Should I Go To Medical School?

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  • #609519

    I am from Lakewood, 25 years old, and have 2 children. Recently I have been entertaining the possibility of going to medical school (I would have to go to Touro for 2-3 years). Am I crazy? Does anyone know people who have done something similar?

    #958283

    akuperma
    Participant

    If you are really sure you want to be a doctor , realize you’ll have to borrow a humongous sum of money to pay tuition and support your family, and will probably never get rich being a doctor, and your wife likes the idea – why not?

    #958284

    writersoul
    Member

    Touro doesn’t have a medical school- it does have a school of health sciences, though.

    What’s your financial situation like?

    Your family situation? Is everyone behind you in this?

    Would you commute to Brooklyn from Lakewood?

    What kind of a degree (if any) do you have? You may need to take prereqs in the sciences before being able to enroll in a program like that.

    Whatever you do, you need to think this through very carefully.

    Signed, a high school student who is going to be a doctor one of these days.

    #958285

    benignuman
    Participant

    No you are not crazy. I know others who have done it. Doable but difficult.

    #958286

    I think it is probably the wisest decision a person can make. Go for it.

    #958287

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    first of all you have to consider whether you are willing to relocate. Especially With a degree from touro you have to be open to the possibility of medical school in Chaifa/Tel aviv or at the very least not in the tri state area. Also do not overlook DO schools.

    If you would not CONSIDER moving from the tri-state area. I would reccomend against pursuing medical school

    (Of course residency you would have the same thing all over again)

    #958288

    rebdoniel
    Member

    Touro is an Osteopathic school.

    I’m consisdering going to medical school, as well.

    Even if you finish residency at 40, it’s worth it. 25-30 years is a great career.

    #958289

    red sock
    Participant

    No way, you would have to completely insane about becoming a physician to just start undergraduate studies at this point in your life. Take it from someone who just finished a health graduate school with kids.

    #958290

    rc
    Participant

    its hard, its expensive, and im not sure doctors are making any money nowadays with Obamacare. might want to investigate that further. what about a PA?

    #958291

    Brony
    Participant

    a) per my first ten second internet search, touro only has a DO school

    b) per the next ten second search, it is unranked by usnwr

    c) per the final ten seconds of intense thinking, the answer is no.

    Edit: it apparently opened 5 years ago and costs 40k+. ABORT ABORT ABORT (no, that does not mean become an ob/gyn).

    #958292

    verapoi yerapei
    Participant

    hey! Go for It! I am a 27 year old with two kids and am just finishing first year medical schoo. I started school in Lakewood with two kids! I am not going to tell you it wasn’t an adjustment but the best decision I made! You will probably be better than most at manging your time because you are used to that already!

    Feel free to ask me anything you want or need to know. Is there a way to private message on yeshiva world? if there is pm me

    #958293

    verapoi yerapei
    Participant

    and write soul: Touro has 2 medical schools in the mortheast and two on the west coast. I am in their medical school

    #958294

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Eh? What is the question? If you want to be a doctor, go for it.

    #958295

    BC GIft of Life
    Participant

    I was in a somewhat similar situation as you three years ago and chose to go for it. I benefited greatly from speaking to other people who left BMG and went on to med school. I would advise you to seek us out (there is quite a few of us) and hear what it entails. If the mods can give me your contact information, I would be happy to speak with you.

    #958296

    writersoul
    Member

    Ohhhh… I thought you said you’d go to Touro medical school.

    Brain fuzz.

    I agree with ubiquitin- you do need to be flexible with something like this.

    #958297

    GM1
    Member

    There are a lot of unknowns here. First being, what is your motive in becoming a doctor (as opposed to going into any other field), is it because you would like to make big bucks and hold a prominent position in that people will respect you more? Or do you want to go into this field for the sake of being able to help other people in a phenomenal way (and of course make nice $ too)? If it’s only for reason #1, you might not make it through until the end (and even if you do, you will not be happy with your job)because medical school is a huge undertaking financially, scholastically, and takes a toll on family etc… From the way you write your post, it seems like out of the blue you just one day woke up with this idea. Most people who successfully complete med school have been entertaining the idea for years and have prepared themselves in all aspects for the ‘adventure’. Also, medical school is a lot more than 2-3 years. Besides for pre-req’s and all, there’s internship and residency. It’s a long process. Lastly, who knows how doctors will fare with the future Obamacare. I’m not trying to discourage, but you gotta look at all the factors here because it’s a major decision. Hatzlacha!

    #958298

    Mr Sfardi
    Participant

    You are absolutely crazy. It takes 10 to 15 yrs of schooling to become a dr. If you would have a bachelors degree than its a different story but to start with a bachelors at 25 and than go to medical school is pathetic. I would suggest than u go for physician assistant. It’s shorter and a very good degree. I know some people who started at around your age and went for a physician assistant and they are b”h doing fine. And if you want to know how I know this, I am in touro now and I have a couple of friends who are going to medical school and some who are going for physician assistance. Good luck in everything!!

    #958299

    writersoul
    Member

    verapoi yerapei: You learn something new every day. I knew they had osteopathic schools, but not a regular medical school.

    I don’t think, though, that Touro is the best for undergrad if you want to have options for med schools. Where you go to undergrad really does matter in this case.

    #958300

    Brony
    Participant

    if you haven’t even done undergrad, double my answer above. also, why would you be limited to as poor a choice as touro?

    also, popa i’m surprised at your response – aren’t you on the Retake ED UVA wagon?

    #958301

    WIY
    Member

    frumscientist

    If you don’t have a strong passion for medicine then forget it because its very difficult so to go forward with such a thing at the age of 25 with 2 kids is only smart if you want it want it want it, because if you arent strongly into it and your main motivation is just a nice parnassah you will probably burn out and drop out.

    #958302

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    brony:

    lol

    But really, for med schools the hard part is getting into any one. If OP can score high enough on the MCAT and has a good enough GPA to get into any med school, and wants to be a (gag) doctor, I’d say his options are much better than ED UVA.

    #958303

    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    People have done it. If you feel it’s your calling – go for it!

    #958305

    yytz
    Participant

    If you really want to be a doctor, go for it, but consider this: medicine has the worst residencies of all the medical professions. You can help a lot of people and make a lot of money being a chiropractor, dentist, optometrist, podiatrist, etc. without having to spend 5 years working 80 hours a week or more and barely holding on to your sanity. According to the published research on this topic, any suffer from anxiety and depression and make serious medical errors because of the lack of sleep during residency. That said, the hours are more reasonable in some specialties.

    Many doctors are also burnt out because of various reasons — working hours, medicare reimbursement, malpractice insurance, etc. — and want to leave medicine. But I’m sure satisfaction differs tremendously from job to job and from speciality to speciality.

    #958306

    Brony
    Participant

    i gotta say, dentistry sounds like a pretty chill life. if you can do that, do it. but do yourself a favor and don’t go to a school with people who shouldn’t be licensed to cure cheese, let alone people.

    #958307

    lopman24
    Participant

    From someone who is a recent graduate you have to keep a couple of things in mind. Medical School is a full time job.

    1. Unless ( no even if} your a genius you will have to study/be involved in med school education on average > 12 hours/day you will flunk out otherwise.

    2. From a financial point unless you get into a hotsy totsy specialty the money isnt close to what it used to be (and even then…)

    3. From a frum point of view from day 1 you will involve yourself in tons of shailos. (anatomy dissections, practicing on opposite gender …)

    4. On that note3 if you do get past med school you will most likely want a shomer shabbos residency. Well they are far and few in between in the Hotsy Totsy specialties (virtually unheard of in the surgical specialties} and I have no shailah you will many times come to the border of being michallel shabbos and unfortunately will be michallel shabbos (for non pekuach nefesh issues} for ex: its pretty hard to tell your senior to ” no I’ll do the documentation after shabbos” especially if it will slow the transfer or discharge of a pt only from a bureaucratic point of view .

    5. Most shomer shabbos residencies are in the primary care fields (lower compensation fields some pediatricians are being offered only 90,000) Located in community/public hospitals mainly in minority and diversified communities in an overtaxed work environment. where thats the only way they can attract English speaking american grads the rest of your colleagues will be from a third wold country (resenting the fact that they always have to cover your shabbos/holiday). Well renown training hospitals have no reason to offer shabbos residency as the residents consider themselves lucky that they got chosen to work there in the first places.

    6.You really have to ask yourself is it really worth the (i’ll be generous) 150K debt (most likely way more than that There are usually no scholarships no matter how low your income is) and the loss of potential income during those years ( It is impossible to work on the side). The inevitible shalom bayis issues, missing minyanim… all for what will most like be a low six figure (i’m hoping)salary. My answer in short is probably no. If your really bent on wearing the white coat go to dental school, you avoid the whole Avdus residency altogether.

    #958308

    frumnotyeshivish
    Participant

    If your reason for wanting to go to Touro is that it is a quick decent degree, it might work. There are quicker degrees (using yeshiva credits which I’m assuming you have) and better degrees out there but probably not both.

    If you are thinking about going to Touro because you wish to minimize your exposure to the ugliness of the world then med school may not be the way you eventually want to go. Even if it is, Touro may limit your med school options, causing you to move to a place that is likely far worse for your ruchniyus.

    Why not go to a “real” college? It might be cheaper (if you are smart enough for med school, you should be smart enough to get into a good school at less than full price), and it will almost certainly give you a better, more usable education that will help you decide want you really want to do.

    Princeton, Columbia, NYU, Penn, Yeshiva, Fordham, Rutgers, College of NJ, and Stevens are all comparable commutes or better from Lakewood, and all will provide a far more valuable degree than Touro. If you choose not to go to med school these degrees would translate to more opportunities.

    As far as whether Doctors make a decent living, the answer is yes. There is a shortage of primary care physicians, and the government will even subsidize part of the cost of med school for those who agree to be a physician in an area with a shortage. That area might not have a minyan though.

    Some doctors are obscenely rich. Many more aren’t.

    Obamacare makes it more likely that any given patient has insurance which makes it more likely that a doctor will at least get paid.

    I’d be more worried about technological advances that lessen the need for human doctors or government intervention far more drastic than Obamacare.

    The current system seems unsustainable. Medical care is a necessity that anyone feels they must pay for, but the price is really insane. IMHO it is fundamentally wrong that so many people make so much money off of medicine. In a sense it is taking advantage of desperate people.

    True, some of the money drives healthcare quality up, but to argue that the reason so many can take such a large cut off of someone else’s cancer or senility is for the patient’s benefit seems to only works up to a point. We’re at least approaching that point.

    If money is your only motivation, successful careers in finance or business are doable for talented and motivated (and some might say soulless) people.

    Although the future is in technology, particularly in biotech (although biotech may have some of the same concerns as the medical field generally), the managers of a company make more than the employees with the technical training, and no one makes more than the savvy investor.

    There are also easier ways of making a decent living (think [biomedical] engineering).

    In summary, if you really want to become a Doctor (not just for the money), can make it as a Doctor, and want to remain in an area of your relative choosing (which is a pretty strong need for a frum jew), you need to distinguish yourself. This is difficult enough with a good college degree, and even harder with one from Touro. It is doable though, and an admirable career choice if done for the right reasons.

    I do think R’ Moshe has a tshuva where he says not to do it. It was easier to find a decent job without a degree then, true, but if I remember correctly he was against the amount of time it would take to do relative to other jobs. Caveat: the tshuva was for a younger person who didn’t need parnassah at the time. It seemed R’ Moshe had a hard time justifying becoming a Doctor for the sake of parnassah in ten years. Don’t have the mareh makom offhand.

    Whatever you do, good luck, and daven!

    #958309

    Brony
    Participant

    lol dude I’m sorry I totally misunderstood your question. I thought you meant touro DO, not touro UG. sadly, my analysis stays the same. worthless degree for getting into an even halfway decent med school. you will be competing with thousands of people from real colleges.

    #958310

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    sadly, my analysis stays the same. worthless degree for getting into an even halfway decent med school. you will be competing with thousands of people from real colleges.

    I do not think this is correct. A high GPA in pre-med from touro plus a good MCAT should get you into med school. Perhaps if you’re aiming for an MD-Phd from Harvard, then not, but a regular MD program I think you are fine.

    A friend of mine had no problem getting into ivy dental schools from touro.

    #958311

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    PBA

    I wouldnt say fine, though there is hope.

    I would say dont bother if you are only willing to consider the 15 or so MD schools in the tristate area.

    coming fro touro you absolutly must be willing to broaden your horizons, consider smaller jewish communities, DO schools or Israel.

    If you can not consdier those possibilities please please dont follow that path

    #958312

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    ubiq: Where is your information from?

    #958313

    Health
    Participant

    ubiquitin -“first of all you have to consider whether you are willing to relocate. Especially With a degree from touro you have to be open to the possibility of medical school in Chaifa/Tel aviv or at the very least not in the tri state area. Also do not overlook DO schools.

    If you would not CONSIDER moving from the tri-state area. I would reccomend against pursuing medical school”

    This is Not reality.

    #958314

    Health
    Participant

    verapoi yerapei -“and write soul: Touro has 2 medical schools in the mortheast and two on the west coast. I am in their medical school”

    I’m just curious -which school are you in and where in the country -East or West – the DO school in Harlem or the Med School they just bought out of NYC?

    #958315

    Health
    Participant

    frumscientist -“Am I crazy? Does anyone know people who have done something similar?”

    The only way you can do this if your parents and/or in-laws will support you for the next ten years.

    #958316

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    friends who have been down that route. (I didnt go to touro)

    touro is a huge strike against, though not a fatal one.

    To be clear i am saying what Health said “If you would not CONSIDER moving from the tri-state area. I would reccomend against pursuing medical school” This is assuming ANY undergraduate program.

    If you are limiting yourself to touro AND plan to limit yourself to the trisate area, please please don’t!

    Your dream is certainly possible and achievable and if it is what you want it will be well worth it! But you absolutely must be flexible/open minded for it to work. Of course this may not be possible when married and have children, you have to be realistic. If you can be flexible go for it!

    #958317

    Mr Sfardi
    Participant

    Brony: touro undergrad is a very decent college. I am in touro undergrad now and it is very decent. With a high gpa he should not have a problem getting into any medical school. I have friends who got accepted into top medical and dental schools from touro, including Harvard, Columbia, NYU, etc….

    #958318

    ytrewq
    Member

    I’m currently In Touro pursuing a degree in biology along with taking all the necessary premed courses. A large percentage of the teachers that teach the science courses teach in Brooklyn college as well and have told me that they follow the same curriculum in both. It is a lot of work and you must be passionate about becoming a doctor (not for the money)if you want to make it. There is an interesting 7 year program that Touro offers in conjunction with their d.o. school that you may want to look into(it’s called the integrated honors program).

    #958319

    Brony
    Participant

    you can’t bank on scoring a 40 on your MCAT. don’t be fooled: the anecdotal touro=>PREFTIGE people you bring as evidence got into the schools they did DESPITE touro, not because of it. it’s like the btl/law school shtick: do bmg guys get into hls/cls/nyu? sure. but that path is strewn with the bones of many a fordham/carbozo/st. johns/touro graduate.

    #958320

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Well sure, but the relevant question is whether a touro grad with a 3.85/35 is much worse off than someone from YU with the same numbers. And from what I understand, the answer is that any difference is much less substantial than the difference between the schools might suggest.

    And your reference to law school proves the point. Because if there really is a strike in law school admissions against BTL’s, everyone agrees that there is no strike against Touro or any marginally normal college.

    The reason you see great colleges represented in prestigious graduate schools is that students from those colleges are the ones who score high on the admissions tests.

    #958321

    Brony
    Participant

    med schools == law school admissions – it’s far more holistic because they need not pander to usnwr to the same extent (different formula). and at the margins, ug matters for law school too, though you’re right that the gap is less than is perceived by the public. your point is rendered somewhat moot by the fact that the op hasn’t indicated that he thinks he can score that high. if he could somehow take the mcat before enrolling (btw you could probably do this with LSAT) and scored a 35+, then knock yourself out. until then, don’t take the risk, since a touro degree and a 30 mcat will get you nowhere, whereas the same from a respected college just might. at any rate, if he really is good enough to score even a 35 he should have no problem getting into – at the very least – brooklyn with a full scholly.

    and btw YU isn’t exactly prized by admissions officers either; edited

    #958322

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I still think you’re giving it too much weight. You haven’t even mentioned GPA.

    I’m gandering a 4.0 Touro GPA would be far better positioned across the MCAT scale than a 3.5 from Princeton.

    #958323

    haifagirl
    Participant

    Edit: it apparently opened 5 years ago and costs 40k+. ABORT ABORT ABORT (no, that does not mean become an ob/gyn).

    🙂

    #958324

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    PBA

    I dont know since i have never discussed this with admissions commitee.

    Here are my two cents Touro is viewed as worse than other colleges. I’m not saying it should be but it is. That being said would a BETTER GPA from touro be better than a lower one from say Brooklyn, (Princeton?)could certainly be, probably depends on the difference. (Though if what ytrwewq says is true, why would it be easier to get a higher GPA from touro, and if it is easier to get the higher GPA, there is your answer as to why it is looked down upon).

    You say “far better positioned across the MCAT scale”, The MCAT is the great equalizer and would probably be given more weight from a less known college. How can you compare a 4.0 from touro to a 3.5 from PRinceton? By looking at their MCAT scores. In such a scenario it will be given more weight not less.

    Also a few more points to the OP

    1)Extracurricular are importnat Theres no need to go crazy, but you do need to show you have some interest in medicine and have an idea what medical field is like. Shaddow a Doctor, volunteer a bit at a hospital etc. You have time to worry about this since you havent even begun undergrad yet, but dont wait to the last minute. This will also give you something to discuss on interviews.

    2) Be prepared to discuss what you have been doing over the past 7 years or so. Many academics do appreciate studying for its own sake, but spiritual betterment of the world may be a tough sell. Just be prepared to many it may sound like youve been slacking unless you carfeully frame what youve done. For obvious reasons admissions comittee’s abhor slackers

    3) Read lopman24’s post above, his tone is harsher than I wouldve put it but I agree with all he wrote.

    4) I cant stress this enough be flexible

    5) It can absolutely be done

    #958325

    Touro’s medical schools are pretty competitive with the other med schools out there. It is also a good place for someone who doesnt want to worry about taking tests on yom tov. And for anyone who thinks that the med schools are inferior to others, check out the match lists and compare them to other schools. It would show that the graduates are getting some pretty good residencies. In fact, it would show that Touro is doing better than a lot of other schools that have been around for a long time and are “more prestigious.” For someone frum, it is a very good option.

    #958326

    yytz
    Participant

    Frumnotyeshivish, I don’t know if it’s really the case that doctors have difficulty finding jobs in the places they want to live. Even if you get a scholarship that makes you move to an area with a doctor shortage, this shouldn’t be a problem, because although rural areas usually have a shortage, so do most inner cities. The vast majority of inner city areas are within commuting distance of a frum community.

    My main concern would be hours and work/life balance, since the hours are often unreasonable. But that totally depends; there are some doctors who work for HMOs or have their own practice and work a 40-hour week. Such reasonable hours just seem much more common for non-physician medical professionals.

    #958328

    Brony
    Participant

    popa: on the 3.5/4.0 count, you are definitely right. i’m assuming same gpa across the board, but perhaps that’s a mistake on my part.

    at any rate, i would still say the answer is no, though this may depend on cost and alternatives.

    #958329

    Toi
    Participant

    toiv shebirofim bigehenom.

    #958330

    nusah18
    Participant

    I haven’t seen anyone suggest going for an NP degree which is easier than going for the MD and average salary is somewhere over $100K. You also diagnose and treat and the hours are not at all like an MD’s.

    #958331

    Health
    Participant

    Toi -“toiv shebirofim bigehenom.”

    Are you sure it’s Toiv maybe it’s Toi?

    #958332

    Toi
    Participant

    health- no no, its toiv. its a mifurashe gemara. buck am haaretz.

    #958333

    stam_a_yid
    Member

    Why are all/some of you assuming the question was written by a guy?

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