I know that from the title alone that I will be receiving a bombardment of “don’t do it if you’re not passionate!!!” That’s a fair response, but let me preface with this: I’m not not passionate. I like biology— a lot. The idea of being a doctor doesn’t fill me with dread, and it is something I can see myself doing and being good at.
The problem is I mentioned that it doesn’t fill me with dread, but it doesn’t necessarily excite me either. Everybody else I know who is on this path seems bursting with drive and passion and an absolute “I will be a doctor, or I will die" attitude. I feel virtually none of those things, and I have been wondering for a while if that means I shouldn’t do this. I just finished an undergrad in a pretty distinctly pre-med major with a cGPA of 4.0. I have been doing research since 2nd year and have decent ECs. I have not yet written the MCAT, but the plan is to begin studying next week and write mid or late August. I am a curious person, I really do enjoy helping others, I like solving problems, and am pretty empathetic, so I would like to think I would make a competent doctor.
But I always hear people say if you can imagine yourself doing anything else other than being a doctor, do that instead. Well, I can see myself doing lots of other things. But every time I think of making a plan to pursue one of those interests, I just feel this overwhelming push to stick to my current medical path, because I know that I am capable and it would be such a waste not to. For example, I could see myself being a professor, because I quite like teaching, but that involves a similar workload as becoming an MD does, so I think “why not just be a doctor?” (+ not passionate about research). I have a very business-oriented mind and love entrepreneurship, but then I think of the overwhelming risks and odds against you and think “why not just become a doctor? Stability + great career” I like computers a lot and could go into computer science, but again, I think “why not just become a doctor and make 3x that doing something you still enjoy?” I know and know and know that it isn’t about the money, certainly not the prestige (trust me, could not care less about that), but in the end, money does dominate to a great extent the type of life you will have.
I just feel like I have to do this, because it would be such a huge waste of potential (in my own mind; rationally, I know there’s nothing wrong with pursuing other careers) and work I put in these last four years. And again, it’s not like I hate the idea of medicine. I love most of biology (anatomy does does bore me, but physiology/cell bio is really cool to me). But then I wonder if I will feel regret at not pursuing other things, since this career is so absolute + difficult + time-consuming. I just feel like maybe I’m too much of a dreamer and have too many other interests and I need to crush them and think realistically, to put it bluntly.
I don’t really know what the point of this post is. I’m just really sick of being on the constant teetering edge of “do I really want this?” It’s driving me crazy, to be honest, and it’s the reason I haven’t written the MCAT earlier, and it is starting to mess with the quality of applicant I would be in this already difficult journey.
I guess what I’m asking for is some guidance. How do I make up my mind on this? Is this a sign I will be extremely unhappy in med school + as a doctor? Has anyone else felt this?
Sorry for the wall of text.