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Law to Medicine


sd3
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Hi all, 

I recently graduated from UdeM law (3.76 GPA - dean's honour list) and am considering a career change for medicine. I am currently employed by a top-tier law firm and will clerk with a Court of Appeal judge. I have done lots of extracurricular activities such as volunteering in a legal aid clinic and leading a help service for law students. 

I would have to take all my prerequisite sciences courses, because I did not do them in CEGEP. 

Did anyone on this forum also do the change from law to medicine? Do you think it's realistic with my stats? 

Thank you !! 

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Probably realistic for you. The real question is should you do it. I'm not sure why you want a career change, but put a lot of thought and shadowing into before you do. Ask around as well. Medicine is strange is that so many people want it so bad, and yet the dissatisfaction rate for people in medicine is high. Being in medicine is great, but I'll warn you that it's not magical, and it's not a great way to make money either. You've got significant opportunity cost, more than most, so really give it a lot of thought. Do you not like law? Law is as variable as medicine, you can probably find a well paying niche that you enjoy.

 

I just realized how negative this sounds....don't mean to scare you haha. I just suggest that you do a lot of due diligence because you've got more to lose than most people.

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3 hours ago, SunAndMoon said:

There have been a non-negligible amount of students at McGill who completed a law degree or practiced law prior to medicine. I believe @la marzocco is one of them and can maybe give you some advice!

Hey! Welcome to the forum. I do agree with @PhD2MD in that opportunity cost needs to be weighed. I graduated from law and started having thoughts about whether medicine would be for me. I worked a bit and finished my articling and ended up getting called to the bar before embarking onto my medicine journey. To be honest, I see my 20s as my experimental years, sure it's another 4 years of school (to start with.. then you have residency, but hey you get paid by then). I found that being satisfied with my decisions in life to be more important than opportunity cost, even though financials and missed opportunities in law were both real considerations for me. 

I kept working while doing my prereqs and then applying (plus in Quebec, you don't even need to write your MCATs as McGill states that it is optional). I kept an open mind - wasn't even sure if I was going to get accepted. Let the chips fall where they may, but do your best. I ended up getting accepted and decided to take the plunge. I also didn't burn any bridges and left my law firm on good terms - you never know where your paths may cross again with your (former) colleagues! Plus, having a law + med background may open more doors down the road, who knows? Congratulations on landing that job offer at the top-tier law firm - continue to work hard!

Sorry for the blabbering, but I encourage you apply. I encourage you to learn more about medicine. Live your life, go to work, apply to med school, explore a bit, and let the chips fall where they may :)

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7 hours ago, PhD2MD said:

Probably realistic for you. The real question is should you do it. I'm not sure why you want a career change, but put a lot of thought and shadowing into before you do. Ask around as well. Medicine is strange is that so many people want it so bad, and yet the dissatisfaction rate for people in medicine is high. Being in medicine is great, but I'll warn you that it's not magical, and it's not a great way to make money either. You've got significant opportunity cost, more than most, so really give it a lot of thought. Do you not like law? Law is as variable as medicine, you can probably find a well paying niche that you enjoy.

 

I just realized how negative this sounds....don't mean to scare you haha. I just suggest that you do a lot of due diligence because you've got more to lose than most people.

You are right, it is an important decision. Thank you for the advice. :) I am looking into it and will try to meet with med students with a law background to get their point of view and also talk with doctors about how they find their career. Would you have any other ideas for ways to figure out better if medicine is for me? Would it be possible at this stage to shadow a doctor for a day? 

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3 hours ago, la marzocco said:

Hey! Welcome to the forum. I do agree with @PhD2MD in that opportunity cost needs to be weighed. I graduated from law and started having thoughts about whether medicine would be for me. I worked a bit and finished my articling and ended up getting called to the bar before embarking onto my medicine journey. To be honest, I see my 20s as my experimental years, sure it's another 4 years of school (to start with.. then you have residency, but hey you get paid by then). I found that being satisfied with my decisions in life to be more important than opportunity cost, even though financials and missed opportunities in law were both real considerations for me. 

I kept working while doing my prereqs and then applying (plus in Quebec, you don't even need to write your MCATs as McGill states that it is optional). I kept an open mind - wasn't even sure if I was going to get accepted. Let the chips fall where they may, but do your best. I ended up getting accepted and decided to take the plunge. I also didn't burn any bridges and left my law firm on good terms - you never know where your paths may cross again with your (former) colleagues! Plus, having a law + med background may open more doors down the road, who knows? Congratulations on landing that job offer at the top-tier law firm - continue to work hard!

Sorry for the blabbering, but I encourage you apply. I encourage you to learn more about medicine. Live your life, go to work, apply to med school, explore a bit, and let the chips fall where they may :)

Hi ! Thank you for your message and advice! I also intend on working and getting called to the bar before applying to medicine, which would bring me to apply in November 2019. So, I still have time to think about it until then. 

Would you recommend working while doing prereqs ? I have a six month gap between the bar exam and articling so I was thinking I could do most prereqs then. Working at the firm while doing those prereqs would cleary be a better financial choice but if I am not wrong prereqs grades are taken into consideration for admission so it might be better to fully concentrate on them?  

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3 hours ago, Bambi said:

Find out if you can do the prerequisites in Cegep; and if so, whether your grades would be used for purposes of considering your application.

It is possible to do the prerequisites in Cégep or University (UdeM, McGill or Concordia). And yes, the grades are used for the application. Besides Cégep being cheaper, do you see any advantage in doing them there instead of Uni? 

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On 8/22/2018 at 9:44 PM, sd3 said:

You are right, it is an important decision. Thank you for the advice. :) I am looking into it and will try to meet with med students with a law background to get their point of view and also talk with doctors about how they find their career. Would you have any other ideas for ways to figure out better if medicine is for me? Would it be possible at this stage to shadow a doctor for a day? 

More than possible, I would say necessary at this point. Unless you have a specific field in mind, I would try to get in contact with a good family doc and a good internal medicine doc. You can probably find some young ones through your professional/personal network. Spend a good number of FULL days with each of them if you have the time.

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