I guess I am looking for some advice here.
I have hard time letting go of past of what I should…could have done so I could have been a doctor by now (I am almost 38 and just starting pre-reqs)…I feel I am stuck in the past and is holding me back …constantly someone inside me telling I wish I had started 10 years ago…
…appreciate some word of encouragement
I guess I am looking for some advice here.
Look forward. Don’t play the what if game. Almost everyone can look back and think about what life could be. You can do this! Good luck!
I am 41 now, and if all goes as planned I will start med school at the age of 42. We all have experiences in our past that we can now look back on and wish we had taken another direction, whether the smaller decisions we made or the bigger ones. I am thankful, however, for both the successes and mistakes of my past, because I have learned so much from them.
While knowing that I had a passion to move towards medicine, it was taking the first little step that was the hardest for me to overcome to get started. Knowing that I was 40 years old (at the time) and clicking the online “Register” button for a Biology class with 19 year olds caused me more than one panic attack in the following weeks leading up to the first class. The ominous “ARE YOU CRAZY!?!” voice was screaming in my head, and I must admit I un-registered and re-registered for that class more than once.
After the first few class days, however, and especially after the first exam, I finally calmed down and realized that I LOVED this journey. The new challenges in themselves were invigorating to me, to the point that I have had to contain my excitement at work about the class that I would be attending AFTER work (in my case, I keep the knowledge of my evening activities close to the chest).
The body of knowledge I am re-learning, the people I have met along the way (professors and students, nurses, doctors, help staff, patients, etc.), the volunteering at a hospital, etc…all of it is a path/journey that I am excited about. Knowing that the process to become a doctor takes several years, it was important that I find joy in the journey and not just in the final result.
So for me, taking the first steps towards the path, and then loving the journey itself, have both been keys for me to overcoming my past. I no longer think about the “what ifs” of the past. I now only focus on the path I am on.
Best wishes to you on your journey.
Ohhhhhhhhh the past. I went to med school when i was 18! Ended up in graduate school for whatever reasons. Do I regret, well sure. But going to grad school was great, I learned a bunch of things and met my wife, have two kids and so on… It is also my experiences that helped me understand what I wanted to do when I am a grown up (you are as young as you want to be!). Perhaps had I stayed in med school I would have been a very miserable unhappy uncaring doc. Who knows.
And now I am trying to go back to med school. Go figure. I am just trying to enjoy the ride. I am very happy personally, and I work hard on the professional aspect of my life.
They say: you can only regret what you didn’t do! Time to add new regrets! j/k
Keep your hand on the plow and look forward. Think about the good things that have come from your past decisions and then move on. Time spent on regretting your past is wasted when you could be spending time thinking about your future.
I had this same conversation with one of my medical directors a few years ago (I’ve spent my whole career in EMS as an EMT and paramedic).
He had a great point - even if you get out of med school at age 45, you’re going to have at least 20 years of practice, and probably more.
You’re going to age no matter whether you go to med school or not. So you might as well get older while doing something you love.
our eyes point forward. Keep looking that way. Realize that the past is there and it is a part of who you are. And no matter what you do and how much time passes, there is nothing you can do about.
You can prove that you are the not the same person by doing very well in your classes.
One analogy I heard a pastor once say that if you think of you life as driving down a road in a car, looking back can be dangerous. You can get lost, miss your turn or even run off the road. So the best way to not let the past drag you down is to stay focused on the journey ahead.
I know it can be hard, I had a tough time this holiday going back to my home town. It is one of those places that just drags you down. But I can’t help but be excited for what is in store in the next six months.
You’re not the only one. I’m “only” 27 and I kick myself everyday for not having taken charge earlier. You cant change the past, just keep moving forward.
- BaileyPup Said:
I know it can be hard, I had a tough time this holiday going back to my home town. It is one of those places that just drags you down. But I can't help but be excited for what is in store in the next six months.
I do understand your feeling. I’m older than you, and of course wish I had started down this path long ago. Nothing you can do about it though, except to move forward. It does make the long road into medical school from this point even harder to deal with, but if it’s what I want to do, I have to endure and keep going.
Just realize that you weren’t the person you are now, and maybe this is who you needed to become to be the best doctor you can be.
I decided at age 10 to be a doctor. I was a bio premed major, but as a junior in college decided to switch over to nursing.
Part of it, to be honest, was FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) because my GPA was “only” 3.5, and I didn’t think I could apply to med school with that. Another part was that I wanted to do something “hands-on” sooner than after finishing college and med school. A lot of it was wanting to be able to have a family and spend serious time with my kids as they were growing up, which I had difficulty visualizing as a doctor. Really, I didn’t research or think things thru too much.
Fast forward to 50 years old. I had a lot of the same thoughts of “why am I just doing this NOW?”. To be honest, when I went for my nurse-practitioner education in my 30’s, I didn’t want to be a doctor - I just wanted to do MORE as a nurse. The experiences I’ve had in nursing and midwifery all these years have contributed to develop qualities in me that I know will make me a stellar clinician. And my life experiences have also created and developed a passion for medicine and a dogged persistance - both of which I think will be essential to me completing this journey. The persistance, in particular, I did NOT have as my younger self.
It takes some students longer to learn the same material, but they can perform as well as their quicker colleagues if they put the time in. It takes some of us longer in life to “learn” that medicine is now our path and to acquire the skills to be successful at it. Be grateful for what your intervening life experience has contributed to your ability to succeed in your dream NOW, and move ahead - that’s my advice