other industries don't have debt. MBA and law school costs ~100k.
  22. You can still get into tech. There are masters in data science, for example. A lot of people in tech are also self-taught (and started in the boring job and worked their way up). I know several people who went into tech after studying something unrelated. I am just noting that if you go into medicine, you should go into it without any regrets. But like someone above said, tech isn't this amazing land of big money and few hours. Here's an example. Right now, data science is the "hot job" in tech. It usually requires a PhD (i.e., just as much training as undergrad + medical school). My friends who went into data science are working 40-50 hours a week making 120k after 3-4 years in the job (they started at 50-60k with a boring job in the company). Compare that to FM, as one example, where you will have 3-4 years in med school with no income. After that, you're making ~65k in residency for two years (which, with the tuition tax breaks, equates to an income of about 90k/year...i.e., close to someone doing data science). Do residency for 2 years, and then work 40 hours a week as a FM and make 200k-250k (with potential for much more if you're skilled/fast/business savvy/hardworking/etc.) To hit 200k+ in a company, you will most likely need to be a director or vice president (i.e., 5-10 years of experience). These positions require just as many hours as medicine and often also require travel. Before medicine, I was considering tech, and I spoke to a vice president at a bigger company in Toronto. He was making good money (I'm guessing 250k + bonuses), but said that every single person one level above him in the company had gone through a divorce because of the hours/travel involved in the job. Again, compare that to FM, where you don't have to travel, are helping people every day, will always be in high-demand, can alter your hours as you wish, and can make the same income or even more without sucking up to executives. I say all this so you don't have a "grass is greener" mentality and go into medicine thinking that if you'd only studied CS, your life would be so much better right now.
  23. Why don't you try out the tech sector before medicine? See if you like it. I personally know someone who studied computer science and later switched and is now in medicine. It can go both ways. There are many people who don't like tech after getting into it. And overall, life must be pretty good if you get to decide between one good job (tech) and another (medicine). Many people don't even have access to these kinds of choices.
  24. There is no recommended undergraduate study. Go into a program where you will excel GPA-wise (whether that be science-related or not). My recommendation is to create a spreadsheet of every medical school you're interested in, precisely list out their admissions requirements (every school is a bit different; check their website and call/email them for anything that's unclear). Most schools also publish stats on the students they accepted (e.g,. average GPA of accepted student). This will give you the targets you need to reach (i.e., the average stats of the accepted student) and then you can create a plan on how to achieve them (e.g., which prerequisites to take). In general, the requirements will be a high GPA (usually ~3.8/3.9, though students get in with lower), extracurriculars related to helping people and leadership (sounds like you've got that already; check out CanMEDS for which traits Canadian medical schools are looking for), possibly prerequisites (e.g., chemistry, biology), CASPer (ethical decision-making test), and reference letters. Having said that, please seriously consider whether you will truly be satisfied by medicine more than what you have now. Right now, it sounds like you have an income, work-life balance, and satisfaction with what you've achieved. In the best case scenario (which is far from guaranteed), you will be putting all of this on hold for a minimum of 8 years (2 undergrad + 3 Calgary med school + 2 year family med + 1 year emergency medicine; note that many people who go into emergency end up doing the 5-year option, which would mean you've trained for 10 years). Will you be happy "restarting" life at 34/36 (again, this is the best case scenario)? So, make sure to read about the negatives of medicine, including emergency medicine (e.g., shift work), and recognize the potential impact on your life. There are several posts here from people who came from other careers and only now, after all their training and sacrifice, realize that they would've been just as happy in their previous career. Many medical specialties have tight job markets, medicine can have a brutal hierarchical structure, the studying hours are very long. Personally, I recently started at 27 coming from a different career. I'm enjoying it and know I made the right choice for me, but there are many, many difficult days, and it's only going to get more stressful. I am studying basically every day with almost no free time (this is because I hadn't done many of the typical pre-med science courses). Make sure you know what you're getting into rather than having a false view of what medicine will be/is. I'm happy to answer more questions over PM.
  25. I'm only in first year, so perhaps my comment will be naïve (though I'm non-trad, a bit older, and didn't come into med school with rose-coloured glasses). I have days where I wonder why I'm doing this, and days where it feels amazing. I think that's part of the process. The better you get at something, the more you tend to enjoy it. So being incompetent now and feeling bad about that are not how you'll always feel if you keep working hard to get better. It also probably wouldn't be different in any other job. You'd also feel incompetent in another occupation in the beginning. It's also worth wondering how much these thoughts stem from you rather than medicine. People who are self-critical will be that way no matter what the setting is. Not saying that's the case for you, but it may be, especially if you're thinking "I would've been happier doing X" (which is usually just a fantasy that people conjure during the worst of times; i.e., grass is greener phenomenon). I was on track for a different career before medicine, and I'll tell you, regret over one's career choice is present in all fields, maybe especially in high-status fields (e.g., law, medicine, finance), because people with ambition usually find ways to be unsatisfied and therefore strive for even more. But it's worth remembering how lucky we are to have been accepted and have access to a job with a level of pay, stability, respect, and impact that many others would love to have. More practically, it sounds like you don't like internal medicine or the hospital setting. Maybe things will change during another rotation, such as one in a clinic with more reasonable hours. Medicine is really diverse across many dimensions. It also sounds like you don't like your preceptor. I've been told not to let my opinion sway because of a good preceptor vs. bad preceptor. Your environment and lifestyle can have a huge effect on your wellbeing, so when you find an environment and lifestyle that fit you, I'm guessing you'll feel better and remember why you chose to go into medicine. Hope things get better for you!
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