I started med school wanting to do EM, which I still love. My first rotation in 3rd year was transplant surgery and I spent my days changing bandages, not too much real patient contact. The second rotation was general surgery at the VA. On the second day I was sent to draw blood from an old alcoholic with cirrhosis, liver failure and no veins. As I stuck him, he began to cry that the needle hurt. Although externally I soothed him, inside I felt no compassion. What went through my mind was "you've been drinking your whole life, messed up your liver, we are working hard to save you, and you can't even take a little prick like a man?"
As I thought that I realized that I don't have the right attitude toward sick adults. I think that to treat someone well you have to feel empathy for them, which I found that the more I did adult medicine and worked to fix the problems people had brought upon themselves, the less empathy I had for them. I found it very frustrating to have someone come back over and over for the same complaints, tell them what they need to do to fix it, and have them completely ignore my advise and want me to put on another band-aid so they can go on with their self-destructive behavior.
That was when I realized that I am not cut out for any form of adult medicine. With kids, I do sometimes get frustrated that the parents ignore me, but it is not the kids fault so I can empathize with them. Even teenagers do not have a good concept of future consequences and so cannot be held to the same standards as adults.
So I went for a peds residency. During residency I was unable to pick one area of peds that I liked most. I still favor ER and PICU, but if I specialized in either one I'd really miss the other systems. That's how I ended up in general peds.
I started out in med school thinking pathology or a peds subspecialty. My first rotation in 3rd year was peds. I just knew that if i could honor any rotation it would be peds. my evals were stellar but my shelf exam was less than stellar and i only received a pass in the course. this crushed me a bit and weirdly enough my interest in the field.
I just knew srugery was not compatible with the lifestyle that I wanted for me and my family and i wasn't passionate about it enough to make it work. I hated it. but i did like vascular surgery esepcially endovascular and was thinking about interventional radiology. I even went to talk to someoen about it and was though to have a shot. so i kept it on my list.
I absolutely LOVED obgyn. i loved the patient population and has a blast. I had to make a tough decision though and decided that i could not would not live the life of an ob.
PLus i did a rotation in pathology and just simply felt at home there. while many of the other specialtes i was looking i to had many pros and cons, pathology had only one- lack of direct patient contact. i just had to decide if that was a big enough reason to stay away from it.
In the end i decided that pathology was just simply what i liked the best out of everything i loked at