I get asked this question periodically in my real life and I realized the other day that I have not really talked about that here. At least that I can remember. I have written a ton of crap though, so if I have I am sure as heck not gonna go looking for it.
So in response to JF of Pursuit of Happiness and his post “Our Ways” I decided to write about this question today.
You may be expecting to hear me say that I knew I always wanted to be a doctor but that would be a lie.
My first memory of thinking about becoming a doctor was as a first or second grader.
My father asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought quickly about what would get me a pat on the back and said, “Nurse.” “Why not be a doctor?” he responded. Well, truthfully, I did not think girls were allowed to do that. This exchange is interesting because when medical school became a goal, my parents were the ones who were dead set against it. Because I was a girl.
I did not really think about medicine again until I was in college looking at starting a Ph.D. in genetics. I knew I had to have a doctorate in something. I wanted to hear people call me DOCTOR. After all of the bullying I had been a target of as a kid, I needed to know that I was better than all of them.
I received a scholarship in my senior year to do research on a protein in pea chloroplasts.
I knew right then and there that I needed to think about something else.
I realized that I really, really wanted to do Gross Anatomy if I did nothing else with my life. I knew in my bones that this was what I needed to do with my life.
So I graduated (too late at that point to apply to med school) and did a year of research while I went through the application process.
The problem, I quickly found out, was that despite good grades and MCAT scores, I had “too much science” under my belt. It was one of those times that the pendulum was swinging that way. I was told several times that I either needed to move to a demographically underserved area where it would be assumed that I was a minority and it would not matter, or I needed to get a liberal arts degree.
I got in, you bastards.
And here I am.