Seeking Feedback - Plastic Surgeon Life/Career (Mech E’s Welcome)

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by VAF84, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. VAF84

    VAF84 Formula Junior
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    I’m posting here, because I’m sure there are at least a handful of surgeons on this board. I’ve been preparing to get an additional degree in Mech E, when my close friend and mentor who is a cancer doctor suggested I go to med school and become a Plastic Surgeon. This isn’t the first time a doctor has recommended this path, I had another doctor friend recommend the same thing (unsolicited) during college when I worked in the ER. I’m in oil and gas now, but since I’m going to have to take roughly three years off work to go the Mech E route, I’m starting to wonder if taking the Plastic Surgeon route would be better. I’m well acquainted with the oil and gas engineering world and its lifestyle, but have less insight into the plastic surgery world and its lifestyle. I would really appreciate some feedback from your experiences if you don’t mind sharing.

    1. Do you feel satisfied with your decision to pursue this careers over the long term, or would you do things differently?
    2. Do you enjoy what you do? Many engineers I’ve met that are well into their career seem to truly enjoy their work, and aren’t in a rush to fully retire.
    3. Do you get a reasonable amount of time with your family? (I do field work 10 hrs days, 6 days a week, I consider that fairly reasonable; but ultimately would like to get most weekends off if workload permits)
    4. Do you have any flexibility regarding time off for vacation. As in would you struggle to take 10-14 days off at a time maybe twice a year.
    5. Do you have opportunities to travel internationally for work or long periods of time. For example, could you take a month off without putting your practice at risk. The international travel is a big draw to me in my current field, but if I can’t do it for work, I’m wondering if I’ll still have the time to do it for pleasure.
    6. Is it reasonable to calculate that one can breach the $350k/yr in Texas cost of living dollars in exchange for more quality of life? My mentor feels I can near or breach 7 figures with the right marketing, appeal to South American clients/patients, having a private practice, but obviously continuing my workaholic lifestyle.
    In all honestly, my trajectory is Engineering right now, I just know it a lot better. However, this will be my last run at school, and I want to give the MD track a fair evaluation as it also seems interesting. I’ve got a wife and little kiddo’s now, and I’m going to have to sell everything and do the college life thing again so this is it.

    Some background: I’ve gone down the business school side, International Business + MBA. In the past I worked 4-5 years in an ER as patient access (during college). I’ve spent the last 11 years in oil and gas. Have done well for myself here, and know a lot about how this industry operates. I roughly know the career ladder, and know that a Mech E degree will take me to the next level (especially when paired with my MBA). This will require leaving my work for 2.5 years to fully dedicate myself to getting the degree, and obviously the MD route will take slightly longer, but at least residency is paid, and over the long run, barring reaching VP+ positions or lucking out with a successful business, it seems like there’s a lot more financial upside potential, as well as certainty, on the plastic surgery side. I have an entrepreneurial streak, and had a great learning opportunity with a small but ultimately unsuccessful business. However, I’ve hit my stride in consulting, and seems to be my sweet spot (which I think aligns fairly well with MD).

    I’m grateful for any feedback you may have.
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  3. C50

    C50 Formula 3

    Aug 19, 2016
    I suggest you begin by asking yourself why you want to be a doctor.
    If you find the answer compelling, then you should try to be a doctor.

    You can find innumerable websites that will describe the process of getting into med school and what residency tracks can be like.
    Plan on 3 years from beginning your pre-med science courses to completing your MCATs and submitting applications for medical school.
    Their main question will be, why do you want to be a doctor?
    Based on your age, you will be considered a 'nontraditional' medical student. This does not make it impossible, just statistically more challenging. Google "nontraditional medical student" and you can read about the particulars.
    If you get in, school will be 4 years. You will not earn money but you will spend it or take out loans. You will likely need to move.
    Then will come residency. You will likely need to move. You will earn less than minimum wage based on the hours. If you pursue a surgical field, you will work many hours. You will not see your family as much as you are accustomed.
    You may decide to do a fellowship. You will likely need to move. The pay may be marginally better but the hours will be more than you thought possible because there are no government agencies putting restrictions on your work load.
    Then you get a job and, if you have loans, begin paying them back.
    The reason you would do this would be based on the answer of why you want to be a doctor.
    Your reasons for this will determine if it sounds like the correct life decision for you.
    A local college or university will likely have a premed advisor and you may be able to schedule some time to get their insight and guidance. I guarantee you they will ask you why you want to be a doctor.
    Good luck

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  4. VAF84

    VAF84 Formula Junior
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    Thanks C50, I appreciate the honest feedback, and the message you’re conveying. It’s very helpful. As you mentioned, the “why I want to be a doctor” is very important, and something I’ll dwell on further.

    In my case, I can strongly defend my desire to do engineering, less so the MD route. I just wanted to try and be objective and evaluate this option due to my concern that the reason I’m compelled to do Engineering is because it plays to what I already know and a world I’m more comfortable in.
  5. blkfxstc

    blkfxstc Formula Junior
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    Nov 30, 2016
    Full Name:

    Below are my answers to your questions, I am a ME and graduated college in 1997 from Texas A&M (I see you are in Austin, if you are a Longhorn, take my answers with a grain of salt I guess.....). I am also in O&G and 44 years old.

    1. Satisfied, but would be bored if I had stayed straight engineering (in management now)
    2. Enjoy it, fits me and my personality (I could never be a doctor of any kind)
    3. Yes, I work as close to 40 hours a week as possible, but always have to answer phones and emails offsite
    4. A week max is about what I can take off, any more is a pain to me and the company. I can do it several times a year however
    5. No international travel, nor would I want to
    6. I do well financially, but not on a plastic surgeon level, which is okay with me. With your MBA, your could be in a better position than me however. I work for the CEO of a private company, but do not have a VP position in title

    Main advise, do what makes you happy. You will do well financially in both if you are good at what you do, so that should not be a point of consideration.
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  6. VAF84

    VAF84 Formula Junior
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    Thanks for the feedback blkfxstc! Long term, my view is to get on the management side by pursuing the ME, although I'd really like to do some 28/28 drilling work for a while. That said, I'm 35 so I feel it may be a little late to go down that road and then bounce back to management; we'll see.

    I've been bouncing back and forth between Austin and Houston, but once I hunker down for school, it will most likely be UofH in Houston. Unfortunately both A&M and UT would require a slightly longer commitment.

    I feel C50 has helped reinforce that I'm looking at MD for all the wrong reasons, and engineering is really what interests me. The whole reason I'm doing the ME is because I want to be my best at what I do. Interestingly enough, most of the ME's I run into tell me they are very satisfied with what they do, and many aren't in a rush to retire. To me that says a lot about the field of study.
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  8. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
    I switched careers and went to US MD med school as a non-traditional med student. I graduated college with a degree in economics and did the bare minimum pre-med classes for med school just in case I wanted to go back as I always thought about what if. Glad I didn't go straight to medical school...actually wish I spent more time in that gap. I've finished training now and clawed my way out of debt 10 years after starting med school. All the moving sucks as my med school, intern year, residency, and now attending job are all in different states. Most people don't stay at their first job forever so I'm debating making one more move closer to home...

    I would not recommend this career if you are not 100% certain of it.
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  9. VAF84

    VAF84 Formula Junior
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    Thanks for sharing BMW.SauberF1Team. I spent the evening over at my mentor’s place, and oddly enough the case for MD school became much stronger under a specific set of circumstances. We spent hours having a comprehensive discussion over the two paths. While earlier today I posted that I may not be into it for the right reasons, the conversation highlighted that my strengths and goals may actually be more naturally oriented towards the MD route potentially leading to a more successful outcome and quality of life. Still more to evaluate, but the feedback I’m receiving here is very helpful. I’m glad to be having this conversation, it’s helping me see beyond the little bubble I’ve been living in during the last 6 years that I’ve been in the field.
  10. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
    Plastics is pretty competitive although the specialties can be cyclical in terms of match statistics depending on how the job market is when med students look at it then and not in terms of the future (i.e radiology historically competitive but during poor job market in 2015 very few med students wanted to go into it).

    Best chance to get into a plastics residency is to attend a US MD school that has a plastics residency program there and work hard alongside those faculty and do research with them during your first 3 years. Going to US MD without a plastics program, Caribbean med school, or DO school will be a lot harder if not impossible to match into plastics. I attended a US MD university that was more community care oriented than high research publication/high grant NIH level university. We had all specialties for residency (level 1 trauma cancer + NCI cancer center + dedicated peds hospital + very large VA hospital) and a classmate of mine did an MD/PhD and did loads of research with plastics and stayed on for training.

    Also, I felt that being a non-traditional med school applicant helped me more than others as I had a real career and stood out more than the typical biology degree undergrads applying. Med schools like diversity in all forms so race, gender, undergrad degree, and even age. At least my program was like of my classmates was about 50 y/o and a lawyer when she switched (she's doing fam medicine now).
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  11. VAF84

    VAF84 Formula Junior
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    Great additional info! My mentor is a radiation oncologist (graduated from John Hopkins), and was the one who suggested plastics based on everything he knows about me and our conversations. I also spent some time reading Iserson’s, as well as other information on the field and it reinforced the idea. He said the same thing about having an advantage by being a non-traditional student. Being older, non-traditional, and knowing from day one that I would go the plastic route; he feels will allow me excel in the program. I would definitely go to school in country.

    It’s crazy how many misconceived notions there are about med school and the med route that were clarified to me during our talks. I was also surprised to hear how many people make the decision later in life. I’ve been gung ho about ME for a couple of years, but after deep diving with my mentor, it has now become a legitimate option. I’ve got two courses that I’ll be wrapping up in the next 6 months which will buy me some time before I will have to make a final decision on a path forward.

    In the meantime, I guess I better enjoy a last couple of rides in my F430, because regardless of which career road I take, I’ll have to sell it once I get into the meat of the course work.
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  13. IloveGT

    IloveGT Formula 3

    Oct 17, 2015
    You got it all wrong, boy. Physician is a sacred profession because it relieves pain and suffering of others. The money we make is only proportional to the number of years we spent in school. If you only go in to medicine for money alone, remember that there are way more jobs waiting for you that pays much more.

    There are enough doctors who forgot the meaning of being a doctor and only want more money. We see a list of doctors on the last page of medical board quarterly report that list those who are fraudulent and prosecuted.

    I want a million dollars and I heard being a plastic surgeon can do it. Should I be a plastic surgeon? Find your calling first, then think about if you are willing to sacrifice the rest of your life for others illness. If you don't have your calling, then you know the answer you asked.
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  14. 88Testarossa

    88Testarossa Formula 3

    Sep 25, 2012
    Annapolis, USA
    Full Name:
    Well said.

    My advice is to follow your passion, not the money.

    You want to get up in the morning with a because you want to go to work, not because you have to, right?

    I started flying at age 13, got all my ratings by age 18 and then flew for the military. I always wanted to be an airline pilot and even turned down an offer to fly for United because my new passion was in the computer industry.

    It turns out the income in the computer industry was greater than that of a senior jumbo jet captain with my evenings and weekends free.

    Just do whatever makes you happy.
    Money isn’t the sole determinant of happiness and success.

    As I said at the onset, follow your passion.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  15. VAF84

    VAF84 Formula Junior
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    I appreciate the added thoughts IloveGT and 88Testarossa. While lately, I've been refocusing on my original ME path, I would like to play devil's advocate for a minute, particularly in response to IloveGT.

    Maybe my logic is flawed, or I have a different view of the world. In my view, one derives satisfaction in doing what they are good at. If one is resolved to be the best at what they do, and they in fact find that they excel at their trade, then you would think that the person would be content (enough) with their career choice. I grew up in a world of scarcity, so unfortunately, I see the world in those terms. Work is a means to survival. To accumulate resources to sustain your loved ones through the ups and downs. The more resources, the less likely to be affected by the downs, thus fulfilling your role to society (not being a burden to the social net) and your family (provide sustenance and shelter). Loving your career, and having one that is fulfilling, to me is a bonus. Nowhere does the universe dictate that everyone gets to do what they love to survive.

    I want to take this a step further though. Who would you rather treat you or a loved one? Would you rather have a doctor who performs poorly, but is motivated by his/her love of helping others, and whose goal in life was to be a doctor for the purity of the profession? Or would you rather have someone who is perhaps motivated by money to be the best at what he/she does, and is an exceptional doctor.

    I'm not a fan of what I do now, or the lifestyle necessarily. However, thanks to trying to be the best at what I do (and basically working my tail off) I've been able to make enough to genuinely consider rerouting my career while sustaining my family of four through the downtime.

    88Testarossa, I think following your passion is great, it works for some. However, I think the number of people it works for, is far less than the number it doesn't work for. I tried the passion route once, and it cost me a lot of money, and helped me realize passion won't pay the bills. Not saying I wouldn't try again, just way more cautious. Also, making your passion your work, could turn your passion into a nightmare. That said, that's a heck of a path you took. Sounds like a good life so far! I can only hope that some day I end up in a similar situation as yours.

    The good news is that I think that the ME/MET route will have a better chance of that since I'm looking for something that will allow me to make business decisions, lead/mentor people/teams, work around the world, not be confined to an office, and provide some semblance of autonomy. Which to me is some sort of engineering/consulting mix. I wish I'd been more adamant about this before spending time and money getting my MBA, since the value/knowledge obtained by an engineering degree would have been better.
  16. Jaguar36

    Jaguar36 Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2010
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    I work for a large engineering company, although not in the oil/gas field and I find the whole idea very strange. I've never heard of someone already on the business side with a decade of experience and an MBA wanting to get an engineering degree to continue up the career ladder. Once you get into management, people don't seem to care much what your undergraduate degree is. Perhaps all else being equal it would be nice to have, but not at the expense of a few years out of the workforce. I think you would find that you'd need to start back at the bottom actually.

    The plastic surgery option is then completely different. The only reason you've given for wanting to go that route is for the money, which if you just want to make lots of money I would think staying in your current career is likely to be your best bet long term. Assuming you're in your mid-30s now, by the time you would be in position to be making good money and paid off your loans as a plastic surgeon you won't have that long until you're thinking of retiring.

    At the end of the day, if you're looking for money it really seems like your current career is your best path. If you don't like what you're doing, and thinking engineering or plastic surgery would be more fulfilling that's a different story. For engineering, I'd also look for your current employer to pay for your degree (or switch jobs to one that will). Engineering is unlikely to ever make you rich, but it certainly pays enough to have a nice stable life.
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  17. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Aug 6, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    Full Name:
    Ryan Alexander
    #14 ryalex, Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    Put me in the camp that thinks that switching to plastic surgery is a poor long term career move, because you're over a decade out from earning real money again. Of course if you had a lifelong passion for medicine that you cannot deny, that's one thing then pursue your dream. But it is not going to be an optimal financial outcome compared to other opportunities.

    From my understanding though, it does put you in a great position to own an engineering/design/fabrication/factory business. And that would be where the real money is at. With your experience, do you even need another degree for that? What about heavy industry or engineering-related B2B sales?

    I tend to temper general "follow your passion" advice with a caveat that it does something to maximize your outcome, however you define that. I like Scott Adams' advice on this.
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  18. VAF84

    VAF84 Formula Junior
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    Jaguar36, it's more of a lateral move, then up, but agree with the potential of a temporary step back. I've also got a PMP certification, but cannot move into project management without an engineering degree at this company or without at minimum a BS of some sorts at different companies. The Shell/Exxon/BP/Bechtel/Wood's all now require engineering degrees for a role that I've been doing for 10 years without. Even then, project controls isn't always needed, only certain projects. In oil and gas, at least in my experience, the engineering side make all of the business decisions, and get to run projects. They get to run projects all over the world; Africa, SE Asia, war zones, Europe, etc.. It's interesting, it's adventurous, and even at a technician level it pays well. I worked overseas for a while, and I miss the work. I'm trying to work my way back into it, but in a more interesting role with better upward mobility, and the engineering degree seems to be the ticket. Then when I'm done moving around, I'd like to at least have a shot at VP level. The other option is expanding my business, but I'd need to find another way (outside project controls) and would have to build a workable plan and raise capital to scale properly. I considered going to the Oil and Gas convention in Algeria this November just to see what's going over there (I worked there in the past), maybe just putting myself out there will get something interesting will pop up. The only other roles I can think of that may do this type of work are maybe top IB and Consulting (McKinsey, Bain & Co.) firms which mostly require an Ivy League education to get into.

    ryalex, the book recommendation looks like a good read! I agree with most of your sentiments. The plastic surgery option was under a very specific and well defined plan that my mentor had suggested. While the trade off was 10 years, I would be able to recoup the cost and some in the following 10 years, barring a major unforeseen circumstance (20 year overall plan). This would have exceeded my "dream" income goals, and basically guaranteed a minimal income for the duration of my working life. As some of you have noted though, this path is more motivated by income and the fact that the byproduct of my motivation would be helping people, whereas engineering would be something I find more interesting, but does not come with the guarantees. Furthermore, as you stated, engineering would enhance my skill set and be useful to own my own company; which is something I've already started. I'm a sole proprietor (S-Corp) operating as a consultant for my client of a few years. My problem is, they only operate domestically (in a limited region), and the company is too small (mid-size) to move up the ranks; if I was to join them in exchange for what would amount to a major a pay cut. Engineering could expand my potential, and get me into the client side majors with a global infrastructure. To work for another company in engineering related B2B sales, once again I'd need the ME.
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  19. 88Testarossa

    88Testarossa Formula 3

    Sep 25, 2012
    Annapolis, USA
    Full Name:
    With your engineering and PMP background, you might look into a career with Amazon. Think of them as a high tech/analytics firm as opposed to a strictly online retail sales play.

    You look like a good candidate for one of their open positions at HQ2 in NOVA paying at least six figures to start.

    Maybe a different industry/job change is in order that capitalizes on your experience and education is best rather than a complete career change? Food for thought.

    Whatever you decide, good luck and never look backwards.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  20. IloveGT

    IloveGT Formula 3

    Oct 17, 2015
    Your questions reveal many misunderstanding and misassumption about how to get into medical school, surviving medical school, being matched to a residency, and what it was like in a residency. Poor doctor will just get selected out by nature as well as those smart doctor that you call good at what they do but driven by money.

    In order to be very good at what they do as a physician takes more than brain and passion. It takes willingness to serve others. You really should just stay in your current path, unless you find your calling.

    You won't even make it through medical school interview if you don't have your calling or understanding what it is like to be a physician. You need to start volunteer in the hospital. You need to start doing post bac for pre med course, take your MCAT. The admission rate to medical school ranges from 2% to 10%. You are competing against premedical student who have already survived the fierce cutthroat competition in undergraduate world. After getting into medical school, you will soon realize that there is always only one or two out of 100 medical student per class that match into dermatology or plastic surgeon.

    Let's do the match. From pure math calculation, the probability of becoming a plastic surgeon is 5% times 1% which equal to 5 out of 10000. This math has a huge flaw because this is not a random independent event which means not everyone who apply to medical school has equal background and chance , and each one in medical school don't apply to plastic surgeon or dermatology, because their USMLE scores are not good enough and they simply don't like it.

    So this is it. 10 more years of studying, 80 to 100 hours a week, taking **** from your attending and patient endlessly. You don't have your calling to begin with before you start this journey? Forget about it.

    Physician is not engineering. Coming to internet to ask for opinion about whether you should be a doctor, let alone a plastic surgeon is already a red flag itself, don't you get it? This has nothing to do with how old you are.
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  21. VAF84

    VAF84 Formula Junior
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    IloveGT I think you may be misjudging my tone and intentions here. Still, I appreciate your input. I am by no means belittling, trivializing or underestimating the process and skill required to be a doctor much less a surgeon. I’d also like to add that I did not ask the internet as to whether I should be a doctor, I had specific questions pertaining to the lifestyle. Furthermore, I already have an income similar to that of a family practice doctor, so this isn’t a question about what will make me rich quick. I have not been around plastic surgeons, but I’ve worked closely with ER doctors (for over four years) and my close friend and mentor is a cancer doctor who recommended this path for me based on what he knows about me. He defined the path with a plan. He already mentored a family member of his who with his mentorship got into a top medical school, and that person is well on his way to becoming a plastic surgeon. That person is good, but I wouldn’t call him exceptional. He is not the only one who mentioned it to me, it had been recommended to me in the past when I worked in the ER department with the other doctors during undergrad (for 5 years); because of how hard I work, and due to my bedside manner. Would the journey be difficult? Yes. Are the chances slim? Yes. That said, it is not impossible. I had some questions I needed answers to in order to get the better picture. I am no stranger to hard work and brutal hours, so my concern is not about the work to get there. It was about what the other side looked like, to see if it was worth nearly killing myself to get there (I am very dedicated to my work), and putting my family through the stress of a rigorous program. That said, there are poor doctors, maybe not many poor surgeons because of the additional rigors and selectivity, but there’s a totem pole in every industry, and there’s always some at the bottom that make you wonder how they got there or found the shortcuts.

    88Testarossa, thanks for the tips and the encouragement, it’s well received. My comments above present the issue. I work closely with engineers, but I do not have an engineering undergrad. However, I’ve oft considered the idea of switching industries to one that is less insistent on an engineering degree to check the HR box. I have about two more years on my current plan before I make my final decision. I’m in a holding pattern now, and taking evening classes to maintain forward momentum until the next two years are up. At that point I’ll have to decide whether to go all in ME, (MD IF still considering), or industry change; assuming no pleasant surprises in my current trajectory.
  22. Steinhart

    Steinhart Formula Junior

    May 21, 2019
    Scottsdale, AZ, USA
    wow, this is so stereotypical, haha

    like all plastic surgeons make tons of money and drive Ferrari's, lol

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  23. Alcav5

    Alcav5 F1 Rookie
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    Jul 28, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
    Full Name:
    Get a law degree in the field you are familiar with.
    You obviously like to articulate, you have practical experience, you will work hard and you will earn commensurately (I think?)

    Good luck.
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  24. IloveGT

    IloveGT Formula 3

    Oct 17, 2015
    #21 IloveGT, Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    Oh don't get me wrong. I don't think you are trivializing what it takes to be a doctor. No offense taken at all. (I actually know it is harder to be a partner in a big law firm) I think you are just clueless about what it means to be a doctor and you will not make it through medical school admission interview because of the mindset about money and plastic surgeon. That's all.

    Again it's not about hard work in absolute terms. It's about the willingness to sacrifice to serve others, and it does appear that you don't have it since you just keep emphasizing on the amount of money and life style of a plastic surgeon on a Ferrari forum.

    Steinhart is right. When you think there are not many poor surgeons, you are wrong. The malpractice insurance of surgeon and the inability to practice in certain states when there is no cap in lawsuit will tell you that the only thing that makes being a doctor all worth it is, again, the satisfaction of helping others. That's all.

    Better yet, please visit and ask how to be a doctor before you ask Ferrari owners how good we have it as doctors. In this case, it will serve you better. As someone who have been doing this for 20 years, I can tell you that you need to start hitting the books now instead of fantasizing how good we have it. Lol.
  25. VAF84

    VAF84 Formula Junior
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    IloveGT, I realize we’re at an impasse. But there’s one thing I really need to convey here before I drop this, and that is that I’m not here asking how rich can I get off being a surgeon. I get the impression that you think I have some kind of idealist view about all of this, or I’m one of the many people with rose colored glasses out there.

    Please see my original post. Number 6 was the only one that discussed income, and I can see that I was not clear enough with the question. The reason I asked that, was because I was considering whether I would realistically have the ability to throttle back the number of patients/cases I would handle if I ever needed extra personal time. One of the allure’s to Plastic Surgery is that it’s more autonomous. As medicine gets corporatized, doctors become employees of large hospital networks, and government increasingly threatens the socialization of medicine, Plastic Surgery appears to have the most stable outlook, and has a higher reported level of satisfaction by medical practitioners. Therefore, the assumption is that if you practice in a field that offers this higher level of autonomy compared to others, one would have the ability decide the number of cases to take. This autonomy becomes increasingly important as one ages. The others were realistic questions about family time. Another about travel. I’m told it’s hard to get away, yet read a case about a surgeon having time to do things like Doctors Without Borders. I wanted to see what others here experienced. I don’t really have hobbies, I just work, but the only thing I truly enjoy is international travel and exposure to other cultures throughout the world. The few times I have time off, I usually head overseas somewhere (usually twice a year). I was wondering if I would have to give that up. Quite frankly your last paragraph came off as a little patronizing with the comment about asking “Ferrari owners” and how good you have it. I don’t understand the need to bring up Ferrari owning doctors, it has nothing to do with the conversation. I have a Ferrari already, it’s not about that. I could have a bigger house, but I don’t need that. I live well within my means. It’s not about rich and famous here. I am seeking first hand experiences, and life specifically as a plastic surgeon (not family practice, internal medicine, researcher, ER docs, etc.). This is not fantasizing, it is planning and gathering information to make an informed decision.

    On another note, you emphasize the admissions interview. I’m not going in there telling them I’m in it for the money. There are many different ways I could convey my passion for becoming a doctor and create a unique story to set me apart from the other applicants.

    Look I get that it’s hard for us to understand each other in a forum, and honestly you’ve already pegged me for whatever you think I am so that’s that. Maybe some day we’ll bump into each other and we can reset this impression. I was careless about my approach into the topic because I had certain questions on my mind, and I didn’t think they would strike a cord. I should have begun by expressing my passion for the role and then moved into my questions; and maybe this was probably a bad place to ask the question in the first place. I just assumed as a fellow Tifosi I would get a more personal response, from a more reputable person, than a random screen name posting it on some generic xyz forum. I get it though, with the gazillion posts of people asking “how much do Doctors make”, it’s easy to assume that my post was just another one of them.

    By the way, I can appreciate your comment about sacrificing and serving others, as well as work not being measured in absolute terms. It’s a great way of explaining things, and it stood out. If it gives you any peace of mind, I live by the philosophy of servant leadership, and have done so since before I knew what that meant; probably why my bedside manner stood out to the other doctors.

    Steinhart, your comment was not constructive. I’d hope there was a little more respect among us when having a serious discussion.

    Alcav5 thanks for sharing your thoughts. Also a good potential option.
  26. Steinhart

    Steinhart Formula Junior

    May 21, 2019
    Scottsdale, AZ, USA
    you are on a Ferrari forum inquiring about becoming a plastic surgeon, enough said
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  27. IloveGT

    IloveGT Formula 3

    Oct 17, 2015
    Sorry, gotta say this again. You really have no clue.

    This is the question a graduating resident in a plastic surgery residency should ask.

    You don't even know how to walk yet, why are you asking what running shoes you should wear in a 100 meter sprint at the Olympic game?
    The need to have informed decision has to have basis first, and you don't have that yet. First step in choosing medicine is to confirm your desire to help others amid all the sacrifice you will have to make for others, imposed by yourself and federal regulations.

    All in all, you asked the question, you get the answer from doctors who told you things you don't wanna hear. You don't need to convince us or me, because I won't be interviewing you in medical school interview. No one is patronizing you, but when you are already thinking about whether you can get to travel twice a year when you are a plastic surgeon is indeed very very "blank". You can fill in that blank yourself.

    I interviewed graduated medical students and was part of a process who would get into a residency. If you think you can wing it in interview and come across that you can convince others to believe you are something you really are not, then listen to me carefully -Doctors and lawyers are way much better than you think in reading people. You won't get to fool anyone. That's why I kept telling you. Find your calling first and stop defending yourself against some random people online. Being a doctor also is very much like an apprentice, so expect all the times from your higher up to say shut up and listen, you are wrong. Do x, do y, and don't do z ever again. Are you sure your personality can allow you to shut your ego and mouth up at all?

    Last thing I want is you waste all these times at the end. You need real introspection. Talk to more doctors in person who don't know you. The one who will judge your fate in your medical career are never your friends.

    I will be done here. Good luck to you and your family.
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  28. plastique999

    plastique999 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Nov 9, 2008
    Full Name:
    Late to this party.....
    Grass is always greener...wish I had an MBA, congrats on that!
    Everyone can judge you and throw advice at you, but you can only take one’s advice and judge for yourself.

    I’ll start off by answering your first post questions...
    1. Am I satisfied? Absolutely and wouldn’t do anything else (except maybe a professional golfer or F1 driver).
    2. Do I enjoy it? I love every second of operating, I love the creativity of operating anywhere and everywhere on the body. I love the patients. I love the diversity of the field: reconstruction, hand surgery, craniofacial, burn, micro vascular, cosmetic,... I feel blessed and privileged to be in this field.
    3. Being in private practice, I can set my own schedule - now around 4 days a week so that I can spend time with my family, etc. on weekends. I don’t really take call other than for my patients.
    4. Again being in private practice and running a business has its pros and cons. If I take a week off, no revenue is generated. I have hired a junior associate to relieve this somewhat.
    5. As above, I don’t have the luxury of taking extended periods of time off. Perhaps, if one worked for Kaiser on salary, one could take a sabbatical...
    6. I won’t espouse specific income numbers but I will say that if one is motivated, one can do quite well. Part of the reason is that cosmetic surgery is cash pay, whereas reconstructive surgery is reimbursed through insurance. One can vary their financial income with the diversity of what one practices.

    I think most have elucidated the long tenuous path of training. After 4 years of med school, plastics is 5-7 years of residency, depending on traditional vs integrated model. I did 6 years integrated plastics residency at Stanford. I finished at the old age of 33. So yes long years of being financially deprived but definitely worth it for Me.

    As cliche as it sounds, follow your passion as others have said. Don’t ever let anyone tell you no.
    Maybe shadow a plastic surgeon - you may have an epiphany.
    You are blessed with your kids, so integrate your family into your decision.

    Feel free to PM me and I’m happy to talk with you offline or in person.
    You sound quite motivated so I’m sure you’ll be fine in whatever you decide.
    Good luck!

    Sent from my 16M
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