I am Paresthesia, mid-20s, from the Midwest! I hold a Bachelor of Arts in a religious major (with a 3.5 gpa) and a Juris Doctor (with a 2.95 gpa on a forced curve). The move to the JD was a fairly quick one when I decided I simply couldn’t continue in religion (for personal reasons) and was a pretty shotgun decision. But, when I make a decision, I tend to stick with it, even to my detriment sometimes. This may be that case! As a general practitioner, I get to see people at their worst points in many legal areas and I can’t help but compare that to my limited exposure to physicians and the stories my mom (an RN) has shared about her experiences. When I do this, I continually wonder, more and more as of late, if I became the right kind of doctor. Of course, I’d never admit to an adcom that I was wrong in becoming an attorney or anything. In fact, I don’t regret it. I enjoy education and am glad to have had the law school experience and, if I were stuck in law for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t hate myself.
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m a few years out from even considering applying. As of right now, I’m setting up an intro Chemistry course at a CC (because I got through HS and College without any Chem), and am trying to get my immunization records from the hospital back where I grew up so I can start doing some clinical volunteering. I’m also trying to figure out some good non-clinical volunteering (if I want to stay close to home, my options are pretty much soup kitchen, thrift store, or government).
So, I’m at the very beginning of it all and the way I see it, the worst that can happen is I get the science education that I missed out on in my previous studies (fun fact: science was my highest ACT score at 34 back in the day).
It’s great to be here and I look forward to the journey and making it with this awesome group!
I guess the big question is. Why do you want to become a (medical) doctor? You obviously have the intellect to do whatever you please, but what moment did you have that made you commit to the idea?
I don’t ask this to be an A$$Hat. I am constantly developing my answer to this question, and the more I answer the question the more my conviction to pursue it becomes stronger. For me it has become as addictive as I assume heroine would be. I can’t get enough time on an ambulance (trust me if they paid enough for me to survive that would be my full-time gig as I go to school). I have not stepped foot into a class for about a month and I only think about how it feels like an eternity until August starts up again. It seems that I think of very little else.
It is hard for me to read your post and find that burning need to fulfill your life with the hardships and endeavors of medicine. So, why do you want to become a (medical) doctor?
So, why do you want to become a (medical) doctor?
Sgaffin hit it right on. Were I you, the very first step I would pursue is to start gaining significant health care experience in a clinical setting. Being a doctor is, and don’t take this the wrong way, not what you think it is. The helping people part is only one slice of what a doc does during the day. The rest of it is writing notes, calling in prescriptions to wal mart, reading the same lab order set over and over, dealing with er frequent fliers who get the narcs you refuse them because they abuse drugs on the outside, staying 3 hours past your clinical hours because the floors don’t have a bed open again, sending the third fax to request records from an outside facility, denying yet another ridiculous faxed request from a home health agency for a patient who is basically asking your approval for medicare to build them a new house, increasing your patient panel yet again because the hospital can’t keep staffing up enough, conforming to bureaucratic changes in how you are allowed to enter follow-up orders…I didn’t even mention the required clinical reminders which docs are required to slog through in primary care, like diabetic foot exams, tobacco cessation, etoh flags, etc etc.
There is quite a bit that encompasses working as a doctor, and the only way to see these things is by first hand experience in a clinical setting. The silliest thing many pre-meds do is assume they know what it’s like to be a doctor without ever really being in a hospital (I don’t really count shadowing).