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Should I become a doctor, is it worth it?

I am a little interested in medicine. #doctor

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Shannon’s Answer

M wrote above " If you enjoy helping other people and are always open to learning new things, you should, by all means, consider medicine as a career. " Very good advice. Let's go deeper. You'll HAVE to keep learning new things - very complicated things - for your whole career. you'll HAVE TO keep coming up with ways to help people. the amount of stuff there is to learn is staggering. did you know that med students all contribute to a fund to pay someone to take notes during lecture classes b/c they can't write fast enough to keep up? one university i know of doesn't have enough quiet space for the med students to study in - there are so many who feel like their dorm isn't quiet enough. they need to be free of distractions for many hours every day. there have been a few people who became doctors in order to help a sick person in their family stay alive. can you be that dedicated day after day, during all that school & residency?
do you remember the kreb cycle from chemistry - i mean really remember the whole thing? imagine having to use 10000 different processes like the kreb cycle, memorize them (and all the additional deeper stuff about them that you'd learn in med school) and remember them at a second's notice when a dying patient comes into the ER. this gives you an idea about how hard it is. if this description makes you want to dive in, then go for it. if not, then think twice about med school vs other medical professions. consider exactly what you mean by 'interested in medicine'. do you like the adrenaline rush? the scientific process? seeing someone get better, at the best & worst moments of their lives & watch their family grow? do you think it makes you cool? (that's a terrible reason to do anything in medicine btw). Do you just like doing procedures like surgery? (also a bad reason - you need to treat the whole patient, not just their gall bladder). Consider your motives carefully. You might find more happiness as a paramedic or nurse with a small fraction of the debt, years of school, terrifying responsibility & insurance premiums. Or you may find that nothing but MD makes you fulfilled. Do the research beforehand so you can make good decisions before starting school.
Try contacting any medical schools near you & ask if you can follow some doctors, PAs, NPs etc around to see what their day is like. try to sit in on some classes & clinical experiences like 'start an IV day'. they won't let you try but you can see what the students go through.
Note: One option many people don't think of is becoming a DO instead of an MD. A quick google search will clear up the differences for you. A DO is a real doctor, yes, and most people can't tell them apart. There are rumors that DO school might be easier to get into for people with significant experience like a nurse or paramedic, but no one is saying it's any easier to graduate.
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James’s Answer

Great question Frankie. I will echo the response provided and say that it takes a significantly long time to become a doctor. On average, in the US it will take between 10 to 14 years to become a doctor. You must complete a four-year undergraduate program, attend medical school for four years and spend between three to seven years as a resident.

Do spend some time researching and deciding if this career path is for you as it is a big commitment.
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Pamela’s Answer

Quite honestly I cannot say it is worth it. I would say do not do it for the money because you work so hard for what you get paid. I can say I enjoy most of my patients but I am really tired of dealing with quotas and managers and insurance companies who don’t understand what we do but like to tell us what to do. Understand you give up a lot. I don’t think I would do it again, but if you want to have hands on patient experience Physician assistant and or nirse practioner are viable options.
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M.’s Answer

Thanks for your inquiry. I would say it is definitely worth it. It is an amazing career, and offers countless possibilities. If you enjoy helping other people and are always open to learning new things, you should, by all means, consider medicine as a career. Keep in mind, though, that becoming a doctor involves a lot of hard work, dedication, and personal investment. It is definitely rewarding in all aspects but, because of the many years of education and training necessary for you to become a doctor (which include college, medical school, residency, etc) it usually takes longer for you to start effectively working, when compared to other careers. Hope this helps, and good luck with your career choices/decisions!
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