October 1, 2017 at 4:32 pm #171181
Hi, I’m in need of some thoughts, different perspectives, advice.
I started a medical degree abroad and came home after being dreadfully homesick; missing my family, culture and worrying about my dad who is unwell. It was the best decision to make.
I completely went off the idea of medicine; I think I mistook the feelings of hating the place I was for hating the course. I thought I had been ‘enlightened’ to the idea that I never wanted to do medicine, that it wasn’t for me and I was not really doing it for the right reasons. Fast forward a few months and I am back on the medicine bandwagon but I am loving the psychology degree I have started an hour from my home. In addition to this I have also taken on a chemistry A level (the UK equivalent to a high school course).
The problem is that I’m not 100% sure I want to still do medicine. The teacher is really lovely but not good at teaching unfortunately. I have to do a lot of work in my free time; I’m afraid that this will impact my degree. I could leave the chemistry class now and resume it after my degree if I still want to do medicine or struggle on.
I think part of the problem is I feel like such a failure of dropping out of medicine. I am afraid of the future prospects of a career in psychology in terms of jobs and money but I love the topic and field. I am afraid that if quit chemistry I will regret it as I’ll have to take another year out to complete it later and I’ll feel like even more of a failure.
Sorry this is so long winded. I appreciate any thoughts.October 2, 2017 at 7:54 am #171247
I don’t understand: you wrote, ” It was the best decision to make” that is dropping out of studying medicine, correct? Then you wrote: “I feel like such a failure of dropping out of medicine”-
can you reconcile these two statements for me, that is, if dropping out of medicine was the best decision for you, how is it that you feel like a failure for having made that decision?
anitaOctober 2, 2017 at 8:43 am #171251
I meant that coming home from studying abroad was the best decision for my wellbeing and it meant that I could be with my family. Yet I feel like a failure for dropping out of the medicine course as it may have been my only opportunity.
DemmaOctober 2, 2017 at 8:56 am #171255
If you pursued a medical school, will that mean that you will be studying abroad again and so, be away from your family?
anitaOctober 2, 2017 at 9:03 am #171257
No, I would do it at home. Although it means I have to do A level chemistry so that I can even apply and I really am disliking the work along side my degree. I don’t have any confidence in the teacher either.October 2, 2017 at 9:14 am #171261PearceHawkParticipant
My initial thoughts are that taking care of your dad, being their for him and your family is most important. As for dropping out of medicine goes, these are my thoughts. Medicine is a field that demands your utmost attention. Having left that pursuit for the reasons you have was perhaps wise. I think that medicine is a field that one cannot go into to see if you like it or not. It’s not a hobby. What it is, is that it is profoundly stressful both in the academic setting and the occupational part. But I think that if you question whether or not you want to go into medicine then it is a time to step back, as you did, and re-evaluate your intentions. I have seen many a person who has gone through medical school, then their internship and residency, taken the board exams, and quit after a few years. I actually witnessed an young anesthesiologist who totally quit her job immediately after surgery. I remember her saying, ” I don’t need this. It’s not for me.” She was fairly ew to medicine, 2 years out from graduating from anesthesia, but over $250,000.00 in debt. Something to consider my friend. The thing with medicine is that, at least here in the U.S., is that in the medical community feel they have been under assault by insurance companies for being increasingly targeted for less and less financial compensation, especially surgeons. This is difficult from to digest because when I hear about the new cars they bought, or the exotic vacations they take, or the house they just bought, or the astronomical cost to put their kids through private schools, it makes me wonder.
As for psychology goes, I think that there is a huge need for psychologists given the increasing stress of our world. There are many aspects of psychology you can get into as you well know. One option that I find exciting is forensic psychology. There is a huge need for that, not to mention the good financial compensation. That is not to say that the field of psychology is not without its stressors. Indeed they are there. I have a friend who is a family psychologist and his complaint is that he listens to problems all day only to come home to hearing more issues from his family. He seems like his life is inundated with other people’s problems and there is little time for him to think about his own. I don not mean to put a cloud over your educational pursuits. I think psychology is fascinating, especially the forensic aspect of it.
I think your thought process is right on, very mature.
Feeling like a failure for making a wise decision that you know was best for you, serves no purpose except to inculcate self doubt in your mind. I doubt seriously that your decisions to quit chem and medicine was out of weakness. It is my belief that it was made out of strength. It may not seem so now, but doing so affords you the opportunity to re-evaluate your future and come to terms with what it is that you really want to do. I have more respect for people who realize that medicine is not for them, than I do for egos that think they are the best to answer the call and yet they function marginally, not all, and do less than optimum health care. Their in it for the title and prestige. The difference between God and a doctor is God knows he’s not a doctor.
Stay the course my friend. You are doing fine.
PearceOctober 2, 2017 at 9:19 am #171263
You made a good distinction between your interest in medicine and your dislike of the place where you lived studying medicine (“I mistook the feelings of hating the place I was for hating the course”)
Your lack of enjoyment of A level Chemistry, currently, has to do with the teacher not being good at teaching, another distinction (enjoying the subject matter itself vs. enjoying the teaching of it).
In your decision making of your future career, notice this: it is about what you will enjoy and benefit when employed that matters, not what you enjoy studying. In other words: you may enjoy studying psychology, because of the teachers, or the location, how nice the school location is, the cafeteria and what not, but you may not enjoy or benefit from the work prospects after graduating.
You don’t enjoy the teaching of A level Chemistry, but it is possible that if you endure that discontent, that it will lead you to a career that you will enjoy and benefit from.
I would focus, if I was you, on the long term goal, the goal of employment after the education, and then decide on the best way to get there.
anitaOctober 2, 2017 at 9:23 am #171265PeterParticipant
Yet I feel like a failure for dropping out of the medicine course as it may have been my only opportunity.
I’ve been re-reading ‘The Untethered Soul’ by Michael A. Singer a book that explores the question of who we are. He arrived at the conclusion that “our identity is to be found in our consciousness, the fact of our ability to observe ourselves, and the world around us”.
In other words, you are not your thoughts, you are not your mind, you are not your body, you are not your experiences, you are not your feelings, you are not your memories… You are consciousness that observes thoughts, mind, body, feelings, experiences, memories… (The authentic ‘I’ is the still point from which all things move, call it Buddha consciousness, Christ consciousness, the philosopher stone)
From that perspective, you get to step back and doing so direct your consciousness vice letting it run wild. Consciousness is attracted to ‘loud noises’, fear, anxiety, hope…. but undisciplined will fixate and feed what it fixates on. The practice is to learn how to direct our consciousness.
Michael suggests that when we are feeling like a failure that we ask ourselves Who is it that is feeling like a failure. What part of this I is feeling like a failure? If you drill down far enough you will discover this thing you think of as ‘I’ is observing this experience of feeling, and in observing can choose not to let it have a hold on you. (no need to fixate) The Experience was something for you to notice, and once noticed can be allowed to pass through.
We cannot know how our choices may or may not impact our path of experience however knowing that the authentic ‘I’ is the observer there is never failure or loss of opportunity. You are exactly where you need to be for the next experience to happen.
And here is the secret… this place you find yourself moving from is the only place in which you can move from. If your on the wrong foot, the only way to get to the right foot, is by moving from the wrong foot. And when you get to the right foot you know that there was no other way to have gotten there then by having moved through the wrong one.
January 29, 2018 at 11:23 am #189633
- This reply was modified 3 years ago by Peter.
I am so so so sorry to everyone that replied and I thought I replied to you but it seems I had not. Thank you for taking the time and energy.
Yes, I left the chemistry course but I am still doing psychology. I do enjoy psychology but I still think medicine is for me, maybe that will change, I do not know but for now, I am going with the flow and trusting in the path. It will not be a wasted experience, it will always be useful. I am trying to do one thing at a time whether that is psychology then chemistry and then medicine or maybe no chemistry or medicine. I’m learning to take life as it comes, a difficult process but much needed.
Thank you all again for your responses and my sincerest apologies again, I did not mean to disrespect anyone. I think I was in a very stressful situation and just wanted to forget about all of it once the decision was made.
Best wishesJanuary 29, 2018 at 11:48 am #189641
You are welcome. Glad you are back, not late at all to respond, as far as I am concerned.
I like your flexibility, “trusting in the path”, doing “one thing at a time”, and being committed to this “difficult process” of living mindfully, as I understand what you mean by this process (?)