hi there

Hi, I’m new, of course. I’m 25, almost 26, but I’m takin’ it slowly- I will be over 30 when I graduate. Currently, I’m an elementary education major, but soon, that will change. I have wanted to go to med school for a while now, but I let my husband and others convince me I wasn’t cut out for it. I am utterly devoted to my kids and couldn’t stand the thought of 36-hour rotations in residency. But then, I happened upon a few actual facts about med school and realized that it doesn’t have to be that way. I have wanted to specialize in EM from the getgo, and when I saw recently that in EM, you’re not on call and 24 hour rotations are virtually unheard of, I decided I would give it a go. But I do have a problem I wanted to ask you knowledgeable folks about: I have vision problems. I have ptosis of the upper right lid, and have had it since I was a teen. It has started to cause diplopia in certain fields (the docs always seem so puzzled when trying to figure this out). My concern is that this will hinder my abilities as an ER physician. I have been referred to the MDA b/c it is suspected that the cause may be MD , but I have been told that surgery may still be an option to at least partially repair it. If I cover the “bad” eye, I am able to see quite well, but with both open there is difficulty, though I have adapted to it enough that it does not bother me. I just sometimes find depth perception to be just a bit off…I am afraid that this will crush my dream. I desparately want to be a doctor, and I desparately want to work in the ER, but certainly one must be able to see well to do so…Any words of encouragement?

Welcome! The only thing I would worry about is depth perception. Becomeing an MD would be tough but not impossible. Is Emergency med the only thing though? There are other less demanding specialties out there. BTW I once knew a one armed trauma Doc. Really!

Good Luck.

Thanks! I’m pretty interested in trauma. Got a long way to go. Taking it oooone day at a time. Hopefully I can have my eye repaired before I apply to med school 5 years or so down the road…I understand it won’t be perfect, but maybe it will be better…
Thanks for your input- especially about the one-armed Doc!

I would not sweat the eye issue nor would I prematurely commit to Emer Med. You are proff positive that you can adapt to your issue &, as you state, it can be repaired. So, in my humble opinion, it becomes a non-issue…certainly not one I would make a point of in my application…unless, of course, it serves to underscore your motivation or is posed as an obstacle you have overcome.
Regarding pre-selection of specialty - most folks do not go into whatever choice they were dedicated to prior to entering med school. Anecdotally, most of my classmates wanted to be IM, GP, FP, OB, Surg, Em or one of the other well-known specialists. Personally, I think these are the ones folks know about & naturally gravitate towards. However, once in the clinical aspects of your education, you will learn that medicine represents an enormous & varied class of opportunities to entertain.
Now, I am certain NOT recommending that you give up on EM - no way form or fashion. What I am strongly recommending is that you promise yourself that you will pursue each clerkship as if that were to be your destiny…as if you were the resident…only by investing yourself so can you truly appraise how well you fit/do not fit into each specialty. If at the end, it is still EM - GO FOR IT! However, many find themselves totally in love with fields they never anticipated. Myself, I never considered anesthesiology as a potential career, but now I could imagine myself doing anything else. I went to med school with the intent of becoming a pediatric intensivist & cannot imagine spending my life in that environment any longer…spent 10 years as resp therapist & just no longer have in me, emotionally, to go back into that world.
So, when it comes interview time, interviewers like to hear that you have thought out the potential future & how medicine will fit into it. However, do not appear overly committed prematurely - that may be seen as close-minded or immature.
Best of luck & success!!!

No problem I think people who are passionate about their work end up being the best! So plug on away!

Thank you so much for your advice. I was a bit one-track minded, but you are right- I certainly should consider that I may end up elsewhere! It is so nice to find people as “crazy” as me- everyone in my life, with the exception of my mother, tells me I am crazy (she thinks I’m crazy too, but so is she, so she doesn’t mind! ). Well, I guess I am. Most people settle for what they know they can do and don’t want to push their limitations. They think that only “smart” people make it to and through med school, and by “smart” I mean those who throughout school were pursuing the profession and who strived for good grades, not slackers like me who gave up long ago only to get that second wind after having a family. Most imporantly, they don’t like anything “different.” They tell me my age, my eye, my children are things that will present a problem for me- I think these things make me stand out a bit, but in the end, they are a source of my strength. It is so wonderful to know that there are people like ya’ll here, who have provided so much insight and encouragement- how refreshing!!!

Thank you again whuds and oldmandave! And best of luck to everyone on whatever your endeavors may be!