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Calling all physiatrist, ER doctors and primary care physicians!

I'm debating on going into medicine and narrowed it down into three choices. Do you mind telling me what you do in your career? How are the people you work with? What was your pre-med degree and what was it like in med school? doctor medicine medschool medical-school physician

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Johara! I am not a physician - yet- still working on it! However, I did shadow a primary care physician in their office and it was very nice! Usually PCPs help with the first care of a patient, like routine bloodwork, preventative screenings and maintaining that their patient is overall healthy! It's the first physician you usually see if you suspect of a problem- of course as long as you do not go to the ER- as well as in general. The patients we had in the office that I interacted with were usually there for follow ups and routine bloodwork. I also think that as a PCP since you see recurring patients it's important to maintain a good relationship with them, get to know them to help them better. Cultural differences and backgrounds can sometimes affect physician-patient relationships in a negative way, therefore it's important to maintain that formal relationship and ensure trust. I also volunteered in an ER and I would recommend it to premed students because it's definitely interesting. I interacted with a variety of patients; I didn't shadow physicians but it's a lot of teamwork among other healthcare workers and physicians from what I've seen. They are are constantly coordinating and rotating to different patients. I had an ER physician speak at my orientation 2 years ago, and I can tell that he really liked being there and was happy to help his patients. I also think it's being able to be prepared for different cases you may see and think on your feet.

For degree you may be any premed degree and go to medical school (I was a Psychology major and heard that some students were History majors- so much variety), you just need to take prerequisites like chemistry, biology, physics and math, to name a few. Without these and other prereqs. you cannot apply; as well as the MCAT exam. I would recommend to volunteer and shadow different physicians if you can- right now COVID may make this difficult but in the future this is definitely a good option. There are also virtual shadowing events where different physicians talk about their stories, some are on Youtube and some you sign up for and they also solve cases. A quick Google search will yield much results! In medical school you will also be rotating, as the previous answers also touched upon, therefore yes keep an open mind, because you might end up changing it as well. For example, my goal is to be a pediatrician but I am also keeping an open mind especially after being an ER volunteer which I really liked!

I wanted to offer these pieces of information from my own experience-please of course it isn't even close to being the same like an actual physician's answer therefore do take with a grain of salt!

Best of luck!
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P’s Answer

Hi! Great question. I’m not an ER doc or any of the others, but I concur, keep an open mind when you get to med school. I thought I wanted to do neurosurgery, then general surgery but I fell in love with my field on my clinical rotations.

If you do have ideas of what you want to do, it’s important to try to get rotations in these fields in your clinical rotations. You’ll definitely do ER and primary care (those are required) but do sign up for a physiatry rotation.

I ended up subspecializing in a field I didn’t think I would because not only did I not enjoy the rotations I did in the fields I thought I wanted, my professors for the field I ended up in were so dynamic. Seeing the practice through their eyes made me fall in love with it.

Hope this helps.

TL;DR Basically, make sure you do rotations in whatever field you are interested in, but don’t be surprised if what you want to do ends up changing! Best of luck!
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Dan’s Answer

I'm sure a doc in PMR, FM or ER will answer as well. I'm not any of those but I will say keep an open mind in medical school and in pre-med. Most people change their minds by their third year in medicine. I entered medical school wanting to do family medicine than changed to PMR and than finally ended up with psychiatry. As a medical student, if you have the chance to rotate with a residency team, aim for that as you'll get the most real experience (pros and cons) of the field.
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