This blog entry from a med school graduate who chose to not pursue medicine came across my radar yesterday. He details 10 very specific reasons to not go to medical school and gives only one reason to actually go.
The ten reasons not to go are listed below. See the entry for some pretty funny and disturbingly eye-opening explanations:
1) You will lose all the friends you had before medicine.
2) You will have difficulty sustaining a relationship and will
probably break up with or divorce your current significant other during training.
3) You will spend the best years of your life as a sleep-deprived, underpaid slave.
4) You will get yourself a job of dubious remuneration.
5) You will have a job of exceptionally high liability exposure.
6) You will endanger your health and long-term well-being.
7) You will not have time to care for patients as well as you want to.
8 ) You will start to dislike patients — and by extension, people in general.
9) People who do not even know you will start to dislike you.
10) You’re not helping people nearly as much as you think.
And the one reason to actually suffer through all of that and actually go to medical school?
You have only ever envisioned yourself as a doctor and can only derive professional fulfillment in life by taking care of sick people.
I guess I’m lucky I meet that qualifier?
Honestly, none of those other things bother me (except for #2). I know I’ll be fine. Managing a relationship, though? Yeah, that worries me. I hear all these crazy stories about significant others not understanding the time commitment and intensity of medical training. The divorce rate is high for physicians, especially single-physician households. So I worry. But even this guy admits that it might be possible to maintain a relationship throughout medical training IF:
“you’ve found some total saint who’s willing to care for your burned-out carapace every day for 6-8 years without complaint or expectation of immediate reward (and yes, these people do exist, and yes, they will feel massively entitled after the 8 years because of the enormous sacrifice they’ve put in).”
Well, I don’t know yet for sure, but I think Colt might be that totally awesome partner to which he is referring. Putting up with my Peace Corps self certainly indicates some level of sainthood I’d wager. I know, I’m lucky.
It’s nice to have all those fears laid out on the table, but I think I’m still going for it. Call me crazy.