Dreams vs Reality

I’m starting my second year of a DIY pre-req with Organic Chemistry and I have to say, I’m not really in the mood. I began taking classes again last year and with a lot of hard work did very well (I was only able to take Chemistry I and II but I did get an A in each class). But a lot has happened in my life outside of school that has my mind in other places.

I was unable to take classes over the summer so I’ve had quite a long break from the end of April to now. I did a lot of thinking over this downtime. One thing that occurred to me after reading these forums is how many of you say that becoming a doctor has been your dream. I cannot say the same thing. Medicine was never a dream of mine. My decision to make this leap was based on my belief that this is something I CAN do. And seeing myself getting past 40 made me realize that I don’t have to much work time left and I should make it count.

So my question to you all is - When undertaking this journey as an old pre-med, does this career path need to be your unquestioned dream?

I think it all depends on your motivation. Because it is that motivation that is going to keep you going. This first week of med school has been the hardest academic week of my life and according to all involved I’ll look back on it with fond memories. So in that sense it’s not just the fact that I seem to have a knack for medicine, or that I can do it that got me through last week and this week, it’s the fact that I want this more than I’ve ever wanted all but two or three things. Because last night when I was in a study room going over BioChem til 11pm, there were a lot of other things I could have been doing.

Not trying to tell you to quit, but before I got neck deep in this I would surely make sure you have the proper motivation to stick it out. As of right now I’m 60K in debt with only 1 week under my belt and so far it has been the most exhausting and exhilarating thing I’ve done.

I am currently a PA, which I recommend you take a look at if you are not wholeheartedly wanting to be a doctor. I was talking to one of the surgeons I work with and he told me not to think about going back to med school unless it is all you can see yourself doing and you are willing to sacrifice for it. For me, being a PA is a great job but I want more. I want my dream since I was a little kid of being a doctor that have not fulfilled and I will look back wondering “what if” if I don’t at least give it a solid try. Good luck!

I don’t know about a “dream”. I literally was at work one day, was frustrated with my lack of ability that I kept having to go to a doctor to get done, looked up from my desk and said “I am going to be a doctor.” I said it for three or four times, it felt right, I realized nothing was standing in my way, I embraced it, and began to research what I needed to do to get there. Everything fortuitously fell into place, and I had no doubt that this was what I was supposed to be doing. In my case it seemed less of a dream, and more of a “calling” - depending on what your belief system is. Had I wanted it all my life? No. Do I want it really badly now? So bad I can taste it! Do I find the journey exhilarating and hard? Yes! Is it worth it? No doubt! I agree with BaileyPup. It really has to do with desire and motivation.

Thanks for your takes on this. I agree that motivation is critical. And Vicki, your story is fantastic in its one-moment-to-the-next-ne ss.

One of the things I said to myself when I started is that I would not close any doors. Be it PA or nursing or going all the way to MD/DO. Or even sticking to my current field. The exploration aspect is a lot of fun and I do enjoy learning.

Best of luck to you all!