These days, I find myself spending more time on the premed site for nontrads Oldpremeds, more than I have in quite a long time. And the reason is that I find myself becoming more and more motivated to actually follow through again on plans for a career I've been interested in since I was 5 years old.
In recent years though, it seemed like med school admissions was getting tougher and tougher EVERY year so I spent the years between 2001 and 2010 wondering if I could get in again. But between the fact the Americans have health issues that are far worse now than for the previous generation thanks to the epidemic in obesity along with the ~33% increase in the number of med schools, I feel pretty confident in saying that I can earn a spot again somewhere. The question is how much is it going to cost and am I willing to pay for it?
The idea of being 500K in debt probably isn't appealing to many people but in the real scope of things, how adversely is a person's bottom line affected by that kind of investment in a well-paying career? You see I don't buy the argument that 500K debt is financially stifling because most of the doctors I know live in houses which cost FAR more than that! In other words, I don't hear many people question the idea of a Doc living in an enormous home but borrowing that kind of debt to have a career which could support that kinda mortgage seems to be a BIG no-no.
The way I see it, I have a couple things on my side. First, I've already done the fancy home/fancy car thing, so I won't feel the need to go out and buy "stuff" to make me "feel" and "look" like more of a Doctor. I think that by the time you reach my age, 44, you quickly realize that stuff is just stuff!! It doesn't define you or make you better than anyone else, and that if you don't already "have it going on", the stuff isn't gonna change that! Second, because of #1, living modestly through med school and residency won't be such a big deal. I'm not talking about having to eat ramen noodles though (yuck!), but I have no problems not shopping for stuff I don't need anyway on a far less regular basis.
Of course, all of this is a change from what I was thinking just a few weeks ago when I thought that if I couldn't get med school paid for, I would pass on the idea. I'm still going to shoot for programs which offer tuition and living expenses (except the military), but I'm not going to say flat out that borrowing a ton of money is out of the question either.
One thing you learn real fast when you're at the age where other people are at the peak of their careers as Doctor's, Lawyers, ect, ect. is that so many people waste money on frivolous things. So I often find myself asking people "how much is enough"? For example, does anyone really need to "upgrade" from an E350 to an S550, when the E350 is paid for? Is it really necessary to "upgrade from 2500 square feet to 5000 sq feet when 2500 is more than enough AND your nest will be empty? I figure as long as I ignore the "Jonse's" and focus on the prize my MD/PhD, I'll be just fine!