I was cruising down the road, soaking up the scenery and local color, and I realized how much I loved my current freedom. Being self-employed meant I could take a week off – unlike Matt, and it’s HIS car! – and even extend my trip a few days just because I was having so much fun.
Then I started thinking about med school, and how it would negate that freedom for the next 7 years. Worse, it would take mine just as Matt was recovering his. That made me reexamine my original reasons for wanting to get that MD. There are 4 big ones:
1) Medicine is fascinating! I love learning about physiology.
2) My worst nightmare has always been missing a diagnosis on a patient. Back pain can be a pulled muscle… or a kidney infection, or bone cancer. I wanted to be able to identify the true cause of problems.
3) I wanted lots of money so we can travel the world and have funky cars.
4) I had a problem being the “doctor’s wife.” My ego wanted a title of my own.
Once I examined these reasons closely, I came to some interesting discoveries.
1) Matt & I always discuss our cases, and we have bookshelves of texts. There’s nothing stopping me from learning.
2) I know enough now to catch red flags. I may not be able to diagnose, but I don’t think I’m going to let something slip by without a referral.
3) We’re already doing that! And on an anemic budget, too, thanks to some creative financing. Once residency is over, Matt’s income will triple. And of course I’ll have my practice. I don’t need millions. If I can do one big trip a year that’s good enough for me.
4) I don’t know when it happened, but sometime over the past year I grew up. I’m over the ego thing. Maybe it’s because I got that silly 35 on the MCAT – proof positive that I could have done it if I wanted to. But I think it’s more that I just love my life so much that the status is irrelevant.
So… no med school for me. This means I can stop waiting for my life to start – I can throw myself into my practice and take care of my body, house, husband, etc. I can learn about lighting in photography, and maybe even make a Fair Isle sweater. I can study advanced acupuncture (5 Elements!) and spend time snuggling on the couch.
I feel more relaxed, now. How about you?