I am 27 years old, and I am just recovering from one of the most anxiety-filled times of my life. I wanted to share and receive some insight, if possible.
Since college, I have worked in education, both in teaching and consulting. For the past few years, the thought of pursuing medicine came and went sporadically, but it wasn't until last year that I rallied up my courage to actually apply to post-bacc programs to fulfill pre-med courses.
During this period of preparation, I spent some weeks volunteering at the hospital and speaking with several physicians. There were days when I truly felt that this was a calling.
Then, around Christmas, I had a huge meltdown. It was a combination of fear and self-doubt. The financial, emotional, and time commitment seemed very heavy, and I guess I could no longer suppress those negative thoughts. With just one application (out of 6 I was planning on) in, I broke down completely.
I also told my loving family about how it all went unraveling. My parents and brother were concerned about my well-being and suggested that I let go. Surprisingly, hearing this from my loved ones was a huge relief. After weeks of agonizing again, I somehow decided that pursuing a career that causes a meltdown even before its very initial stage is probably a bad idea.
Then came the acceptance letter from a very good post-bacc program that I had applied to. It was the best program I had hoped to get in, with linkages to multiple medical schools. I was humbled by the news, but also felt extremely unsettled. I had already decided to let go of this, and it got me thinking again and again.
In the end, I declined the offer. With a hint of "what if?" I did feel 100x lighter and freer after, though. It's been about two months, and I'm still dealing with the "what if's" from time to time.
Some days I am very glad that I had the breakdown. I tend to live in my thoughts and ideals, and I think it's very good that the reality of medical training entered my head early on. But some days, I wonder if I let my self-doubt grow out of proportion and made a mistake of turning such a wonderful offer down. I guess in the end, it just comes down to the attitude
Anyhow, I just wanted to share that journey with you. I would love to hear any comments, good or bad. I never knew I would go through such bad breakdowns at age 27. And I'm very glad to have found this forum to share my experience.
I hope I don't regret this decision and experience later down the road! (I'll make sure I won't.)
I too had a similar zen moment when I was at peace with idea of not pursuing med school. But when I would work with some Docs, it would bring me back to my previous goals. Hey listen it took me about 6-8 yrs to get my Anesthesia Masters that was my mini med school & I still want to go back and willing to put my family through the ringer b/c I KNOW that I will make an amazing Doc someday. I always tell the nurses I work with to not look at the overall time commitment b/c you will tabulate and ponder too much on "OMG its 4 to 8 yrs of my life" vs thinking about all the great stuff you will learn. Look, did you make a wrong move on not accepting, I cannot say that for sure but what I do know is that if you have nagging thoughts now you will later on. However if you have found your Zen place then kick that monkey off your back.