Ok- here is the dilemma-
I just started my first post-bacc class and couldn’t be happier about pursuing something really important to me in order to become a doctor, which I am so excited about. I was planning on leaving my full time job this summer to take one or two courses this summer and work part-time and then in the fall leaving work all-together to take orgoI, BioI, and physics I with all the labs, and then taking, Orgo II, Bio II and the MCAT spring semester with the intention of applying for a Fall 2005 start. Last night my fiancée came home after a dinner with his CEO and some other top guys that they wanted me to come work for their firm- it’s a proprietary trading firm, and now I do Investment Banking and Research. The thing is is that when I moved to NYC to move in with him, I interviewed with this company and didn’t get the job. At the time my fiancée and I still worked at the same company (an investment bank). I liked the people so much though, and the job, that I told him he should apply and leave banking and switch over to trading. He did and he got the job and has been doing it ever since. Well, I guess last night at this dinner, they were like, “how’s your fiancée?, what’s she doing?” and were then like, “we really liked her, why didn’t we hire her?” and told him to tell me that if I still wanted the job to send over my resume and reapply. The thing is I have a job that I like (not love but it’s very reasonable) and the pay is ok. This trading job is a ton of money (enough that I if I did it for 2 years, I would have enough money to go through med school debt free and still have savings). But part of me feel wary of starting a completely new “career” when I know I won’t do this for the rest of my life and the bigger dilemma is that I wouldn’t be able to leave work to take a class this summer and I couldn’t take 3 classes in the fall- It would essentially push my post-bacc coursework back 1 year- taking the MCAT in april 2005 and start in Fall of 2006 (at which point I will be 26, nearly 27) instead of 25 if I go through with this totally dedicated and only focused on one thing. I am unsure of what to do 1) because this trading job is great and will relieve financial burden, but I know my heart isn’t in this as a career and never will be and 2) it will push me back a year (and I know all of you older than me will say 27 is not that old but it feels like a loooong time).
I was all resolved to completely focus on this and nothing else and now he has thrown in this total curve ball. I am struggling to make a decision which needs to be made by today or tomorrow. A plus side would be getting to see him more, because now I am pretty busy between work, volunteering, class, keeping a house together, etc. Any thoughts or feelings on this would really be appreciated.
Ok- here is the dilemma-
Thanks you girls?? Does this mean you won’t take a suggestion from a guy??? If not, you won’t have to waste your time reading on…
I was in a similar situation before. I was fresh out of college with a nursing degree, and had a good job opportunity that made me stray from my deep down goal of becoming a physician. I can tell you from first-hand experience that it was a mistake. The money was good, but in the long run, it cost me big time. It not only cost me money, but it cost me time and emotional stress that was almost unbearable.
But, this was good for me as it showed me how badly I truly want to be a doctor. I had the option of getting a master’s in healthcare administration and being a hospital exec, going to CRNA school and becoming a nurse anesthetist, family nurse practitioner, and so on…
I choose the path of FNP first, and quickly realized it wasn’t enough. Then, I took a nurse manager job that was good $$, but soon realized that was definitely not a career for me. So, through these experiences, I proved to myself that being a doctor is it for me.
If you are sincere in your dream of becoming a doctor, I would NOT take the job. You’ll look back on this decision for a long time and wish you’d just put “doctor blinds” on and forgot about everything else. From the sounds of your post, you’d better fulfill your career desire and not let the extras get in the way.
A truism about life is that when you want something deep inside that takes a lot of work and effort, you will be offered several quicker, easier ways along the way. However, I’ve learned through experience that they are nothing more than cheap substitutions for a true dream. I don’t think you’ll be satisfied. The next step for you is to soul-search and decide if you will be satisfied with anything else.
And, if you just can’t make up your mind, or you’re scared that passing up this job will be a mistake, then just take it, and find out for yourself. I’m starting medical school when I’m 27 (God willing). The way I look at it is in four years I’ll be either a doctor or not… I’ll still be 31 years old.
Good luck. Whatever you do, you’ll do fine.
Thank you for your post- that helps clarify a lot. I didn't mean to write thank you girls on this message board. I posted the same message on a message board for women in medicine and forgot to delete that line. Sorry for the confusion, and sorry if I offended anyone!
I have to decided by tomorrow whether to take this job or not which doesn't give a lot of time for soul-searching, but I have to agree with how you felt. I just want to go straight through and focus. I was thinking about working as an EMT while doing the rest of my post-pac and through the lag year. It just seems like now is the time to makethe switch from finance to medicine. However, living in NYC has made me poor, so I have to factor in either paying for med school in all loans plus loans for the rest of post-bac (ouch) or having the money to pay for it all and be debt-free. Also, getting to see my fiancee more would be nice. Thanks again for your thoughts- they really help a lot.
So basically, fairy godmothers disguised as Wall Street traders tapped you on the shoulder and said "If you continue on this path, you will incur about $150,000 in debt. If you delay your entrance by one to two years, we’ll give you the money to go to medical school, saving you $150,000 plus interest, and giving you time to have a life."
I’m not knocking the dream, or what you feel when you’re not “following your bliss.” But you would not use this new job to substitute for medicine - you would use it to facilitate your journey. It will be more challenging to stay on track - but you’ll buy a huge number of options when it comes to where you might attend school, the specialty you choose, residency and practice. Not to mention maybe starting a family, etc.
It’s easy sometimes to assign too much value to your feelings. An admissions committee does not see much difference between 25 and 27, even though that feels huge to you.
Whatever you decide, once you make the decision, don’t look back and second-guess yourself.
Susan - Chicago
take the job - save up the money - finish your prereqs - take the MCAT - go to medical school -
a year give or take doesn't matter - going debt-free would make a huge difference I think -
I agree. Take the job and the money.
I would say take the job and the money as well – getting out of med-school debt-free is huge.
However, there are a few caveats. You will have to commit to really saving the money. I say this because I have found that as salary increases, so do expenses. As we start making more money, we start going to the nicer restaurants, etc., and pretty soon, it’s even harder to drop the fancy job, because the upgraded lifestyle requires it. Anyway, if really you think you can keep living the “student” lifestyle, while making tons of money, thereby saving it all, then go for it.
Otherwise, be wary of the shackles that come with money. The people you work with will think you are crazy to drop a big salary to go back to school for 8 years. I suggest surrounding yourself with friends who are also want to go to med-school. This way you’ll have a refuge from all the nay-sayers at work. OPM really helps here.
Five years ago, I was making lots of money in the software industry when I decided to pursue my med-school dream – I was 29 then. I started taking Gen Chem, but ultimately dropped it because I got zero encouragement from anyone. Everyone thought it was silly. I think if I had known about OPM or had met some other post-bac students with the same dream, I wouldn’t have given up. Hey, I’d be almost an MD by now.
Don’t make your decision based on how old you’ll be (25, 26, 27). I really think this matters little, unless it interferes with family planning. (Do you want to have kids before, after or during med school). I don’t know if you even plan to have kids, but this has been my only regret. I’m pregnant now, so I will be going to med school with a young child. This is where the advantage of going to med-school earlier comes in. You can finish med-school before having kids, which must be so much easier…
I agree about hiding the money from yourself if you can - get it deducted from your check directly into savings or money market if you have those options - if not - you must be very disciplined to hide it away first - or have your bank autotransfer it for you after the deposit.
if it were me, I’d “give” myself a modest raise commeasurate with my new job (e.g. might need new/different clothes or lunches out with the office) - but no new car or new home furnishings and the rent/mortgage would have to be in line with the old salary not the new. but that’s me - money evaporates from my hands pretty easily.