Law school vs Medical school? Help me

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nelmezzodicammin
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Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby nelmezzodicammin » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:04 pm

The law school vs medical school question has come up a million times on this site but I wanted to know if anyone had some valuable advice for me.

I graduated from a good school in 2009 with a 3.85 philosophy degree and a bunch of volunteering, leadership, and tutoring experience. I finished an MA in Italian literature from another top school in 2011. During grad school I taught Italian classes, served as a preceptor of the Italian TAs, and presented papers at a few conferences. For the past 1.5 years I have been completing the basic science classes needed for medical school (chem, bio, physics, organic chem) but I have been getting a mix of A's and B's. I have one more semester of coursework before I finish my medical school prerequisites.

I am very torn about which path I should pursue. I believe that I am much better at writing, thinking critically, and forming logical arguments than I am at memorizing reactions in organic chemistry or solving tricky physics problems. I also am fairly certain that I would perform much better on the LSAT than the MCAT. I have taken a few practice LSATs with little prep and scored ~ 165.

I want a career that is intellectually challenging, prestigious, and will offer me the opportunity to help people and serve my community.
I am not terribly concerned about making $$$. I find both medicine and law very interesting. I am particularly interested in health law and environmental law. I would also like to live and practice on the west coast.

I feel that I am better suited to law but I have read many terrible things about the profession (ie there are a surplus of lawyers, most lawyers hate their jobs, people that go into law to help people end up selling out and working for big firms so that they can pay off debt, etc...)
On the other side of the coin, there are is a shortage of doctors in almost every specialty and even the lowest rank medical student will become a doctor and find a job.

I also believe that I should able to get into a top 20 law school. With my 3.5 science GPA I will only be able to get into mediocre medical schools. Does anyone have any insight? Are my fears about the legal professions reasonable? What types of people are happy practicing law? Why do so many people say that lawyers are miserable?
Last edited by nelmezzodicammin on Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dingbat
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby dingbat » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:09 pm

nelmezzodicammin wrote:I graduated from a top 20 school in 2009 with a 3.85 philosophy degree
nelmezzodicammin wrote:With my 3.5 science GPA I will only be able to get into mediocre medical schools.

Have you considered working in the congressional budget office?

nelmezzodicammin
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby nelmezzodicammin » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:52 pm

Undergrad gpa = 3.85
grad gpa = 3.8
post bacc (chem/bio/physics) = 3.5
Overall = 3.7 ish (my recent science classes have had a relatively small impact on overall gpa because I haven't taken very many science credits)
Medical schools consider both science GPA and overall GPA. Law schools don't discriminate between science vs non-science class.

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typ3
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby typ3 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:59 pm

I assume you are risk averse and don't really know what to do. In this case, you should go to Medical School over Law School. Law School is a big gamble and you can't make it big in law unless you are a risk taker. (Rainmaker, Plaintiff Trial Lawyer, Etc.) If you are looking for an employee guaranteed employment job, go to medical school.

nelmezzodicammin
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby nelmezzodicammin » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:25 pm

Financial risk isn't my biggest concern. I am married and will have the means to pay for school. I would, however, like to have a meaningful career.

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dingbat
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby dingbat » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:29 pm

nelmezzodicammin wrote:I would, however, like to have a meaningful career.

Not lawyer

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North
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby North » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:17 am

Go to med school. I would go to med school if I could go to med school and I'm going to law school.

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SilverE2
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby SilverE2 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:26 am

North wrote:Go to med school. I would go to med school if I could go to med school and I'm going to law school.


Me too. Please go to med school.

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alwayssunnyinfl
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby alwayssunnyinfl » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:29 am

Nah, man. Go to B school.

avghopeful
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby avghopeful » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:32 am

If you really can't decide - maybe neither one is really a good fit for you.

I'd also like to point out that doctors are losing their prestige and careers in the medical field are only going to become worse through national healthcare. If you know any docs, I'd suggest you ask them how they envision their practices changing over the next few years. Both of my parents are doctors and I can tell you its not looking too good.

edit: There are also no true shortages of doctors in the most respected specialties. There are typically only one to two spots per graduating class (of the top schools) reserved for residencies in the most sought after fields.

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North
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby North » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:36 am

avghopeful wrote:I'd also like to point out that doctors are losing their prestige and careers in the medical field are only going to become worse through national healthcare.

Not this again.

avghopeful
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby avghopeful » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:51 am

North wrote:
avghopeful wrote:I'd also like to point out that doctors are losing their prestige and careers in the medical field are only going to become worse through national healthcare.

Not this again.


How can you possibly disagree with that...? While doctors may be well-respected to some extent (more so in certain areas, certain fields), it is also probably true that the majority of the nation believes they are greedy and overcharge for their services. For paying $350k+ tuition, plus taking meager pay in residency, AND having to pay for malpractice insurance and working long hours though they really get the short end of the stick.

edit: OP specifically mentioned he wanted a prestigious field. I felt my response was appropriate in that regard.

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20130312
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby 20130312 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:54 am

Poster above me is an idiot. Go to med school if you want to be a doctor and law school if you want to be a lawyer. Not sure? Try working in either field for a couple years and figure it out.

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sinfiery
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby sinfiery » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:36 am

nelmezzodicammin wrote:Financial risk isn't my biggest concern. I am married and will have the means to pay for school. I would, however, like to have a meaningful career.

:lol: :lol: :lol:


Well, now that you mentioned what you are looking for, we can definitely tell you what to do. Give me a minute.

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:23 am

You are forgetting...med school prestige is not like law school prestige. Going to a med school ranked 20-50 doesn't matter..you are still a doctor.

Your grades are fine. You've spent 2 years of your life to pursue a goal and with one semester left you are almost there. Make sure you volunteer in a health setting and score over a 32 (shoot for 34+) on the MCAT and you will be accepted to a host of schools if you don't have geographic preference.

Who cares if you don't get in to Stanford,Harvard, or John Hopkins...you can go to Alabama, Florida, or WUSTL and still be a successful doctor.

roids
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby roids » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:01 am

I agree with poster above but lolol at settling for WUSTL

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Lwoods
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby Lwoods » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:04 am

avghopeful wrote:If you really can't decide - maybe neither one is really a good fit for you.

Yeah...the only thing medicine and law have in common are that they're professional degrees.

Philosophy -> Italian Literature -> Science Post Bac...

I understand what it's like to find many different subjects interesting, but when thinking about a professional degree, it's important to shift your focus from what you want to study to what you'd like to do.

If you don't want to be a lawyer, you may still love law school, but unless you get top grades from a top school and go into acedamia, you will probably hate the practice of law. If you don't actually want to be a doctor, PGY1 (if not MS3) will be extremely brutal.

Prestige differs based on location. In NY, doctors and lawyers are bourgeois. They're acceptable careers, but they're still both service careers. In small towns, though, doctors and lawyers are about as prestigious as it gets.

Did you like teaching Italian literature? Why aren't you still pursuing that at the PhD->academia level? You wouldn't be helping society much, I suppose, but you don't have to do that I'm your career to do that in life.

I'd recommend working and not going to school for a bit in order to gain better perspective on what you'd actually like to do. Good luck!

bdm261
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby bdm261 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:15 am

I've been thinking about this too, wondering if I should've just considered medical school. 99.9% chance I'm still going to law school though.

Is it true if you're a liberal arts major you can go to med school in the Caribbean instead of going back to undergad and doing post-bacc science courses? Or are the med schools in Antigua or Grenada considered the Cooleys (or the unaccredited Cali law schools) of the med school world?

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dingbat
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby dingbat » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:16 am

bdm261 wrote:are the med schools in Antigua or Grenada considered the Cooleys (or the unaccredited Cali law schools) of the med school world?

How is this a question and not a statement?

bdm261
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby bdm261 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:21 am

dingbat wrote:
bdm261 wrote:are the med schools in Antigua or Grenada considered the Cooleys (or the unaccredited Cali law schools) of the med school world?

How is this a question and not a statement?


I dunno, I've done limited online research on this and I was under the impression that unlike law school, med school prestige doesn't matter.

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North
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby North » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:30 am

bdm261 wrote:
dingbat wrote:
bdm261 wrote:are the med schools in Antigua or Grenada considered the Cooleys (or the unaccredited Cali law schools) of the med school world?

How is this a question and not a statement?


I dunno, I've done limited online research on this and I was under the impression that unlike law school, med school prestige doesn't matter.

It matters in that case. Even lays know that the Caribbean Med Schools are jokes. Osteopathic Med Schools are jokes too, IMO, but most people don't know the difference.

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dingbat
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby dingbat » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:35 am

bdm261 wrote:
dingbat wrote:
bdm261 wrote:are the med schools in Antigua or Grenada considered the Cooleys (or the unaccredited Cali law schools) of the med school world?

How is this a question and not a statement?


I dunno, I've done limited online research on this and I was under the impression that unlike law school, med school prestige doesn't matter.

you don't want your alma mater motto to be "pay a fee; get a degree"

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Lwoods
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby Lwoods » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:49 am

North wrote:
bdm261 wrote:
dingbat wrote:
bdm261 wrote:are the med schools in Antigua or Grenada considered the Cooleys (or the unaccredited Cali law schools) of the med school world?

How is this a question and not a statement?


I dunno, I've done limited online research on this and I was under the impression that unlike law school, med school prestige doesn't matter.

It matters in that case. Even lays know that the Caribbean Med Schools are jokes. Osteopathic Med Schools are jokes too, IMO, but most people don't know the difference.


I wouldn't say DO programs are jokes; I'd say they're more on-par with non-top-40 US MD programs. Also, for more general specialties, like internal medicine and pediatrics, I think the DO approach is preferable.

They probably get a bad rep because they're lumped in with foreign medical grads and repeat applicants, etc. in match data (see link below), but it's important to remember they have their own match, too, separate from this data.

I think this emphasizes the difference between MD programs and foreign ones, though: --LinkRemoved-- (note: it's 268 pages)

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20130312
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby 20130312 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:50 am

Get off TLS and enjoy the student doctor network.

mr.hands
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Re: Law school vs Medical school? Help me

Postby mr.hands » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:35 pm

You'd be an idiot to go to law school




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