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Thread: Decision time

  1. #1
    TNdoc is offline Newbie
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    Decision time

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    OK, here is my situation. I have been accepted to the Fall 2003 Saba class. I am 32 yrs old, married with 2 kids, a nice career in pharmaceutical research with an income a little over $100K. My dilemma is this: Why should I go to med school then residency and give up my current income? I have wanted to be a doctor since high school and now finally have the chance. However, I am finding it very difficult to give up my income and comfortable lifestyle to pursue my dream. I want to be responsible and wise in my decision making. Any words of advice out there? Thanks

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    Chemist is offline Junior Member
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    to be or not to? That is the question.personally i prefer beer..waitaminute!

    Hi TNdoc

    I understand your dilemma, as we`re sort of in the same boat, but not quite . I`ve always wanted to be a doctor since childhood, it runs in the family to tell the truth; but now that i have my undergrad degree, i`m more likely to go into research.

    I don`t think anybody will be able to tell you what is right for you and your family; but if they are agreeable to a change in lifestyle for the next 10 years or so, i think you can seriously lean to one side of the arguement. I`m certain it won`t be easy to make such an adjustment, but afterwards it is very possible that you`ll make much more than now.

    As for me; right now i`m 22, i fully plan to get back into chemistry after SABA. That probably means i won`t be making any money until i`m at least in the 30-35 range. But then again, i don`t have the responsibilities you have. In my case at least, i believe having a med degree will open up many more doors.

    Hope this helps.

    BTW Do you have any doctors working at your company? I`m assuming that the company requires it, but will your firm hire a doctor to do research without licensure?

  3. #3
    Getin is offline Junior Member
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    $$$ vs MD :)

    Cam on man, you already know what you want when you applied to SABA! Even thought, you make over 100k, you still not satisfied (emotionally). You are not alone Tndoc. You will be surprise when you see how many students with PhD’s going to the Caribbean for MD. I agree with you, it is very hard to give up a career like yours, but you will never know how content you could be with MD unless you get it.
    Finally I got accepted Hidden Content

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    ### is offline Senior Member 510 points
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    Last edited by ###; 05-20-2006 at 06:48 AM.

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    atraktm is offline Junior Member
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    make the right decision/with family consideration

    we all have dreams and goals in life,I believe in pursuing our goals but since I been in your situation before I can tell you that you need 4 years medical school and 3 years residency that's alone a lost income of $700.000 assuming you are not interested in any sub-speciality which is another 3 years.more importantly you will be away from your wife and 2 children studying all the time,the road is not a smooth one[I am not trying to discourage you but simply state facts],then after that you will achieve your goals so you can be on call which is harder when you reach over 40 y/o[I am an intensivist and felt the calls after age 40].on the other hand achieving your goals might be very rewarding ,also think about your family when making your decision.
    Best of luck

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    Caesar is offline Junior Member
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    Forget it

    You have a good life, making $100 K being with the family, etc. Going to med school, means entering hell. The return on investment in your case will be rather lousy. It ain't worth it. So forget med school, forget Saba!!! Forget it...

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    hope is offline Member
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    re

    TNdoc,
    I can't tell you which way you should go, but if it were my situation and I had a family with a nice income already, I would stay where I'm at. I know med school has always been a dream for me, and now that i've been accepted, I'm happy. But, I'm young with no family so no obstacles should come in my way. However, you're in a tough position. I would put my family my first in your case. Whatever you choose, I wish you the best of luck.

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    Garnets is offline Junior Member
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    He can still put his family first

    The decision to go to medical school is a tough one the older you get. However, I don't think that by going to medical school this will put his family last. There are options. Going to AUC, going to Saba, going to MUA...all these are probably OK options that would probably allow one to bring a family. I have known missionary families who have gone to Africa and lived probably more austere lives than a medical student in the Caribbean.

    This endeavor could be from 7-8 years(depending on sepciality chosen). Tndoc has a long life ahead. If he wants to be a physician then where will he be in 7-8 years? He will be working at his job still not being a doctor and his kids may be out of the house by then off to college. He'll be wondering, wishing, and other things in 7-8 years and still not have pursued his dream. Still not doing exactly what he wants to do. This advice goes for anyone wanting to do anything in life.

    Sure, it's somewhat of a sacrifice to pack up a family and move to the islands for 20 months. However, think about it.....it's 20 months. 20 months goes like nothing. Many of these schools do have deals where the families can do rotations in the same city, too. What is 20 months 7-8 years down the road?

    Garn

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    Last edited by ###; 05-20-2006 at 06:49 AM.

  10. #10
    Garnets is offline Junior Member
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    Glib advice

    I don't think it's glib advice to say pursue a dream. Naturally, everyone needs to decide for themselves. Sure, it is a lot of study to be a doctor. If you have a family you will no doubt be studying a lot and if you go to the islands you might not even see your family but for 3-4 periods between terms. That's tough and needs to be weighed. However....it is doable. What he has to do is weigh whether the doable has enough behind it to propel him toward that dream. If not then maybe some dreams are better left behind.

    There is a lot of studying but you'll see your family if are able to do rotations in one area. If you have a strong spouse that makes up for a lot. They can keep the home fire going and have it all stay together for you.

    Even after med school residency might not be all that terrible as you suggest. I had lunch last week with a second year FP resident that I worked with at my company. She is doing about 35-40 hour weeks. She worked more during her intern year but she has a good job she says and is able to leave work around 5pm and be home with the kids. Some residencies are not that way and you will work your hind end off doing a lot more hours(depending on hospital and specialty). Some weeks she might do 50 hours but still....when we were working together at my company we were doing 50-60 hours per week every week..and she gets a heck of a lot more vacation to be able to spend with her family now as she did when she worked at our company(and we have excellent bennies).

    The poverty thing... This PGY2 pal of mine just bought a dang nice home here in a slightly upscale area. Every bank she went to wanted to throw money at her because she was an MD in residency. She got one of the best interest rate and loan deals I have seen because of her MD status. Even the custom builder made a deal with her to buy the next home from him when she moves on up. Her husband told me even he was amazed at how it all went(i worked with her husband at my company, too, they met there. they were so poverty stricken with her medical studies and residency that he quit his job and went back to college to study art. she told me she was going to do some moonlighting at a nearby hospital that pays about $90/hr because her husband went back to school and can now take the kids out of daycare. poverty...maybe for some but not the residents i know around here. i think it depends on the area and the program one is in...YMMV).

    My brother went through medical school in the late 70's being married. Now that was poverty. No money for school back then and you had to work a side job to get through medical school. Quite different today. There is loan money aplenty to allow one to concentrate on their school work more. He worked his %$# off during residency and fellowship, though. He works his %$# off now because he is nearly the only guy in the whole county doing ICU work. However, at 51 he can retire very comfortably. Wish I could retire from my current job in 12 more years.

    For me, the dream is doing something more fulfilling with my life. It was not just me that weighed in on the subject. My wife is the best. She wants me to pursue my dream. I know this is what I want to do after having wanted to do it most of my life....but put it on a far away back burner for various reasons that are no longer valid(the dream came alive again for me after working in these clinics the past 4 years). Everyone will have to make that decision for themselves, though.

    Oh, I agree with what you say about engineering. I should have a signature saying, "Engineers do it best...especially computer engineers." :-)

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