G. Mark’s Answer
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Firstly, if you're asking about vacation time, you're probably not fanatical enough about a profession like those two to make any significant headway.
In my case, I got a scholarship that allowed me to take as many classes as I wanted for as long as I wanted, so I was the proverbial kid in a candy store, and I sampled a lot of stuff -- a hundred extra credits and over two years of extra stuff. I happened to be walking along the hallway and I saw a lecture being given that seemed cool, so I walked in and stayed for the class. It was my first brush with computer engineering, and I kept taking those classes while I was in my pre-med curriculum. That turned out to be my passion. But that wasn't the only reason.
Some folks think it may be the hours, but in my particular career, my hours turned out for years on a particularly critical assignment that took up at least as many hours as being a doctor would have. Some doctors in internship might smirk at that, but they'd be wrong, and I won't go into the details. And I spent years working 140 hours a week and choosing, voluntarily, not to take time off. But that's the kind of thing passion for a profession will make you do.
What made me think was that if I, as a scientist or engineer working on a machine, it can be fixed. People, not so much. I frankly didn't want to think that I might be overly tired some day, or simply not attentive, or not passionate enough to do everything possible and have someone suffer physically or even be crippled or die. I'm not strong enough to deal with that, to be honest. Or at least I wasn't confident in myself to be sure that I could be.
Any of the STEM courses of which medicine and engineering and various other fields are full of can go from casual study to intense mind-bending. But after all the study and training, you have that responsibility. So you have to ask yourself two questions. Am I passionate enough to compete with all those intense people and to absorb yourself into studying and research? And once I do, when I'm finally tasked to use that knowledge in a real situation, can I tolerate the failures?
BTW, a practicing physician spends a LOT of time paying back for facilities, student loans, medical insurance and sleepless nights. It's sort of like a lawyer. Folks think you're rolling in cash. But most of the time, the costs to get to that level are not small.
So it's not about money or vacations.
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