Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Why Medical School Might Not be the Best

I think almost everyone is aware of the stereotype that all Asians are forced to be become doctors or risk being shunned by their families forever. Fortunately, my parents aren't batshit crazy and actually respect what I want to go into (whatever that'll turn out to be). But for a while, I actually wanted to go into Medical school like most of my peers. But after a while, I wasn't so sure anymore.

Well the first problem was my grades. My GPA isn't exactly the most pristine thing anymore after a terrible 3rd year. I hear that I could get into a Medical school in the Caribbean but I can't stand heat or humidity and it be extremely expensive. Like tens of thousands of dollars a year. And I didn't get a job so either parents pay (which doesn't feel right) or I get a loan (which kills me later on).

Not so appealing now, are you?

But if I were to get into Med school here in Canada, the costs aren't much better. My friend Geoff who recently got in has to pay a confirmation fee of $1000. My confirmation fee was $175. He has to pay over ten thousand a year. And it would probably be double that if he was living by himself. And no one becomes a doctor in just one year. If I'm correct, 4 years to be a General Practitioner and ~5 years for most specializations? I heard it's even more expensive in the states though so I guess I can't complain.

And there's another thing, time. From Elementary to High School that's 13 years. If I were to enter Med School that's easily another 9 years on top of the 4 years of University I've completed to get my degree. I'd be in my 30's when I'd be done, using my 20's to do more studying. I don't think that's how I want to remember spending my young adult years.

Sadly enough, this is what I mostly remember doing as a child.

Fine, let's cut that down by half a decade and just become a General Practitioner instead. It wouldn't be so bad, recent study suggests that these guys have the most job satisfaction. But another study also reveals (in just my city) that over 90% of them encounter verbal and/or physical abuse from their clients. And the stress is also ridiculous. I remember my old family doctor actually was forced to take a 3 week vacation after he suffered a nervous breakdown.

But it be ok right? Doctors make a ton of money. Yes, yes they do. Except they're usually too busy to do anything with it until they're retired. I heard of a world-renown doctor who traveled all over the world to attend conferences and give speeches. Guess who spent his money? His wife, who traveled with him and would shop while he would give his seminars.

She was probably pretty happy.

One last thing would be corruption. Yes, it exists even within Medicine. I actually only have one clear example and to be honest, it's kind of scary. There was a head surgeon around here, 20 years at a hospital who spoke out against something.

They got rid of him immediately. 20 years at a hospital and without a second thought he was gone.

I remember the complaints and articles in the paper, people being confused but it caused me to wonder. What else is happening in our hospitals that is being repressed? I'm sure that newer doctors are seeing flaws and problems in the system but they're forced to stay quiet. I mean, if even a senior doctor can be sacked so easily I'm sure they'd have no problem with anyone else.

It's ok, there are plenty more where he came from.

But you know what? If for some unlikely, insane and miraculous reason I got accepted into Med school, I'd probably take it. I know about the problems and horrors and yet I'd still freely hurl myself into this. Why? Because at least it be something. I still don't know what I'm going to do with myself after I graduate.

And the thought of any secure job opportunities is enough for me to go through all that nonsense.

48 comments:

  1. I say go for it. You got in, take it as a blessing.

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  2. If we are getting carried on by stereotypes you could still play piano, be an acrobat or work at a sweatshop. If that doesn't sound that appealing you could study that involves numbers, you guys are gifted for that kind of things. There. I hope i covered every stereotype.
    -Just in case you didn't notice, i'm kidding. I don't want anyone to get offended-

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  3. It can take quite some time to become a doctor, it's typically something you want to do from a young age. If someone gives you crap then just proscribe them lots of painkillers and tranquillizers lol. LOTS. If you do get caught up in some corruption, then go down fighting like a martyr.

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  4. whatever makes you feel comfortable and all.
    Doctors are awesome.
    If you wanna be a doctor, go! forget about anything else. (try no to think about compensation) Instead, dig your passion. ^_^

    ponder. whatever. haha!

    (Am I talking nonsense? hehe..sorry)

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  5. med school is really expensive but it would led to a great job that couldnt be outsourced

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  6. My dad is a doctor, I went to med school for 1 semester and it was a mistake. Now I do what I want :>

    nothing haha

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  7. Be a fake doctor like me! :) you get the title without any of the hard work. But if you are ever in a crowd and somebody has a heart attack and says 'is anybody a doctor?!' then RUN AWAY.

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  8. Wow man, good luck to you if you do go to med school, I don't think I'd be able to ever handle any of that.

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  9. I'm a PhD student right now (Psychology). There is no tuition, as long as you get an assistantship. I also get a stipend for living expenses and my scholarship pays for books. The stipend isn't much (which is why I blog on the side).

    I'm American, so I don't know what the situation is in Canada, but going the PhD route instead of MD can save you a lot of money. You'll also make less money later on, but you'll spend less time working and have regular hours.

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  10. The best doctors tend to be the best because it's a job they're willing and happy to do, in some way or another. In some of those cases, sure, they can't enjoy their money until retirement, but they did what they wanted. In other cases they probably just wanted to retire, lol.

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  11. This post has made me have second thoughts of my aspirations-to-be-a-Doctor =p

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  12. do it mang, fulfill your asian heritage and make your parents proud!

    From: A fellow asian

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  13. just do something you like! if you don't know what you like, then try something

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  14. The scariest part about med school is going hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt for the chance to make hundreds of thousands when you graduate.

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  15. I can definitely see both sides of this one! I suppose that's the way it is with any career or life plan though.

    I've got my fingers crossed for you! I hope things start to become clear to you over the next few months. I am an eternal optimist, but I think everything will be ok.

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  16. Know the feeling of not knowing exactly what you want to do...
    The course I want to do is 80 grand for two years... Just to study audio technology. Its harsh, and simply finding something else isn't easy either. Thats life, I guess.

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  17. One of my old friends didn't have the grades to become a general practitioner like his mother, so he did nursing and segued into being a dentist.

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  18. Sounds like a lot of dramatical things go down in the world of medicine. No wonder there have been so many TV shows set in hospitals.

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  19. That's so expensive.. Here in Croatia you don't have to pay for college if you have good grades, but if you do have to pay, it's about 1000 dollars a year, which is ok.

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  20. I like how you listed all the good and bad about going to medical school. I'm no expert at telling you which career to choose, but I say that if you want it, you should try and get it! No point being 40~50 and regretting the job you had rather than doing the job you want. Good luck!

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  21. my girlfriend goes to medial colllege..and it sux, while you're on specializaton (6y minimum, 12y for neuro surgen) you have to do like 12hours shifts, and still be ready to jump in if theres some accident..awefull, study what you love, not what others tell you!my girlfriend goes to medial colllege..and it sux, while you're on specializaton (6y minimum, 12y for neuro surgen) you have to do like 12hours shifts, and still be ready to jump in if theres some accident..awefull, study what you love, not what others tell you!

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  22. The world needs more good, honest physicians. I hope it happens for you if it's meant to be~

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  23. maybe you should marry a doctor instead of studying medicine :PPP

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  24. I would go for it if you feel like you could maintain your passion for the course and see it through. Forget about stigmas. Being a doctor's one of the best occupations ever, go for it if you want it

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  25. ...you have to pay for school? So far i've paid like 40 bucks for the books

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  26. I would never want the stress of being responsible for someone else's health

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  27. You should be a rabbi or join my plumbing business. Contact me for details.

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  28. Where I'm from, the best money is in the mechanical engineering. :D

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  29. Don't do it if you don't want to. You should do something if you're going to enjoy it.

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  30. As far as I know, it takes 6 years of Med school to become a general practitioner and the following years depend on the specialization you choose. As for the fees, isn't medical school a state university? I mean, where I live, you can get in for free if you pass a chemistry + anatomy exam and you're one of the first 60 with highest grades. And you can do it all for free if you do your best and get all your exams, practice hours, attend classes and everything. But I assume different continents, different rules.
    Like others said, if you like medicine, you should go for it. It's not going to be easy - you'll spend your entire life studying, some teachers, doctors and patients will treat you like crap, you have to cope with death, etc. But there there will be the satisfaction of having your dream job, which is also well paid and you can find a place to work like anytime - so I guess that's more important.
    Good luck, I hope you will get accepted)

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  31. Most jobs a doctor does can be done by machines.

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  32. With corruption, I think the biggest issue in the medical industry is pharmaceuticals. The big companies send reps who essentially bribe doctors into prescribing their drugs rather than a competitor's offering.

    When the patent expires, and generics appear the company will slightly change the composition to get a new patent (and bypass all testing stages since its a minor change) then the circle begins again with Dr's being "asked" to prescribe said "new" drug.

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  33. "Why? Because at least it be something"

    Bro, I know this sounds like terrible advice, but if you're going into medicine because of that, then you'll be better off doing something else.

    Better yet--come to Chile, or Argentina! Doctors around here are really nice guys, highly competent, and many times more experienced than american or european doctors.

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  34. Medicine is where it's at jobwise and the next few decades will probably only get better. I'd opt for greater job opportunities if you can deal with everything else.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  35. If you have the choice, you should do something you're passionate about.

    If you'll be doing something you hate anyway, then doctor isn't a bad way to go.

    Although, I'd avoid the dentist route. I read somewhere that they have the highest suicide rates?

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  36. Times are tough. Consider your appreciation of food.

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  37. 10,000 a year? Seriously? That's a terrible lot of money!

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  38. Mostly unrelated, but I sincerely hate Grey's Anatomy. My fiancee loves sappy TV.

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  39. Well I wanna wish you good luck "], hopefully you can decide what you wanna do.

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  40. If given the choice you should always a do a job you love, over something you don't, that's the only way you'll do your best and get the most out of life.

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  41. Medical school is tough. My brother is becoming a nurse and that stuff is hard enough

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  42. you Asians really fascinate me. I'm so interested into your culture which is soo different from ours. that's the first thing i said to myself when i started reading this post about you asians being forced into becoming doctors. i didn't know that!

    jos xx

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  43. Definitely not for me but it would probably pay off in the end.

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