Is this normal?

Hello everyone. Currently I’m married with two little boys, 8 and 2.

I notice when times (financially speaking) get rough I find myself pounding my head, sometimes asking myself why I want to be a doctor. On more than one occasion since I started premed, I decided to pursue nursing but right before I start making changes to my class schedule, I back off. I realize I only do this when we are not financially stable. I can’t see myself as anything else but a doctor. The thought of not being one or not trying to become a doctor at the very least saddens me. I start to look for the one thing in my life that could have set my heart to medicine but I can’t. The only thing I know is that as a child, I would stare at diagrams of the different organ systems, muscles and bones in absolute awe. I know that I love science and feel the idea of being responsible for someone’s health, to hold their lives in my hand is both exhilarating and down right frightening. Honestly, there are days where I wake up and say “I’m meant to become a doctor” and other days I want to run away, finish school sooner and come out making a decent living with less in school loans. Is this normal or am I just trying to fulfill some childhood fantasy? Please help.

Yes, it is normal.

I have a similiar story, except I did not have kids when I started…

I was pre-med, until I got C’s (barely) in Chem & o-chem. My best friend in college was a nursing major and talked me into switching and it was a lot easier. I graduated, got a scholarship with the military, did my time + some. I later, decided I wanted to go back, tried the nurse practioner thing, was almost a semester from graduating when I decided to go back to my 1st love. At 30 (“old” per my peers), I started medical school. I was able to work as a nurse during medical school, which helped with loans. (Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot). During residency I married a man with 3 kids and had my own at the end of residency. I am currently board certified physician with loans, but am happy.

You are the only one that can make the decision on what you need to do for you and your family.

Good luck


Your story is absolutely inspiring!!

RWankum, thank you for your story! I one day hope to be an ER doc myself.

Everything that you have described is perfectly normal in my opinion. I think everyone that has either gone through med school or is just beginning the path, at one time or another felt or is feeling the same way you are.

Remember, it is a major decision because there are extensive schooling, training, and work involve. It is a big sacrifice especially if you are married with children. Someday, you will wake up thinking “Yes, I’ve made the right choice because I can’t imagine not being a doctor.” then there will be days you wake up and think, “No, maybe I’m just going through a phase. I can’t do this right now, I have a family to feed. I have to think realistically.” So, it is perfectly normal.

No one knows you like you do. I say if you want this bad enough, you can make it happen. Don’t let your doubts stop you from reaching your goal of becoming a physician. If there are more days of waking up and saying, “Yes, I want to be a doctor” than “No, I don’t.” than you know what you need to do.

Hi, Edgarq.

The doubt is particularly normal. I’m married with a son, and the doubt is particularly strong when I think about all of the things that they deal with now and all the things they will have to deal with in the future because of my dream. I start to feel selfish and doubtful, questioning if I’m doing the right thing. Since I’m a heart-on-my-sleeve kind of person, I usually end up talking to my husband, who then reaffirms my dream, reminding me how badly I want this and how my future patients will be glad that I decided to go into medicine. When I bring up nursing or becoming a PA, my husband just says that he’ll support me either way but he knows that I won’t be happy as anything other than a doctor. So, my point is to talk to your spouse or a supportive friend when you feel doubtful. Sometimes it helps to get a little input from the people who are involved. When my husband tells me these things, it reaffirms my commitment while also reminding me that he is committed to this as well. So, talk about it. Its normal, and it shouldn’t make you feel bad. We all have doubt.

BTW…even after you have completed your goal you may question your decision There are several times a week I wonder what it would be like to just be a nurse. Although overall, I am happy I decided to do it.