Is it too late?

Hi everyone.

I’ve been browsing your posts and have become a little inspired. I’m struggling over the very serious, life altering decision to become a doctor, as many of you have. My situation is: I’ll be 35 in July and have come to realize over the past 2 or 3 years that I’m not living the life I want, and never really have. I set out after high school intending on becoming an architect. I took my first year at Montana State and decided to take a small break and earn some money - that break turned into a few years, I started making pretty good money in construction, joined the carpenters union, got promoted, and eventually started my own buisness and have been able to scrap out an ok living building stuff. But I cant say I never look back - thats all I do.

A few years ago I decided to go back to school. My freinds told me that one of the most difficult classes on campus was a 300 level anatomy and physiology class, so I decided to take that just to test myself (I convinced the proffesor It was only for personal intersest and she waved the prereq’s). I ended up with the second highest grade out of 270 students and realized I loved school. My head begain to spin with the realization that I really could do something else, but I kind of felt silly to be considering such a thing at the age of 32: Wouldnt a real adult just suck it up do what they needed to do to and deal with the consequences of their choices? Wasnt it just a fantasy to return to school now?

One weekend, about the same time, I job shawdowed a doctor freind of mine in the ER and I realized he had the job I wanted. I could do this, I could learn it, I could deal with these things, this is what I should be doing, it just never occured to me. No one ever told me I was smart enouph.

I have carefully considered this new inspiration over the last 2 years and have, at times, brushed it off as a pathetic, unrealistic desire to be something I’m not; then I realize that I’m being too hard on myself and I am overcome with exitment that I really could do it. I have explored the process carefully, I know what it will take. I know I will have to have no doubt to get through medical school and residancy.

I am begining to have no doubt, though. I have this idea in my head now and I don’t think I can let it go and ever be totally settled and happy. Do I just want to be a doctor becouse I’m completely unfullfiled with what I’m doing know? Is that wrong? The fact is, I can think of nothing more exilirating and challanging than four years of medical school. I can’t imaginge a better felling than becoming what I respect most in others: a doctor. It would be an absoulut no brainer if I had only reallized it ten years ago. If I were to start Med school today I wouldnt be done untill 2012 and residency would take another 3-5 years making me an attending Dr. at age 44, but I still have two years of undergrad work.

I need some inspiration. I want to commit to this, but don’t know if I can.

PS: I need a spell checker, I know.

go for it,

there is no greater feeling than knowing you chose your own path in life.

YOu are obviously very smart and you have what it takes to make it in medical school and become a great doctor.DOn’t give up doctors work till they die anyways Just kidding but most love the profession and work until their 60s and 70s so you will at least be a doctor for 20 years better than nothing.

Start the process now the longer you delay the more time you lose.

Good luckk

Hearing your inner turmoil and emotions surrounding this life-changing decision (do you continue down the “practical” road that you have started out on or do you follow your heart and your dream and take an incredibly scary leap into the unknown) reminds me very much of myself earlier this year. My thought is, ten years from now you will be 45 regardless of which path you take. Would you rather be 45 doing something that you love or would you rather be 45, discontent, and constantly wondering, “what if”? These days, when people are working until they are 70 or beyond, starting a new career in your 40’s is no big deal. You will still have 20 - 30 years as a doctor. I say, go for it!!

  • km35 Said:
PS: I need a spell checker, I know.

Welcome to OldPreMeds! One of the most fundamental underpinnings upon which this country was built is the absence of a caste system. No one should ever be 'stuck' where they are because of a social norm precluding them from rising to succeed. That is the American Dream - that each successive generation works to do better than those who preceded him/her.

I come from a long long of blue-collar folks. And I proudly carry those traditions & work ethics into the Staff level position as an anesthesiologist & intensivist come 1 Sept. were it not for those values & work ethics, I would never have gotten to where I am. To shun them as I enter the white-collar world smacks of hypocracy & is simply unacceptable. They make me who I am & I do not hide who I am nor where I came from. And, I find that my patients & their families very quickly learn to trust & respect me for not putting on a mantle of aristocracy. That to me means more than "fitting in" with some of my, in my eyes, less fortunate colleagues who never learned to make that people-connection after investing their formative & socialization years as a bookworm.

Regarding the spelling: as a physician, you will fit right in. Not only does our handwriting SUCK; but we can't spell for shit either!

Thanks for the encouraging outlook and the quick response. I was not expecting so much feedback so quickly - this website is a great thing. I noticed that you (Dave) have more than 3000 posts! Thats amazing, how do you find the time? I read your last 3 pages of diary entries and now I’m interseted in your entire story, especially the begining. I could certainly use a few role models.

I’m also interested in Anesthesia. I have, however, seriously considered the CRNA route, thinking it will save a few years. I have job shawdowed a CRNA a few times and he claims (and appears to me) to have the exact same job as a DR. Is this true? I would much rather go to medical school for a lot of reasons, but I am woried about expenses and not having a back up plan. The CRNA route seems like a fair compromise. On the other hand I may spend 5 or 6 years waiting to get into CRNA school anyway (after I get an RN)so I should probably just do what I really want.

Regardless, I would love to see some more of your diaries and get a feel for what medschool and anesthesiology residency is really like. How do I see more diary pages?

Also: thanks to everyone else who replied! It’s true Im going to get old anyway. If I do not take on this massive undertaking and coast on through to age 45 keeping everything the same, I may or may not be happy. But if I leave it all behind and go for it, there is no way I will regret it. Even if I don’t make it, it’s not like I’m giving up anything in order to try: nothing besides a life I don’t really want anymore.