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Is it even worth it to become a doctor?


equus

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For my entire life, I have had dreams of becoming a family physician. However, now that I am ready to begin applying to universities for my undergrad to begin my journey, I feel myself getting cold feet. I've wanted to become a doctor not for the money, but for the experiences with patients, for the ability to understand how the human body works (which I've always found fascinating), and to be able to help people. However, I find myself questioning whether this career is meant for me: is it worth it to sacrifice my youth to become a doctor, to rack up a ton of debt, to give up my social life, to voluntarily work 60-hour weeks, and be under constant stress? My other goals in life include getting married and having kids, and I'm worried that becoming a doctor may impede my ability to be a good wife and/or mother. I'm also doubting whether I'm even smart enough to become a doctor.

 

I do well in school, have tons of extracurriculars and am constantly volunteering. All my friends, family, and teachers tell me that I'll have no problem becoming a doctor, but I keep doubting myself. Anyone have any words of advice or assurance?

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Well, you can definitely balance family with being a doc. It will depend on what specialty you get into, how supportive your family and your husband are, and what your financial situation is (e.g. if your husband has a good income from working FT, you could afford to work PT for a while until your kids are off to school). I always have a hard time providing much advice in these discussions because every single woman in my family has always worked while raising children, so the whole idea of "FT mommy" remains completely alien to me, and I expect to be working if I were to become a mother (not a goal right now) as well. I would suggest seeking out female physicians and asking them how they balance work and family life. There's no reason why you couldn't have a family as a female doctor; however, if your dream is to have lots of kids and spend lots of time with them, you might be better suited to another profession. After all, you need to figure out what will make YOU happiest in life. If YOU don't think that becoming a doc is worth it, then it doesn't matter what WE think.

 

Some healthcare professions provide women with a better lifestyle. Consider something like physical therapy, for example - both the educational process and the working environment are a lot easier on you, and you still get to work with patients (and build long-term relationships with them), do research, you receive advanced education (MSc), and you are respected in your community. I would prioritize and consider other fields in healthcare before making the plunge and then potentially regretting it.

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Frankly, it doesn't sound like the career for you. We aren't gonna encourage you to do something you've already thought of many reasons not to do.

 

I see where you're coming from. While I've always kept the downsides of medicine in mind, I can't say that I've ever spent much time thinking whether it was worth it. To me, the immediate answer was always "yes, of course." So maybe you're right, and the OP is already subconsciously leaning towards NOT doing this.

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Sorry, I wanna add more after perusing your brief post history. You are only in grade 11, so while you should definitely think about your priorities, you should also keep doors open. Today you might think you want a big family and want to be a SAHM; tomorrow, you might get into your first relationship and realize it's not satisfying enough for you. You're very young, so work on your career for now and if things work out so that you get married and have the opportunity to stay at home with the kids, then do that. But don't rush into the whole marriage/motherhood thing at your age yet, there's always time for that. Move away from your family first, try living on your own, and see how you like it.

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I'm sorry, my answer was kind of blunt. What I was getting at is that ultimately it will be your choice. We can't convince you or beg you to take medicine, nor should/can we encourage you to try to get into medicine.

 

There are some specialties that involve less stress and less work than other specialties. You are right, while pre-med shouldn't be sacrificing your youth, much of med-school and residency will be, and you will be in school for a majority of your youth.

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not with that attitude its not... sorry for being so blunt lol... I suggest you talk personally with medical students or doctors you may know to get a better grasp of the PATH to medicine. You are way off with what you think. Research... re-evaluate... re-think it being much more informed than you are now. This blog is good, but it much better to be able to actually talk with ppl doing it or who have done it in person. Good luck in uni.

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For my entire life, I have had dreams of becoming a family physician. However, now that I am ready to begin applying to universities for my undergrad to begin my journey, I feel myself getting cold feet. I've wanted to become a doctor not for the money, but for the experiences with patients, for the ability to understand how the human body works (which I've always found fascinating), and to be able to help people. However, I find myself questioning whether this career is meant for me: is it worth it to sacrifice my youth to become a doctor, to rack up a ton of debt, to give up my social life, to voluntarily work 60-hour weeks, and be under constant stress? My other goals in life include getting married and having kids, and I'm worried that becoming a doctor may impede my ability to be a good wife and/or mother. I'm also doubting whether I'm even smart enough to become a doctor.

 

I do well in school, have tons of extracurriculars and am constantly volunteering. All my friends, family, and teachers tell me that I'll have no problem becoming a doctor, but I keep doubting myself. Anyone have any words of advice or assurance?

 

Another thought:

Since you are only in the process of applying to undergrad, you still have loads of time to figure this out. Don't worry about it now. Just worry about doing very well in your undergrad program so that you have options after the fact.

 

Good luck!

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I've wanted to become a doctor for about 12 years, and I've only started doubting my decision in the past week. I'm pretty sure it's only a temporary thing, I'm just really stressed out about choosing universities and doing well on my exams.

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I've wanted to become a doctor for about 12 years, and I've only started doubting my decision in the past week. I'm pretty sure it's only a temporary thing, I'm just really stressed out about choosing universities and doing well on my exams.

 

Sounds like you've answered your own question.

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Oh come on... don't scare the kid. Yes, there's a lot of work, but it's not *that* bad.

 

I'm just being realistic. Highschool is a breeze for most people. It's a breeze for many people that fail university courses.

 

People here often forget that they are some of the highest achieving individuals in society. Only a fraction of people get into universities from highschool and a smaller fraction get into med school from university.

 

For me, highschool was an absolute joke. If I kept up the same habits I had in highschool at university, I would be doomed. Further, if I didn't drastically change my habits I would never be able to be in the top 5-10% of my university (which basically all med students/applicants are).

 

The reality is that getting into medicine is hard. The average joe doesn't have a chance in hell. The average university student doesn't have a chance in hell. Maybe those who are absolutely brilliant won't have to sacrifice much, but the average applicant puts in alot of effort to get to the point of application, interview and acceptance. It's a bit different than floating through an undergraduate degree and getting a certificate of graduation.

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For my entire life, I have had dreams of becoming a family physician. However, now that I am ready to begin applying to universities for my undergrad to begin my journey, I feel myself getting cold feet. I've wanted to become a doctor not for the money, but for the experiences with patients, for the ability to understand how the human body works (which I've always found fascinating), and to be able to help people. However, I find myself questioning whether this career is meant for me: is it worth it to sacrifice my youth to become a doctor, to rack up a ton of debt, to give up my social life, to voluntarily work 60-hour weeks, and be under constant stress? My other goals in life include getting married and having kids, and I'm worried that becoming a doctor may impede my ability to be a good wife and/or mother. I'm also doubting whether I'm even smart enough to become a doctor.

 

I do well in school, have tons of extracurriculars and am constantly volunteering. All my friends, family, and teachers tell me that I'll have no problem becoming a doctor, but I keep doubting myself. Anyone have any words of advice or assurance?

 

 

First of all, doing well in high school means nothing, so no need to consider that. Second of all, your "friends, family, and teachers tell you that you'll have no problem becoming a doctor" also means nothing as they are totally biased or just being polite. Third if you are not even sure then don't enter this field as it is very competitive and u have to have a strong will power to make it and the first step is to have a true passion about medicine and no going back kind of mind set which you clearly lack of. So I would say reconsider and ask yourself do u really want to be a doctor if in doubt throw it out.

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I went through the exact same thing when I was just around your age (my best friend at the time was starting his undergrad with intentions of applying to med school and a day didn't pass when he'd tell me something new about med school and I'd say "Why on earth would you put yourself through that?! be a teacher or something!")... I chose a different career and everything. It took me quite a long time to get over it, but after a few years of undergrad you start to realise that "giving up you youth" to study medicine isn't such a big deal... just think of the rewarding life that you'll have afterwards :).

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When I was in high school, I wasnt sure if I wanted to be a doctor either. However, I went at it in a different perspective. I've always considered medicine as an option, but was never that firm on it until later on in university. However, since there was no other profession that really attracted me, I decided that I would persue medicine because it was the hardest route. If I persued medicine, I'd be keeping all my doors open. If down the road, I changed my mind, my academic achievements would still have allowed me to go any other direction.

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I don't know if you've done this before, but volunteer this summer in a clinic if possible, which has a female GP. You'll be able to grasp what being a female GP is like, as far as the work load and lifestyle are concerned (and those seem to be your greatest concerns).

 

Also, to echo what the rest of the forum is saying, you are only in high school; there is still a lot of time to think of what you want to be in the future. If you're really confident about a career in healthcare, look at the other options that you have within this field.

 

Good luck! :)

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Relax. Choose an UG course of study that interests you, work hard at university to get good grades, get involved in ECs and volunteering, and with time as you mature, you will seriously consider your options. Meanwhile, prepare yourself for life and a career in UG studies. Have at least a Plan A and a Plan B, even if they change.

 

And just remember, most marriages today end up in divorce and women should not be in a position where they must rely upon their ex as their means of support. So, while being a good wife and mother, is a worthy ambition, statists tell us it does not have the same staying power as it did in past generations when women had no option but to remain in a bad marriage. Modern women have proven they can balance both marriage, children and a career in medicine, law or other professions.

 

And self-reflection is a positive attribute. Self doubt is just part of the process, it is quite normal. How about applying to med school year after year and not getting in, perhaps not even an interview? Now that might be a time for self doubt. Yet, these applicants keep applying and many get into med school. Getting into med school is like winning the lottery, i.e., it takes intelligence, having the right stuff and lots of luck!

 

So, enjoy the journey, work hard in UG, self-reflect and reread Jochi's great comments.:)

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For my entire life, I have had dreams of becoming a family physician. However, now that I am ready to begin applying to universities for my undergrad to begin my journey, I feel myself getting cold feet. I've wanted to become a doctor not for the money, but for the experiences with patients, for the ability to understand how the human body works (which I've always found fascinating), and to be able to help people. However, I find myself questioning whether this career is meant for me: is it worth it to sacrifice my youth to become a doctor, to rack up a ton of debt, to give up my social life, to voluntarily work 60-hour weeks, and be under constant stress? My other goals in life include getting married and having kids, and I'm worried that becoming a doctor may impede my ability to be a good wife and/or mother. I'm also doubting whether I'm even smart enough to become a doctor.

 

I do well in school, have tons of extracurriculars and am constantly volunteering. All my friends, family, and teachers tell me that I'll have no problem becoming a doctor, but I keep doubting myself. Anyone have any words of advice or assurance?

 

This doesn't sound like what I took me to acheive my goal... I had fun most of the time (I'm pretty sure it was obvious during the interviews that I'm someone who has lots of fun in life in general, it must also be one of the reason I got accepted I think), and still plan on having fun as a medical student. Also, having a family and decent life while being a doctor is another plan of mine.

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is it worth it to sacrifice my youth to become a doctor, to rack up a ton of debt, to give up my social life, to voluntarily work 60-hour weeks, and be under constant stress?
I don't know what stories you've heard, but becoming a doctor does not mean sacrificing your youth, giving up your social life, working non-stop, and always being stressed. And sure, you'll likely be in debt, but you'll be able to pay it back.

 

I believe you're still in high school, so I would focus on picking a school/program for undergrad that you enjoy, try new things in university, and re-evaluate your situation/career aspirations.

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the worst thing i think you could do is talk yourself in to or out of something at such a young age. that's why med schools encourage you to get an undergrad in something you're interested in... so that if you (or they!) decided med school isn't right for you, you have something to fall back on.

 

focus on getting a degree - i suggest something non-science-y - with good grades and be sure to cover your science pre-req's (something i wish someone had said to me 6 years ago). that way, you have options. you may not see things the same way in 4 years, but you want to have your bases covered so you can be whatever you want to be then... and not spend 6 years trying to make up for 4 wasted ones (do I sound bitter?:( )

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I agree--don't worry about this until you are in university! However, you do have valid concerns and I also considered how medicine would affect being a mother. My personal conclusion from research/talking to female doctors (though in the next few years you should do the same) was that it is very possible to do both! Some sacrifices might have to be made such as starting a family later in life than you might have wanted, and perhaps choosing a specialty with a better lifestyle. Many female doctors I talked to were family doctors sharing a practice and working part time-they said it was amazing for their family situation!

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I disagree, with those who say don't worry about it until your in university. Why? Because my buddy had that mindset and come out of university with a degree that has no job possibilities. Don't sit around and wonder where you want to go to medical school and be a doctor or not. Instead sit around and question why you want to be a doctor. It sounds more like you have an idealized fanstasy of becoming a doctor, but haven't really asked yourself if you would like living as a doctor or not. If the only reason you are wanting to become a doctor is because you have been dreaming about it for the past 12 years that isn't good enough. Think more on what you want out of a job, ask what qualities do I want in a job and a career, and then look for a job that fits that description.

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Once you enter university you'll find that there are a lot of other possibilities for a career. Medicine is but one option; there are many others that can fulfill your familial obligations (a lot less stress, pays less, but you said money isn't a concern so...)

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