View Full Version : How to tell someone to consider quitting medical school

10-14-2014, 03:05 PM
I graduated from a caribbean medical school and I am a resident physician.

I have several extended family members that are caribbean medical students but they are stuck in limbo writing the step 1 exam. Some have been "studying" for like 3 years for USMLE step 1.

When they speak to other family members they come up with believable excuses on what they are doing. Some family members mistakenly think they are already doctors, because they call themselves that. Because I have medical training, I can see past their excuses. The truth is that they do not have what it takes to study and pass the USMLE, so they are unlikely to ever become physicians.

Everytime I see them we have little else to talk about other than studying. Their life seems to be on hold. 

I feel bad that they are wasting their life by lieing to themselves and others that they will be physicians. I feel their parents had told them to do this and they are stuck living a lie and the years are going by and they are doing nothing but "studying". If I ask them medical questions they don’t seem to know very much; I don't think more "studying" will change that.

Has anyone else encountered this?? What can I say to help people like this??

I honestly think they would be happier doing something else rather than letting another year go by "studying" for the usmle step 1

10-15-2014, 06:39 AM
Its really tough. I know a couple that have done medical school in Aruba. After studying like 3 years for Step 1, they decided to start clinicals and figured they would continue to study for step 1 while doing clinicals. After moving their life to Chicago for clinical rotations, about half way through their clinicals, the school made them take step 1 before continuing with anymore clinical rotations. Its been almost 2 years since, and they havn't done their step 1 to this day. They are still in Chicago, where rent, utilities and groceries come up to $1500 per month easily. They have spent almost 2 whole years in Chicago while doing nothing but "studying."

10-15-2014, 09:13 AM
Perhaps introduce them to ideas of jobs that they can do 'while they are studying.'

But honestly, they've got to grow up and tell their families what is really going on.

10-16-2014, 05:58 PM
Ek_civic: I think the scenario you have mentioned is sadly quite common. I know a few other people who’s medical schools have not required them to do the usmle step 1 and they completed rotations on the island and have since graduated several years ago. They keep talking about doing the exams but the chances of them ever doing them is nearly non-existent.

TriageModerator: The few people I know who are “studying” for years, have started to work part-time. They rushed into medical school without any other meaningful post-highschool education. They are in their late 20’s now and when they go for jobs and mention they are a medical student no one wants to hire them because they know it is temporary them working there. They have resorted to not mentioning medical school and are doing jobs that pay close to minimum wage. Without additional schooling in other area they don’t stand a chance of making a meaningful income. Some of these people have taken money from their parents who now renting crummy apartments because they lost a lot of money on tuition. I don’t blame the schools, but the parents for pushing them towards medical school and them for not growing up and admitting they need to quit.

I wish there was a way to tell them this without having them think horrible of me. It is painful to hear them make excuses why they are “studying” still, at every family event I see them at.

Perhaps introduce them to ideas of jobs that they can do 'while they are studying.'

But honestly, they've got to grow up and tell their families what is really going on.

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