Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Feeling Testy

tes-ty (adj)
1. easily annoyed, irritable
2. marked by impatience or ill humor

Nope, i'm not feeling THAT kind of testy!  I'm feeling how one does during their next step up the academic ladder...preparing for a big admissions test!  I registered to take the GRE in a little less than 2 weeks.  Time to put on my studyin' pants!

Earlier this summer I had to think and pray long and hard about my future.  After one semester of my graduate program (designed to imitate a medical school course load), I realized that perhaps I was not cut out for another 4 years of endless studying, a few more years of tiring residency, and a lifetime to pay off debt.  I have no doubt that I would make a decent (even GOOD) doctor, but for me, having that title isn't worth the strenuous journey anymore.  I'm tired of feeling like school is just a competition to get to the next leg of the race...I think a lot of doctors really love the journey and working their butts off, but I honestly believe there are a handful of them that regret their career choice.  If I continue with more schooling or just go into the work force, I want it to be ENJOYABLE.  The idea of med school is no longer an enjoyable one for me.

So here I am, finally admitting to myself (and the blogosphere) that I am not going to apply to medical school.  I've changed my graduate program from biomedical sciences to just biological sciences.  I will have a more flexible course load and hopefully I will get to do some research with a professor this school year. There are so many options for me, and with our desire to start a family in the future (and have family be a priority), I want to have a career that is less stressful/more flexible for my lifestyle choice.  And I'm happy with my decision.

I will be applying for PA school (physician assistant) which is less schooling (loans, hours, etc.) and I would still be able to work in a clinic as a mid-level practitioner with the same joy of helping people first-hand, but with less stress.  Another option is to get a laboratory research job (in microbiology, cancer biology, or endocrinology) and aim for getting a PhD (...so I guess I'd still be a doctor...just not the kind I always thought I'd be!).
Gundy Bear, PhD, at your service!

So here goes nothin'! I'm about to take a diagnostic/practice test for the GRE to see what areas I need to focus on.  My guess is most of my studying will be on the quantitative section.  While my biology background will be useful in data interpretation problems, my algebra/geometry skillz are lacking (haven't taken a math course since junior year of high school...yikes!).  The verbal section shouldn't be as bad, I'm a solid reader and a crossword puzzle aficionado...so I'm familiar with sesquipedalian verbosities :)

Wish me luck!

10 comments:

  1. good luck to you! i can't even remember a thing that was on there so i dont have any advice ;)

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  2. My advice is to find online study tools. I used paper-based books from the library - and they don't adjust based on your answer the way the actual GRE does.

    GOOD ON YA Mariel, for daring to think outside the box you'd set for yourself. It will be neat to see where this road takes you!

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  3. Congratulations on making a difficult decision! (MU has a great PA program - hint, hint) I'm sure you'll do well on the GRE, but I'll pray regardless.

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  4. I like how you think. A tough decision, but you already know that no matter what you do God is going to be right there making it awesome!

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  5. You are so right, Roxey, God has an awesome plan for all of us! Thanks!

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  6. way to go Mariel! making big decisions can be scary but from what you wrote I think you made a good one (not that you wouldn't have been a great doctor;) God has exciting things in store for you guys! :) and he knows right where that road is heading!

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  7. if you want patient care without all the old-boys'-club BS, the PA route is a good choice. many of the best PCPs i've met/worked with have been PAs.

    the med school thing is kind of miserable, but at the same time incredibly soul-satisfying -- at least, as a DO.

    these are HARD decisions! i know, i've been there. but kudos to you for listening and striving to follow the plan the lord has for you!

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  8. way to go Mariel! making big decisions can be scary but from what you wrote I think you made a good one (not that you wouldn't have been a great doctor;) God has exciting things in store for you guys! :) and he knows right where that road is heading!

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  9. Congratulations on making a difficult decision! (MU has a great PA program - hint, hint) I'm sure you'll do well on the GRE, but I'll pray regardless.

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  10. good luck to you! i can't even remember a thing that was on there so i dont have any advice ;)

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