Should I go to Med School?

Sadly, I still don’t know the answer. I’m hoping this post will either get people to advise me or allow others in the same boat to know they’re not alone.

I set my mind to becoming a doctor when I was very young, even before high school. I was “really smart” and “worked hard;” my family always said I’d be the doctor of the Celarios. I really thought medical school was the way to go. I didn’t think twice about it until now.

There came a point during a study session that I just put my papers down and thought “what if med school isn’t for me?” I remember always defending the idea, saying the title and the money would make it worth it in the end. But will it really? The thing that made me second guess was how exhausted I was already being immersed in my work as a science major. I’ll admit I dislike some of the things I study, but for the most part I’m still very enthusiastic about learning more in the science and medical field. However, I’m not sure if “doctor” is the way to carry this interest on. I can’t imagine competing and working hard in school for another 4 years and then learning even more during a residency for MD. The amount of money and time spent feels heavy already, and when I thought of doing something else, a weight came off of my shoulders.

I later looked into the actual career. I love the idea of applying my knowledge toward helping others, but I get tired of routine and I enjoy my free time. I know that once I specialize as an MD, I can’t switch to a different specialty without going back to the classroom. Also, I much prefer being in a hospital as opposed to private practice, but the thought of being on-call after hours sounds dreadful. The leadership aspect and doing work outside of just the medicine itself (background checks on patients’ financial stability, etc.) work against me; I’d rather have someone to lean on and I only want to work with the patients.

It’s hard to make a decision so early, but a part of me is now leaning toward the PA (physician assistant) route. I can switch between specialties and the work won’t follow me home; I can depend on my doctor and stick to patient work. The only thing holding me back is my pride. My family was shocked when I told them about my doubts and told me a PA does the same work, if not more, but gets no credit and less pay. I’m worried I am making a mistake. But is the title and money earned as a doctor really worth it if I’m so unsure?

I intend on shadowing doctors and PA’s to make a decision. I’m hoping I’ll figure something out soon~