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Would you go to med school at an older age if someone paid your tuition and living expenses until you finish residency?


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I'm currently working in healthcare. I make a good salary with benefits, PTO, pension, etc and I love my job. Recently, I was talking with a few friends and family about my career. With cost of living going up, it's hard to think what the future will hold but making 100k isn't what it used to be. I was looking at GP salaries (Ontario FHO) and they make a great amount for the hours they work. 

This got me thinking about potentially going to med school. I don't have the prestige factor in my field that comes with being a doctor. And the salary will always be top notch (compared to the Canadian average). 

Obviously I'd have to apply and get in but family members have offered to pay off all living expenses and tuition for any med school acceptance in Canada if I choose to go. This means I'd front no expenses in medical school up till I land my first job and have no debt after graduating. The only downside is 6 years of heavy schooling (only considering GP to FHO practice) with loss of 6 years of current job earnings (which I think I can make back quickly once practicing). Would this be worthwhile for the money and prestige or would others in this situation just ride out their career in a field they like and not go through med school?

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I think this is a decision only you can make. Typically my advice to any med school applicant, regardless of their background, is that money and prestige are not enough to make you happy as a physician. Particularly coming from another healthcare profession, the extra stress, responsibility, paperwork, hours (there are a lot of non-billable hours you work) that non-physician healthcare workers often overlook are not balanced by the increase in salary. It is vital that you have other elements that can contribute to job satisfaction (passion for what you do, need to feel mentally stimulated/challenged, altruistic tendencies, etc.) or else this will not be a "grass is greener on the other side" situation.

Financially, you may come out on top over the course of your career, but I would caution you that it's not enough for a career change, or else you would be better of exiting healthcare altogether. And for the prestige, it is not what it used to be for physicians, and especially for family physicians (unjustifiably so). Every year, we lose more and more respect/prestige from patients, the public, and allied health despite increasing workload demands and challenges.

I would never tell someone don't pursue medicine if it's what you want, but your post (esp. when you start off by saying you love your job and have good benefits/salary) throws out some red flags that would suggest to me you should think a bit more about it.

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I agree entirely with the above post. Any so-called prestige is irrelevant to anything if it exists; and if it is strictly about the money, stay where you are! In order to have personal and professional satisfaction, you need to enjoy what you do every day. I enjoy every day of my practice, true, some days more than others, however, I love being a surgeon, improving the lives of others. 

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4 hours ago, robclem21 said:

I think this is a decision only you can make. Typically my advice to any med school applicant, regardless of their background, is that money and prestige are not enough to make you happy as a physician. Particularly coming from another healthcare profession, the extra stress, responsibility, paperwork, hours (there are a lot of non-billable hours you work) that non-physician healthcare workers often overlook are not balanced by the increase in salary. It is vital that you have other elements that can contribute to job satisfaction (passion for what you do, need to feel mentally stimulated/challenged, altruistic tendencies, etc.) or else this will not be a "grass is greener on the other side" situation.

Financially, you may come out on top over the course of your career, but I would caution you that it's not enough for a career change, or else you would be better of exiting healthcare altogether. And for the prestige, it is not what it used to be for physicians, and especially for family physicians (unjustifiably so). Every year, we lose more and more respect/prestige from patients, the public, and allied health despite increasing workload demands and challenges.

I would never tell someone don't pursue medicine if it's what you want, but your post (esp. when you start off by saying you love your job and have good benefits/salary) throws out some red flags that would suggest to me you should think a bit more about it.

this is exactly what my cousin who is a GP told me..

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Hi;

I left a high-paying job to pursue medical school at an older age.  At the time, I had not yet received a medical school acceptance, but I was fortunate to receive offers to two Canadian medical schools, and one included a scholarship that covered full tuition for all years of the MD programme.  I ended up choosing that programme.  Am I happy that I switched careers at an older age?  Absolutely.  However, medical school, residency and fellowship was bloody hard work.  ...and preparing for and passing the Canadian Royal College exam was one of the most challenging undertakings I've ever experienced (the MCAT feels like a small snack compared to the boards!).  The bottom line is, medicine is wonderful, but if you're not into it for the right reasons, life may be harder than you wish.

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