Thursday, October 15, 2009

Was medical school a mistake?

How many dissatisfied medical students do you know? In certain cultures, young people are heavily pressured to attend medical school. Parents and other family members may place substantial pressure on students to apply for medical school. This happens quite often in the Asian American community, especially if your parent(s) is a physician. If you tell your parents that you plan to pursue a "non professional" career, you can pack your bags and say good bye to your family. Now, that may sound like an extreme example, but I know many people who feel like they would get disowned if they were to drop out of medical school.

My intent is not to discuss and debate parenting principles. Instead, I'd like to focus on those medical students who often feel "trapped" while they're in medical school or residency. They feel like they have no other options. They can't imagine a job outside of medicine. They have substantial student loans. They feel like they would be disappointing so many people if they leave the medical field.
  • Medical students don't learn about non-clinical career options in medical school.
  • Medical students feel trapped because of their debt burden.
  • Medical students may feel like they made a mistake about their career.
The good news is that you can apply your medical training and expertise to pursue some great non-clinical career opportunities. 

1 comment:

  1. I am one of those Asian Americans whose parents pressured me into medical school. At times I do regret going to med school but since I am in my 4th year and thousands of dollars in debt I am going to finish.

    My med school did not tell me about any non-clinical jobs available to us. Since starting clinical rotations I have found that working in the hospital doesn't suit me. I hope to get a non-clinical job after I graduate, but I think that being an intern for one can open up many more options.