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Unsure about medicine



 
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birdie
Rookie


Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Melbourne

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 9:36 pm    Post subject: Unsure about medicine Reply with quote

Hi,

I need some advice people. I've completed my undergrad in Engineering and currently work as an Engineer. I've recently (actually not really, it's been a lingering thought for quite some time now) been thinking about studying Medicine. The problem is I don't know if I'm passionate enough, or motivated enough. I enjoy Engineering but there's something about it that's not satisfying. Something lacking, I don't know. But, if I need to be truly honest with you fellow GAMSAT peers, I think, I know, I have this morbid fear of failure. I know I should at least try but maybe this is an indication of my lack of commitment. Do you GANSATarians (??? Smile ) think I am being too harsh on myself or are you thinking this fool should stop her rambling and just get on with it?
OK then, what is the very first step in studying and how much time do I need? At the moment I still have about 5-6 months.

My apologies for the lengthy message.
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Hawkeye
Regular


Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 28
Location: Brisbane

PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lengthy posts make for great reading. If I was in your shoes about being uncertain with the whole thing, just take some time to reflect, and not just thinking about it for a few minutes, but I mean really reflect on the decision and take a whole day to make it. Talk to some doctors, maybe even visit a hospital, and think about the whole process. I will be taking the GAMSAT early next year, and have done the same thing, and will probably do it again before the time comes. Having a degree under your belt probably means you have more life experience, which is a great thing. Also, you can always sit the test, and then decide later you want to postpone thinking about it for a while anyway. Let the good times roll.
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pants
Regular


Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with hawkeye. Get out there and see what is involved in medicine as a career and use this to make your decision. When I was in high school I wanted to be Scully from the X-files. I then got a volunteer postion in histology and pathology for a summer, and it wasn't that cool in real life. Shadowing someone is good, and take the time to ask them all the things that really suck about their job, as well as the rewarding things. Are the things that suck things that you could put up with on a weekly basis? Are the rewarding things that rewarding to you? (such as with teaching: seeing that flash of comprehension on a struggling student's face just doesn't really do it for me). Sorry if I'm coming across as a bit preachy, it's just that I've had my share of jobs that I've totally regretted getting into.

But, to sum it up, take the gamsat so you can keep your options open. Unfortunately, it only takes place once a year, so it's a long wait if you finally realise you really do want medicine in April. Best of luck with your decision, and happy studying.
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kimmy123
Veteran


Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there,

I am looking to sit the gamsat next year. Having worked in a hospital for 7 years in allied health and having many good friends who are doctors, I know you have to be passionate about being a doctor to be a doctor. From what I have seen, it is a great profession and can be very rewarding and challenging, but it is a very long haul for at least 10 years until you are at consultant level. This can involve working up to 14 hours at a time, up to 60-70 hours per week, doing night shifts, going to the county on rotation and whilst doing this, studying for exams (every night and weekends and going to tutorials on weekends) whilst you are a junior resident doctor to become a registrar. It is a long haul and you have to be committed all the way.

Hope that helps.
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searching81
Rookie


Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 6
Location: Brisbane

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Birdie,

I've been working as a control systems engineer for nearly 3 years and I'm sitting GAMSAT next year. What engineering field are you in?
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Krebsy
Rookie


Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey there

I too have struggled with the decision to step out of an already fairly forfilling job and go for medicine. I was one of the many who attempted the GAMSAT last year without much prep and just missed out. I'm contemplating another attempt but are having second thoughts about the whole caper.

I agree that you will never know if you don't make an attempt and possibly get an offer, then you are in a powerful position to decide. No attempt means you'll never know.

Kimmy123, what area of allied health are you in?
Best of luck

Krebsy
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Adrian
Moderator


Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 303
Location: Gold Coast, AUS

PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You posted this a while ago, so I'm not sure if you've reached a decision or not. Keep in mind that I'm going into medicine (well, hopefully), but here are some things to consider (from other's experiences, not my own), and for your benefit I'm not going to sugarcoat it:

as a third year med student, you'll work more than you ever have in your life. That might be fine, but you'll be doing it while carrying your study load on your own - no classes, no contact hours. Oh, and you won't get paid for it, obviously.
You'll be berated and treated like crap, apparently no matter which hospital you round in. Fourth year won't be much different, nor will internship. Depending where you take your medical career, you may have to spend another 3-5 years training as a sh!t kicker.
Prepare to have no life, for a little while. If you're like me, and are considering surgery - prepare to have no life. Period.

I'm not trying to turn you off medicine, because for some people, the above doesn't worry them. But consider these aspects of medicine before you apply. Remember, if you get a spot in a medical school and decide you want to drop out, that spot will remain empty.

Good luck, and hope we see you in class!
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p2409
Grizzled


Joined: 02 Mar 2007
Posts: 108
Location: Melbourne

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think your background in engineering (as long as there's some chemistry in there) is probably perfect. I read somewhere that 'physical science' grads excel over biomeds in Gamsat - probably something to do with the continuous intellectual problem solving you have to do with more abstract topics - which is exactly what Gamsat is about. Rote learning microbiology, physiology or lab techniques is not great preparation for this exam. Having said that, many of the question cannot be answered in a reasonable timeframe unless you've got the basic biomed knowledge. That knowledge will give you the speed to read through endless texts full of terminology fast.

As an example, this year, if you didn't know the cell cycle (G1 anaphase etc) there's no way you could derive it from the text and you'd bomb on all 3/4 questions in that unit.

On the other hand, you didn't need much physics to work out how a mass spectrometer worked - it was all there for you.

So... while the test is mostly 'iq'-ish, some recall is required, despite what so many people claim. My suggestion is always do as many tests as you can under test conditions ie. not ACER or other ones that don't go for 6 hrs - they are too short and will leave you with a totally false sense of confidence. To get the 6 hr trial ones, I think you have to buy them with the commercial packages. Like anything, practice at these all-day horrors will make perfect. Try not having toilet breaks except at lunchtime if you really want to know what it's like!!!

One other tip - if you are not a book reader, or your English is not great, I'd get a tutor for sections 1 and 2 and spend a year doing what many people do ordinarily - read alot of books/publications for pleasure.

Re the workload, no two questions, it's alot and it's hard. But don't let that necessarily scare you - plenty of grad business jobs have similar time demands and ridiculous travel requirements to boot which is incredibly disruptive. The stress of working for a big consulting company, a law firm, or even your own business for example can be just as intense.
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Adrian
Moderator


Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 303
Location: Gold Coast, AUS

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just one more thing...your fear of failure isn't morbid. Who wants to fail? The fact is, though, that you basically can't gain anything worth having without the prospect of failure.
I won't say 'don't let it get to you,' because that's crap. It gets to me, for sure, just don't let it stop you from doing what you want.
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woodie
Veteran


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kimmy123 wrote:
Hi there,

I am looking to sit the gamsat next year. Having worked in a hospital for 7 years in allied health and having many good friends who are doctors, I know you have to be passionate about being a doctor to be a doctor. From what I have seen, it is a great profession and can be very rewarding and challenging, but it is a very long haul for at least 10 years until you are at consultant level. This can involve working up to 14 hours at a time, up to 60-70 hours per week, doing night shifts, going to the county on rotation and whilst doing this, studying for exams (every night and weekends and going to tutorials on weekends) whilst you are a junior resident doctor to become a registrar. It is a long haul and you have to be committed all the way.

Hope that helps.

Thanks for this--gave me a good insight.
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nale
Regular


Joined: 29 Mar 2007
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Birdie,

Ive just read your msg, you definately should attempt to become a doctor. The fact that youre scared of failing deosnt make you a coward or anything less than the 'ideal' candidate for med school, it just makes you human. Just think about it is you never try youll never know and your whole life youll think what if. However if you atleast have a go than youll know you tried and thats an achievement it itself.

In your writing you sound very eclectic and bright, so dont let laziness get in the way of your true potential

Well its been some time since you sent this post, so im not sure if you have abandoned the idea of becoming a doctor, or if youre studying at medschool. Even if you failed it deosnt matter, just try again...good things are worth the wait. So let me know what youre doing with yourself now (even if its not med)...Nicole.xox
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disco hof
Regular


Joined: 03 May 2007
Posts: 12
Location: Brisbane

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes I get reluctant to ask other doctors in case they try to put me off! (particularly new grads!) Also, I'm going to hold out til I get my Gam results before I talk too much about it for fear of humiliation because of a terrible score!! If the score's not too bad, i'll talk more to mates of mine who are doctors and certainly do more indepth sussing out... Some thoughts from a Rookie to this forum..
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drjv
Veteran


Joined: 03 May 2007
Posts: 90
Location: Brisbane

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disco Hoff,

Don't worry about doctors putting you off. I have heard good and bad from physicians in various fields, and generally if a doctor is going to be completely negative about practicing they should not be in medicine. I think that if it is your true desire to become a doctor you should talk about it. I have sat GAMSAT a few time during my undergrad studies and I never really felt like I would get in until I started talking about it with friends, family, and anyone that asked me about my future plans. When you put it out into the universe that you want to be a doctor, it can only help - right!? Don't worry about what others think of you or if you dont get in first go. Just have 100% confidence in your pursuit and you will get there eventually, and that is what I truely believe. All the best.
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