Career Path in Health Care - Decision Making Advice Wanted :-)

Hi Everyone, I am going to spare you the details but I have been exploring medical school and a health care career path now for the past 3 years. I graduated with an undergrad in Industrial Design, focusing on med tech and assistive technology. Burnout from my start-up life brought me to medicine and interest in preventative, medical technology, and my athletic career to ortho and rehab. Then burnout during my post-bacc had me questioning the medical school career path.

However I realized in my last, and current position, that I want a career that can provide variety (admin/research) with one-on-one patient care (something I am currently missing from my current research administrative position). I’ve shadowed about 5 different specialties some energize me more than others, PTs and Dieticians in both inpatient and outpatient settings. I can see myself as either a PT or MD (I’ve eliminated dietitian).

My personal long-term career goals are to:
• Improve the time it takes for research to get put into practice (translational research - think STTR, SBIR, NCATS, i-Corps)
• Improve preventative medicine, public health and policy
• Start a private practice or health related business

A few concerns I have about medical school that I would like advice on are:

  1. Finances – I’m still in dept from my undergrad and pursuing a start-up after my BSci.
  2. Pre-requisites – I still have some pre-reqs I would need that cost time and money however I have been exploring some of the programs that don’t have specific course requirements and tuition reimbursement. Are there other programs similar to University of Michigan that accept other types of experiences other than coursework?
  3. Test taking – My undergraduate was heavily project and paper based. I haven’t done terribly on tests in my prereqs so far, but I know I am not the best test taker. I also know Medical school requires so much test taking and I’m not sure if I just haven’t developed the right study skills yet or if I’m just not made to take tests well. Will this have a big impact on my success in MedSchool and can I improve my test taking abilities?
  4. Time – My entrepreneurial tendencies have me wanting to get to my next step quickly and I have trouble relaxing and waiting for my time to come. I want to create impact fast, but I know becoming a physician will take more time. I have considered trying to create a side hustle while I go through med school but doing pre-reqs and full-time work has been difficult enough and doubt I’ll have time while in med school unless I can get something working autonomously by then. Is it possible to tie this into a career or any advice to hold back my inhibitions?
  5. Patient relationships – MD or PT? Can I get the same time and relationship with patients as an MD as PTs do?

My decision currently is between PhD or MS in engineering alone, MD (or MD/PhD), PT (or PT/PhD), or MBA. They might seem unrelated but all with a similar focus.

All and all, every time I walk into the hospital I feel like I want to and can be doing more, and that medical school is my route. I think if I continue to wait and not pursue it I will regret it.