I visit this site often—for practical advice and for the encouragement and positivity that flows through here. I have a very general comment/question. Through the MomMD website I have read many posts by female physicians who discourage other women from going into medicine. There is a vocal contingent who regret the decision to become physicians. I’m sensitive to their comments and, frankly, afraid that, since they are already physicians, that perhaps they know better and are right…The common strain seems to be that insurance companies, difficult patients, and the “state of healthcare” in this country are so bad that only a fool would practice medicine. They’re basically saying that, if you become a doctor, you’ll be miserable and regret it.

My fear is that I am idealistic and a “Pollyanna” about how I want to help people as a physician and improve people’s lives.

I don’t get negativity from the people on this site. Instead, it seems to be a great support network. Have any of you encountered negativity from physicians about the fact that you want (or wanted) to become one? How did you deal with it? How much truth is in what the negative people say about practicing medicine?

I suppose I need to spend time shadowing physicians who LIKE their jobs…

I have about another 6 weeks before I have to commit to a post-bacc (or delay it for another year), and I’m doing some serious soul-searching, making sure it’s the right thing to do. Any thoughts?


I am so sorry to hear that you are encountering some negativity from these female physicians. I cannot speak from a females standpoint.

However, my family practitioner happens to be a woman and I have frequently spoke with her and she cannot imagine doing anything else. She is very positive about her career and the medical field. Though it has it’s problems, but most career chosen do.

Also, a close friend of the family is a female physician and the head of an emergency department. When I have shadowed her, she too cannot imagine not doing what she is doing. I guess I have not encountered any female MD or DO’s that have had or expressed any regrets.

I strongly encourage you to act on your initial statement of shadowing a female doctor, and possibly even setting up a “coffee break” if you will to interview her about her feelings on going into medicine and what her suggestions to you would be. But remember ultimately you have to decide what’s right for you. You have this dream of being a doctor, I would not let others negativity weigh too strongly on you. Everyone sees things differently, and I for one, would hate to see you have any regret 5-10 or even 20 years down the road that you did not pursue what you set out to achieve based off of reading’s from a web-site full of negativity.

You yourself said that this site OPM has been just the opposite. That’s why your here looking for input from these very helpful and informative people. Most of whom have been there and done that. That’s why I am here. Good luck to you, you will make the right decision!

Overthemoon - thanks for the question - I think it is one that all of us have at one point in time wrestled with. We all will run into people who hate their job, wish they were doing something else, and are all too ready to tell anyone and everyone about it. Doesn’t matter what the profession - they are there. There are also people in every profession who have found their niche - the place where they are able to leverage their God given talents and gifts, do things that come “naturally” to them, however you want to label it. When we are doing things that hit our sweet spot, we know it, we get energy from it, and we are at our personal best.

So if you have a passion for medicine and believe that medicine is your “fit”, then go for it and don’t let the non-passionates bring you down. Follow your passion and your energy - they won’t let you down.

In every job there is the paperwork, the politics, and the downsides to the job. We have horses, so the cleaning stalls would be the part that is not so glamourous (to say the least). But guess what - some of these things you can hire out, some you do the best you can with and tolerate, and others you just choose to ignore. If I am involved as a doctor in a private practice, I will likely hire out the insurance claim work to someone who is good at it and enjoys that type of work. Dealing with patients is part of the job and hopefully my gifts will help me to assist people where they are, mentally and physically. Lastly, maybe I can help in some small way to improve the state of healthcare in our country, or at least I will need to be tolerant as that is the system within which we operate.

I absolutely agree with you that shadowing will help. I have just started shadowing and have only been with one family physician, but his energy and positive outlook on his job and life are contagious. He loves what he is doing and has no doubt in his mind that he made the right choice in profession.

Just my thoughts…

Everyone feels differently about this. I know some female doctors who love what they do and others who hate it. I think if you go into medicine for your own reasons, you will be happier than if you do it to please someone else. I also think that knowing yourself and what you want out of life is essential. These women do not know you and they do not know what is the right path for you. You and your family must be the ones who decide whether medical school should be in your future. Like others have already said, go shadow some more physicians, and keep asking questions of everyone you meet.

Best of luck to you.

Thanks for the feedback. (You guys are great…) I think the answer is more shadowing. I have a fears about the post-bacc, the vow of poverty I seem to be taking, and the starting over in a new career. I feel guilty for studying chemistry and math and sometimes feel I should be at work and getting paid. But on the days when I am brave, it makes sense to be on this path. I guess I have six weeks to decide if I stay on this train or get off for a year. I’ll keep you posted.


Somehow I feel that you and I keep crossing paths! I think that if you and I are anything alike (from what I remember of you at the premed conference) you are very inquisitive and seek to make a very informed decision…rightfully so!

I have been shadowing my orthopedic surgeon, a physician that was once my sunday school teacher, and residents at various hospitals and there is nothing but well wishing and support!

An experience that I have had recently was with a nontraditional student that my family was hosting overnight from another state as a college passed through on some college choir tour. She was a premed herself, has children, husband, etc which I identified with.

After talking a little about my goals she started with the ‘sandbagging’ all of her premed experiences about how hard it’s been, how grimm the outlook is for her ‘chosen profession’, how competitive it is…yadda yadda yadda.

I too am sensitive to this kind of talk but needed to step back and realize what was being said. My sister said it best (a pre-dental student) the more nontrads that they can try to ‘scare’ from med/dental school, the better the chances for an average traditional student to matriculate.

One of my mentors said that teaching, medicine, and ministry are three professions that, if you can see yourself happy doing anything else…you shouldn’t bother because the stress IS great but the reward outweighs the cost on every level for him. With that, keep you head up and your eye on the prize and don’t let sandbaggers get the best of you!

Thanks. I was thinking about that particular post the other day. Since then I’ve made the decision to just suck up the poverty, be a full-time student next year, and try to get into med school. I still feel crazy some days, and I’m really glad that I can check in with oldpremeds and know that other people are as crazy (or sane) as I am. “Sandbaggers”, eh?..I’m becoming immune to them I’m not sure who you were at the conference. Were you sitting to my right? I often think about the man to my left who got in the 5th time that he applied. What a guy!

Overthemoon, I went to that forum MomMDs and I was shocked… It made me pause and rething what I want out of life… I to have decided to get back t the path of medicine but I still have doubt… I was watching some morning show, about a week ago, and they were interviewing several mommy docs who worked together in sort of a co-op. I have already ready approached a med student, who is a mom and she is very interested in forming this sort of arrangement… Maybe you could look into it…

Good luck to you.


Awesome. Honestly, I so glad to hear you had the same response. I think MomMD can be a place for female physicians to find community when they’re having a crisis about being an MD and wanting something else. They didn’t scare me off—but it did scare me and put me in a spin for a while. The dire warnings still sit in the back of my head. This is a better online community for me at the moment, with the Marys and Richards and other people who want this later in life, have been successful, and help the rest of us along

Speaking of encouragement, my friend gave me a bookmark yesterday that said, “Be the doctor your mom wanted you to marry.” It’s so good to have friends, family, and this online community of people who don’t think I’m crazy for giving med school a shot.

overthemoon, I have 10 children and my dh is a sick man…can you imagine the naysayers and the doubt in my mind?

Luckily my dh is uspportive, he thinks that I was meant to do this. My children also are very supportive, they just are a little worrieda about me not being here as much…


Oh please excuse all the garblly gp inmy last post, my smiley didn’t work.


I like that quote about being the doctor your mom wanted you to marry