I’m new to this forum, and this looks like a really valuable service you’re offering people. Thx.
Between my acceptance to law school and actually starting classes, I went into the hospital and according to the nurses, I almost didn’t come out. When I did, I found myself wishing I’d at least attempted to become a doctor. It wasn’t a gradual thing, at all; I can almost pinpoint the date.
I’d never considered it before for various reasons. It’s now almost 2 years later, I’m half-way through law school, and I haven’t been able to shake the desire. I have no hard-science background (except “Bio for Poets”); by the time I graduate I’ll have invested 3 years (I’ll be 26)
and considerable tuition into a terminal degree; finally, my wife will be able to leave a job she hates because we’ll have a second income. It seems like a bad time to switch horses in midstream.
So…I’ve seen people pursue pre-med classes at night, but I’ve never heard of a night program for pre-rotation/pre-residenc y medical school. If I chose to pursue this futher, I’ll have some skeptical family members to deal with.
I’d be interested to hear thoughts from those of you who have been in a similar situation about the wisdom of going for another 7 years of school when you’ve already invested time and money into a relatively solid professional career. Also, is there a point in time when it’s just too late to practice medicine at all? That is, if I went back considerably later in my life, I’d probably be happy doing non-profit, or even volunteer, work, but I don’t know if they’d hire me.
I guess the basic question is the same as the other topic that asked, “Should I bother?” Thanks very much for your feedback.
Honestly, everyone is probably going to tell you that the best thing to do is finish law school at this point and get your law degree then evaluate your situation. Even if you never use it, you’ll at least not have to hire an attorney if a patient sues you (which of course is a possible scenario as a doctor) since you can defend yourself and know what you’re doing.
I don’t see any reason why you would ever be “too old” or anything like that…if medicine is what you want to do, then don’t lose sight of it!
If law is not your thing, you may want to cut your losses now and focus on what you really want to do. On the other hand, you might find a niche within the legal profession that you enjoy, and be happy enough while supporting your family.
Medicine, like law, is a brutal training program and you don’t want to go into it until you’re sure it’s what you want. I would suggest you try volunteering in a hospital in your copious spare time while you continue with law school and see how you like it. You might also inquire whether you can take a leave of absence from law school and sign up for a science class or two and see how you do. Summer break, perhaps?
Most importantly, you should discuss your feelings with your spouse and get her on board. Best of luck,
As I have learned from my own searching and this forum, it’s never too late to get into medicine. Everyone has a unique situation to bring to the table, we’ve had to struggle and get through those moments of doubt, wondering what others will think, financial burden…the list goes on.
I do not feel that it would be wise for yourself to do nothing. Like ttraub suggests, I would volunteer at a hospital and see how you like it. Since you are just about done with your JD, it may be wise to finish this, that way you will have something under your belt that is solid and will provide for you and your family.
Have you thought about looking into law careers within medicine? Not just your basic malpractice from a patient standpoint, but what about being the legal representative for a hospital, medical research company, etc? That way you dab in both fields.
Either way, it is never foolish to do something you want to do. And in this world, everything seems feasible, one way or another. If you find medicine is what you want, you’ll figure out a way to make it happen. But I would definitely talk to your SO about your feelings and include her in on your plan of action to figure out the next step.
It is feasible, indeed respected, I admire the intellect to be able to do both!
I know several JD/MD’s, there was one former lawyer in my class (he was still a member of the bar so maybe not former)… They occupy a very interesting niche; they are involved in medical ethics and medicolegal aspects (besides just imagine how “nice” those blinking insurance companies will be when you send an appeal to a denial of coverage and signed it Dr. John Smith MD JD).
Since I was â€œcorrectedâ€ the last time I suggested it was competitive to become a forensic pathologist, I will not go there here, suffice to say the two JD/MDâ€™s that are affiliated with OUR school are handsomely paidâ€¦
I agree with others… get the Juris Doctor FIRST… then prep and go to medical school. I think changing your mind “in the gate” does not necessarily positively on youâ€¦ but it would be worse if you drop out AFTER you start!
- Allasso Said:
While I can also pinpoint the date when I decided to *try* to become a physician, I had a lot of professional background as an RN. Life-altering experiences as a **patient**can certainly be eye-opening and inspiring but I would caution you against using such an experience as your sole inspiration to go very far down this path. As others have suggested, you definitely need to get some volunteer and/or shadowing experiences with physicians under your belt. This time your goal is to see with the eyes of a health care provider.
and considerable tuition into a terminal degree; finally, my wife will be able to leave a job she hates because we'll have a second income. It seems like a bad time to switch horses in midstream.
I would strongly caution you against ditching the law degree at this point even if your further explorations confirm your interest. Rightly or wrongly, you would risk being viewed as a "quitter" in a few years when you apply to med school. Med schools know and appreciate how difficult it is to win a spot in any professional school and they tend to take a dim view of those who ditch that spot without earning the degree. OTOH they recognize that people change their ideas about where they want to go with that degree - there are MDs who never do a residency, for example - and so earning the JD wins you points.
Nope, you're right - there is no such thing as night or part-time med school. In your first two years of med school you'll be in classes 30 to 40 hours a week and WILL be studying MANY MANY hours on top of that (class time varies but amount of studying does not); during third year rotations you'll be working anywhere from 40 hrs to 80 hrs or more per week.
Look for old posts from iwant2beMD (I *think* that's her screen name). She is now a first year medical student but previously earned her law degree. I think we've had at least one other lawyer on here, and there are some on studentdoctor.net. It certainly can be done. Whether it's financially feasible, of course, is something only you and your wife can figure out.
You can go to med school pretty much at any point. I started med school at age 44 and there are folks even older than me. You're not likely to be able to work for free as a doctor because there's no such thing as a cheap medical education. (Unless maybe you have made a total killing as a lawyer, I guess.)
But I have to say, if after further testing this aspiration of yours, you decide that medicine is your course for some part of your future life, don't delay. I can't think of anything more miserable and if you are SURE you want to be a doctor, you almost certainly will enjoy it immensely.
Here's what you should "bother" to do now, IMNSHO:
1. find a volunteer or shadowing gig where you can see through a doctor's eyes about what's involved in medicine.
2. complete your JD; during the summer between 2d and 3d year I think I'd recommend that you do the traditional law-school intern work because it'll earn you $$$ (a good thing) and further expose you to possibilities in your current chosen profession.
3. if at the completion of your JD you really really really don't want to practice law, and have done enough exploration of medicine that you KNOW you want to do it, you would be a good candidate for one of the one-year post-bacc linkage programs where you take all the prereqs in a year, take the MCAT in the spring, and if you achieve a certain score you may be able to enter a med school class starting that fall. (this doesn't happen *except* through linkage programs - everyone else has a whole year of applying to do)
Good luck and welcome to OPM!
As Mary and others have suggested, don’t give up the JD. Finish it out. It is far easier to explain to an admissions committee why you have a JD than why you bailed part way through the program. (They then suspect that you might do that with their med. program as well.)