I Failed Med School/Am A Depressed Med Student
Wed, Oct. 6th, 2004, 01:41 pm
icequeenaranxta: What this community is, why it exists, and rules for posting
I began my journey as a medical student in fall 2000, when I began medical school. Two years, an irritated administration, lots of psychological therapy, two antidepressants, and one failed class later, I left. Thanks both to the acrimonious situation that caused me to leave and the state of my academic record, I will probably never again be eligible for admittance into another medical school.
It's been tough trying to free myself from a medically-oriented mindset I've had my entire life, as well as tough to find a new profession to pursue; while I have support irl that's enabled me to find a new profession, I've been mainly unsuccessful in finding anyone who understands just how devastating losing medical school has been for me. I decided to found this community after recently browsing through LiveJournal's communities and finding that there are communities for pre-med students, medical students, and physicians, but none for those of us who pursued our dream and failed in some way or other. I'm assuming that I'm probably not the only one who needs a sympathetic ear from someone who's been in the same situation, and I also want to help build a support system for those of us who are still grieving the loss of physicianhood, whether it was because we were poor academics, or failed the USMLE Step 2 one time too many, or who, for whatever reasons, could not finish medical school and gain licensure.
I also went into a deep depression my first year of medical school; it was so bad that one October afternoon, I almost literally jumped out of a third-floor window. Only the knowledge that a very close friend of mine was expecting a telephone call from me kept me from becoming a messy mass on the pavement below. I know that many other medical students, as well as residents and physicians, also become depressed; physicians have one of the highest suicide rates among professionals in the U.S. I also want this community to serve as a support group for those students and residents who might not know where to turn for help or who need the understanding and support of others who are (or were) depressed.
1) IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING COMMITTING SUICIDE, IMMEDIATELY CONTACT YOUR COLLEGE'S COUNSELING SERVICES. IF NO ONE ANSWERS, CALL THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES FOR HELP. IF YOU HAVE CARRIED OUT A SUICIDAL ACTION AND ARE STILL ALIVE, CALL LOCAL AUTHORITIES IMMEDIATELY FOR HELP.
2) Don't make suicide threats on the forum -- while we are here for emotional support, we can't easily get you the help you need. Also, I know many suicide threats are manipulative and not intentional, and anyone making manipulative threats WILL be reported to LiveJournal for misuse of the community.
3) Even though I have allowed for posting by non-members, I strongly suggest that if you are a member of the target audiences for this community, that you join it; in the future I'm contemplating doing some special things for members.
4) New members must be approved my me. Please include some information about yourself on the forum or in an email so I can evaluate your candidacy more easily; the minimum I need to know is what med school you attend, what year you are, and your LiveJournal handle. Information about what country your school is in is appreciated, but not necessary.
5) I'm in two MA programs right now, and am about to begin an internship, so if it takes me more than three days to approve your membership, please contact me at Aranxta1@yahoo.com and let me know I haven't considered you yet (put "Accepted or Rejected?" in the subject line of the email.)
6) Anonymous posts are NOT allowed. So don't try.
7) I have enabled logging of IP addresses solely to be able to report abusers.
8) Spammers will be reported and blocked. So will anyone posting messages that promote their non-related communities.
9) No porn or obscene material. Those posting such materials will be reported for abuse of posting privileges and banned from this community.
10) DON'T flame, start arguments, or insult others. That's not what this community is for.
11) If I begin to have problems with abuses of the forum, I WILL make it members-only and require all posts be approved by myself before posting, kick out/ban abusers, report abusers to LiveJournal, and generally make this community as protected and isolated as I can. I want those who use this forum to feel safe and give them support through hard times, and problems prevent those goals from being achieved and prevent people from being helped.
12) Posts on unrelated topics are allowed, and welcomed, since people can get to know each other better and become friends through discussing different topics. Just make sure the posts don't overwhelm the objectives of this community. Posts promoting non-medicine related communites are prohibited, however.
13) Yes, number 12 means you can whine about how hard grading is in you pharmacology class, or eulogize your failing the USMLE, or reflect on how depressed (or happy) you've been since quitting med school, or respond to a first-year student's query as to whether Lexapro is more effective than Prozac, or offer your support to those who are going through hard times, or talk about how R.E.M.'s new album both is very musically sparse and reflects your current mood, or ask if anyone's intersted in kayaking, or relate your experience overcoming depression. That sort of posting I don't mind. I just don't want there to be arguments, insults, attempts at manipulating others, spamming, promoting of unrelated communities, or obscene material.
14) Please have fun/use us for support... and know that you're not alone.
Sat, Oct. 23rd, 2004 12:40 am (UTC)
i share your sentiment. getting into medical school is a great big deal and failing it is another-suicidal. but i totally support your decision to withdraw yourself and find help. being a good physician we have to be good to ourselves first. if we can't then we likely will treat our patients the way we treat ourselves.
i'm glad to hear you're on the road to recovery. don't lose hope-your experience and knowing that you overcame such an ordeal will make you again a good medical school candidate.
will it be okay if i add you to my friends list?
Sat, Oct. 23rd, 2004 12:42 am (UTC)
sorry-i added you anyway.
Tue, Oct. 26th, 2004 07:51 pm (UTC)
xriddlemethisx: Can I join anyway?
I don't quite fit the requirements for this group, seeing as how I was never even accepted into med school, but I thought I'd try and join anyway. I've wanted to be a doctor ever since the age of 6, when I was with my grandfather when he died of a heart attack. Unfortunately, due to learing dissabilities in the area of math, this long time dream will never happen. Believe it or not, it took me this long to let it go and come to terms with the fact that it will never happen. I've decided, though, that I won't let the fact that I can't obtain an MD prevent me from learning. I study on my own.
In addition to that, I'm a paralegal.
Mon, Nov. 1st, 2004 08:42 pm (UTC)
icequeenaranxta: Re: Can I join anyway?
In that case... I'll reverse my decision and let you join; I'll send you an invite within the next week... thank you for explaining why you want to join, I think you'll be helpful to those who haven't come to terms with not being a doctor :)
Mon, Nov. 29th, 2004 10:34 pm (UTC)
I just clicked the button to join but then read the bit where you wish to know a bit about me.
Well I have just finished 3rd year of a 5 year course at Monash University in Australia. I am awaiting my results but something tells me I have failed miserably. I don't know if I will continue with medicine if I fail this year. The whole situation is a bit messy, I had to let my faculty know about my problems during 2nd year and I think they are getting a bit sick of it now.
Anyway I would like to join, I know I haven't failed med school yet, but I'm bloody close
Fri, Dec. 3rd, 2004 04:05 pm (UTC)
icequeenaranxta: I hope things work you well for you
Well, besides the fact that you've been approved for this forum... wow. Your situation sounds a bit like what happened to me during my first year. I really, really hope you did pass and that you can continue with your medical career, bojjie. And remember, we're here for you whtever happens.
Sat, Jan. 22nd, 2005 11:20 am (UTC)
bojjie: Re: I hope things work you well for you
Well, believe it or not - I passed - just!
I start 4th year in 2 weeks, I just hope I can do better this year...though I'm really scared I will fall to pieces again.
I guess only time will tell.
Mon, Jan. 24th, 2005 02:37 pm (UTC)
icequeenaranxta: Re: I hope things work you well for you
Wow, 4th year! Congratulations! ::cheers and claps::
My advice to you is to please not let your fear of failure hamper you this year. Do the best you can, and if you find you need help, regardless of whether it's from a tutor or a psychologist, get it. The most important thing is not just that you get your MD, but that you also survive the experience. I have complete faith that you'll do well this year... and if not, we're here for you.
Fri, Dec. 3rd, 2004 04:56 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you made this community.. it's good to provide support :)
I'm not even close to even applying for medical school yet, but maybe in 4 years, you'll see me around. I hope not, but maybe.
In the meantime.. -hugs- to everyone here. Even if I don't know you. Hugs are nice :P
Sat, Dec. 11th, 2004 10:06 am (UTC)
icequeenaranxta: Thank you
Thank you for your praise of this community... makes me feel like I'm providing some sort of real, lasting service :) Hopefully we won't be seeing you in four years, but just in case, you're always welcome to apply. And good luck with your premed work, I remember how frustrating it can be, if you need to vent we're here for you.
Fri, Dec. 3rd, 2004 09:35 pm (UTC)
i just wanted to let you know that i think this is an awesome community...i am a sophomore in a premed program and im already seeing how hard things are...im not failing and i already hate it some days so i can only imagine...yall are awesome for being willing to share with the world everything that you went through...in fact it may be more helpful also to those of us who arent failing yet so that we might be able to cut some of the depression off before it gets too bad
Sat, Dec. 11th, 2004 10:10 am (UTC)
icequeenaranxta: I remember my premed days
I had a rather tough premed program, as my advisor hated me and also believed that students shouldn't take courses that directly apply to med school (such as undergraduate gross anatomy), because if you do that, what will they teach you in med school? ::eye roll:: Anyhow, we're here for you if you need to vent about how horrible premed is and if you need support... and thank you for your kind words, it makes all of this worthwhile. :)
Sat, Dec. 4th, 2004 10:39 am (UTC)
I'm a med student. Thank you for making this community. It is true that physicians have the highest suicide rate. They are also known to be among those in the highest divorce and substance abuse rate as well.
Sat, Dec. 11th, 2004 10:12 am (UTC)
icequeenaranxta: You're welcome
Wow, another laudatory post... any more praise and my head might burst :) Anyhow, thank you for your words, and if you need us, we're here for you (I've gone ahead and invited you to join, but if you don't want to join that's ok).
Sun, Nov. 13th, 2005 11:10 pm (UTC)
girlofdestiny: Hey there,
I'm a first year at a med school in Chicago. Things are stressful (I'm not sure if this is what I really want, etc) and I would really appreciate being in a community of people who prove that there is life beyond med school and have been in my situation.
Tue, Sep. 2nd, 2008 05:42 am (UTC)
hwarang4: I've fallen.
Don't know where to begin. I went to the medical school at the bottom of the barrel. I couldn't get a secondary from a US school so I applied for a school outside the US. I went overseas to an international medical school and attended my first semester. Was depressed and couldn't hang with the curriculum. What depressed me even more is that I did my best and I couldn't even get past the first semester. I've spent precious time, money, etc... and for what? I was so gung ho about becoming a physician and now I'm jobless and in debt with no real trade skill that I can use to go into another profession. Before you bash me I know I'm just bitching and whining right now. I'm just getting this off my chest. I know I need to get back on my feet but right now... it feels dark.
Mon, Dec. 1st, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
dutchess8: My Horror Story
I haven't failed out...yet. I am afraid that I am on the verge though. I guess I should start at the beginning. I was wait listed to begin with and I always felt that I was accepted because I agreed to participate in a program that they needed volunteers for. I have always been at the bottom of my class. I have been just barely squeaking by. I failed one class, but I was able to retake it over the summer. Then boards came. I suffered a HUGE personal tragedy a week before my test. I really don't want to go into the details here, but it was the worst thing that could have happened to me at that time. Needless to say, I failed my boards. I had to sit out this semester of my third year to study and retake the test. Well, I took the test a few weeks ago and I should get my score back this week. I can't describe the level of anxiety that I feel right now, but some of the posts above really spoke to me. You guys are the only ones in the world who can know what I am feeling. I have suffered anxiety and depression. I have had suicidal thoughts and I have gotten help. Please pray for me and my score.
Sat, Sep. 5th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
You guys are scaring me. I'm going to start medical school this year.
But I hope it goes well for you all.
Sat, Apr. 17th, 2010 11:52 pm (UTC)
hi, i never blogged, or did forums before so this is new to me, and would like to join this group.
I am a 1st year right now. I had a rough start to med school, then in nov i had a football accident that crushed my frontal sinus and i had a severe concussion and head surgery to repair. I have been on/ off depression / failing courses ever since. Im pretty sure i will fail the year. Before i was an academic all star and fear that my head injury may have permanently done me over. i am not on meds yet (trying not to), but dont really know where to turn, hopefully i can join this site and you guys can help me. Its hard for me to admit that i need help, which i do.
thanks for listening.
Thu, Jun. 24th, 2010 02:30 pm (UTC)
med2retail: Share Solutions
What I would really like to know (and share with you all) is where we go from here? First, a little bit about me. I was beginning my third year of Podiatric Medicine last summer. I was doing well in every course until I failed Pharmacology. Then I failed it again. My failure was in part due to stress over my husband's life-threatening health issues. But I can't help but wonder if I could have passed Pharmacology at another school. With an F on my transcript I will never find out. Now I am plagued with the following dilemmas:
1) like some of you, I morn for the years of self-sacrifice and the passion for medicine I have developed that I may never use or be given any credit for in consideration of employment.
2) a monstrous student loan debt lurks, threatening to bleed me of wages I might enjoy in the future.
3) I am finding slim to zero opportunities for a B.S.Biology with no experience.
Those are just for starters. What I will share with you now is what possible solutions I have been looking at:
1)FAFSA says that if I consolidate all my federal loans into a direct student loan I can get on an income-based reduced payment plan. Then if I can get a job in education, healthcare or government and make regular monthly payments on my direct student loan for 120 months (10 years) the remainder of my loan will be forgiven.
2) I have found that some hospitals will pay for you to get your RN if you contract to work for them for three years or so after graduation. That could lead to a very lucrative career path, and (see 1) federal student loan forgiveness after 10 years of payments.
3) Some states have alternative teaching certification for people with a Bachelor degree not in education. I am looking at a program in which I can teach for a year under probation, attend a few evening seminars, then become certified if I do well enough in my first year of teaching (the cost of the program comes out of the teaching salary and is very reasonable.) Then if I teach and pay my federal student loans for 10 years the loans will be forgiven.
Like I said, this is just for starters. Something else I have thought of is science writing or technical writing as a career. What do you think? I would love to hear from any of you what solutions you are looking at or what solutions you have found.
Tue, Jul. 20th, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
calijason: Possible Solutions
I was in my second year of medical school and a week before our first test I find out that my father has cancer and I got this girl pregnant. Talk about life and death situations. So that led to me losing focus and failing out. I to have had suicidal thoughts but I think that suicide is a selfish act and I would never want to put people that love me, regardless of my career choice, to have to deal with that kind of stress. But it does hurt to lose your dream and have to tell all these people that expected you to become a doctor that the plans have changed.
My MCAT scores are 4 years old so I wonder if I retook the MCAT and applied to med schools in the caribbean would I even still get in, or should I go to Physician Assistant school where I would always prolly feel like I should be the one giving the orders, or go to Podiatry, Optometry, or get my PhD???
I mean we are obviously smart human beings, we got into medical school which is more than most people ever accomplish. I would like to get over this depression and start moving towards a solution so I would like to know some of the options that people have decided to go since there unfortunate turn of circumstances???
MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO ALL OF YOU TO FIND THE BEST POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR LIVES
"Unless you're willing to have a go, fail miserably, and have another go, success won't happen." -Phillip Adams
Sat, Oct. 23rd, 2010 12:23 pm (UTC)
found out 24 hours ago that i failed med school. being that this the only thing i have been working towards since i was 7, i have no other options. I have no experience is anything to apply to anywhere except mcdonalds, even that may be pushing it...with undergrad and current loans my debt is upto 100,000...I have no way to pay that back...i can't apply to anything else, i have no one left to ask for letters of recommendation, i have no idea what i would write in another personal statement. i have no hope and no idea as what to do right now....
Sun, Jan. 16th, 2011 02:20 am (UTC)
juanitosan: How do i join?
I am new to Live journal. In fact, I don't know anything about it. I just googled "fail medical school" and this was one of the links. I am a first year medical student who failed gross anatomy. :(
Sun, Apr. 3rd, 2011 04:24 am (UTC)
I am six months short of graduation and have just been failed. The fight and the appeal process against the decision to cancel my enrolment have been long and hard. Words cannot describe how I am feeling right now.
Fri, Nov. 18th, 2011 04:29 am (UTC)
budo101: Re: stunned
Sorry to hear that they failed you. Try going through the internal appeals process, the OIA (bit of a 'toothless' organisation really, but may give you some ok advice) or if you have a legitimate case, contact a solicitor. The CAB, pro bono bar unit and lawworks may be able to help you, if you are impecunious. Hope everything works out for you.
Wed, Jun. 1st, 2011 06:03 pm (UTC)
hi. My name´s Kate, I come from Slovakia but study med school in Prague on 3rd faculty of medicine. I´d like to share my story with you as well.
I´ve always wanted to be a doctor. My family is full of doctors, I ´´lived´´ with medicine since I was a child. In 2008 I was accepted at 3 med schools and I chose this one, although I wasn´t really sure about it. I came here, knowing nobody, no friends, no family, no soulmate, I was totally on my own feeling very lonely and insecure. Every aspect of my life was in ruins- I felt deeply in love (for the first time ever ) with smo., who didn´t share the same feelings as I, my grandpa was dying, my grandma weighted 48kilos because of it, my mom had some problems at work and my dad started to drink and it was a disaster. My aunt (his sister) and my 2nd grandma (his mother) wanted me to take care of him! but I couldn´t, not again, not this time. I DID NEED A HELP, smo. I can lean on, smo. I can tell how I was feeling.. Well, I started off school horribly. I was repeating several times almost everything, I felt like an idiot. I studied hard with no results. I crawled somehow to the next (2nd) year but without 2 important exams. I thought I´d pass them, I really believed I was able to do that, and that the year´s gonna rock! The month (well, 3 weeks before) I should´ve retake them, my mom got angry at me, because I didn´t choose Surgery Clinic for my work experience, but a Coronary Unit instead. She started to insult me, saying very bad things so I hung up on her,. She called several times and texted me: If you dont pick up I´ll go to bank and abolish you credit card. I didn´t pick up. She went there, did that although the account and the card were on my name with MY money on it. I was left with 500 crowns in my wallet. I said to my father, who sent me 10 messages saying it´s all my fault and I should watch my behavior. Mom didn´t talk to me for the whole month. I failed biophysics twice, and the other exam once, so I could not take the 2nd year exam. My father started to drink again and I´m not gonna describe what I was going through, it was pure hell with him. Everybody told me, it was my fault he was drinking, my mom told me I was her biggest mistake ever, that she´s so ashamed of me, she didn´t even go for lunch at work, that I´m so retarded I couldn´t even pass exams for the 1st grade of Elementary School, that I´m just a whore with no exams and no success, and that she knows I´d never do it, that I´m just a disappointment and that I can wash the toilets at some supermarket. She called me 10 times a day asking me if I´m studying for my retakes, she called me mostly at midnight talking to me till 2 am. I know I was stupid even picking up, even staying at home. But my brain was totally switched off, I couldn´t thik rationally. My dad told me I´m irresponsible towards patients, and that I can´t disappoint them again, and that I ruined my life. In september I should´ve has biophysics retake, but I got so stressed and sick I vomitted several times,couldn´t move, so I didn´t go there.. She didn´t believe me and she doesn´t till now. I´m treated like big nobody from her and my family as well.. I interrupted my studies and now I´m back in my 2nd year, but still with those unpassed exams:/ if I fail biophysics I´m out. If I don´t fail it, but fail others, I´m out as well. I don´t sleep, don´t eat, I´m frightened and scared and extremely depressed, that everybody´s so successful but me. I´m not living my life.. I´m surviving.. Sorry for such an ´´essay´´, I just wanted to share my story with all of you, who have the same problem..
Fri, Nov. 18th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC)
budo101: Re: hmm
Hi Kate, I'm very sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time with your med course, your family, in particular the detrimental attitude of your mother. I think any mother whom calls their daughter a whore, needs some serious psychiatric help themselves. Please don't be dispondent. You are obviously a bright woman, so take heart and if you can focus, (despite the negativity that obviously surrounds you), I'm sure you can succeed. If you are having problems coping, I would possibly arrange a meeting with the dean of the med school for another 'interruption of studies' if possible, due to extenuating family circumstances. Maybe this will give you the time to prepare for your course and just give you some thinking time, away from the stresses of the degree. From my experience, there were periods that I was also depressed whilst doing the degree. Not clinical depression, but just a general dread of the constant bombardment of workload and the non-existence of a life outside of medicine i.e. clinical placements, late night studying, lack of socialising due to workload,etc. I can honestly say that I am much happier now that I have left medicine. There is now time to focus on other passions, such as creative things i.e. composing, reading,painting/sketching etc. I currently teach sciences as a private tutor and am restoring Steinway, Bluthner, Bechstein, etc pianos. Although I would definitely like to go back to complete my training, to obtain the MBBCh qualification, I'm not sure if my future is with medicine anymore. Hope your future is bright, either way. Remember, that it is always 'darkest before the dawn'.
Fri, Nov. 18th, 2011 04:48 am (UTC)
I would just say that the initial shock of leaving med school is pretty awful, but there are plenty of constructive things to do in life besides medicine, so don't be too hard on yourselves. Sometimes these events happen for a reason in the longterm. My situation involved leaving Cardiff med school at the end of the 3rd year in 2009. I was on a mid 2i (i.e. 64.5% average) going into my final 2 exams. The med school said that I had attained 48% in my final examination and I was asked to leave. After going through the internal appeal process where i asked for an independent external examiner to re-mark the paper, the mark was confirmed by their 'in-house' markers. Also note that I have a serious bilateral eye disability, which the Uni was supposed to make reasonable adjustments for i.e. minimum size 16 font in all written materials. They provided me with an exam paper of size 8-10 font. Therefore, I brought a case against the Uni for breach of contract, disability discrimination (for not performing the reasonable adjustments) and mis-marking of the exam transcript. The university did not disclose the exam transcript in the subject access request and this document was only released 16 months after starting the claim, coincidentally 2-3 weeks before the intended hearing in court, earlier this year. As a sole litigant fighting a multi-national law firm representing the defendant, I asked for an extension and the forthcoming trial is due at the beginning of 2012. I have since acquired 3 independent external examiners (i.e. A&E doctor, GP & an Imperial College London PhD clinical oncologist researcher) to grade my final exam of the Intermediate MB and each one has passed me. I required 3.7 marks to pass and have been awarded 5, 7.5 & 8 marks extra in that paper, despite the small print. Therefore, not only did the Uni fail to make the reasonable adjustments, but also illegally threw me out of med school, when I had actually passed. I was a mature student when I started med school and am now too old to be considered for the final MB in the UK. Hence, I have lost an entire career in medicine due to the illegal actions of Cardiff med school. Life is sometimes very unfair. In the words of Jean Paul Sartre 'It is not what happens to us in life, but how we respond to what happens to us'. Take hope in your lives and strive to be the best person you can be, despite the knocks that life throws at every one of us. Doing altruistic things can take many forms, not just in the medicine guise, so take heart and I wish you all happy futures.
Tue, Nov. 22nd, 2011 03:27 am (UTC)
I am failing my first year of medical school. I failed my very first exam, then upped my game as much as I could and still failed the next one. I tweaked some more of my studying patterns and felt some progress, but the next exam had twice as much material, and it was hard. I knew coming into it that it would be the most difficult thing I'd ever done, especially coming from a non-science background. But I figured, if they let me in, and if everyone else can do it, then surely if I apply myself then I should be able to do it as well?
So there you have it. I know it's an issue with my exam taking skills, but I couldn't find the time for help. Who was going to help me get through 55 lectures?
It just feels so awful. I will get a second chance to re-do the first year, but am not allowed to return in January, and will have to start next September again. It really feels like i am not fast enough for the program. That is the worst feeling ever, because it feels like nature is simply running its course. My friends and family would tell me that things are hard because they are trying to weed out the weakest ones. Well, that may have made me feel better then, but now it turns out that I am the weed. I am the weakest one. How on earth do you get over this? Does anyone feel ashamed? I feel so ashamed and embarrassed, and sad that people will feel bad for me. Everyone will know that I have left. I also feel very alone. In a class of 200, it's just me. I keep on thinking about all of the people that I will meet in the street who will ask me how medical school is...and what I will have to tell them.
Sun, Jan. 20th, 2013 03:13 pm (UTC)
The 14 rules post was me, the worstmedstudent. Didn't log in before. Because I may be very sleep deprived/distracted by people.