“I want to study medicine.”
The words flow so freely out of my mouth now, like a bird being set free from its cage. I felt a rush of relief flow over me as I finally realized I had admitted to myself what I was denying the last two years. I took a pause and then asked myself, “Why?” Up to this point in my life, I had asked myself this same question over and over again.
Why do you want to go to college?
Why do you want to study medicine?
Why did you change your major?
Why don’t you know what you want to do with your life?
And now it was, why do you want to back-track to what you were running from in the first place?
But that’s just it, I was running and I hadn’t been able to admit it to myself until now.
I wasn’t running from my future because I was too afraid to take it on, I was running because I didn’t think I could do it. I thought I would fail.
Every Pre-Med student has had that moment. You know, the moment where you second guess everything you are doing with your life? That’s the moment I had right before I let it consume me. I let myself think that I wasn’t capable of practicing medicine. I wasn’t smart enough. I wasn’t creative enough. I couldn’t possibly stand out in a pool of hundreds of applicants.
Negative thoughts were all that filled my mind my freshman year of college. I quickly began to lose the drive I had when I first decided to pursue medicine as a career. This lack of confidence in myself ultimately pushed me to change my major mid semester of my freshman year. I bounced between majors, picking up pieces of them all as I went along. After a semester of guessing, I ended up settling into business, because I thought it was an easy way out. I took a couple classes, and later took a semester off to work in the “real world” as I would call it.
My experience in the business world was a good one. I worked as a Marketing Support Specialist and slowly but surely, I grew to like it, but I didn’t love it. I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that something was missing, but nonetheless, I shirked it off and moved on.
It didn’t hit me until a few months later when I was at an expo for my job. While mingling with other exhibitors, my mother brought up what degree I would be pursuing in college in the spring. I smiled and talked about how excited I was, but I couldn’t help but notice that there was a void in the smile I was wearing. I wasn’t happy, and I could feel it.
Later on that evening, I came across a quote that really just jumped off the page at me. Dr. Lunda Grazette said, “Medicine is only for those who cannot imagine doing anything else.” I realized right then and there that this quote explained exactly how I had felt the past two years.
I thought back to the first time I held a human heart in my hand at UT Southwestern’s HPREP Program. I remember just staring at it as I ran my hand over each part I had memorized in AP Biology that year. I remember thinking, “This is someone’s entire life in my hands.” That was my life changing moment. It was the moment I decided I wanted to pursue a career in medicine. It was the moment I couldn’t imagine doing anything else for the rest of my life.
So, I say to those of you that may be doubting your career in medicine, find your confidence in yourself like I have now done. Hold on to that passion you have for what you’re doing and don’t let yourself lose faith.
Have you ever had a moment of doubt in your career? How did you over come it? Tell me about it by leaving a comment below!