We’re there days during pre-med where you just wanted to give up? Sometimes I think “I have no life! I’m spending my entire 20s drowning in books” I love medicine and I really want to be a physician but sometimes when I am getting up at 5:30 to be at a class by 8am I feel overwhelmed I guess. Just wanted to know if others have felt this way as a pre-med as well?
I have definitely had those feelings. Check out one of my prior posts on this topic (There Will Be Days).
I was recently debating with a classmate about what was most important in life. I don’t believe in a supreme deity and so I don’t necessarily believe we have a set path in life (my beliefs are a bit more complex than that, but bear with me). If you have a finite amount of time, and relatively free choice of what to do with it, what do you do?
Should you spend your life amassing stories and pleasurable memories? Should you dedicate you life to being the ultimate parent/family member? Do you spend all your money and time in an attempt to better others? All of those things could arguably be the most important part of our lives, just as there are dozens of other options I could have listed.
It’s a tough choice and one that I worry about constantly. Am I wasting my youth sitting in a library and learning? Am I blowing my chance at having a family or, perhaps worse, blowing a chance at having a family when I am young enough to keep up with my kids? Will I get any financial return on these years if reimbursements fall and loan interest rates continue to rise?
It is a scary thing to ponder. But sometimes I step back and realize the positives to what I am doing. Next weekend I get to go to my state medical association’s annual meeting to help vote on very important health policy. This summer I will hopefully get to work on some NIH funded research on medical school education, helping improve how we train future doctors. And some day, in the not too distant future, I will put these hours of work to use helping someone in a way few others can.
That person won’t be upset that I wasted some of my youth.
Being called to medicine is a privilege and a sacrifice. I have plenty of friends who travel the world, staying on couches and in hostels, living a fun and exciting life. But I can tell they are searching for something. When I tell them I envy their lives and their freedom they return the compliment, saying they envy my passion and motivation. There are lots of things I gave up for medical school. There is also a lot I have gained by being here.
The grass will always seem greener on the other side. Find a balance. Live a little. But keep your eye on the prize. Hopefully your (our) greenest pastures will lie in the field of medicine.
All the best,