dh. reacted to Jennifer_Dickens in .
I started medical school at 32, years after traveling the world, gaining rich and varied work experience, and becoming fluent in multiple languages.
I feel sorry for your friends who got into medical school on the first try at the tender age of 20 or 21. Many of them are likely to graduate and become disheartened as residents because their young, idealistic minds expected much more than managing bed issues at 3:00 AM. They're also more likely to get burned out, get divorced and become severely suicidal; if you've applied four times, that means you've become familiar with the taste of rejection, and you've had to continue working hard despite that bitter experience. In brief, you've developed your resilience. Your colleagues, on the other hand, have not had the same, valuable opportunities to strengthen themselves. And how many of those colleagues who got in on the first try now feel stuck because they've incurred debt, don't know how to get out, and feel miserable pursuing a career that doesn't fulfill them in the least?
We need way more medical students who are older and have unconventional backgrounds; medicine - especially in Canada - is quite stagnant and in need of original approaches.
dh. reacted to DocBrown9 in Arts background - Success in med school
You'll likely be fine. Med school will cover everything you need to know to be good doctor so the lack of science background won't be a disadvantage there.
The biggest thing is you may need to work a bit harder or efficient than some of your colleagues as most will have some random amounts of knowledge of certain medical topics (having a strong anatomy and physiology background made med school significantly easier than undergrad). If your school has small group learning you may feel it more when other people are spitting knowledge (most of the time people are just pulling things out of there ass based on vague things they remember). Med school isn't about knowing all the details but some people love to memorize useless shit.
dh. reacted to Birdy in Support group for medical student with chronic physical and/or mental condition
PGY-2 FM. I have unfortunately fairly active rheumatoid arthritis, another connective tissue disorder, and was pregnant both during med school and residency. Both the RA (and immunosuppression associated with being on a biologic) and the pregnancies and breastfeeding involved accommodations.
I also had a medical leave in med school due to postpartum depression.
My med school was typically accommodating and reasonable to deal with. I encountered students who had other conditions (one comes to mind who had post concussion symptoms for an extended period) who were well accommodated with things like modified schedules. I did have a test delayed when I was pregnant because I’d been in the hospital all night, and an OSCE delayed by a year because I would have had to do it while 3 weeks postpartum.
While I have not sought much in the way of accommodations in residency, the ones I have asked for have been met with a lot of support. I do know of residents who have modified schedules, specific site assignments, had accommodated time for licensing exams, etc.
Reasonable and medically necessary accommodations will be made. You must be able to provide documentation stating that you have a medical need for X, Y, Z (does NOT need to disclose reasoning or diagnosis.) The school can push back if they don’t feel it’s a reasonable expectation but almost all universities have some sort of accessibility department that can help navigate things.
There is stigma when it comes to licensing and having mental health issues in particular. Dr. Goldman interviewed me for his show actually because I’ve gone through it but because of pushback I got on it, we agreed not to air my episode.
As to groups, I don’t know of any for all medical learners. I’m in one for physician moms with health issues, but would love to hear of a more general one too.
edit: also you may deal with some irritating interactions in med Ed where everyone assumes that all students/residents are fully able bodied. Attendings who try getting the entire group to run up multiple flights of stairs while rounding, for example, or group social events for mandatory groups that necessitate activities that would be challenging with respiratory, cardiac, or mobility challenges. There is the assumption that no one in the group might be disabled and so no attempt to welcome or invite requests for accommodations or alternate activities. I found this very frustrating in med school and rarely socialized with colleagues because I didn’t want to constantly be the stick in the mud.
dh. reacted to coconutbread in Support group for medical student with chronic physical and/or mental condition
Hello! Incoming medical student to U of T here. I have two questions.
1. Can any current medical students (not necessarily at U of T, but would be a plus) speak to specific resources or accommodations made available to medical students who live with a chronic physical and/or mental condition? For example, I've read somewhere on this forum about someone who did not have to do their rural rotation, some on-call shifts, or had exam deferrals due to their specific circumstances. I'm not sure what I'd need for my condition specifically, but it would be helpful to know what kinds of rules are in place.
2. Are there any organized groups where such students can gather and get to know one another? Having a chronic condition can be pretty isolating and difficult, even with any accommodations that are offered. I know that it's still a pretty stigmatized topic especially in medical school but based on what I'm hearing from some parts of the medical community, and features on White Coat Black Art, I'm hopeful that the scene is changing a bit. I am part of a social support group at my current institution for students with chronic conditions and it's been great to have a safe space where we are able to respect each other's privacy, but still share our experiences and feel understood.
dh. got a reaction from wannabdoctor in Market crash - time to invest LOC?
It's a gamble, and you will be subtracting guaranteed interest compounded monthly from any potential market gains (or losses).
Let's create a few scenarios, all of which are "buy and hold" for 6 years. We'll take very small amount from our LOC to simplify the math, let's say $10k. The cost of doing so is easy to calculate:
$10,000 after 6 years at 2.95%* compounded monthly = $11,933.72, for a cost of borrowing equal to $1,933.72. Note, this assumes it will be paid off in full at the end of the 6-year period.
So how much can we make from the stock market? An impossible question to answer, but let's create a few hypotheticals. For the sake of simplicity, I'm not including any transaction costs (which should be fairly low, since this is a fixed-term buy-and-hold situation).
Scenario 1: 2020 is the bottom of the crash, and the market only goes up from here (modeled after the recovery following 2008):
Year 1: +23.45%
Year 2: +12.78%
Year 3: 0.00%
Year 4: +13.41%
Year 5: +29.60%
Year 6: +11.39
Total value at end of year 6: $23,307.90, for a gain of $13,307.90
$13,307.90 - cost of borrowing = net return of $11,374.18
Scenario 2: 2021 is actually the bottom, recovery identical to 2008:
Year 1: -38.49%
Year 2: +23.45%
Year 3: +12.78%
Year 4: 0.00%
Year 5: +13.41%
Year 6: +29.60%
Total value at end of year 6: $12,587.08, for a gain of $2,587.08
$2,587.08 - cost of borrowing = net return of $653.36
Scenario 3: 2020 is more like 1973:
Year 1: -17.37%
Year 2: -29.72%
Year 3: +31.55%
Year 4: +19.15%
Year 5: -11.50%
Year 6: +1.06%
Total value at end of year 6: $8,140.98, for a loss of $1,859.02
$1,859.02 + cost of borrowing = net LOSS of $3,792.74
Scenario 4: 2020 is actually more like 1930 (just after the crash of 1929):
Year 1: -28.48% 0.7152
Year 2: -47.07% 0.5293
Year 3: -15.15% 0.8485
Year 4: +46.59% (woohoo! the largest gain ever recorded before or since!)
Year 5: -5.94% 0.9406
Year 6: +41.37% (holy cow! woohoo!)
Total value at end of year 6: $6,261.05, for a loss of $3,738.95
$3,738.95 + cost of borrowing = net LOSS of $5,672.67 (would've been even worse if we started in 1929)
So, basically, there's no way to predict the outcome. Borrowing money to invest is a dangerous game to play (more properly called "speculating" than "investing"). If you were using your own money (i.e., didn't have to repay it at some point), and your strategy was to buy and hold for 30+ years, then yeah, the next few years will probably be great for investing (just like every other year). I would rather take advantage of current low interest rates by paying off as much of the LOC as I can, because this is a true investment in future wealth.
All numbers modeled on historical S&P 500 rates https://www.macrotrends.net/2324/sp-500-historical-chart-data which do NOT in any way predict future rates. There is absolutely no way to predict the market, do not believe anyone who tells you they can. I am not an financial professional.
*cost of borrowing is based on current canadian bank prime rates, which despite significant movement of the overnight rates by the Bank of Canada, has yet to move. Based on this, I think we can safely assume that 2.95% is as low as the banks are willing to go at this point. A lot of LOCs have rates that are prime -0.25%, but I just left it at the full prime rate because there is equal possibility of the rates rising alongside any market increases. In fact, it is worth considering that the cost of borrowing may increase significantly before these scenarios complete, especially in the cases with more dramatic market gains.
dh. reacted to frenchpress in Arts background - Success in med school
I don’t think that’s true. I remember when UBC was transitioning away from Scienece pre requisite courses, there was a lot of discussion about how essentially, by the end of first year students from all backgrounds tended to end up at the same level and you couldn’t distinguish people from science / non-science backgrounds.
I had an arts background, but I had to take a few prerequisite courses and study for the MCAT, so I didn’t go in completely cold. The only science material that I’ve honestly found all that useful was 1) biochemistry (for helping me understand how enzymes work, etc. The detailed pathways etc usually aren’t all that important for medical school, but for me personally it just made some concepts a lot easier to understand), and 2) human physiology (so when they covered this in first semester it wasn’t brand new).
I found that my school covered pretty much everything I needed to be on a level playing field. They didn’t always go into the detail I needed on some topics, but I found resources like Osmosis really useful for getting up to speed on the necessary details (without letting me go down a rabbit hole of unnecessary detail). In first year there was a lot of material, like histology, that people found really boring because they’d done it all before and so they didn’t spend time on it. But it was new to me, and there was time in the schedule for it, so I took advantage of it and that helped me learn those topics.
Happy to chat more if you want to dm me.
dh. reacted to Bambi in -
When I was starting medical school, I was far from home, different than my new classmates, came from poverty, I just jumped right in, felt comfortable, was accepted, my only friends now are those previous strangers from medical school. Just try to fit in and you will. Differences are unimportant. We each have different backgrounds, cultures, languages. We collaborate as colleagues and do our best to improve the lives of our patients. By the way, when it comes to residency, it all comes down to being “a good fit”, being friendly, collaborative, a hard worker, a good fit for the team, your religion, color, culture, traditions are irrelevant from a selection point of view, same for friendships as far as I am concerned. I am also an immigrant who comes from poverty. In fact, as a child I encountered discrimination and am so grateful for that. It never ever bothered me, on the contrary, it made me stronger, the person I am today, and whenever I saw another student facing discrimination, I befriended that person and defended her. It helped build my character.
dh. reacted to DrOtter in -
reading this honestly warms my heart so much. I'm a new immigrant too from a developing country. My parents are from the healthcare background at home but here they're just blue-collar workers on minimum wages. We've been living modestly my entire life and I have found it slightly difficult in the past to mix with my more affluent peers in different programs I found myself in. I have been just a little anxious about how I would fit in in med school but if my past experiences have been any indication, you finally find your clique with people (not necessarily from the same background) who appreciate you for you are and share similar interests. I agree with previous posts about how we should all go in with an open mind and be willing to step out of our comfort zones a little bit e.g. going on hikes with classmates, going out for dinner, having study parties (very nerdy lol) etc. I also found that when I was in a high-stress program in undergrad, everyone just kinda huddled together over the common anxiety and I'm really hoping med would be even more of that.
But yeah, you are definitely not alone and the journey you've gone through to get to this point speaks volumes of your adaptability and resilience. Most people I've met who are in med school are nice and approachable so I don't doubt we will be able to find our belonging there. Best wishes for your future and I'm so grateful to have colleagues like you!
dh. reacted to blah1234 in Buying index funds with LOC
There are definitely people who do well with leveraged investing or single stock investing (I even know a few). However, I know far more people that have lost significant amounts doing this. In the end it's about risk tolerance but I'm a big subscriber to the modern portofolio theory so I think I'll just end up with boring investments. I think you can end up in a great place just by playing it safe. I don't need the swings to get me there faster/earlier as I would rather not deal with the downside.
dh. reacted to rmorelan in Fellow arts students?
I will say (and also hav an arts degree here although it is more complex for me) - doing entire degree to learn the science part of the test seems extreme. It would be like all the science people all taking art degrees for the other half of the test (and the arts part of the test is actually the more important arguably with the general cut offs and CAR).
Arts people being a ton to the table - I used my skills from my economics and psychology training more than may science side I think overall. Premed science doesn't well line up with med school material when you look at the programs, but core skills in the humanities is useful in lots of places.
Learning the science may take some effort but don't let that hold you back really - there are a lot of ways to learn it without entire new degrees.
dh. reacted to lizaloo223 in .
I have a similar feeling as you but on the opposite end aha. By some miracle, I got my acceptance this year after 3rd year of undergrad. I am so thankful for this opportunity of course, but in the back of my mind I wonder if I will fit in with my older peers that may have more experience than me. I already look young for my age so I wouldn't want people judging my professionalism based on my age/looks.
What I'm trying to say is that everybody goes into med school with different life experiences, maturity levels etc. and age is but a number. As long as you're willing to learn and are working towards your goals that's all that matters
dh. reacted to Synth1 in .
I started med school at 35, and I'm not the oldest in my class.
Honestly, who cares. I feel like this whole societal expectation thing people get hung up on around people being a certain age doing certain things is BS. Do what will be fulfilling for you, no matter what age you are.
dh. reacted to frenchpress in Affording Med School
Think about all of your money and debts in one big pot - what’s going to save you the most overall?
The point of rainy day savings is to allow for cash flow when you have an unexpected or big purchase, to avoid having to borrow money expensively (e.g. pay day loan or credit card debt). But what is the point in ‘rainy days savings’ when you are actively using your LOC in parallel? You have the low-interest LOC to provide cash flow in an emergency.
I think only makes sense to keep money in savings on the side if your savings interest rate is more than the loan interest rate... if that’s not happening, then you’re actually costing yourself more money every month, because you’re accruing interest on debt you don’t need to carry. I think it usually makes the most sense to use your savings first, and only then borrow from your LOC, otherwise you’re paying more in interest than you have to. (I'm assuming we're talking regular savings here and not, for example, an RRSP which has potentially expensive tax implications and may need to be draw down more wisely). . . . can any of the more financially informed on here can think of a situation I’m missing where this doesn’t make sense?
So to answer your interest payments question: I let the interest payments get added to the loan. When I have income here and there (for example when my student loan comes in, bursaries, side jobs, etc.) I am paying down the LOC as much as possible. Not just paying down the interest, but the principle. Then when I need money, I take it from the LOC again. I accrue as little interest as possible every month by keeping the principle as low as I can. For example, say I get a $8,000 student loan, but my tuition isn’t due for another 2 months. I pay down my LOC while I have the cash, and for those 2 months I’ve reduced the total loan I have to pay interest on by $8000. I’m still taking money out of the LOC for rent, etc. every month. But it’s still a relative savings.