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comment by necroptosis
necroptosis  ·  309 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 2, 2019

The process to become a doctor in the US is terrifying.

You start off with four years of an undergraduate degree. God help you if you get anything below a 3.5 gpa, no chances of becoming a doctor now. If you're applying to med school straight out of college say goodbye to any type of social life. You had better be volunteering and spending countless hours working in a medical clinic of some kind. Medical school entry is so competitive nowadays that you are almost guaranteed rejection without clinical hours. Study your ass off for the MCAT, pray you get something high. Spend your senior year applying to med schools. Still get rejected, because fuck you someone else wrote a more compelling personal statement.

Should you get into med school, that's another four years of intense studying. The last two years are spent being disregarded by doctors just trying to do medicine.

Finish med school and congratulations, you're now a doctor! For the next 3-7 years you'll be treated like shit, work shit hours, and get paid for shit. Apparently the 80-hour work week rule is considered more of a guideline in many hospitals. God help you if at the end of all this you decide to do a fellowship.

Now of course the paycheck at the end of all this is quite substantial. I sure hope you haven't gone into any debt through your 8 years of schooling and 3-7 years of residency.... Oh and by the time you've graduated the shortage of physicians has increased even further. You'll most likely be needed to continue to work an insane amount of hours.

So I've looked at all of this and yet still decided fairly resolutely that this is what I would like to do. Due to the fact that I'm only about 2/3 of the way through an undergrad with zero science pre-requisites. I'll most likely have to do a post-bacc as well. Thankfully I can skip a large amount of the clinical hours and voluntary work. The earliest I can see myself making it to med school is at 30, which puts me finishing residency at 37 should I chose a shorter specialty. How is all of this sane? How is this sustainable? I keep asking myself is it all really worth it? I know it is and I'm going to continue towards this path but that's one hell of a lot of pain to commit to.

thenewgreen  ·  309 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I was with my wife throughout most of this process. I wasn't there in undergrad, but we were married when she applied to med school and I was there when she applied to residencies and matched at Duke. It's a long journey and a TON of work. When the rest of the world is celebrating, you're working. But it was worth it.

What's scary is the idea of going through it all, amassing all of that debt, losing all of that time and then the govt interjecting and sayin that physicians are paid too much and capping earnings or some such nonsense. I could see that happening.

Good luck on the journey. Let me know if you ever need a sounding board. But you are right, it will be worth it.

necroptosis  ·  308 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thank you. I’m lucky in the way that I currently have the ability to get through most of the process more or less debt free. It takes a lot of pressure off the entire endeavor. Without that worry, it’s far easier to accept the possibility of significantly lower raises should something like that happen. I currently practice medicine under a socialized system and I wouldn’t mind to continue. It’s fantastic not having to worry about how much my treatments will cost to patients

kleinbl00  ·  308 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    What's scary is the idea of going through it all, amassing all of that debt, losing all of that time and then the govt interjecting and sayin that physicians are paid too much and capping earnings or some such nonsense.

Get a grip. What happens is that the government decides that the private sector can best determine what market rates ought to be so they deregulate insurance such that the industry can consolidate into four or five players who collude to ensure that the rates offered for basic care are commensurate with the lowest possible qualified attendant doing the work such that general practitioners and non-specialists can't be reimbursed for the costs of their basic supplies. Why, exactly, is there a "physicians shortage?"

Foveaux  ·  309 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I hope you see it through. It'll be a hell of a story and you'll be doing a world of good throughout - but that sounds like it'll be absolute hell just to have the chance to have a positive impact.

flagamuffin  ·  308 days ago  ·  link  ·  

consider becoming a pharmacist

mk  ·  308 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My wife was a pharmacist for about 10 years. She was incredibly happy the day she quit. She wanted to be a doctor, but her parents (in China at the time) pushed her to pharmacy instead. It's one of her life regrets.

flagamuffin  ·  307 days ago  ·  link  ·  

why's that?

uhsguy  ·  309 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oh and btw by the time you graduate your wages will be slashed maybe in half, because medical costs are not sustainable and Medicare for all will mean that at best you will get reimbursed at Medicare rates. Good luck buddy, you are going to need it.