My name is Mick and like many others here am considering starting a page of my life journal and going Pre-Med. Im 34, married and have one child. Im self employed so my schedule is flexable and i dont have any debt. I would really like to go down this new journy but am experiencing allot of flack from friends and family. What have you all done?
- mwood Said:
Ignored them. Works great.
Listen to them. That’s not the same as obeying or agreeing with them. But hear their concerns and think about whether they apply to you, whether you’ve thought about them or not. Include the people closest to you in your plans.
And then go make some killer grades and start on the road if it suits you.
agreed. listen to them. we all have a tendency to emphasize the positive and dismiss the negatives when we’re excited about something. it’s possible you may have overlooked something and would benefit from borrowing their perspective.
Some may say ‘you’re crazy.’ Actually, everyone is likely to say this If craziness=irrationality, they may be on to something. Medical school is not a ‘rational’ decision for many, particularly for those that would appear to already have a quality of life near or above that of a physician. The value of pursuing a dream or something you’re passionate about remains quite difficult to quantify. Unfortunately, it’s fairly easy to quantify the cost of prereqs, mcat prep, applications and interviews, debt from med school tuition and cost of living, relocation, lost wages/salary, hours spent with medicine vs. your family, etc.
At this stage of the game, you need to be able to identify ignorance, bias, and subjectivity whether it’s your own, or that of your friends and family. avoid serious conversations on this topic and all decision making until you have all the facts and are certain this is something you want to do. Simply waking up one morning and announcing to your wife ‘I think I want to go to med school’ tends to elicit a fair amount of fear–no doubt stemming from a lot of uncertainty and some well known ‘negatives’ associated with the medical profession. So, address the uncertainty as much as possible. Understand everything about gaining admission to and attending med school, matching to a residency, and practicing as a physician. Understand the impact to both you and your FAMILY, and then propose what you and what THEY will need to do to make it happen. These are things you should think through and document as a prerequisite to having a discussion with them. Try mapping out a plan from now until you’re out of residency. Note all the costs (time and money) for everyone along the way. Consider both best and worst-case scenarios. Note all your assumptions and make sure you validate all of them as soon as possible (as many are likely to be invalid).
When you’ve done this, have the discussion and see if your family is willing to sacrifice with you to help you reach your goals. Be sure to listen to and document their concerns and outline how they will or will not be addressed by ‘the plan’. Iterate through this process until they’re on board or you decide against the pursuit. If you continue, revisit the plan and everyone’s commitment along the way (including your own).
depends on the source of the flack. If it’s your spouse, you need to talk a LOT and make sure you end up on the same page, because this pursuit is a no-joke threat to a marriage. If it’s your parents, in-laws or siblings, listen long enough to determine if they’re giving you good insights into your character (since they know you well) or just being cautious. It can get tiresome to have doubters and nay-sayers if they’re among your regular family or social contacts, so develop a thick skin and maintain a perpetually positive outlook. You and your spouse need to be your cheering section – that’s a requirement. Getting encouragement from anyone else is gravy and if you don’t get it, having the attitude of “That’s OK I will show them” helps too!
I really appreciate your comments. They were very well written and very applicable to me and my quest.
I really agree with this Mary. In the beginning of my adventure towards med school, pretty much everyone except my husband scoffed at my plans. My parents (both in the medical field) were supportive in a sense, but talked in realistic terms. A Panda Bear, MD meets njbmd, if you will. My close friends were concerned that I might be pushing myself too hard. Other family members just rolled their eyes thinking I was chasing after stars in my eyes. After years of success with classes, and now admission to med school, those near and dear to me are fully supportive. I still have family members who make snide remarks and don’t fully believe I will be able to be successful in med school and what comes after, but I have learned to ignore them and chalk it up to their own insecurities.
I’ve spent years trying to prove myself to adcoms and my friends and family. I think I’ve done well enough to show for it (e.g. going to attend med school this fall). My thoughts are that if that is still not enough for some people to think I’ve got a chance, then nothing will convince them. And, no sense in wasting my energy worrying about what they think about me. I’d much rather spend time with my support system, as well as spending time being part of my loved ones’ support system too.
Oops, this turned into more of a rant than a comment! I think it’s a topic many non-trads face though. To outsiders, it probably seems crazy to give up stable life to pursue something that may or may not happen, but to us, it’s the ONLY way to not have regrets :).