I was supposed to go to medical school. I was studying for the MCAT but my bipolar disorder was raging. My moods were up and down, and I couldn't concentrate well. I was struggling with the physics section and had a hard time sitting for an all day test. I was going to go to medical school because it was what other people thought I should do. My heart wasn't in it. So I stopped the process and didn't apply to medical school.
That was about 6 years ago. Now, I find myself wondering if I should have. My moods are doing way better. I'm passionately interested in medicine. I love helping my mother-in-law with her diabetes and blood pressure. I love learning about medicine. I love self-medicating myself. I love going to the doctor with her.
I know it's never too late. However, I also know that I can't do the things that applying to medical school and going to medical school requires. When you apply to medical school, you have to apply to several, and then move to the city of the medical school you get into. And then for residency, you get matched to a specific teaching hospital, and you have to move again to that new city. And then there are the long hours of residency.
Unfortunately, having to move would make my bipolar disorder go crazy. It's a big trigger for me. Also, just a day or two of a messed up sleep schedule can make me manic or put me in tears. I'm not mentally rugged enough for medical school or residency. And then there are the high student loan bills, and the uncertainty of the future of medicine in the United States, thanks to Obamacare and regulation.
So no medical school for me. I didn't even mention the cost of flying around for the medical school interviews. Did I tell you that money problems also make me stress, which also makes my bipolar disorder worsen?
So if I am going to do something in medicine, it is going to be something else. That's OK. There must be a reason for this bipolar craziness. My weakness might turn into my strength. I'm meant to do something else. Maybe it's to be there for my Mother-in-law, for now. And then something else.
By the way: I always find myself thinking about career changes when I'm on the manic side. I get all worked up. I have to remember to wait before making any decisions and see what I think about it all in a month or two.