You may already know but this is a summary of education etc:
Schooling: high school 4 years, 4 years college, 4 years medical school, minimum 3 years internship/residency (surgery is longer-possibly 5 years)
Cost: depends public or private schools but you are probably looking at $250-300,000 for med school alone and you are young so the costs will only get worse.
My mom use to say perhaps invest that money for school into something else
Pros of being a doctor:
Job stability (unless nurse practitioners or PA take over) but as a surgeon, you will be fine
Perks: pharm dinners, sometimes you get free samples of medication
Every friend and relative will be calling you for advice or medication when they are sick
I think your personal life will suffer. If you want to be a surgeon, when you get out of residency (let's assume it's 5 years), you will be 31 years old. You need to ask yourself the following questions: Do you want kids? How many? When will you have them? Who will take care of them? You may need to work overnight or on holidays. You will need to wake up in the middle of the night if a patient requires a surgery.
I've been working 20 years. Most insurances do not increase how much they pay us. Yes, the premiums increase for insurance but the insurance companies often keep the profits for themselves.
I really don't know the answer. Medicine has allowed me so many benefits but I've paid the price. I think you just need to love what you do. Don't do it for money. I made most of my money through investments. Medicine allowed me the opportunity to make money but it's what I did with the money that has helped me.
When you measure worth, there are many factors to consider: Financial, Emotional, Mental, Physical, Spiritual. Measuring worth depends on you and what is important to you. In your soul searching journey, it's important that you are honest with yourself about your values, your purpose, and your spiritual calling. I consider the helping profession a calling. I truly believe people who are happy in the helping profession are being true to their calling.
So the question to you is: what makes you happy? what makes you want to get up in the morning and face the world? Whatever it might be, follow your path with hope, love, honesty, compassion, excitement, intrigue, and truth. This will give you the answer to is it worth it?
1. **Passion for Medicine**: Becoming a doctor or surgeon is a long and challenging journey. It's crucial to have a genuine passion for medicine and a desire to make a positive impact on patients' lives. If you find fulfillment in helping others and the field of healthcare, this career path can be highly rewarding.
2. **Years of Education**: Medical education is extensive and can take many years. You'll typically need a bachelor's degree, followed by four years of medical school, and then several years of residency training. This means a significant time commitment.
3. **Financial Investment**: Medical education can be expensive. It's important to consider the financial aspects, including tuition costs, living expenses, and potential student loan debt. However, many doctors eventually earn competitive salaries.
4. **Emotional Resilience**: Medical professionals often encounter challenging and emotionally taxing situations. Being able to handle stress, make critical decisions, and maintain empathy is essential.
5. **Variety of Specialties**: Medicine offers a wide range of specialties, from surgery to primary care, research, and public health. Explore different areas to find the one that aligns with your interests and lifestyle goals.
6. **Work-Life Balance**: The demands of a medical career can impact work-life balance. Surgeons, for instance, may have irregular hours and high-pressure situations. Consider how this aligns with your personal life goals.
7. **Patient Impact**: Medicine provides a unique opportunity to directly impact patients' health and well-being. Many doctors find immense satisfaction in knowing they've made a positive difference in someone's life.
8. **Continuous Learning**: Medicine is a dynamic field that requires ongoing learning and staying up-to-date with advancements. Are you committed to lifelong learning?
9. **Job Security**: The healthcare industry typically offers strong job security, but it's essential to consider the potential impact of factors like healthcare policy changes and regional demand for specific specialties.
10. **Personal Fulfillment**: Ultimately, consider what brings you the most personal fulfillment and satisfaction. Some individuals find their life's purpose in medicine, while others may discover it in different fields.
Before committing to the path of becoming a doctor or surgeon, take time for self-reflection, research, and possibly shadowing or speaking with professionals in the field. It can also be helpful to consult with mentors, career advisors, or current medical students or doctors to gain insights into the realities of this career.
Remember that there are many other rewarding healthcare careers besides being a doctor or surgeon, such as nursing, physician assistant, or pharmacist, which may have different education and lifestyle requirements. Ultimately, the decision should align with your personal goals and values to ensure it's a fulfilling and meaningful path for you.
Good luck with your career decision and keep up with the good work.
But choosing a career is a significant decision, and it's crucial to find something you're truly passionate about. Understand your motivations and ensure your choice aligns with them. Never opt for a career solely based on others' expectations unless it genuinely excites you. Remember, you're the one who will be investing time and effort into acquiring the necessary skills or degree. And the path to medical school is not easy.
A smart move might be to choose a college that offers a biomedical sciences program. This major will expose you to most of the diverse subjects you'll need to tackle in medical school. You'll need to shine in your studies, take up leadership roles and clock in hours at a hospital, clinic or doctor's office. My daughter, for example, worked as a medical scribe during her undergrad degree. You'll need to study for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and aim to score 510 or higher. Applying to multiple medical schools is a good idea. The application process involves writing a stellar personal statement, getting letters of recommendations, completing both a primary and secondary application and nailing the interview. Hopefully, you will receive multiple interviews where you'll have the opportunity to impress and stand out from the other applicants.
Once accepted into medical school, you'll spend two years of learning everything there is to knowl about the human body and how to diagnose patients (actors). Next, you spend the next 2 years on clinical rotations. You'lll have to pass Step 1 to start third year and pass Step 2 for your fourth year. Passing the medical boards is key to kickstart your residency. A general surgeon residency is 5 years. Wishing you all the best on your journey!
Main thing to clarify for yourself is what do you mean by " worth it". If you would spend years trying to get this information just to satisfy your own curiosity or what you will be able to do with the skills then the learning is worth it. If you are focusing on the financial side it is definitely not worth it. The upfront cost time/money/ energy invested can earn you much more money with much lower stress and work.
Many people become Doctors to help people, they want to care for people. That is exactly what causes a great deal of stress for current doctors. Medical schools teach an ideal. You are trained to focus on caring for your patient. In our current healthcare industry people are no longer the focus. The focus has shifted to money, mostly, and your analytical skills are not encouraged since you do not have the time.
I used to tell prospective students and residents to follow your passion for medicine and caring for patients and you will succeed. I have since adjusted my recommendation to be:
If you are passionate about learning medicine and becoming a doctor you should do it only if you have an intense interest in the actual science and art of medicine.
Wanting to help people is a plus but in reality the most hurt/burned out doctors are the ones that care the most. These doctors cannot care for their patients as they believe they should because the industry literally will stop you. You swear an oath when you become a doctor to do no harm. Unfortunately you are often forced to watch the organizations you work for do the opposite.
Alon recommends the following next steps:
Another crucial factor to consider is job security. In the medical field, you'll always have a role to play. This profession is immune to economic downturns. The demand for doctors far outstrips the supply worldwide.
Therefore, it's essential to reflect on what you truly aspire to achieve. If your heart is set on aiding others and contributing to the betterment of the world, this profession is an excellent choice.
As you begin your studies, you may find there are other healthcare careers besides being a doctor or surgeon. You may find a specific interest in nursing, in being a pharmacist, a veterinarian, a psychologist, or many other opportunities in the medical field. Whatever your choice becomes, the experience of helping other people is very rewarding. Good luck in your pursuit
I’m almost finished with my PhD so I can not speak to the side of MD. I can say that for a long time surgeon was largely a technical deviation between other medical doctors. There was a jab are doctors in their community that, “if you don’t do surgery you’re not a real MD.” I can’t speak to all that it’s just what I’ve seen. For the PhD to MD comparison, you’re a scientist and the MD is a practitioner. The scientist is tasked with experimenting new ways to ask the same hypothesis while the practitioner is practicing medicine the same way. It’s the routine versus the dynamic here. The pay is largely different (better) for the MD and worse for the PhD. The schooling and respect are different but largely the doctor is esteemed more towards MD generally in society but academically the PhD. Now you asked surgeon specifically well there’s many kinds of surgeons and even non-surgeon doctors do minor surgeries like pulmonologists do throat and lung surgeries. It just depends on what your idea of surgery is. Is it worth it depends on what an investment means to you?