Today, a friend who sat next to me on the first day of medical school called me to tell me that she wasn’t coming back from the weekend. She was dropping out of medical school to be with her children and husband. She was putting her house on the market within the next two weeks, and would be gone from the city in three. She had had seven weeks left in 3rd year. She sounded so happy.
I envy her. I’m tired, and I’m genuinely scared that medicine isn’t worth the sacrifices it requires. I get to the hospital at 330am each morning (I get up at 250am) and leave around 5pm. The Viking doesn’t get home til past six, so functionally, we see each other for an hour before bedtime unless I have to study/ cook/ pack /shower to get ready for the next day.
My friends outside of medicine never even consider that a job may require them to work weekends on a regular basis. Or that a job would insist they work more than 40 hours without overtime or complaint. They have hobbies after work. They work out, and cook, and relax. They have 401ks, and salaries, and overtime, and the chance to travel while they’re young. And I don’t.
I honestly think that if I had felt this horrible about my future happiness in medicine at the start of 3rd year, I would have dropped out of medical school. At this point, I feel like the only thing keeping me going is my discipline- I’m too used to trying to stop trying especially, when I’m less than two months away from finishing this year.
I’m going to miss my friend dearly, but I’m proud that she had the courage to make a decision she knew was best for her. Maybe I’ll feel differently once I’ve slept, or once surgery is over and I can see my fiance again. But I wouldn’t choose medicine again.