Help please..can't decide if this is my calling

Ok, I’ve been a happy Electrical Engineer till now, lately I was questioning myself about the work I do and ultimately 30yrs down the road

when I decide to retire, how I would feel about it. The only one thing that came to my mind is I would have good savings, kids, a husband.

The next question I asked myself is, is that the purpose of my life? just live 50yrs and all you do is take care of yourself? I’ve always liked to help people. I thought about starting an orphanage a few years ago and realized that I neither have the money nor the ability to help all the kids.

Then I wanted to adopt a kid and provide support for his education and living, but that only takes care of one kid.The thought of becoming a doctor and helping those in suffering brings tears of happiness to my eyes.

I turned 26 this year and have been working as an electrical engineering for the past 3yrs. I like my current job and work like there is no tomorrow, sometimes 60hrs per week. But, I feel like I’m missing something, the only reason being, I’m not able to help anyone. The only reason I want to become a doctor is I would be able to help people. I always have empathy for suffering people, I don’t have any fantasy for cutting people open or all those biology classes. I have never studied Biology in my life except in my 10th grade may be. I have a hard time memorizing the names of diseases (I had to read Biology for my Engineering-in-Training certificate and I ended up guessing most questions in my exam), I also dread organic chemistry. Clearly, I’m not good at any of the courses required to become a doctor. I want to know if any of you guys felt like me when you wanted to start Med school? How did you know that Med school is your calling? I clearly don’t know much about the specialization or what I want to do, only thing I know right now is I want to help people, which cannot be done in my present job and I want to go for medical school. I’m planning to volunteer at a hospital and see if I’m cut out for any of that work.

Please share your experience, when and how did you know you wanted to be a doctor? Till now in my career, I enjoy doing things that need my creativity or analyzing skills. I don’t like to do montonous stuff. I like to learn new things and I’m not worried that studying doesn’t end with the end of residency, I’m up for that, but I want to know if the doctor/surgeon position is monotonous, do you do the same thing every day? I cannot decide if this is just in an career crisis, or is this really my calling? When you guys decided that you wanted to go to med school, did anyone of you feel like me (you went to school so that you can help people although you had no fantasy for the surgeries and not good at any of the biology classes).

Lastly, sorry for the long post

Career crisis after three years at a job? I hope you don’t feel that way after getting out of medical school…

Too long to go into exactly why I feel that this is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. I’m sure that many of us are doing it for combination of reasons, some personal, some not. My suggestion is to find a way to cut back your work hours, and do what you can to spend time in the environment. Volunteer in a hospital, and spend time shadowing some doctors in different areas. That will give you a much better idea if this is worth pursuing. You are young compared to many on this site, and you have plenty of time to explore this.

Hi - welcome!

I agree with the shadowing idea (which you are planning to do). I’d consider that there are many ways to help people -and it need not be your career. It’s possible you might find volunteer work sufficiently fulfilling while keeping your current electrical engineering job.

However --I’d add to the idea of volunteering, taking a paramedic course and joining a volunteer company. It won’t necessarily make a big difference in getting into med school, but could make a huge difference in you figuring out if you really love it, and if you are eager to learn more.

Few of us probably liked chem courses. Perhaps a few more really liked bio classes because of the correlations. But if you don’t really want to learn “all this stuff”, you probably don’t want to embark on it. On the other hand, if every exposure whets your appetite for more, jump on in!

The water is choppy (and there might be sharks) but we all become very good swimmers!


Just to keep my question short, did you guys start Med school out of a liking for the biology and chemistry courses or just liked the courses because you wanted to become a doctor?

I was mildly interested in general chem, not at all in organic.

Always liked bio, just found it interesting (including botany). But more recently, liked the stuff relating to medicine the MOST out of bio.

Physics - only took it cause I had to.


The science courses are just a path to the goal. I do love biology, and chemistry to some extent, but they are just the building blocks to more education. Again, the actual reasons for wanting to become a doctor are varied, but I would hope for most that there are reasons far beyond simply a love of science. If you don’t love people as well, you might need to think about this more.

I agree with the above postings. You need to shadow/volunteer in a medical office and or hospital.

Yes, as physicians we help people, but a lot of time we are so busy and have to work in the constraints of the beuracracy that we fall short of what we would like to be able to for people. Often, patients don’t want our help and fight us every step of the way. It seems like your passion is for children…so maybe seeing if you can follow a pediatrician would be a good place to start.

This is not to discourage you, but to give you some insight that the ideal image of a doc and the reality of practicing medicine are very very different…so go get familiar with the profession and make sure you want to put in the time and effort and incur the debt before jumping in head first.

I think why we each go down this path is something unique for each person.


I am big believer in part-time post-bacc for people in your state of mind. There is no reason that you have to decide this is your calling now to start prepping for it because by doing so may help answer your question. In addition to shadowing, start taking a general bio or chem class.

Before you take any classes shadow as many docs as you can. Get invited or invite a couple physicians and their families to lunch or dinner. Really talk to them. Medicine is more business than altruism. There are medical fields which are more altruistic than others and I think you might be surprised.

Thanks for your advises, I’ve applied for volunteering at the nearby hospitals. May be I will buy a chemistry book and read it by myself and see if it is anything I would be interested in.