Reluctant to Tell People that I Want to be a Doctor

Just another stressed out student that is uncertain of life after university.

My dream job when I was a kid was always to become a doctor. But shortly I stopped having that dream because my grades were terrible in elementary school. I poured my passion into art and design and when I began to gain some confidence in myself as an artist, circa high school, I found my grades starting to improve. I started taking more science classes and before you know it, I am studying Life Science at Queen’s. As my life gears me closer and closer towards my childhood dream, and my current goal: med school; I am very reluctant to tell people that I want to become a physician.

I think it’s the fear of failure. I am fearful that by announcing my hopes of becoming a doctor that I will be judged should I fail to achieve such. Judgement not just from others, but also feelings of disappointment towards myself.

So when I am confronted with the question, “What are you going to do after university?”, I constantly find myself telling people about other careers that I have previously considered, such as pharmacy and research. And the more I maintained these responses to the seemingly unfair question (seriously people, I have rarely met students who know exactly what they are doing after university), I find myself less motivated in my pursuit of medicine. When you tell people that you want to become a doctor, people may unintentionally have higher expectations of you. I used to be scared of this. I was scared that I did not live up to other people’s expectations of a pre-med student. This sounds kind of ridiculous but I think many students feel the same way.

In the positive light, I think we should all embrace these unspoken expectations of an aspiring doctor, whether they exist or not. Let those sentiments be a motivation to work even harder. Hopefully next time someone pounders me with the notorious question, “What are you going to be?”, I can soundly tell them the truth and be content with all that.

Old Town Lengthy Road. SketchBook. 2019.

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