It’s certainly not healthy to dwell on the past. However, it can be hard not to think about what you could have done differently if you could do it all over again. Physicians feel this. The “shoulda, woulda, couldas” of our days in medical school will forever be in the back of our brains.
If you had it to do all over again, would you do it the same? Or, would you do it all? According to a 2012 study, nearly half of physicians regretted their choice to attend medical school. That same study found only 41% of the same doctors that participated in the survey would choose the specialty they did when they attended medical school. It is a little disheartening that so many medical professionals have become so full of regret. Some people wish they would have explored a less stressful major, taken a break from school at some point, or gotten more of a chance to travel.
Would you have gone out with friends more…or dedicated more time on your studies?
So…what would you do, if you could go back to medical school all over again? Have any medical school regrets? Physicians look back.
Some people have gone to Reddit to anonymously voice some of their thoughts:
- “As much I am right now okay with where I am in medschool, if I could go back in time I think I would had gone for grad school for Biochemistry. Don’t think I would want to go through again what I am currently going through or went through..”- darthsmokey
- “M2 at the age of 24. Went straight from college to medical school without a fancy 7 year program. If I could do it again, I would have gone to nursing school. Either Nursing in college, or accelerated nursing program post college and then nurse practitioner.” -witchdoctor1317
- “I did an 8 year B.S/M.D. combined program (accepted from high school), and I have no regrets so far. I ended up at a fantastic medical school, with a very low tuition rate. In undergraduate, I wasn’t stressed out AT ALL because I was already accepted and had to maintain average scores (GPA and MCAT-based). This doesn’t imply that I didn’t work on both, but it took away the stress of worrying, applying, and interviewing. It really set the stage up for me. I’m just really glad that the medical school that I’m currently at is a great fit for me.”- exemplarity
- “I would go overseas after high school, and I’d try my luck at a Caribbean program first. I would take my career choice seriously instead of bouncing back and forth between law, finance and medicine in undergrad. I’m in my final year at an overseas program now and I honestly wasted too many (3) years doing nothing productive.”- mhass24
- “I’d probably take a year off now that I think about it. Travel a bit, work a bit, spend some time with friends, etc etc. Going straight from undergrad to medical school is kind of the traditional path, but just taking a year off and decompressing would have been great.”- br0mer
“Currently an M4 at a US MD school. Entered med school straight from college.
- BS/MD program? Nah probably not. I already entered straight from college.
- four years of college then med school? Yeah I’d probably do that again. Except maybe with a gap year or two after college to pursue some debt-free fun in my early 20s.
- go overseas after high school and get a medical degree? No this seems like a horrible idea. Too hard to come back to the states.
- get a medical degree from Australia or elsewhere and relocate there? No, Australia is notorious for not giving residency spots to non-Australians. I want to live in the US so going somewhere else would be a dumb idea for me.
- Caribbean programs? No way in hell. I’m a US med school guy or bust.
- chosen some other profession? Could have worked debt-free at a microbiology/biotech company. Hmm. That may have been nice.” – tygecycline