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Thread: I Don't Want To Be A Doctor Anymore

  1. #1
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    Default I Don't Want To Be A Doctor Anymore

    I Don't Want To Be A Doctor Anymore

    Posted By: Kendra Campbell, Psychiatry/Mental Health, 12:47PM Feb 19

    This is the blog entry that I've been thinking about writing for the past few weeks. However, I hesitated composing and publishing my thoughts for the world to read. I was afraid that people would think less of me, and that my friends and family would be very disappointed. But when I first started writing about my medical school experiences online, I promised that I would publish the good, along with the bad. So, I think sharing my honest experiences is ultimately the best way to get things off my chest, and perhaps help other people along the way.

    I've shared this with very few people, but before entering medical school, I had intentions of pursuing a Ph.D in clinical psychology. I've been involved in the world of psychology for quite sometime, and at the time, it seemed like a very good fit for me. So, I took the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), and applied to around seven different clinical psychology Ph.D programs. I thought that I had a fairly decent chance of getting into at least one, as I had extensive research and clinical experience in psychology, good GRE scores, and all kinds of volunteer and extra-curricular work on my resume. However, much to my disappointment, I didn't get a single offer from any of the programs. This was a huge blow to my self-esteem, and I didn't take the experience lightly.

    Eventually, I came to believe that being turned down by the psychology programs was some type of sign. Perhaps I was simply not meant to pursue this path in life. But if not this path, then what was I meant to do? During college, I had also seriously entertained the idea of going to medical school. In fact, I had taken all the required pre-med courses, as well as the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). After a thorough evaluation of all my options, I decided that the med school path was in fact what I was meant to do.

    Now, I'm in my third year of med school. I've done pretty well thus far, and I even have an inkling of what type of speciality I would like to pursue. My educational debt is growing alarmingly close to $200,000. My friends and family are all excited to begin calling me Dr. Campbell, and my graduation date is set for fifteen months down the road. But right now, I don't really want to become a doctor of medicine.

    Many of you reading this right now may be wondering why the heck I'm all of a sudden doubting my commitment to medicine. I wish I could give you a concrete answer. But the truth is, I really don't know why. It might be due to the recent lack of patient encounters. It might have something to do with the fact that I've been going through a lot of life stressors recently. Or maybe it's because I've just not really felt challenged lately. I really can't pinpoint an actual cause.

    Yesterday, I started searching online for psychology Ph.D programs. I did some research to figure out how I would handle my monumental amount of debt, should I decide to drop out of med school. I'm seriously considering my other options in life.

    Is it possible that all this is just some phase that I'm going through? Yes, definitely. In fact, I'm wondering just how common these types of thoughts are. Is this just something that most students go through? When I look around at other med students, they all seem so confident to me. I never hear them talking about doubting their decision to go to med school. Everyone just seems to be so satisfied with their decision. But I wonder how much of this is just a facade. Is it typical to have these thoughts at some point in your medical education, or am I all alone on this one?

  2. #2
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    god damn man u are just like me im in the same position except the money of corse my edu is cheaper but u have to think if u come again on this planet what would u choice because i dont like to be a doc but nothing another except this speciality gives me this beautiful feeling but if u dont have a number of desicions.The best of them is to get over and o into the administration of the hospital and have nothing with medicine the others to change the way u are going

  3. #3
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    Regret is very common, and indeed I have found that medical students are excellent with their facade.
    I suppose the question remains why the individual doesn't like medicine or the practice of medicine. Is this a carry over of the ego blasting dissapointment of the rejections? Is this a realization that he/she could have tried another year thereafter in different formats?
    Also, has he/she tried different parts of medicine? Psychiatry is one of the most closely associated fields. Family Medicine when done correctly is very involved with the psychology of the individual as well as the family. Can he/she finish and further his/her aims in becoming an MD/PhD in a certain field of study associated with a subject in clinical psychology?
    Maybe the blog writer isn't aware of non-clinical specialties like epidemiology/public health (including specialties associated with mental health) or health management fields e.g MD, MHA?
    Maybe the blog writer would have gone through a similar crisis if he/she would have followed the PhD path?
    But no matter what, I would advise the blog writer to be more specific to him/herself what is bothering them. Temporary things are just that - temporary. Life stressors, difficult bosses are all a aprt of "real" life, but are as temporary as they come.

    just my 2 cents

  4. #4
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    Are you kidding? I'm doing a PhD in Psychology and I'm often envious of my medical colleagues.

    Isn't Psychiatry more prestigious (and better paid) than clinical psychology? Don't you have the option of doing therapy AND prescribing drugs?

    You guys also get to learn a great deal of biology and chemistry - we're deprived of this potentially useful information.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2007
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    I feel that way pretty often. It has nothing to do with my performance in school or on the wards, but simply frustration with a broken system. It seems like a lot of time is spent to bend over backwards to please patients with therapy that we know will do nothing. Maybe it is fear of getting sued, or complaints lodged against us. How many times have you given antibiotics for a viral illness to get a patient out of your hair, or give one month of vicodin to a possible pain seeker just to get them to go away. Medicine can be frustrating. Luckily it is incredibly diverse and hopefully we all find our niche that can help to fulfill our lives and relieve our debt.

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