For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be one thing: a doctor. It started out with me wanting to be a neurosurgeon, which transformed to a desire to practice cardiology, and soon led me to an interest in doing research. My dream has literally always been to save lives. Along the way though, I somehow lost sight of the why and started focusing on the why not.
Coming from a first-generation family I had very little (basically no) knowledge of what it would take for me to achieve my goal of becoming a physician. In my mind it was as easy as 1-2-3. But when it came time to head off to college, I was so focused on just getting in and staying afloat that I lost sight of asking questions that directly pertained to my interest in further studies beyond undergrad. Because of that, I started my pre-medical education quite late in the game and it overwhelmed me and brought tons of doubt into my mind. It was not until I met one specific pre-professional advisor that I began to feel as though I had given up too soon. She reminded me that it would not be an easy journey and that she knew that I am capable, but that I too needed to realize and embrace that I am capable of being successful on this journey
I continued taking my courses and even added a general science major to my first major (exercise science). However, as I continued in the programs life circumstances occurred and my performance suffered. After so many years of wanting something I suddenly felt my dream slipping from my grasp and I frantically started looking for an alternative option as my senior year approached.
Fast forward to now, I am studying public health and still working to accomplish my goal of working to save lives. To be honest, public health is a population based field and thus saves lives on a broader scope than the individual focus of clinical medicine. So why am I not satisfied? Every day I find myself wondering if I could have gotten into medical school, or if I should still try to pursue medical school. Without even trying, I pushed aside the one thing I wanted to do my entire life for fear that I am not good enough based on the opinions of others along the way in addition to a few negative experiences along the way.
As much as I love public health and can truly say that I do not regret the choice to study it, I also know this is not the end of my journey. To make the type of impact that I hope to make, it is going to take the effort of me working to reach my true professional goal. I know that it will not be easy or quick; but, I am 100% sure that it will be worth it. I want to be a physician and I want to save lives. I put it on the back burner once, but know this: I will not do that again. I have my eyes on the prize.