How I knew I wanted to be a doctor

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

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One of the most common questions I receive.

How did I know I was making the right choice, in going to medical school?

I grew up believing that I was going to be a doctor. I had nothing to base this off of, as no one I knew personally was in medicine. Call it a gut feeling, if you will, but something told me this was my calling. Over time, I of course had to be sure this was the actual truth, and in high school I started to pursue small opportunities here and there, to gain more exposure to the field of medicine.

It was a terrifying decision to make. I will congratulate any of you that decide to take that step, and say “I’m going to shoot for medical school”. It is a HUGE decision. It means planning your future in detail, for the next 10+ years, to give yourself the best shot at success.

I was hooked after I saw my first Rescue-911 show on tv. For ya’ll out there familiar with this show… it means you’re old, like me. Kidding kidding! But seriously, I had a major thirst for medical knowledge. I always wanted to know more about what happened to the patient, what did the wound look like, how did the detective doctor figure it out? These medical tv shows kept me on the edge of my seat in life!

As I started college, I was able to score a variety of volunteer positions (mostly in Emergency Departments, I might add), and these experiences were what really confirmed my love for medicine and my will to be a physician. I had already committed in my head, and with my curriculum, but it was absolutely essential that I be 100% positive this was the path I wanted to take.

For those of you interested in medicine, there are SO many options. Physician, nurse, physician assistant, radiology technician, nurse practitioner, therapist or mental health counselor. The list goes on. But how do you know which job title is the right one for you? I strongly recommend a long period of soul searching, and keeping it real with yourself.

What does that mean, exactly? It means you have to answer some questions. You have to answer to yourself.

 

Why are you choosing your path? 

What are you not admitting to yourself? 

Is your choice for financial or status reasons?

 

If you are considering becoming a doctor for either status or money, I HIGHLY recommend that you reconsider. It’s such a long road, and the brutal truth is that the debt is absurd. Your income as a physician comes much later than in other career fields, and the sacrifice of time, sleep, and balance can be tough depending on your age and where you are at with a family/marriage, etc.

I’m not one to tell any individual not to pursue their dreams. But I am always up for delivering the truth. And the truth about medical school and residency, is that it’s a brutal path that requires a ton of sacrifice. The choice to become a physician really is so subjective, and dependent on each person’s situation.

So how did I know it was for me?

  1. I LOVED school. Sorry guys… there’s no way you will like being a doc if you don’t like studying, reading, and learning… for life. My love for reading and studying decreased after I was a student for basically 12 years, but man did I love to read and study, back in the day!
  2. My personality is assertive. I always knew I could be good at making decisions. Not to say that I’m not indecisive sometimes 🙂 But my overall personality loves to have my hands in everything. I like the control, I wanted to carry the conversations and have the ability to drive the team forward.
  3. I was at a place in my life where the world was my oyster. I had my whole future in front of me, at the age of 18 when I started as a premed, and I knew I had to go for it.
  4. Most importantly… I had a divine love for becoming a physician. I literally lived for the thought of saving lives someday. I deeply wanted my super power, to be within my skull. I wanted to have the knowledge from time and experience, to make the hardest decisions and help people continue to live on this earth.

In regards to the other positions in the medical field that I mentioned earlier, they are all amazing decisions. I work closely with nurses, physician assistants, and technicians from all departments. Maybe one of these other positions is for you. They are all of equal importance, in my opinion. The medical field truly works wonders, because of team effort.

For those of you out there sitting on this decision, I don’t envy you. This is such a tough life decision. I promise you, that if you stay true to yourself and what you get excited about/what makes you happy, you will make the right decision.

 

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Just remember that once you make that decision, you keep pushing forward and never look back! The rest will be history…

 

 

Photos by Abbi Cooley, Shirt by Medthusiast, Jeans Current/elliot, Stethoscope by MDF

 

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14 thoughts on “How I knew I wanted to be a doctor”

  1. Olivia
      

    Thank you for this, I needed to see this.

  2. Tanya
      

    Absolutely loved this post!! You are an amazing inspiration 🙏🏽❤️

    • Cassie
        

      Thank you!!

  3. Sheila
      

    How did you decern between the different medical professions?

    My daughter wants to be a physician because she wants to be in charge and have that responsibility. She also wants to have the advanced knowledge base that a physician has over a PA. She doesn’t think a PA Has enough medical experience/education for the responsibility they have and that makes her (personally) nervous. She does not want to be a nurse.

    • Cassie
        

      Honestly, my answer won’t be very helpful 🙂 I never considered anything other than being a physician. I don’t remember PA school being very popular when it was my time to choose, but nonetheless I just had it in my mind that I was going to be a physician. I think it’s a tough decision! She is correct- the training is longer and more grueling in medical school vs PA school, but you obviously come out with a larger knowledge base and ability to troubleshoot. I work with some wonderful, smart PAs that have many years of experience and I love asking them what they would do with certain patients. I have noticed however that after medical school and residency training, my knowledge base is there for the most part, and that is of course what anyone would expect from a physician! 🙂 I hope that helps a little bit. The liability isn’t always that fun, however.

    • Cassie
        

      It’s really up to the individual! Just like you wrote, she will have to ask herself what characteristics of her job are most important. The only advice I have is to never do anything for money or status. Being a physician comes with significantly more responsibility and liability, that is the downfall. You, as her mom, can look at her personality traits and kind of help her make that decision too 🙂

  4. Danae
      

    Thank you for taking the time to write this! You are such an inspiration to me and my twin sister!

    • Cassie
        

      Thank you! That’s so sweet 🙂

  5. Emily
      

    This gave me goosebumps and encouraged me to chase my dreams. I’m currently applying to colleges as a premed and ready for the challenge! You are my inspiration and thank you so much for writing this!

    • Cassie
        

      Thank you for reading! I’m so glad you found yourself inspired 🙂

    • Cassie
        

      Of course! You should always keep your dreams within reach 🙂

  6. Jake
      

    I’m sitting here waiting for interviews and still second guessing my decision…. I have a multitude of passions and the idea of 7+ years of a singular pursuit is almost a sad since I am in my physical prime. But like you I couldn’t imagine any other longterm position in the medical field (except physical therapy which I also gravitate toward.) I think the kicker for me was working as an EMT realizing that the power to actually save another human beings life makes other careee pursuits trivial! But The sacrifice is real and this waiting period sucks, but thank you for putting out such great content!

  7. Starr
      

    Very inspiring! Thanks! Congrats on your engagement! I’ve always had a passion for the healthcare. I thought I wanted to be a RN, but I lost interest. I’m a 27 yr old figuring out my love for medicine. Undecided on what pathway I want to take. I have a daughter who is 4 months now. I know the demands of medical school and high demands. I’ve also grew an interest for NP and PA.

  8. Ashley
      

    I’ve seriously been on the fence about becoming a Vet for a few years now and have tried (and failed) to silence ‘the calling’ as I am 23 and felt like it was too late. Reading this has given me a different perspective and for that I am grateful! Any advice you have on the competitive admissions process as well as learning to love studying/school in general would be greatly appreciated 🙂

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