When I thought about becoming a doctor, it never fully dawned on me how drastically medical school would affect my life. The road to medicine is not easy, but it is important that you understand that you are NOT alone in how you feel and that we all have had to walk the same path.
It was a period that was incredibly tough academically and emotionally, but the life lessons I learned during that time have been pivotal to the woman I am today. The fact that it was a period where I had no choice but to be selfish when it came to my time prepared me for being able to balance things later in my life.
So I wanted to give you a few of my takeaways from those challenging years of my life.
You will sacrifice your time.
I gave up 12 years of my life to become a physician. And what I realized is that during that time life goes on for all of your friends and family. So what does that mean? That means that there will be parties, weddings and many other events that you will not be able to attend.
Does it suck? Absolutely!
But what I came to realize is that the sacrifice is well worth it! Also, it is just for a limited time! But I must warn you; there will be days when it will sting to see your friends on vacation, going to parties and enjoying their holidays while you are sitting in the library or local Panera bread studying. But you are putting in time and energy for a certain period so that you can live in the future the way you deserve and crave!
You sacrifice some money-making years.
While in medical school and residency you will miss out on some high earning years. I mean essentially you are looking at four years in medical school and then anywhere from 3 to 7 years in specialty training. That is a long time!
I know for me, I went into $300,000 in debt becoming a physician. That was a hard pill to swallow, mainly because I hate interest and I did not want to spend the rest of my career paying off loans!
Also, it sucks when you can’t afford the things you want, but this is something that potentially gets better once done with your training. Have faith and know that there are many blessings ahead of you when it comes to your finances.
You may sacrifice some relationships.
I hate to say it but this journey may cost you some relationships. You will have to say no to many things including significant parties for your friends and family and maybe even being an emotional support for your friends. Some people will not realize that you REALLY are that busy and that any extra time you have should be spent sleeping and resting. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen to you but it can and that is why I am preparing you here. Honestly, if you lose friends, it probably means that they were not the people intended to stay in your life.
This path is not easy, but success is not easy. One thing I can tell you is that the sacrifice is worth it. As I write this, I am blessed to sit in the first home that I bought and student loan debt free because of the financial blessings this career can bring!
I know it can be hard when you’re deep in the tunnel and you can’t see the light, but there is a bright light ahead!
I know you will have hard days. I have been there. It is a lot of hard work! But also know that many of us understand and that you CAN and WILL get through it!
You got this!