I should be doing other assignments right now, but I got an urge to blog, so here I am.
I’ve always loved science and medical things. Cool science facts? Give em to me! Weird medical scenarios and obscene emergency room stories? Lay em on me!
I love learning about the body, it’s functions, and what keeps our bodies functioning. I got into nutrition because I think that physiology and the way our body reacts with the nutrients it receives is so amazing. I cherish my body, so I take care of it, and I thought my calling was to teach other people how to take care of it.
In a way, I guess it still kinda is, just from a different perspective.
Initially, I wanted to be a dietitian in a hospital setting. This way, I could be immersed in a job in the medical field, but not be subjected to all the merciless body fluids that other healthcare professionals are.
Once I started taking my science courses, I realized how passionate I actually am about science and the human body. I thought about finishing my dietetics major and then going back to school for Pharmacology.
I decided that Pharmacology would entail a whole lot of politics and way more organic chem than I preferred, so then I toyed with the idea of becoming a nurse.
Somehow, no matter how much I changed my mind about which direction I wanted to take my love for science, I kept drawing blanks. Nothing would satisfy my love for medicine. My career ideas just seemed like they all fell a little short of what I wanted to do, but I still had no clue what I genuinely wanted. Sometime during sophomore year of my undergrad, the thought of being a doctor crossed my mind. I mentioned it to some close friends and family members as an idea, as a “that might be kinda cool” thing. I did think about becoming a doctor in depth, I just didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t think I was smart enough for med school, or that I had the stomach that a medical professional would need in order to deal with obscene things on a daily basis.
One day this past summer (between sophomore and junior year of undergrad), I had an appointment with an ultrasound tech for some physical problems I was having. I made small talk with her about school, and work, and my major. She told me about her journey through college, and how she was still getting the hang of things but she loved her job. I remember telling her that I kinda wanted to be a doctor, but that I didn’t really have the stomach for it. She looked at me and she told me that it didn’t matter how amazing any doctor or medical professional was, they all had something that makes their stomach churn.
“Really?” I asked.
“Yeah, everyone has something that when they see it, they really have to focus on not puking or passing out for.” she replied casually.
It turns out, her thing was cauterization. Occasionally, she had to help with surgeries, and the smell of burning skin made her want to vomit.
Anyways, long story short that conversation really altered my view of the medical world. Honestly, that conversation is what persuaded me that I genuinely wanted to be a doctor. She really encouraged me to go for it, and that encouragement meant a lot even coming from a stranger.
So I focused on pediatrics. I decided I wanted to be a pediatrician. I love kids, and I love medicine, so it seemed like a right fit for me.
The fall semester had just started, and I was anticipating scheduling for the spring semester so that I could meet with my advisor and discuss plans with her for taking courses I would need to apply to medical schools.
On August 31st, I lost one of the closest people to me. He always cringed at my medical facts, and scoffed at my nutrition oriented diet suggestions, but he told me he believed in me, and that I was going somewhere with my life. Losing him took a toll on me, and I didn’t really know what to do with myself.
I know I shouldn’t use my best friend’s death as a reason to go to med school, but I don’t necessarily think I am. When my friend died, my automatic reaction was disbelief, and then my mind was going a million miles a minute.
“What could I have done to save him?”
“Why couldn’t the doctors save him?”
“What if we developed a way to save people who have been critically injured in cases like his that really worked?”
These thoughts, I realized, were what drove me in a sense right where I need to be.
I have realized, that sometimes messages that the Universe is trying to send us, aren’t always sent in the ways we hope or expect, but that they get to us sooner or later.
I just met with my advisor last week, four days before scheduling for the spring semester and she got me on track with the courses I need for med school. It’s terrifying and exciting and I worry that I won’t succeed, but I know that if I don’t try to fulfill my dreams of becoming a trauma doctor, that I will live my life regretting it.
So here’s to Dave, and saving lives, and struggling through college for what will seem like the next million years.
And you know what, here’s to taking risks. Big risks. Here is to CONQUERING FEARS. Here is to waltzing up to the unknown parts of life and asking for a dance.
Here’s to today, and tomorrow, and however many days we are given after that.