This is a farewell to my pursuit of being a doctor. Good bye, MD. Goodbye, DO. I have come to the realization that this is not a path I will complete, so I am cutting my losses and giving it up.

I have been absolutely struggling, for the past 6 months, to study for the MCAT. I’ve already taken a crack at it once this past summer, but I realized my studying was unfruitful and thus gave it up for a few weeks. Now that I’ve been at it again I realize I am going through the exact same cycle. I put the physics book away and tried to start on organic chemistry, and couldn’t make it through the first section of the book without realizing that I would basically need to re-learn all of o-chem in order to complete the course of study in my study guide. I really struggled with this in college…and to be quite honest I only made it through with decent grades because the professor was incredibly generous and there was a lot of fluff in the final grade. Lots of curving, lots of extra credit, lots of cheat sheets allowed during exams, and the final was open book. Physics was the same way. Bio and chem, I did okay…still lots of fluff and generous profs. I acknowledged, for the first time tonight, that I stand a very poor chance of getting into medical school because I have very poor study habits and my knowledge of the MCAT sciences is very lacking. Somehow I thought I would be able to “kick it into gear” when it came time for MCAT study, but that continues to not happen.

The thing is, I gave some advice to a buddy who is slogging through pre-med right now (I graduated last year). At the end of a very lengthy exchange, during which he flat out told me of how his struggling through calc makes him question his academic abilities with respect to med school, I told him this: you have to ask yourself if you want it…then you have to ask yourself if you want it bad enough to actually put the work into it and do it. I am afraid I had to face that question myself tonight, finally. It has been floating somewhere in the back of my mind for a while now, but I have refused to acknowledge it. Well, now it is time. The honest, barenaked truth is this: I like the idea of being a doctor, but I am not willing to put forth the effort into overcoming the barriers of entry to medical school. I got through my bachelor’s, yet despite my efforts there I am simply wasting my time with studying for the MCAT. Biology was my strong suit - I aced classes that brought other pre-meds to their knees - but I even have a hard time studying for the bio section of the MCAT. I know even less than I thought I did. I guess, if I were to be honest, and despite that I claimed to acknowledge how hard this would be, I must have thought it would be much easier than it is.

My admission here is not that I do not think I am capable, it is that I do not think I am willing. Too much false hope from too many people, and not enough listening to those who warned me along the way. Not enough paying attention to how the really hard classes indicated that I would not make it. I could take the MCAT on my target date, but I have accepted the fact that I may get a 25 at best. That would put me in a percentile wherein the vast majority of students are rejected. There is nothing terribly special about my application which would help me to overcome a poor MCAT score, either. No research, no ECs during college, and no community involvement now that I have the time to do it. Being older is not going to get me in. I value time to myself and with my family more than I value the prospect of becoming a doctor. I am a somewhat decent solo guitarist/singer, and I put waaaayyyy more time into my paid gigs than I do studying for the MCAT. I enjoy a lot more as well. That is a red flag, and I now realize that I need to pay attention to that. Studying for the MCAT is stressful and depressing; doing the things I love, are not. I cannot change these facts.

The worst part about all of this, is that I work in a primary care office with many doctors, and a most of them know my plans for med school (up to now, anyways). It is going to be utterly humiliating to admit my defeat to every one of them. I know for a fact I will be looked down upon by some of those doctors, whom I work for/with. For lack of better terminology, this sucks. It also sucks that I will have to work vis-a-vis with the those in the very occupation which I essentially failed at achieving. To be reminded throughout the day that I failed at overcoming that barrier of entry by a wide margin.

Being an epidemiologist appeals to me (I think). My next step is to sell my MCAT study books and start looking into studying for the GRE so I can get into some other graduate program. The local university has an MPH/MPA program that sounds interesting and is dirt cheap relative to medical school. I could work for the CDC as an epidemiologist…maybe even be one of those poor blokes who is helping to curb the ebola outbreaks by sourcing the spread of the disease, out in the field. That sounds like fun. I refuse the PA route because I do not want to work for the very person I could not be. Sure, there are fairly independent PAs out there, and the barrier to entry is much lower, but I have no interest in being a practitioner who cannot prescribe certain courses of treatment without the direct supervision of a doctor. Shallow? Perhaps, but it is how I have always felt about being a PA. I have played that role as a military medic once before…if I wanted it, I would have stayed in and advanced up the ranks. I have no interest in becoming an NP (I have a lot of respect for the NP with whom I also work) because I have no desire to be an RN. Not my cup of tea.

So…farewell, MD/DO. With a teary eye and somewhat self-loathing spirit, I bid you farewell. I hope the seat I was fighting for goes to someone who will serve it well.

I understand your frustrations and I support your decision. But have you considered that maybe you could have a different outcome if your change the way you study? How do you study? What MCAT prep course if any have you taken? One of the things I learned about this process long ago is that nothing at all about it is easy.

My very first college degree was in Business, and I had to do just one elementary science course as a part of the liberal arts requirements. When I went back to school to do nursing I took college-level natural science classes for the first time, and they were not easy for me either at first. I am in grad school doing an NP program and also taking undergrad pre med classes, and I find the undergrad pre med science stuff to be much more challenging than grad school. My point: pre med is not supposed to be easy, and neither is the MCAT. Most people who attempt either do not get stellar grades. You have to study your butt off, and how you do that is the key.

How I’m doing it is I take no more than 2 of these classes at a time, and sometimes only one. When I do 2 classes in the same semester I do two that kinda go together…general biology with general chemistry, or physics with math. I attend all the lectures and do the practice problems and labs over and over again until I really understand the concept. If I don’t get it I use the tutors at the school or nag the instructor until they explain it to me in ways that I can understand. I also have some instructional DVDs that I refer to, and there’s tons of free educational references online. I use everything at my disposal when I’m trying to learn something until I understand it backwards and forwards. Once you really learn this stuff it tends to stick because pretty much all the more advanced topics are building on something that you previously studied.

The instructors at the college where I’m doing my pre med courses are tough. They make you work to earn your grade. There’s no curving, no open book exams, no cheat sheets… nothing at all like that. But I prefer that to getting easy A’s because it forced me to change my own study habits. Its taking me a bit longer to finish this way and I put in a lot of study hours, but I don’t feel like I’m struggling at all.

I was an Epidemiologist for a while in my career and worked VERY extensively with MDs with Epidemiology training. So if you’re anything like me, being an Epidemiologist will only add more fuel to your desire to be a Physician. In the field, the Doc with Epi training makes the call, not the Epidemiologist.

Just sayin’.

PS - attitude is everything, whatever you think/say and especially write down, becomes the “script” for your life.

rgp - I understand and agree with your sentiment; the reason I am throwing in the towell is because I am just not willing to put in the hard work required to make this happen.

pathdr - I believe there are many places an epidemiologist can go, and many roles they can play. I could certainly envision a scenario wherein epis work with supervisory doctors, but conversely there are also epis who help form the public health and prev med policies which dictate how doctors treat their patients. My goal is not to work under the supervision of a doctor, so I would naturally avoid that as a career choice.

I disagree that attitude is everything. What I have found is that this path takes many essential attributes; namely attitude in addition to strong work ethic, solid knowledge base in basic physical sciences, and good studying skills. If you have the right attitude but the wrong work ethic, you’ll never make it unless you change your work ethic. That is where I am at - coming to the realization that I am not willing to change my work ethic, despite me telling myself “I can do this, I want to do this, I will do this.” It’s just not happening. When I look at why it’s not happening, I come to the conclusion that I must not want it as bad enough to do it. And I don’t disagree with myself there. The part that is so difficult is how I have engrained this idea within my own perception of my future self. I never gave myself a chance to think of something else, because I was too proud to “admit defeat.” I’ve been through this before in the military…I had the chance to make it into special operations but I failed the screening becuase I did not train hard enough. Despite that I had convinced myself - along with the buddy who encouraged me to take the screening - and the result was failure. I could have prevented the heartache and feeling of failure that caused, but I convinced myself I could do it yet didn’t train hard enough and missed the boat.

I’m just not willing to go around and around with this anymore. I have a history of this behavior in my life stretching back to my youth and I would do myself a disservice by not paying attention to that.

There is no shame in changing your mind. In the end, it’s you who have to live through the MCAT studying, medical school, residency, etc. If you decide that it’s not the right path for you, for whatever reason, then no one has the right to make you feel bad for that, or look down on you for it. They may try, but they’re in the wrong for doing so. Best wishes to you in your future endeavors.

  • Lorien

I have been gone from this forum for a few years, needed time away, I thought my dream “dead” - wind sucked out of my sails and such.

Your post and name rang a bell.

I’ll admit, I creeped your profile to see your first post and then I saw “UMD” - rural/res program. We connected over that three years ago - BULLDOGS!!!

The very cool thing is that for you, at this time, this is not a path you want to put the effort into and therefore, are waving a “see ya later” … that’s not the cool part though.

The cool part is that you are 28ish and have a full life ahead of you. You can chase whatever it is that beacons to you now and if that fulfills you, be happy for the rest of your life.

And if you find that whatever path you choose now eventually doesn’t… well, you’re still young enough to change your mind again!

But, if I were a betting lady (and I am) and I knew you in RL (and I don’t)…

I’d wager that 10 years from now, that “itch” will fester and grow… maybe your finger will waver over the button for AMCAS or you’ll find some JAMA magazine that intrigues you… or you’ll be at some accident site helping or all of the above. And then the itch won’t be quelled by a mere perusing of website and books and magazines…

Maybe at that time, the MCAT won’t be your “geebuz I’d rather watch paint dry in a MN winter than study” and instead be, “come let me kick your ass, physics!”

The point is:

I applaud you for making the decision now. It’s brutal. I know when I said I was done, a plethora of people tried to talk me into staying the course “Really, a “B” is going to stop you?” (it did) And every time, my eyes would water knowing what I was stopping, knowing what dream I’d had was dying…

I applaud you for recognizing that your drive factor for the MCAT is waffling and awry. It’s FAR better to acknowledge and do something different and come back if/when the right time comes around.

If that day comes, 5-10-15 years from now, and the interwebs have not turned into holograms, I hope the forum is still here… and instead of me being the wise old sage cheering people on…

It will be you. Cheering you on. Either way, be gentle on yourself right now.

G’luck in whatever path you choose.

My best,


JFowler, let me preface this by saying that I don’t “have a dog in this fight”, do what you gotta do!!

That said, I think it goes without saying that in the premed game, you need a LOT more than the right “attitude”, I just figured most here on OPM, and especially OPMs KNOW this. More than that, those who are accepted SHOW this too. But I also know the power of words which is why I go out of my way to “sow” positive words as much as possible. I also think a strong work ethic is required to make it through an Epi program especially a top notch one which often have Physicians enrolled too. So if you have a “work ethic issue” Epi is going to be a challenging path too.

As for the work of Epis, I worked at a public health department in Infectious Disease Epidemiology under the supervision of an MD that completed a residency in FP and Preventative Medicine. When I worked in Cancer Epidemiology again federal agency, I worked under two MDs. In fact, my division was run by an MD. Maybe there are Epi gigs without a Docs supervision, I don’t know, I only know that I’ve never seen such a scenario.

All the best with whatever you decide to do!!!

I think I wrote this earlier. Everyone’s path is different. This is NOT everyone’s cup of tea, and you HAVE to be realistic.

I,myself, have discovered many truths about my capabilities in the time I have spent on this journey. I realized that I CANNOT sustain a relationship in the way most men expect it to be sustained (sorry guys), AND study at the level med school requires.

I discovered I CANNOT study in my house. I have to go to a Library or other quiet place. If I am at home, I will find a GAZILLION other things to do.

I discovered I need structure (class), and lots of support (tutors).

I had to readjust my own expectations. I looked at the fact I did not have Trig, Physics, or Chem in High School, and virtually no science other than Biology since 1982. The idea that I would finish 43 credits of HARD Science in 2 semesters was UNREALISTIC on my part. Fall back and punt. I need more time, help and structure to actually understand these courses. So…becoming a transfer student in a Biology major at a Non-trad friendly University with LOTS of help available was/is the long route. Taking 12 credits per semester, with only 2 science classes and one “fluff” class makes more sense, and I stand a better chance of making the grade and retaining the material.

It also gave me a “Fall Back” plan. If I cannot get the grades, or master the MCAT material, then I can teach High School Science. It would still be a career change that would alleviate my burnout.

No shame in acknowledging your limitations - no shame at all. I have more than one limitation on my plate, so I am going about this in a way, now, that better suits me, should I hit a similar wall.

Just don’t fail to dream, and look at creative solutions to use the schooling you have gotten in this process!!!

Best wishes!!

The path to success is being willing to change who you are for you you want to be. It reads as though you’ve somewhat decided you do not want to change to become a physician, you are not willing to adjust your habits to attain your goal. If that’s the case, quite frankly life is going to suck.

This might hurt a little bit…

Make a decision, come up with a schedule, and stick to it. Period.

Who the f&*% cares what your score is of an exam you haven’t even taken! You take it and score a 25 and apply THEN you find out your chances. You might do better or not but you will NEVER know what your chances are based on a score you never attained much less on never having applied. This app process is a crap shoot and I’ve met too many with subpar stats who found a way in. However I’ve also noted that 100% of people who never applied also never were accepted…they also just knew they would never get it…

What I see is you failed before with the SpecOps thing. So! You’re not the first to have tried for…oh I don’t know say the Navy SEALs who went to CAPT’s mast, received a NJP (nonjudicial punishment), reduced in rank, charged a month’s pay, and confined to quarters for a month… What I learned from SpecOps and the many men I know who made it and are still in is that training is not the most important but a mindset is. Your mindset in SpecOps and now being a physician is one of defeat and if you’re struggling then you don’t want to do it. Why is that? The SpecOps situation should have taught you and if not this should but the lesson you are taking is that “this is hard, I want it to be easy, so I’m not willing to put myself through it.” Do you really accept that for yourself? At least with the SpecOps thing you could rationalize it and say you tried but this time you’re not even trying…and you’re okay with that? I doubt that or else you would have truly just faded away and never posted on here.

I read you’re 28. I’m 42. I’ve been on this ridiculous journey since I was your age. Why has it taken me this long and I’m still in premed status? Because of your mindset which was my mindset. Instead of epi for me it was PA school, then a MDiv, then a PhD in philosophy…all distractions because this thing will haunt you. Don’t let it! Come to grips with your limitations. You didn’t learn the material the first time around so then learn it now. Set a schedule for yourself and stick to it. You probably won’t be able to take the MCAT this year or next…so?!

You need to change your habits because this mindset is a routine that’s become a habit and it’s chipping away at your soul and it will only get worse with age. So forget your goal of becoming a physician and instead focus on changing your habits by changing your identity.

“Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simple a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. - Jim Rohn”

Look up James Clear and his stuff on habits. Take control of your habits brother, put some steel in your backbone, and move forward, you’ve got this…or don’t.

OP You have excellent advice in this thread. I have to agree with the plan of making a schedule and sticking with it. AS a third year I can say with confidence that 85% of getting into medical school, through pre-clinical years, and taking step 1 was just sitting down and getting the work of studying done. the other 15% is luck, which is disheartening to think about.But really a fair amount of it is luck: how you’re feeling that day, if you got enough sleep, if the questions are on the material your studied, if you actually REMEMBER that particular fact etc…

But…it’s doable. It’s also hard, emotionally, to deal with. It really is a roller coaster ride and there will be many days where you question yourself, where you wonder if you can do it, when you worry if you’ll be good or even adequate. But every student I’ve talked to feels the same way at some point, it’s not ‘abnormal’ and feeling that way isn’t an indication that you’re a bad student or that you can’t hack it.

The real question is if you’ll be happy with your decision. Because it will be hard, everyone admits that. Med school isn’t easy, but so is having a job that you hate, and having regrets about your path in life.

Only you can make that decision, but it’s obvious from reading the responses on this thread that the people here believe in you, whatever you decide to do. Best of luck in your future endeavors.


From my perspective, years from now regrets will come creeping on you. You haven’t put your 100 percent efforts in.

Let me make it clear: You either want it or you don’t . There’s no such things as not possible. If you want it, you’ll change. You’ll work as hard as you can. Even if you fail at the end, you’d still be happy because you put in your best. There won’t be regret. You’re having sadness/regrets now because in the back of your mind you truly know you’re capable of more but you’re too weak. I’d say “man up!!”.

If you don’t really want it, there’s no shame in walking away. It’s a long road. This road require a lot of sacrifices (time, relationships, friendship, health, money…)

I totally respect the introspection that led him to look at other options for the future. He’s past the dreaming phase and looking at it from a realistic perspective. He doesn’t want to change his personality/work ethic in pursuit of the job.

It was a similar introspection which sparked me to change TO medicine from a career that would pay well but not really offer me any job satisfaction in the long term.

I hope you find something that makes you happy and fits your personality. If you change your mind back, you know you’ll always have support here.

Hey there

you could look into Oceania University of Med. MCAT not required!!!

Quite a lot of quality advice here, for that I am thankful. I cannot think of another forum community that would have rallied around a fellow troop, so to speak.

I do not disagree with the above advice, and I feel gratitude for the honesty and frankness with which you all have spoken to me. The biggest problem I face with this is that, now that I am out of college and have the benefit of retrospect, I see two traits with respect to academia in the hard sceinces i.e., the bedrock of the path to become a physician.

  1. I was coddled in undergrad. My tuition and housing was paid in full, and I also took out loans to make my life a bit more comfortable. I had all the same benefits of those early, wealthy philosphers who could afford to spend all their time comtemplating and writing. So, what did I do with that time? I wasted quite a bit of it, always crammed for exams, and somehow floated by because my alma mater is fond of grade padding and curving. How do I know this? I attended another, much more rigorous college for 2 semesters and was beat down pretty hard. Did I learn? Nope. I went back to the “easy” college, took o chem and physics and all the grade padding and curving in the world couldn’t get me anything better than a b-. Is that the academic quality which makes physicians? Nope. The key there is that I did not change, and I am still not willing to change. I absolutely loathe physics and ochem, no matter how hard I try to study it, even knowing that my future as a physician is hanging in the balance.

  2. I never did anything during my time in undergrad, outside of academia, to further my desire to become a physician. The only volunteering I did was for a non-profit camp, and although I gave two summers up to do this, my main motivations were that it was fun and it gave me a place to live for free when I was not receiving my housing stipend. I had oportunities to do things like a paid apprenticeship with a scientist working for Bayer in Germany, scribe for a famous physician, become a CPR/FA instructor with the Red Cross…I squandered all of those opportunities. Is that the kind of drive that makes a physician?

    Perhaps I am being futilist, but when I dig deep I do not find the desire to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of the almighty MD (the sarcasm is directed at me). That’s a red flag right there. Could I do it? Probably. Do I want to do it? Not really. I was highly motivated at the start when I was in undergrad and started getting As in easy classes, with profs and peers applauding me along and making it all seem so easy and attainable. Now, however, I am in the real world; killing myself trying to do something that I didn’t even really know anything about at the onset just doesn’t seem to pass risk assessment as easily as it did when I was younger and much, much more naive.

    For now, the answer is no. I would happily serve another tour in Iraq before trying to take on the MCAT again. I am taking the GRE soon, and will apply to a local MPH. I can take night/online classes, keep my job, and still have manageable debt load when done. I will also buy myself 2 solid years thinking space to reconsider whether or not I want to persue epi, a PhD, public health officer with the Air Force, PA, or return to the med school pursuit.

    I’ve been working closely with physicians in a primary care clinic and have seen that, not only is primary care not glamourous, it is downright tedious. Hospital beauracracy is a nightmare, 1/4 of the patient base just wants narcotics, 1/4 is non-compliant and 1/4 complains to higher admin when they don’t get what they want. All of the docs are getting killed with clinical reminders about tobacco cessation, diabetic foot exams, alcohol audits, depression screenings, now they can’t even rx tramadol without a narc agreement, they’re lucky to get a real lunch break, they’re often way past quitting time finishing notes, they all have to share the attending hat, the specialty clinics often want to push the burden of care back on them, and quite commonly they take their frustrations out on the lowley clerks and LPNs…the list just goes on and on. I knew it wasn’t like George Clooney in ER, but holy crap is this really worth 4+3 years of sleep deprivation, missed birthdays, choosing books over my wife and things I enjoy? Even the top end of internal medicine salaries do not seem as enticing as they once did.

    I thank you all so very much for the encouragement, one way or the other. For now this door is closed, but opinions are always wanted and welcomed.

@croooz wrote:

Make a decision, come up with a schedule, and stick to it. Period.

Take control of your habits brother, put some steel in your backbone, and move forward, you’ve got this…or don’t.

Crooz, this struck me as I went back and re-read some of the replies. I feel somewhat offended, as though I am being accused of being weak because I am turning away from one pursuit and picking up another. I’m not really sure what to say to that…I am certain I could make a decent MCAT score, but this whole journey is so much more than that, and now that I am much more informed I find that I want it less than when I started. I now understand the replies I would receive by peers: “…oh you want to go to med school? Good luck, that’s definitely not for me.” I always assumed that, for some, that was just a cop out to cover for that fact that they couldn’t hack it. Well, now I see that those youngsters, who I so quickly judged, were smart enough to not let the premed society and med-school-happy profs and advisors push them onto that path. I was boneheaded enough to graft steel onto my backbone when others offered me quality advice regarding other career paths, to just put my head down and refuse to “admit defeat.” Where did that get me? It landed me with an expensive degree which can only be used to get me into grad school. That was a stupid move, because if it wasn’t for income based repayment and forebarence, I would default on the loan. Bit of a side tangent there I suppose…

Sometimes the best thing to do is to put steel in your backbone and just get it done. I had to do that in Iraq…even when I had the chance to be flown out of country on a med flight I refused because I knew that I did not really need it, that I needed to finish the job I signed up for. I do not feel like now is a good time to just put my head down and fight when I am unsure about what direction to take. I am laying low right now, soft backbone or not, so I can figure out what my next move needs to be. My family thinks I should open up a bicycle shop…maybe I will even entertain that some day. Why? Because I was still in med-school-mode when it was suggested to me and dismissed it because I was too hard headed to hear it out.

Perhaps I read into your response a notion that you did not intend…but, the more I write this out, the more resolve I feel to go ahead with my plan b.


I still applaud your decision. Med schools will be here, waiting for you … if you should decide to return.

For me, at 50, the drive is still there; the desire has never been quenched. As my son is grown, I’ve never married, there is no one to care what I do with the rest of my life but me, the decision is easy (that and I think I could/can probably pay cash for school) … but for those with family, spouses, partners and a full life, the decision is much more difficult.

Be well - be happy - be you!


@Jfowler85 wrote:

Hospital beauracracy is a nightmare, 1/4 of the patient base just wants narcotics, 1/4 is non-compliant and 1/4 complains to higher admin when they don’t get what they want.

Base on your analysis, I guess I’m choosing to focus on the 1/4 whose lives I can positively impact. :smiley:

@Doc201X wrote:

@Jfowler85 wrote:
Hospital beauracracy is a nightmare, 1/4 of the patient base just wants narcotics, 1/4 is non-compliant and 1/4 complains to higher admin when they don’t get what they want.

Base on your analysis, I guess I’m choosing to focus on the 1/4 whose lives I can positively impact. :smiley:

Reading this a year later, I have gained valuable perspective which has shown me that one does not need to be a physician in order to help people, and that in and of itself is not a sufficient reason to sacrifice one’s life on the altar of medicine. Regardless, I hope all in this thread are a year closer to pursuing their medical dreams.

@Jfowler85 wrote:

Reading this a year later, I have gained valuable perspective which has shown me that one does not need to be a physician in order to help people, and that in and of itself is not a sufficient reason to sacrifice one’s life on the altar of medicine. Regardless, I hope all in this thread are a year closer to pursuing their medical dreams.

Reading this one year later and I’m quite convinced that everything happens for a reason in the time it’s supposed to happen! And that most importantly, medical school need not be off your goal list unless you decided to no longer pursue it! And if that’s your decision, it’s ok you can always revisit the idea later. Or not.

For me, I’ve got an entire lifetime of “helping people” in any number of clinical and nonclincal capacities so you’re right, one doesn’t need to be a Physician to “help people”. And despite VERY lucrative career prospects (Data Science) and a well defined academic path (PhD program), I know more with each day I spend in the HIV/AIDS clinic, that a career as a Physician is still my goal and that the path to it is clearer for me than it’s EVER been.

Sometimes it’s about shoring up wherever you are in life right now, and coming back to goals later. Or simply going down another path. Either way, it’s all good as long as you’re living life on your terms! :smiley:

Jfowler, I’m glad that you seem to have found a way to garner the satisfaction of helping others in a way that fits you best a year after your struggle.

I’m going through an internal debate similar to what you went through a couple of years ago. In one of my first posts on this site you encouraged me to think long and hard about pursuing the MD track and at that time it was a no-brainer for me. But as I approach the application season a small speck of uncertainty has snowballed into full-blown, heavy-hearted doubt. Despite the encouragement from others that I can make it work if I were to go to med school an hour away from my family who cannot be uprooted, I find myself reaching for other ways to fulfill the need to help others while remaining in the medical field. I would like to imagine that I would be reinvigorated to pursue my education once in med school, but at this point I’m already feeling burned out. I also don’t want to be absent for a significant chunk of my young children’s lives. I know there are countless ways to “make it work,” but I don’t know that I’m willing to accept those alternatives to being physically and mentally available and present for my family. I feel like I owe it to myself and everyone who has put stock in me to apply, but also I feel my heart drifting away from the desire to become an MD.

This is all to say that I understand where you are coming from and I’m happy to hear that you have found happiness is the way that fits you best.