Can someone be a good surgeon and a good MAist at the same time?

Narges

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Hello

I need advice again and I'm counting on experienced martial artists on MT to help me in making a really tough decision. I'm a 17 year old (18 in 2 weeks) karateka. I started my MA journey little more than three and a half years ago, but it has become an inseparable part of my life already. Or to be more precise, it's a part of who I am. I had a severe mood disorder and it helped me cope.

Another part of my life is school and academics. I'm going to finish high school this year. I've dreamt of becoming a surgeon for years, but when I think about it logically it seems very far fetched. I'll have to study VERY hard and it'll take most of my time. I have a high IQ and I learn quickly, but I might have to quit karate (temporarily or permanently) or it might be pushed to the sidelines.

I'm really confused.
 

Cirdan

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Short awnser; it will be both healthy and beneficial for your studies do some physical activity (like Karate) during this time.
 

Chris Parker

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Slightly longer answer, when I started training 17+ years ago, another guy started a short time after me. We travelled up the ranks together, getting our Shodan's together, and being left our school by our instructor a few years ago. He also is a heart surgeon, and last year went to the Mayo Clinic to work for two years.

He is one of the most serious training partners I have had, and a damn fine surgeon (cardiac surgeon). So, if he is anything to go by, yes, absolutely.
 

Blade96

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I love how supportive people are here. If I was doing something like that and I had to give up MA because my studies took up all my time my parents wouldnt give a sweeet F. They'd say its not important and who cares. I wish my parents could be more like you guys.
 

jthomas1600

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I've never known anyone who has carried a heavy academic work load that didn't feel they needed some kind of out let. A way to release the tension. I think it would be a mistake to give up MA if you choose to pursue a medical career.
 

CoryKS

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I'm reminded of that Stephen Covey segment where you're supposed to try to fit all the rocks into the little jar (wish I could find a video(Update: found it )). The trick is to assign the big rocks to the things that are most important to you, put those in the jar first, and then fill in the available space with the smaller, less important rocks.

If MA is that important to you, then make it and your medical training the big rocks, and then if time-management becomes a problem, look to other parts of your life for things to cut out.
 
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Cirdan

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I'm reminded of that Stephen Covey segment where you're supposed to try to fit all the rocks into the little jar (wish I could find a video). The trick is to assign the big rocks to the things that are most important to you, put those in the jar first, and then fill in the available space with the smaller, less important rocks.

Is that the video where when the jar is "full", having used sand to fill every tiny space between the rocks, he pours in a glass of beer to show it is not? "There is always room for a beer" :D
 

CoryKS

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Is that the video where when the jar is "full", having used sand to fill every tiny space between the rocks, he pours in a glass of beer to show it is not? "There is always room for a beer" :D

That sounds familiar, but when I saw it I think he used coffee. He probably changes it up depending on his audience.
 

Big Don

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Short awnser; it will be both healthy and beneficial for your studies do some physical activity (like Karate) during this time.
I just read an article about a study that concluded exercise makes you smarter.
 

Bruno@MT

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I agree with the others here. MA practise is what kept me sane and relaxed when going for my masters degree. During the exams I worked out days per week to get rid of the mental stress.

There is one thing you have to consider though: your hands are your source of income. Depending on which MA you choose, you have to watch what happens to your hands, arms and joints. I'ts rather hard to operate with broken knuckles or a broken elbow.
 

Carol

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Even if you can't attend class as long as you like, there are always opportunities to train. You can finish studying one subject, take a break by running through some kata, then begin studying your next subject. If your dorm room at university is too crowded, then do pushups instead and practice kata in the hall later at night or earlier in the morning.

Keep your mind fresh by looking at your day from an awareness perspective. If something were to happen (say, a fire) while you were in biology class, would you know the easiest way to get to safety?

It is very, very important to achieve academically at this stage of your life. It will make a huge difference in what you want to do with your life vs. what you are able to do with your life. Your karate will be with you. It may take some extra creativity to work your training in, but it will be there, and the sacrifices will be worth it. :)
 

MJS

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Hello

I need advice again and I'm counting on experienced martial artists on MT to help me in making a really tough decision. I'm a 17 year old (18 in 2 weeks) karateka. I started my MA journey little more than three and a half years ago, but it has become an inseparable part of my life already. Or to be more precise, it's a part of who I am. I had a severe mood disorder and it helped me cope.

Another part of my life is school and academics. I'm going to finish high school this year. I've dreamt of becoming a surgeon for years, but when I think about it logically it seems very far fetched. I'll have to study VERY hard and it'll take most of my time. I have a high IQ and I learn quickly, but I might have to quit karate (temporarily or permanently) or it might be pushed to the sidelines.

I'm really confused.

Yes its possible to do both, however, you will have to prioritize your time accordingly.
 

K-man

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MJS has it right in that you will have to carefully manage your time if you want to maximise the results of both activities. The other area which you might have to ration is the social activity that is a big part of any university campus life.

To get to achieve your goal of becoming a surgeon will take many years. First five years or so undergrad, then internship. During this time I would have no hesitation of training all out. That would give you 10 years of MA under your belt and a good deal of experience at the time of your graduation. You could continue with normal training as you do your advanced training but as Bruno said, your hands are your livelihood. From then on, or even earlier, I wouldn't be going anywhere near the tournament scene.

For sparring, I sometimes used to use bag gloves. These protect your hands (especially the fingers), the downside being that it is almost impossible to utilise locks and difficult in any grappling situation. Depends on your style of MA as well. Shotokan, depending on your instructor, may not have as much close work as jujutsu, Kungfu or even Goju, so I don't see any real good reason to stop doing something you have said means a lot to you. :asian:
 
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Narges

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Wow! You guys are amazing! Thank you all for the replies. They mean a lot. You've changed my view completely. I'm going to start from today. *does jig*
 

clfsean

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The ortho that did my knee in '91 was a Sandan in Shitoryu & was looking to start with the Gracies (way back then). I used to train with a a guy that was finishing med school/beginning residency & would come into to train after doing a 20 hour shift just so he could let go of the day.

It's up to you & your personal discipline. Nothing else matters.
 

Flea

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I just read an article about a study that concluded exercise makes you smarter.

Narges, I can't speak to medical school, but exercise is fantastic in treating mood disorders and any other psychiatric diagnoses. A couple years ago I went to a presentation by a psychiatrist who specializes in bipolar research. I'll never forget his saying "people with mood disorders can't do too much exercise." There's also a lot of research demonstrating that exercise is extremely effective in preventing Alzheimer's. So even if you can't pursue karate specifically, exercise as much as you can!

I think that practicing MA would make you more effective as a surgeon too. You'll refine your motor skills for one thing, and it would probably enhance your appreciation for the human body and what it can accomplish. Good luck, whatever you decide.
 

Blade96

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"people with mood disorders can't do too much exercise."

lol did he get his degree on the back of a matchbook one of the best things other than my meds which helps my depression which is a mood disorder is my Shotokan. Doing exercise works.
 
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