After receiving a phone call from Robert Wood Johnson, I was overjoyed because of my first medical school acceptance. However, I had yet to realize I was at a significant disadvantage. I had no academic mentors, no physician family members, no one who could guide me every step of my medical education.
During the first day of my psych rotation, my attending told me to interview a bipolar female who had just been admitted. When I introduced myself to her, she said she was 24 and a PhD student. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I was shocked. This was so close to home. We were similar ages and at similar stages in our education, but she had just been committed to a psychiatric hospital for paranoia and auditory hallucinations.
The truth is going into medicine is a serious commitment. Four years of medical school plus 3-5 years of residency and an additional 1-2 years if you’re considering a fellowship. As soon as you begin school, it’s practically like an engagement and the first thing my mom taught me about marriage is never get married if you’re not ready.