Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Hard. Things are hard.

I've been in a funk this term, and wonder if this will all be worth it. I'm tired, and feel like the world of medicine is too large and expansive for me to ever fully grasp; just trying to learn the basics and review the concepts is wearing me out, and I don't want to feel this way anymore. My classmates don't seem to be working this hard to keep up and I hate the time and energy I put into schoolwork; time and energy that doesn't always pay off. I have a terrible time memorizing, and the time it takes for me to learn things (so I will remember them forever) isn't available.

I called my mom last night and told her that I wasn't sure this was going to be worth it. Through tears I told her how tired I am, how sick of classes I am and how much I hate exams. She did what moms are supposed to do and told me it would pass, that it would look better from a distance and that she was keeping a good thought for me.

Then, later on last night, I got this in an email:

Dear Kristen,
I opened my heart and have been listening ~ what can I say to you? I have thought about what you said, your words and the pain behind them. Now I have some questions, and there are no right or wrong answers. In fact, there may be no answers at all. At times there are just questions.

Where is your passion?
What is your dream?
What are you willing to sacrifice?
What price is too high?

If being a doctor is your passion and treating patients is your dream, then no sacrifice is too big and no price is too high. Nothing will stand in the way of your dream - not books, not classes, not teachers, not time or space or money. If you are truly living your passion, you will endure whatever is necessary and allow whatever time it takes.

We make choices. We change with time and experience. We trade one dream for another; we exchange one passion for another; we make accommodations for the life we are living, and that can change again and again. It is not right or wrong to change; it is honest to acknowledge what is true for us. We do not have to make excuses if we are living our dream, and we do not have to apologize if we change our mind.

Anything worth having takes work. The life lessons keep coming. What we want and what we need are not always the same. Thank God we are here to experience all that life offers

Somehow knowing that I could say I'm done and walk away from this helped. I thought long and hard last night, and think that I still want to be a doctor. I'm not 100% positive, but I think factoring in the next round of exams and future boards are what's holding me back. I hate this, and I hate how I feel; but for now it's what I need to do to get to where I'm going and where I want to be. I think I can live with that for another few months.

Happy Birthday Mom; and thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Blogger Anne-Caroline said...

Kristen - It may not seem worth it now, and you'll probably go through periods where you question it again, but when you make the difference in patients' lives (more often by being there, than by what you know), it will be all worth it. If, for some reason, you get to the wards and you don't feel that way, the great thing is that a medical degree is a springboard into a lot of different careers, not just in to being a doctor. Questioning is good - because it means you allow room for change. Many people get "stuck" in medicine because they do not allow themselves to think outside of medicine, and they feel they have invested too much to leave. This is always a mistake - and at least you are reflecting about what this career means to you. Chin up, study hard, do your best - it will be worth it!

12:01 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

What a great mom you have.

We all go through lows in our lives and imagine the pressures of med school make it even harder to keep your focus clear. Just follow your heart and it will all work out.

11:14 AM  

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