What have I gotten into now??

I just thought I’d throw this out into the universe and see what happens.
I’m in a really rough spot, kinda. I’m 28, half way through my prereq’s, and feel like I’ve forgotten why I got into this quest in the first place. Any of you ever have the feeling like, "Um, why the hell am I doing this again?"
Much of my original motivation to become a doctor was financial. Also, I love the idea of being able to design somewhat of my own schedule (I want to go into EM) someday. I like science, but jesus some of this work is so tedious (Organic can be a hassle, and what’s with all these lab reports anyway?). Also, I’m sick of the pressure I feel to have a straight-A postbac so I can get into a UC school.
Coupled with that, i’m now licensed as a psychotherapist and my practice is doing well. Also, its much more fun than I expected it would be. I question, though, whether I’m just pumped about the newness of the practice and once that wears off I’ll want to be doing this prereq coursework again. I like psychology but don’t want to do it full time.
Lacking motivation,

Hi there,
I think that many premeds ask themselves the same question, some quite frequently. I believe that when such questions come up they can be seen as a signal that you need to re-evaluate your motivations and goals around pursuing medicine. I am not saying that every time you think of such things, you need to stop and reflect. But if such thoughts are regular and frequent or nag at your continually, then there is an inner message vying for your attention. The road to being a physician is a very long one, a marathon not a sprint, as many have aptly described it. And to heed such messages – not the least to recognize them – can save you years of needless effort.
The fact that you were originally enticed (at least in part) by financial reasons and that you enjoy what you are doing now may be another indicator of where your true aspirations and interests lie and where they do not lie.

Here are some “thought exercises” that may help clarifty things further:
* Imagine you are a senior citizen looking back at your life. What would you regret NOT doing at age 30, 40, 50, 60, etc. Would you regret NOT going to medical school? More importantlly, would you regret NOT practicing as a physician?
* Pretend you have acheived your goal: you are a well-paid physician (I say well-paid because you indicated that money was one movitating factor for you). What excites you about medical practice? Would you still enjoy your job? Would you still feel that how you were spending your days would be worthwhile? If no, what would you have to do to make your days worthwhile? What are the things about medicine that you like? Do these likes outweigh the aspects that you dislike? If financially independent: Would you still go to work as a doctor? Would you be willing to practice for free if you had no financial obligations, no bills, no debt, and all the material possessions you have ever wanted?
* More broadly, if you were financially well-off, what would you do? Where would you go? How would you spend your time? Where would you live? And just as importantly: What would you not do? Where would you not go? How would you not spend your time?
* How do you want to be remembered at your funeral? What would your obituary or epitaph say? What sort of person do you want others to remember you as? (Sorry for the poor English).
* Where did the idea for me being a doctor come from? What are the origins of my desire? When? How? Why? Was it due to the influence of role models, parents, community? Are these influences still in my life? How valid are their messages/influences today?

Fantastic points

Too right - really great points there.
I really appreciate your thoughts on the matter. Not to hijack this thread, but I am now more convinced than ever that being a doctor is exactly what I want to be. Thanks!

Fantastically useful questions. I’ll be going through them at my own speed but they offer a great perspective. I’d also be open to hearing from Mary or the others who had hit those “what the hell am I doing here?” roadblocks and how they got through them, finding that the endurance test made the process that much more worthwhile.
I really like learning, and thus sometimes I really love my science coursework. I think its the pressure to perform ‘outstandingly’ that is a pain. My dream would be to make this almost a hobby and enjoy learning for the fun process that it is, then apply to med school when the time presents itself.
Thanks all for viewing/responding and listing to my “Blah blah blah”…

Hi there,
Your point about “making this almost a hobby” is a good one. I have heard career counselors recommend to their clients to consider turning a hobby into a career. Hobbies are obviosuly activities that people really enjoying doing; they are the things that people can pour their passion and energy into without expecting any reward other than self-satisfaction, or perhaps being able to indulge others (e.g. humanitarian volunteer work as a hobby) for their efforts. The problem for most people is their hobbies do not translate into jobs very well, and if they do, they are often not financially viable as a job. Yet, some of the happiest people I know are those who have done just that: turn their hobby into work.
If medicine is a hobby to you, and you can turn it into a job, and are willing to deal with the headaches as well as rewards, then perhaps medicine is your niche.

Excellent points there. Although many of us has stopped short of what we are destined to be because we didn’t take enough time to seriously think before we started out. If your reasons for being a physician are other than calling then you need to reconsider of what you really want. Many had got through med school easily and became a physician but they regretted because it did not make them happy. Comparing a physician to what you are having now is not much of a difference.