It’s great to know that I am not the only person answering a great calling later in life. WARNING: This will be a long read.
Most of my life I never dreamed of becoming a doctor, or even wanted to be one. After high school I enrolled in a fire academy and EMT school. I got on a fire department at 20 years old in a city with 230k people. I lived with a couple of med students, so I have seen what it takes from year 1 to year 4 to achieve such a goal.
It wasn’t until I went to my very good friend’s match day that I felt an inner spark of becoming a doctor. However, I shook it off as a feeling of under achievement from seeing my many friends reaching their goals and moving off to greater feats.
I am now 24, been on the FD for almost 4 1/2 years, married a school teacher, bought a house, and basically living the American dream. I have recently promoted to Equipment Operator(driver) which is a highly sought after position, and very difficult to attain for a young person. We make a comfortable living and life is good…Until it hits me again.
I know what its like to help people. Seeing the people in despair, and their faces change when we arrive to assist them with whatever the trouble is. That makes all the sleepless nights, the horrible smells, bodyfluids everywhere, and the everyday dangers worth it. We fight fires, extricate victims in car wrecks, rescue people in horribe situations, try to revive the unconscious, and even respond to headaches(crazy I know). With all that I have seen and done, I feel it has all been for a future purpose.
For months I shrugged it off, and another friend I have in med school said I should be a doctor after talking about medical calls I had been on. The fire has been rekindled. For five days I battled the constant thoughts, weighing the options and possibilities of it all. A huge heart and gut strain. I feel this is God calling me to this. Ive wanted to do missionary work, and prayed for ways to serve. I believe that I could use this for helping people home, and medical missions for the ones who need medical attention the most.
I have a long journey ahead of me. I have some basics out of the way, many vocational class hours, and zero pre-reqs completed. I do currently have a 4.0. My wife is totally supportive of the decision. The positive point in this is I can keep my current job and attend class on my days off. I work a 24 on 48 off schedule, so I will have to miss some classes, but the professors are willing to work around it.
My goal is to attend med school by age 30. I will need a lot of support and prayers, but I know this is the path I’m called to follow. Our brains are an amazing creation. What they can hold and translate to the hands is limitless. We should use them to the fullest potential to do the greatest good. Thanks for reading and God bless.
Welcome to OPM!
Like you said, this is a long journey. People on this site are fond of saying that this journey is a marathon and not a sprint. It’s a good analogy to keep in mind.
Best wishes to you, and keep us posted on your progress!
You’ve come to the right place.
First off, congratulations and welcome aboard the crazy train. Now realize that the degree of crazy is based on your age and at 24 becoming a doctor ain’t crazy at all. You are in the perfect position and have the support of your spouse. So this is what you must do from now on, you must refer to yourself and think of yourself as a premed. Your job is merely there to support you and your wife’s dream of becoming a physician. You are not a FF/EMT who wants to be a physician. You are a prephysician who at the moment works as a FF/EMT. Subtle difference perhaps but it makes all the difference in the world.
As a minister I hear you loud and clear about this being a calling and about prayer. I’m actually meeting with my pastor in the next hour to discuss my role at the church now that I’m pursuing the prereqs to become a physician. With your timeline I’ll be a 4th year when you start so I’ll have the latest intel for you.
Stay focused and when bored come on here and read. Read the blogs and get motivated. FUD is real so do not be afraid or ashamed of bringing your concerns here and definitely talk to God honestly about your fears, uncertainties, and doubts.
BTW there are some schools that have medical mission trips during med school, mostly in the Bible Belt and mainly schools which seem to have a primary care focus. Just thought I’d throw that out there since the school my wife wants me to go to emphasized their medical missions and she can’t wait to join me.
Thanks for the replies.
Croooz, I never thought of it that way but I will start. Having the right mental state about everything definately helps. While I was studying for my promotional exam, everyday I would think of coming to work as that particular position.
I would like to keep up with your journey since we both have similar goals. Do you have a diary or blog?
Welcome to OPM! There are a number of us who have both a passion for medicine and a sense of calling to provide care in their communities and in medical missions. I was able to go with CMDA (Christian Medical and Dental Association) on two medical mission trips in year 1 and 2 of med school. Having to skip this year but will see if I can get it to work in for 4th year Answering God’s call is never boring !
That’s awesome, Kate. There are just so many opportunities to serve and help when you are a doctor. I feel I have lived most of my life for myself. It’s time I give back and use the skills I can potentially learn.
Where did you do your missions at, Kate?
We went to Honduras the first year, and to Guatemala the second. In Honduras we were part of a medical “brigade” along with area churches where we held clinics and an evangelistic ministry that shared the gospel and connected folks with area churches. The evangelism was after the medical clinic so no-one felt they had to go to it to be seen, but about 450 people made professions of faith in Jesus. In the Guatemala outreach, each person was talked with one-on-one and asked about spiritual needs and was offered prayer for health, family, whatever. It’s not unusual there for them to have to pay the parish priest for a prayer to be said (sad, but true of Guatemalan Catholicism), as many said they could not afford prayer, but were pleasantly surprised to receive it for free.
We took care of a lot of bronchitis, and arthritis, parasites, and a few children with typhus who might not have made it were we not there with IV fluids and treatment.
A few years before medical school, I went as a nurse-practitioner with LINK ministry to Niger, Africa. We had clinic in a village in the mud-hut church, and then also in a clinic which we helped local nurses and nurse-midwives open in Maradi.
Just what we need! Another Dr. Phil!! Haha
Welcome to the community!
We can only hope, thanks.