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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Career advice?writer, psychologist,doctor?Very confused - September 22nd 2009, 08:31 AM

Hey! I should start applying for colleges this December/November but I'm still very confused about what I wana be. In my A levels, I had sociology, literature and business studies. Sociology is interesting. I love literature and writing. Always wanted to be a writer..probably not the best writer, but its something I always enjoy and find time to do. And I know I can improve it because I wont ever get tired of it. I can always write books on the side, but is there any stable job for this? And I've heard the salaries arent much either, which is what I'm worried about. I dont ever want to have money problems in life. Infact I want to make enough money to set some aside for charities etc. I know, people say you can excel in a field if you enjoy it, but theres no security and very little chance that I will be a great writer like JK rowling.
So other than that I was thinking about child psychology. I love children. And this field also has good income. But I've started to have second thoughts about this. Psychologists know everything about minds..and I dont want it to affect my life outside. Like it makes me feel like they know how to make their minds are perfect-i realise this is a silly concern.
My parents, sister and brother in law are really pushing me to become a doctor. Because there's always job security. The only good thing I can think about this other than great income, is that I will be helping people. But I'm not into science and didnt even have science in O levels or A levels. And if someone tells me stories, it kind of grosses me out. I think people who themselves want to be doctors make good doctors, because its something that requres a lot of effort..and you have to want to do it, to do it. Doctors have long working hours. I want to have time for my creativity.
So any advice? I want to help people and make a lot of money so I can. Or atleast enough for myself. Verrryy confusedd. Thanks.
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Re: Career advice?writer, psychologist,doctor?Very confused - September 22nd 2009, 10:24 AM

Well if you decide to be a psychologist or a doctor you could always be a writer on the side. Being a doctor takes a lot more training than being a psychologist so it all depends how hard you're prepared to work. I'd say sociology fits better with psychology than being a doctor. I thought that to get into medical school you needed biology as an a level but i might be wrong. Check out jobs4u to get an idea of what qualifications you need.
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Re: Career advice?writer, psychologist,doctor?Very confused - September 22nd 2009, 11:49 AM

Being a doctor takes a lot of work. An investment banker, lawyer, or regular business major usually makes more than a doctor within 5 years of the job. Doctors have to do so much more work and deal with their own personal problems because of seeing death so much. And doctors need to do a ton of biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, etc.

But if you become a doctor and have a psychologist degree you can be a clinical psychologist which I hear is very fulfilling and pays well.

"We will ask nothing. We will demand nothing. We will take." -- May 1968, French Graffiti
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Re: Career advice?writer, psychologist,doctor?Very confused - September 22nd 2009, 06:21 PM

Thanks for the advice. I'll be going to USA for this. I didnt know, I'll have to do four years of bachelors first there, because its different in my country. You give an exam after A levels and straightaway go into medical school. I didnt have science in O levels or A levels, so I'll take it in Bachelors. I'll probably have a clearer picture of whether i wana do medical or something simpler like psychology by then. So phew Thanks for the advice though
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Re: Career advice?writer, psychologist,doctor?Very confused - September 23rd 2009, 04:53 AM

For the writing, it's either a "make or break" career, that is, either you become an incredibly famous writer or you're a mere joe blow. If you want, you could teach writing, either in college or university or just in high school.

As for psychology, I'm aiming to be a doctor, although not a medical doctor, I'm more interested in getting a PsyD (doctorate in psychology) and that allows me to do more clinical work, although I'd be fine with a PhD. It's not an easy track because for a PsyD or PhD, you first need a four-year bachelor's degree as a BA or BSc. After that, you need a Master's degree and after that, you get your PhD or PsyD. To do clinical work, you need about 1-2 years extra and this is basically with getting used to the clinical duties, the hospital, etc... . One of the reasons why I want to become a PsyD is the money as whether you're in Canada or the US, you make a good amount and you don't need to be fantastic at chemistry. Where we differ is that I'm more oriented towards neuroscience and neuropsychology, however, also towards forensic psychology. As a PsyD for neuropsych., you can deal with children, adults, etc... but regardless of what your PsyD is in, you're mostly there for diagnosing and some psychotherapy. You'd also get more in-depth with the patient than the average psychiatrist.

For a medical doctor, you need to complete a four-year bachelor's degree and then head off to medical school.

When you add up all the time needed for education, there's not much difference between a medical doctor and a PhD or PsyD.

You mentioned you want time for your creativity, well, I'm not sure how much extra writing time you'll get as a PsyD or PhD. They typically work with medical doctors, mostly psychiatrists and neurologists but also other psychologists, so I don't know how much leisure time you'd get. I'd imagine it'd be a pretty busy day because you're essentially there for diagnosing and medical doctors may refer patients to see you, either for therapy, diagnosing or both. Point is, you'd have those two main jobs so I would imagine you'd be pretty busy.

For child psychology, you may have to deal with cases of trauma and child abuse, and working with the abused children.

I'm not sure if you're interested in it but most people who I've talked to, including non-psych. students, like the idea of forensic psychology. In the US, it can be a very very well-paying career depending what field within forensic psychology you pursue. Some fields may have you signing six-figure pay cheques whereas others would simply be over $150k.
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