Is med school worth it? ?

Hello, I am a 17 year old junior in college, and my plan has always been to be a psychologist, so all my classes reflected that. I have recently decided psychiatry might be a better fit for me, but catching up on classes is going to be INSANE. I will have all the classes they require to enter med school jammed into four semesters, with no ability to take any “fun” classes. I have a 3.9 GPA, and I am overall an incredible student both academically and community wise (sorry if that sounds like I’m bragging, it’s just relevant to the topic). So I am not too terribly worried about getting into med school, it’s just what it will take to get there. I understand this will be a good way to see what med school will be like, I’m just scared I’ll do all of this and it won’t be worth it in the end. Also, I’m hearing mixed messages about the requirements for the MCATs, some are saying there are required courses before you take it, while others say they recommend you have those courses before taking it but don’t require it. If I have to take all the courses before hand, I’ll be a year behind. If I can study on my own or though things like Khan Academy and take the class (specifically OrGo,) after the MCATs, I’ll be on track. I want to be a doctor, I love helping people, I love medicine, I love psychology, and the money doesn’t hurt either. But I also want a family and to be happy. Is it worth it in the end? Truth please. 

4 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    I'd suggest you slow down a bit and go ahead and just take the classes.  See if you get good enough grades in them to get into medical school.  Kahn Academy isn't going to be enough to get through Organic Chemistry II, Genetics, or Microbiology or prepare you for the MCAT.

    Millions of women are doctors in the U.S. and lead very fulfilling lives.  Being a psychiatrist in private practices means that you set your own hours so you can choose to not book patients at certain times or days.  Of course you still have to finish college, get into and out of medical school, be accepted into a Psychiatry residency, finish it, and pass your boards.  That could take another 10 years.  Those years will be very busy with little time for anything but work and school.  Still, there are definitely women who have kids during residency.

    Again, once you are a licensed psychiatrist, you can decide if you want to work for a hospital or health system, or if you want to be in private practice.  

  • MS
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You don't HAVE to take any courses before you take the MCAT.  The MCAT is very heavy on biology, psychology, and first semester organic chemistry and physics (in that order).  So those are the courses you'll want to try taking before you attempt the MCAT.

    We have no way of knowing whether this will all be "worth it" to you.  Depending on where you live, PhD or PsyD level clinical psychologists can earn just as much as a psychiatrist, with fewer years of training.  But that may not be the work you want.  Psychologists spend more time on assessment and therapy, while psychiatrists emphasize both therapy and medication (less assessment).  Both often work with other medical professionals.  

    Psychiatrists usually have quite a good quality of life once they are done with all of their training.  They do not typically hold the crazy hours that other specialist physicians often do. The same is true of most clinical psychologists as well.  

    The work is not THAT different, so you really have to decide which aspects of psychology/psychiatry especially appeal to you and decide for yourself what is going to make you happiest and most fulfilled.  

    Source(s): University psychology professor
  • 1 month ago

    Undergraduates in premed typically work about 80 hrs/week on their studies, review sessions, labs, etc. It gets worse in med school. You will postpone starting a family until you have completed at least two or three years of your residency, probably complete residency before starting any sort of family obligations. Psychiatry is a minimum of 7 yrs of residency, and most do fellowships after that. 

    Actually, from what you say here, Clinical Psychologist, which requires a PhD, is probably more to your taste, style, ambitions. You cannot prescribe drugs, but the counseling aspect seems more suitable for you.

  • 1 month ago

    If it is something you would enjoy, as you state, it would certainly be worth it.  You are 17, you are a solid med school + residency period away from the age you ought to even consider starting a family.  Never marry before at least 25.

    I am not a medical doctor, but I have a PhD and two Master's degrees with a third on the way.  I would not change a thing in my life or the 17 years of schooling beyond high school that I have had.

    Consider all your alternatives and choose the path that gets you where you want to go with the greatest pros and least cons.  There seem to be many, many pros and two cons that are probably not even consequential at this point in your life.

    If you find you actually hate medicine at some point in the future, MDs can thrive in so many other professions that I doubt you will be unable to find something you love with that level of skills training.

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