MSW bid vs. detour to premed
June 13, 2013 2:03 PM Subscribe
How would you compare a somewhat-expensive MSW program with a detour to post-bacc premed education (& subsequent bid for med school)? For somebody passionate about kids, disability, and cross-cultural wellness.
posted by elephantsvanish to education (8 answers total)
My process of career discernment has been full of thinking, more thinking, some more thinking, and then overthinking. But! I have also been out there working and narrowed my interests down: I want to help kids. Specifically, I'd love to help kids who are struggling with developmental disabilities.
I've been thinking about social work for a while, applied to schools, and was accepted into a solid but somewhat expensive program in Chicago. Including costs of living, I'd gain a MSW and accrue $75k of debt in the next two years.
Increasingly, I find myself regretting my engagement with the hard sciences and the rigorous. I lost interest in math and sciences by college but absolutely loved and excelled in both as a child. I really like being a compassionate, welcoming member of the social-servicey spaces I've worked in, but I also want to offer more than counseling/therapy oriented aid. I recently read The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down and marveled at the (at times misguided and culturally unattuned) efforts of the pediatric doctors in the story. The idea of being a culturally-attuned pediatrician, perhaps working with recent refugees/immigrants or working in community practice, is deeply exciting to me!
My big worry is that I'm letting myself pass up an opportunity that would still get me where I want to go in favor of more years of study, more applications and uncertainty, etc. On the other hand, I can take the classes I'll need pretty cheaply here, try out another neck of the working world (clinical trial coordination? hospital patient advocate?) and also be closer to my family to boot. Maybe I'll end up with a route to medical anthropology, disability research, or perhaps public health. I know that social work is a wide open domain, but I don't want to close the door on sci/math coursework and that kind of rigor, and this feels like a good time to try that out (undergrad would have been best oof).
Any thoughts about this exact tradeoff or going a postbacc premed route? Thank you for humoring my 23-year-old-rethinks-life as always, mefi.