flaking out on my plan

Last weekend I had a revelation that I do not really want to do this. I think. Maybe.

I have a history of making rash career decisions, so bear with me. At this point, all I am going to lose is the time I put into one bio class.

I have been holed up in my home office studying - probably not as much as I should, but as much as I want to, and I still don’t feel like I “own” the material. The next 12 mos. will be hell with taking more classes - harder ones like Ochem - and reviewing my old chem, physics, and math for the MCAT, AND starting volunteering. My youngest kid wants to start karate. My oldest plays ball in the summer. My friend wants me to run with her and I can’t squeeze it in. Of course we expect sacrifice. I just didn’t expect the sacrifice to bother me. I went through a lot of hard labor to finish my undergrad, so I thought I was a tough chick who could take it. Working in industry has made me soft and lazy, I guess.

The other thing is, I know A LOT about my current industry. I say I hate it (daily), but it is bothersome that NOTHING I know now will be of use to me later. What a waste of the past 13 years.

I have been telling myself since Saturday that I’m not going to proceed with the medical path, and it’s been a huge relief. The bad thing is that it was also a huge relief when I decided to start taking my prereqs. I am not sure which to believe.

The worst part is that I really don’t know WHAT I’m going to do if I don’t go to med school. I feel like I have unfinished business with my education. Honestly, my original plan in life was to be a professor. I don’t want to be a professor anymore, but I feel like what I am isn’t “good enough.” Stuff just happens that reminds me of the fact that I am not in the career I set out to be in. (But who is?) A couple days ago, my dad brought up the fact that I had a $68K scholarship for undergrad (which I p*ssed away when I had a baby & transferred back to a local U). He wasn’t being a jerk, he was bragging that I got it in the first place. I was one of those brainy dork types who was supposed to be “something” and instead I’m just a low-to-mediocre employee in a job I don’t like with no discernable future path forward. I haven’t done a darn thing notable since college.

Anyway, I know this was a quasi-inappropriate, non-constructive whiney post, but maybe someone else who decides not to go to med school will find it someday and not feel like they’re the only one. Or maybe I’ll change my mind AGAIN and be back.

I just can’t believe that any knowledge is a waste. Sounds like you have regretted the last 13 years. I just wonder will you regret continuing and missing those games? Will you regret not fighting for your medical career? Weigh it and then once you choose…don’t weigh it again. If this is truly your dream, you might want to enroll others in your schedule and how to include you in activities that you can attend. Will you being a doctor make your children’s lives better or worse? What’s the long term benefit to any choice? Stick with it and don’t look back. Anything you want, you can have. I truly believe that. You just have to. Okay, friend, there’s my pep talk of the day.



Don’t beat yourself up! Take a step back and remember all the reasons you wanted to be a doctor. Then think of reasons you don’t.

I understand stress, I have some pretty big shoes to fill in my world, and it’s tough. But you have to do it for you, and nobody else. If you decide it’s still not what you want, at least you are being honest with the most important person and that is you.

Read this.


I refer to it often when I’m feeling down on myself. If it were easy, everybody would be doing it.

What helps me is to take it all one quiz/exam at a time. I get way too overwhelmed when I think of ALL that it takes.

Hang in there!!

I have been where you are - I think most of us here probably have been. I spent the last two years vacillating back and forth between MD path or something else…mainly because I was afraid of all of the unanswered questions and complications, (family life, etc.) that go along with choosing an expensive career path later in life (not the usual “young adult” age). You will always be able to find a reason(s) (and usually good ones) of why this isn’t a good idea. But what I’ve found is that I’m usually trying to do too much, and thinking too far ahead of myself which causes worry, anxiety, stress, which of course just clouds your judgment and causes you to lose perspective. You’ve got to find a way to take this one step at a time, and get some peace about it all. I wouldn’t make any decisions if I were you, until you can truly make them from a place of clarity. But take heart, you are not alone in these feelings!

  • AliJ Said:
Last weekend I had a revelation that I do not really want to do this. I think. Maybe.

Honestly, my original plan in life was to be a professor. I don’t want to be a professor anymore, but I feel like what I am isn’t “good enough.”

It seems to me YOU need to 1) feel you're good enough in whatever you're doing whether job, med school, hobby, etc, AND 2) decide WHAT it is you really want.

I don't believe for one second you can strive toward, obtain matriculation letter on "little brown truck", AND be successful in med school without the two above, in addition to loving to learn.

Until those are decided and internalized, if it were me, I would wait and save my money. At some point, the "a-ha" moment will come and you will know exactly what it is you are wanting/willing to do without having wasted more time and money leaving the guilt of another "rash decision" on the side of the road, where it belongs.

Take your time, think it through, then dedicate yourself to whatever that is.

I really appreciate your post.

Becoming certain of anything is difficult for any smart person. There are too many things to consider. So you try to follow your heart, but then your heart tells you something else. So what to do? I know the feeling. I think at some point you just have to plant your flag and say this is what my life will be about, right or wrong. It’s about commitment, not certainty.

It makes sense that you felt relieved when you realized you didn’t have to be a doctor – but you may only be thinking about the work that your not going to have to do. I wouldn’t read too much into that. You also felt relief when you decided you would become a doctor -because you realized you were no longer going to have to live an unsatisfactory life; you were finally going to rise to your potential. Be careful about giving up too soon for a little temporary relief, and then finding yourself right back in the same place.

On the other hand, maybe you have now gained enough new information to make a more educated decision about how to proceed. You checked out this dream of being a doctor, and realized it’s not for you. Nothing to be ashamed of; you have to be a little crazy to want to do it. If you can now go back to your previous life and be content -because you explored other ideas, realized they weren’t any better and can now put them to rest - then the whole experience could turn out to be very valuable.

In any case it sounds like you either need to change your situation (maybe there is an easier way than medical school) or change your attitude about it (for good). good luck

Hi Ali, sometimes I feel the same way. Brenda is right. I also feel overwhelmed when I look at the long way. I am afraid of all of the unanswered questions as well. My biggest concern are my kids and hubby. Will they miss me? Will I be able to spend enough time with them and keep my good grades? Will I be a doctor with no family? Don’t get me wrong, my husband supports me but honestly, we don’t know how our life is gonna be once I’m in Medical school… I guess I’ll have to experience it to know.

and I quote Ferris Bueller

“Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Take a moment, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and think about what you want to do with your life. The only one that can make that decision for you, is you. All of the advise in the world or on this board will not change that fact.

I think we all feel the way you feel at times…I know I certainly do…I definitely feel like I wasted the time it took to get my paralegal degree! I know it’s only an associates but I also feel like everything I have learned toward becoming an attorney which was my original goal is “wasted” as well…but all knowledge is good! I am in the category as well of “irrational decision makers”. Somedays I just feel like I don’t want to do anything at all and nothing will ever make me happy…I think we all get in that slump especially when we’re working and dealing with kids and school and work and grades and MCATS and applying to medical school and husbands and boyfriends and wives and girlfriends and AAAAHHHHHH!!!

I think that as the kind of people considering medical school we have a tendency to assume the worst about ourselves because we have made medical school something on a pedestal. Because it is so important to us it suddenly becomes an unbelievably glorious dream.

Then we look at our lives and see how hard it will be for us to be unbelievably glorious.

I try to remember that doctors are just people. People just like us. They went to medical school. And I bet they spent years worrying about wether or not they were good enough.

I try to focus on the present: How are my classes going now? How is my relationship with my family?

The farthest I try to look in the future is next semester. I have already worked out which pre-reqs I need to do and in what order. They are stored on this computer. I try not to open that file until class choosing time though, because otherwise I get discouraged by the length of time…

You know what is even funnier? Now that I am only two years away, I am more scared. The list gets shorter but I don’t feel any different. I think maybe we just need to work on self-confidence as a group. What we are doing is major, and scary. I think we should acknowledge that. And be proud that we still try every day, every class, to make it.

What we are doing takes more courage, I think, than applying at 22.

to the op: your posting is not at all inappropriate. We all experience doubts, perhaps the more so than traditional premeds/med students because we have a bit more wisdom and experience on which to base our doubts. Young people don’t look before they leap–which is absolutely natural and without that instinct our species would never have survived. And “older” people–late 20s and beyond–look a little too much because we have better long range vision (metaphorically speaking).

Premedical studies are very hard. Medical school is even harder (believe it or not). Internship and residency are extremely challenging. You have to love what you’re doing every step of the way or you’ll crash and burn.

In a previous era, sacrifice was more of a normal lifestyle. Since the late 60s, society has been encouraging us to avoid sacrifice and satisfy our short term yearnings. Medical school is like going back in time; it’s all about sacrifice and not much has changed about it since the 1920s or so.

Most of us have days when we wonder why we’re not doing something easier. It feels like those days happen a lot for me lately. You have to just keep your eye on the ball, keep reminding yourself why you’re doing this, keep up with the hospital volunteer job, shadowing, or other patient contact that you may have. One day, somewhere in the midst of this Sisyphean task, you will notice that you are smarter and more knowledgeable than you used to be, and that you have family and friends on the sidelines rooting for you and encouraging you not to give up. And it’s moments like these that keep you going.

Hi everyone. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who posted to this topic. After I wrote this, I took a good week off to chill out and live with the “not gonna do it” decision. It was okay at first, but I have worked my way back around to continuing on the path. I have stopped in here and re-read everyone’s posts several times, and I appreciate the encouraging words and reality checks.

I can’t get off this bullet train to pause and make the decision, because being on the train is the only thing that’s going to reveal whether the path is right, I think. Regardless, I am working on thinking about just TODAY and what I need to do to work towards the goal this week, this month. When I had my melt-down, it was definitely due to thinking of the stresses of the future, not what I’m dealing with now. I am managing now, so I should be able to manage then. . .Like Tony Horton says in my P90X workout video, “You can do anything for 30 seconds.” Maybe that’s my new mantra.

As for the kids, when I gave hints that I might not be a doctor, they were disappointed. That will obviously be the toughest part, not seeing the kids as much. When other people asked if they should do this b/c of the kids, I always said yes. I said any profession you commit yourself to will take away from the kids, and I know people waitressing and raising kids who can’t see them much either. I don’t think it’s that unusual, and I think it bothers us more than the kids. I believe my own b.s., but it still bothers me!

As for my work, I had a good week, which actually made it easier to lean towards medicine. 1. That was as good as it gets???, and 2. I do NOT want to stress about the big cyclical layoffs my industry has every 10 years for the rest of my career. There are other reasons, but as my medical knowledge grows, I think I will be able to leave my other skills behind.

Oh - also as a side note, I got an “A” on my biology midterm and found out that the quiz that I missed several on and made me think I was an idiot had wrong answers in the key online and I actually got an “A” on it, too. It took me 4 days to run this down with the instructor, and I had to be a PITA, but I have regained my biology confidence, and that’s worth a lot right now. (And trust me, I’m not bragging much, the class is pretty easy compared to what’s coming in the future!)

Well, as usual, I’ve gone on too long. Again, I appreciate everyone’s posts, and I hope we can all support each other on this trip.