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  1. Super, thanks for all your perspectives. I’m obviously taking a critical look at this potential path and this is really helpful. On the topic of work-life balance, for those that work as a GP, do you find your work stressful? How many hrs/week do you work? I’m anticipating that I would join an established practice and would most likely focus only on family med/walk ins, rather than doing any hospital or Ob/gyn work. My hope is that I would do that kind of work 4 days a week, work 32ish hrs, and still make a great living and have time for fun and family. Is taking vacation difficult as a GP? I understand that you need to find another physician to cover you if you’re away for long periods of time? For comparison, for my current employer I can take every other Friday off, start with 4 weeks vacation (up to 7 weeks after 25 years), and have a 35 hr work week. We are currently WFH with covid, and I am hoping in the future they will become even more flexible.
  2. Thanks for all the helpful feedback! I’m a bit confused over the math and how staying in my current role I’d be able to afford a property in the Fraser Valley within the same time frames. An acreage out here runs about $1.3 milllion, give or take. With a minimum down payment of 20%, you need about $289k cash to purchase the property and at current interest rates, a mortgage would be $4500/month, not including other housing expenses (more like $5000/month). Say in our current roles, our household income peaks at $200k annually. After taxes (assuming 30% taken off), the monthly take home is about $11,500. Based on this, about 43% of our income would be spent on housing, which isn’t outrageous, but higher than the 30% affordable benchmark CMHC uses. There is also the question of how long it would take to save up the cash needed (or equity in a starter home). I see us reaching this point in 5-10 years after buying a starter home first. From what I understand, if my partner kept his same role and I made about $250k after overhead as a GP, our household income would become $360k or $21k monthly after taxes. Of course, this would be 6 years after beginning med school, about the same time I envisioning our salaries peaking in our current roles. Our monthly income would essentially double, a mortgage would be that much more affordable, but the question of cash for the down payment remains. I would have to pay off a LoC - how much are typical monthly loan payments? I suppose we could buy a small place while I am in med school and use my LoC towards a piece of the monthly payments and then have build up equity when I graduate (do people do this? We have a down payment already). Am I off here? Obviously there is debt associated with going to medical school, but it seems to me like the 6 years of opportunity cost is very quickly repaid with a much higher monthly income.
  3. Just wanted to comment directly on this — the goal is property and having a larger mortgage as well as being able to afford life things as well... vacations etc. My current employment very much has a cap and I have no real opportunity to work OT to make more money. I make $71k annually, and this will increase by steps for several years and 2% annually once I reach the top step. I wish I had more opportunity to grow financially in my current job by picking up shifts, but I would have to start some kind of side gig if I wanted to boost my income.
  4. Thanks for those helpful perspectives! I’ve always had a dream of owning property... 5+ acres with a set up for horses/hobby farm. Don’t need anything fancy and I really don’t think I’ll feel content until I’ve achieved this goal and I’d like to reach it ASAP. Currently living in the Lower Mainland, this would run me $1.2 million plus. I keep a close eye on the real estate market elsewhere, and even outside of the Lower Mainland in the more desirable areas of the province such as outside of Kelowna or Victoria/Nanaimo, properties without the infrastructure are $700-800k ish. In more rural/remote areas such as the Cariboo, I could find something like this for a much more affordable price of course. My partner and I have been shopping around and looking at potentially purchasing our first home in the Fraser Valley, and we’ve come to the conclusion that with our current incomes, we could afford something around 500k or up to 700k IF it has a rental suite. I currently make about $71k salary and he makes about $95k. My job is transferable to our other offices around BC, including some very rural areas. My partner is in the trades and he could work virtually anywhere, however we would most likely take a significant pay cut. After looking at some homes and doing the math, it became very obvious that living where we do now, we will not be able to afford my dream property for at least 5-10 years. We could move to a more rural area and be able to afford potentially right away, but my partner is very hesitant to move currently. We would also be giving up some of the nice weather and proximity to family that we have now. Putting aside other reasons for career and focusing solely on income, it seems to me that the options are to stay in my current career and move outside of the Fraser Valley or pursue a higher paying career such as medicine if I want to achieve my goal of property. I do plan on having further conversations with my partner about moving, as medical school would most likely involved 1 or two moves anyways. If we can move more rural sooner, then it seems like my current career could meet my financial needs just fine. However, we do enjoy living in the Fraser Valley and if we had the option of staying here, we would love that. In terms of other reasons to switch careers, I do think there is a big element of ‘what if’... I was very into sciences in high school and had always considered medicine, but didn’t have the self confidence when I was younger to think I could do it. I now am in a very office based, bureaucratic environment where I work very closely with stakeholders and other organizations to find solutions to issues. I am sincerely interested and passionate about my current field, and I am somewhat content with my job. I do get very generous vacation time, a pension, and every other Friday off. We do plan on starting a family in the next 2-4 years, and doing that during med school/residency may mean I don’t get the mat leave benefits I would get if I was employed. However, I wish my job was more active, technical/tactile, and I deal with a lot of regulation/enforcement which doesn’t leave you with many warm fuzzy feelings of helping. Medicine attracts me as personally and professionally I have interacted with people who have not been able to have their health care needs met and I would like to directly help them access care (why I think FM is a good fit). I love learning, love solving problems and putting pieces together, and I’ve realized that I do have great communication skills. I plan on writing the MCAT this fall and may apply this cycle or next.. not really sure. I have a GPA of 87% and tons of work experience with rural and indigenous communities, which I think gives me a decent shot at UBC. I am very open to hearing thoughts on whether a career switch would be worth it! I kind of anticipate that the responses will be “move rural now, and if you can’t, then perhaps consider med school”. Really appreciate the feedback.
  5. Thanks. Yes I’m very aware of the admission and program requirements. It obviously a large commitment of time and involves some sacrifices, which is why I’m seeking out the experiences of others.
  6. I’m considering leaving my career and applying to medical school with the intent of becoming a GP in BC. My current career is sedentary and bureaucratic and caps out around 90k/year. I get tons of vacation and work 35 hrs/week. I’m in my late twenties and female so also taking into account that I may start a family while in med school or residency I’m considering medicine because I would like to help people and make a direct impact in peoples’ lives, but also partly because of the additional potential income and goals I have that are not readily attainable in BC without a significant income. I’d like to be a GP in a rural setting in BC. My question is whether anyone else here has switched from an established and growing career to start off in family medicine, and if they have any lessons learned or regrets they would share? I don’t want to put my partner through this switch, if I’m biting off way more than is worth chewing. Any insights? Obviously my own situation is unique, but I’d love to hear from non trads that practice family med in BC.
  7. Hi all, I’m toying with the idea of buckling down to write the MCAT and apply to UBC med, but I’m having some serious reservations due to my current place in life. I’m hoping to speak to someone who started off at UBC in a similar place as me and hear about how the program impacted their family life. Would love to chat either via message on here, Facebook, or even over the phone. I am a 27 yo female in a serious relationship of 1.5 years. My partner and I have discussed getting married in the next couple of years, buying a house next year, and starting to have kids around age 30 (so right in the middle of med school if I get in first or second try). I don’t want to wait to have kids until after I’m done school. We are both well established in our current careers and our careers are mobile, although my partner is hesitant to move and leave his current company - it would be asking a lot from him. We are looking at buying a place in Chilliwack, but have also talked about moving to Victoria and Vernon/Kelowna, depending on where life goes. I’d LOVE to speak to someone who started at UBC in a similar spot as me, and bonus points if you commuted to VFMP from Abbotsford/Chilliwack. I’d also love to talk if you started med in your mid/late 30s, after having kids! Please send me a PM if you’re open to talking about your experience
  8. Hi all, Does anyone have any advice on having conversations with a partner about going to med school? If I didn't end up going, we would still live a comfortable life and be able to purchase a home within the next year -- med school would mean possible moving and putting that milestone off. It would also mean we may have children while I don't have paid maternity leave, or that caring for the kids while they are young would be more complicated. My partner also comes from a blue-collar family so this is all very new to him and I think he is a bit intimidated by what it would take and his partner being a physician -- has anyone dealt with this before? I've tried looking out for resources on non-trad stories, but haven't found any blogs that really speak to my situation -- in late 20s, not yet married/no kids, wanting to buy a house with partner in near future. Any resources or first hand advice welcome!
  9. Awesome thank you the responses! This is so incredibly helpful. It sounds like VFMP isnt feasible living outside of metro van, so IMP or SMP it will be
  10. I am wondering if anyone here has any insights into the structure and flexibility of UBCs program across the different sites? Are students required to attend lectures? How many days a week do you need to be on campus? Are clerkships all within driving distance of the site location? Are you required to travel and move around for 3/4 year? For students with children or are pregnant, what does UBC offer in terms of leave and child care? I am planning on applying this year (and next, etc.) and am a non-trad female who would be beginning medical school right when I would also be planning on thinking about starting a family. I do not think it is outside the range of possibility that I would be having my first child in 3rd or 4th year. I am in a committed relationship and we are also considering buying a house in the next year or so etc. Specifically, I currently live in the Fraser Valley, near Chilliwack. I am more interested in rural medicine, but would rank VFMP as my first choice if I was only required to be on campus 1-2 days a week (its a long commute to UBC..) and I see they offer a 3rd year integrated clerkship in Chilliwack. I also have family on the island and near Kelowna, so would be willing to move if I did get into those sites and would rather live in Victoria/Kelowna than any closer to Vancouver than I already do I guess what I am generally curious about is what are the requirements and differences between the years and sites -- I am still new to this and not that familiar with what clerkship year really looks like! Thanks!
  11. I’ve always considered medicine as an option for me but ended up taking a different path that has led me to a very comfortable albeit sedentary cubicle job. I am considering applying to medical school, but obviously want to be informed enough to make the decision of a career change is what I want. From what I understand, shadowing of physicians isn’t really permitted in Canada. I do not work in the health care field and am having a very hard time finding a volunteer role at a hospital or care home. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to gain more exposure to medicine and what being a physician is really like? keep in mind I am not currently a student and work a full time job in an unrelated field. Thanks!
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