As you can see I haven’t posted in this blog for a couple of years since I started clinical rotations. Things just got too busy.
However, I wanted to draw this story to a conclusion for those of you who have been browsing through my ramblings.
After 4 years of blood, sweat, sacrifice, and tears… I am now a match doctor.
I matched into an Internal Medicine Residency in New York City in the first round of the match (no SOAP/scramble).
So here are my closing thoughts: When I started medicine, I didn’t think I could make it. My grades and exam scores were horrible, and my classmates had much more impressive resumes that I did. But through hard work, dedication, and sacrifice anything is possible. It is a small miracle that someone like me is now an employed resident physician. But there were costs. There were times in Basic Sciences that I didn’t leave campus for a month straight. There were times in clinical rotations that I slept 3 or 4 hours a night for several months.
Along the way there were successes and failures. A lot of things happen that are out of your control. My advice is have a plan, but be aware that life happens and not everything goes according to plan. A lot of the time it’s completely out of your control and none of it fair. You have to survive by adjusting your plan. You will save yourself a lot of stress by stepping back, breathing, and just accepting this fact of life.
Becoming a doctor is definitely not for everyone, I find the greatest tragedy is that a lot of people realize this when it’s already too late and they are deep in debt with student loans. My student loans now total over $300,000.
I beg of you to explore the full range of medical careers before you decide to make “the most beautiful mistake of you life.”
There are lots of great Mid-Level practitioner jobs that are rewarding and pay well: Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Physical Therapist, Speech Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Respiratory Therapist…. the list goes on and on. These careers have great pay and much better quality of life than doctors. They also face fewer lawsuits.
When I was exploring becoming a surgeon, my mentor, who was a big shot surgery director, told me, “Try to convince yourself not to be a surgeon. Come up with a list of negatives and focus on them. Look at all the great alternatives in other specialties. If you still want to be a surgeon after all that….. then and only then should you be a surgeon.”
I believe that same words should be applied to being a doctor: consider all the other options and why they are better. If you still want to be a doctor after that, then be prepared for a difficult journey. You have been warned.
– ImpossilePreMed, MD
Resident Physician of Internal Medicine