I am a 27 year old female who has been out of college for a few years and has been considering med school. I keep trying to talk to as many doctors as I can and so many discourage me- “you’re older, med school is hard, med school is a lot of money, you should consider PA school or optometry or nursing, etc.” A big driver for me to go to med school is to work with those with substance use disorder. I grew up in a household with a parent who abused drugs, and I have done a lot of recovery work. I volunteer with an advocacy group and I also volunteer as a doula and hopefully will get a crisis text line position. I know I need more clinical experience, but right now a goal of mine would be to help prevent, treat, and advocate for those with substance use disorder, and I think getting medical degree would be the best option to give me the expert-level knowledge to do so. I feel like it my civic duty to help those with addiction.
However, I keep running into people who tell me not to do it. Am I just talking to people with bad attitudes? The discouragement is upsetting, to be honest. I understand that med school is hard and a lot of money, but what else would I do with my time that would be worth it? I don’t think spending the money to go back to school to pursue a career I’m half-interested would be a good idea. I’ve talked to doctors who have mentioned mental health issues and competition as reasons to avoid medicine. I’ve overcome my own mental health issues and I feel like I’ve gotten to a place where I have the tools to keep myself healthy. Just because I struggled with something in the past doesn’t mean I’m going to in the future. I grew up in a TERRIBLY traumatizing environment that I had zero control over. I just don’t see how going to med school can be worse than that? If I REALLY hate it, I can can drop out. Yes, there are major consequences, but I’m not longer a powerless child.
In my heart, I feel like going to med school is the right decision for me, but the discouragement is making me second-guess myself. Do they have a point? Or should I just ignore?