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      01-06-2016, 07:33 AM   #1
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Post Guide a Young Man at a Crossroads | Advice, Success Stories, etc. Welcomed!

Hello everyone, Iíve been feeling a bit ďlostĒ lately. Iím currently in college under a pre-med curriculum poised with aspirations to enter Medical School with the end goal of becoming a Hematologist. This is a goal that Iíve essentially instilled in myself from the mere age of six and Iíve rarely ever deviated from that idea. Now as Iím growing older, Iím beginning to ponder the realities of such and the ever increasing reality of debt is seriously hampering dedication to pursue my end goal(s). There are so many things that I envisioned a few years ago that I thought Iíd have accomplished by now; I feel as if ďIím failingĒ in the sense that Iím not fully as independent as I thought I would be by the age that I am nowótwenty-one.

There are so many things for me to learn and Iíve always been an individual enamored with the idea of continually enlightening myself on a myriad of topics. I know Iím not the youngest person amongst all of us that dwell on these forums and Iím certainly not the only one ďsearching for themselvesĒ. Itís not that Iím necessarily giving up on my goals, but Iím also realizing more and more that the lifestyle permitted from the pursuit of an M.D., both prior and post completion, is something that I never really took into account in my previous years, but as Iíve come across more colleagues, like-minded individuals, and connections, Iíve begun to realize the sacrifices that are made by the aforementioned people. Obviously every career choice require sacrifices, but some of which Iím beginning to realize about mine in particular compels me to seriously question myself if this is what I truly wantóif this is how I want to live my life.

Itís not necessarily about the wealth from my aforementioned career goals; obviously Iíd love to live comfortably, provide for my future wife & family, live within my means, and mean well for both those around me and the world. Never taking for granted those whom of which Iíve developed connections and relationships with, as well as always giving back. I love the idea of helping people and providing a service for numerous people that not many can doóor that many have tried but be able to do better in more ways than one. That is also why Iíve always more or less dabbled with the idea(s) of opening a business that aligns with hobby-esque passions of mine. Iíd love to hear some ďsuccess storiesĒ from you all and any advice is not only welcomed but encouraged. I want this thread to be not only a resource for myself, but for anyone looking to find some solace with where they believe and or envision their future to entail.

Success for me is my only option. Success, on a person to person basis may differ, but Iím sure all of us can agree on at least one thingóthe type of success that enables you to provide a life in which we all, in our own way, can enjoy without consequences or regrets. Thank you so much for your time and any advice that you are willing to offer me as I come to terms with a decision Iíll inevitably have to make. Do you own a Business? Business decisions, how did you ďfindĒ your true passion, why do you do what you do, what career path did you take, etc.
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      01-06-2016, 07:45 AM   #2
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Could always become a nurse or PA if you aren't interested in the schooling or lifestyle commitment of an MD. Those would still be along the same academic path you've taken so far.
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      01-06-2016, 08:03 AM   #3
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My advice, being married to an MD, is stick to it because there maybe some sacrifices, but as you've said every career has some...but being an MD will open so many doors...so if money and possessions isn't the priority when you're done school, go do doctors without borders for a while...or only work part time and travel a bit...or if you want a big ass house, go flat out and buy the stuff you want...life is always better with more options and a career as a doctor will give you plenty of options. Plus it's way more fun to be in more control of your schedule, work more when you want to, less when you don't.

Good luck
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      01-06-2016, 08:27 AM   #4
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what's your major and do you have a minor ?

Unless you have family money; work as constantly as you can, don't have work lapses in your resume
Buy stock and invest your money. Always add money to a savings account.
Drugs & alcohol mess you up and divest yourself from friends and workmates that use drugs or abuse alcohol.
Have a hobby or lifetime interest - have an ever increasing knowledge of a subject throughout your life. It can be playing an instrument or intense knowledge of a dedicated subject.
Maintain your personal health. Obesity, too much sun, compulsiveness are to be avoided.
Don't expect anyone, except family to guide you through or give you the secret to a successful life. Though a stranger or teacher can impart knowkedge that you'll always remember.
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      01-06-2016, 08:53 AM   #5
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This is what my counselor told me when I was in your shoes. You can always come back to pre-med if you'd like to in the future. I was half way through my pre-med requisites. Go try a course that you think you'd be interested in and see how you like it and revisit it after a semester.

I work in finance now - plenty of friends are doctors and just getting off their feet (finishing up their residency). It's a long road and if you're not completely into it, you're going to have a lot of doubts for many years to come.

I think I'd put the debt aside - it's clear being a doctor has ROI but the payback period may be a bit longer.
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      01-06-2016, 09:07 AM   #6
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I prefer to be realistic and say that your passions and hard work will guide you....your passion may wane but if you still stick to your program it will ultimately bring success if you do have the capacity and will for it....but my advice while in the "wane"period is to consider any chance to learn/grow and look to other people/sources for inspiration like you have in this post...and that in turn may grow into another path that is worth following.
Being a doctor is tough and is suited for the best and much respect all those who have sacrifices to succeed in this noble profession.
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      01-06-2016, 09:15 AM   #7
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OP, I fully understand what you mean.

I was lost as a young man because I didn't want to follow that path that was set forth of my by my family (All Ph.D or M.D. academics. Seriously). I became despondent for a while, and quit school giving up 6 scholarships along the way because I did not know what I wanted to do but also didn't want to disappoint my family and tell them that their vision was not mine.

To make a long story short, I took a part time job to pay my expenses and did the only thing that I always knew how to do...work hard. I went back to school and finished my degree while working in sales, part-time at that company. I started grad school but the company made me an offer I couldn't refuse and I moved to their headquarters. In 7 years I was promoted to VP and had about 1300 people working under me, nationally. I was at that company for almost 12 years and took a buy-out when my daughter was born. She is now 18. I currently work in biotechnology and have worked with 2 start-ups on the last 7 years which have both been sold. I am working with another at this point in time.

I will tell you the words that my dad shared with me when I was at my lowest point: Success means different things for different people and has many different pathways, find yours and don't worry about what others think. Be true to yourself.

These words freed me as a young man and allowed me to become exactly who I wanted to become without regard to what anyone thought.

I hope this helps and I hope that you find success in whatever YOU decide.
Cheers-mk
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      01-06-2016, 11:40 AM   #8
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Don't forget that 21 is still very young and there is much for you to experience and endure. Becoming an MD is obviously not a possibility for everyone, so remember to congratulate yourself on having the ability to make this choice. Few make it all the way through, and those who do grow and change tremendously in their outlook and in their relationships with others.

I'm personally witnessing a relationship in my family that suffers because of this choice (and other compounding choices as well) by one individual who decided to go to med school while having a kid (he was 33 at the time and obviously had a late start on what he wanted to do in life). He didn't pass Step 1 despite 3 attempts and it has taken him a year to pull himself together. Im not sure he has the fortitude anymore to take it again just to get the official M.D.

But forget all of that. Ultimately those truly dedicated to the profession don't let these realities stop them. How dedicated are you to helping people? Are you willing to sacrifice everything in pursuit of an MD? If the answers to these are no, you are not ready.

Have you ever seen the show Scrubs? While not entirely accurate in it's portrayal, it tries to show the mentality and sacrifices that need to be made, especially in one's personal life.
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      01-06-2016, 01:56 PM   #9
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Without getting too detailed, my only words of wisdom are the same as Kid Rock. Just joking. Hang in there and realize, the hard work you put in today, pays off exponentially in the future. It's like saving money, or playing golf. You can do things 85%, only to F it all up in the end, so everything counts. What you are doing today, will set you up for future success.

Think about this, would you rather lease a car today, 3 yrs. from now, 6 yrs. from now, 9 yrs. from now, and have nothing to show for your payments? Or would you rather save your money over the next 9 years, and now have beaucoup choices that you could make?
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      01-06-2016, 02:19 PM   #10
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You talk about having a future wife/family. Consider as a MD that you will be on call all the time, you will miss some of your kids' events, your wife potentially has lots of "free" time alone without you. Those are the things you may have to sacrifice to follow your passion.

On the positive side, you save even 1 kids from leukemia, and have the everlasting gratitude of the family, they send you cookies and a Christmas card every year showing the growth of that kid.

Money really shouldn't be your decision-maker. The happiest people in life are doing something they "would still do even if I didn't get paid" I could make significantly more cash on a weekly basis if I were to take another job, but I wouldn't see my family, wouldn't be able to take off at 2 in the afternoon to watch my kid play baseball, wouldn't be able to kiss my wife goodnight, and snuggle up with my pup before falling into a restful sleep IN MY OWN BED.

YMMV. . .
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      01-06-2016, 02:36 PM   #11
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Why specifically hematology/oncology?
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      01-06-2016, 03:24 PM   #12
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