I made up my mind to become a doctor on a whim in 10th grade.
My biology teacher suggested that I consider it. Someone had told her the same thing in high school and she went the teacher route instead.
No one in my family is in the medical field, and until that day I thought I was either going to be an architect or an interior designer. But doctor. That sounded good.
And for the next ten years I put myself on autopilot.
Graduate high school with honors: check.
Get into college pre-med program: check.
Pass the MCAT: check.
Apply to dozens of med schools: check.
Get accepted to med school: check.
Apply to dozens of residencies: check.
Get accepted to obgyn residency: check.
Pass three rounds of licensing boards: check.
My family and friends would tell you they expected no less from me. I have always been a goal driven, no nonsense, pedal to the medal, get it done kind of girl. I get an idea in my head and it’s game on. Good attitude, right? Yea, but not once during those 10 years of schooling and pushing and pursuing did I actually ask myself if I still loved the idea of becoming a doctor. Because, let me tell you, if you don’t love the idea of becoming a doctor, it isn’t worth the time…the money…the stress. Oh Lord, the stress.
And that’s where I found myself at the beginning of my obgyn career. It wasn’t just “do I still love being a doctor?” I couldn’t really convince myself if I had ever loved the idea of being a doctor. I think I just went through all the motions because I could, because it was a goal that I could work towards.
So let me backtrack a minute and be even more honest. I spent most of my time in college fighting with myself. I let family issues and boyfriend issues take over my life. Studying was my escape, and in turn I got into medical school. Which more or less ended up being a new start for me.
I spent most of my time in medical school finding myself. All the loves I have today – healthful cooking, championing local food, distance running, skiing, my husband – I found them all when I started being me, respecting me, putting me first instead of everyone else.
So why was I so unhappy? Successful doctor with productive hobbies and a husband-- I know that I’m lucky beyond belief. But I was frustrated because I felt like being a doctor was stealing time away from pursuing my hobbies and loving my husband.
Because not only was I a doctor… I’m an obgyn. And if you know anything about medical specialties, you know that mine is typically overstressed, underslept, and constantly working. I chose this crazy busy specialty and I wasn’t even sure if I loved being a doctor. (That decision is a story for another day)
What I really wanted to do was help people find effective ways to workout, eat well, and live healthy. You would think you could do that as a doctor, but you can’t. (Another discussion for another day) I was too late to change careers. I know there are a million quotes out there about it never being too late to chase your dream… but realistically I have $250K in med school loans and won’t pay that off in any other job. I was sad, exhausted, and unfulfilled and despite that, kept chugging along.
Enter a strategically placed Instagram message from my [now] personal coach. “Have you ever wanted to work in health and wellness? I think you’d be great at it. No pressure, but if you want to learn about what I do, let me know.” How did she know? I have a separate Instagram account where I post my love of running / fitness / food / cooking, for people who don’t mind being inundated with my workouts and meals. She noticed. I took it as a sign and became a health and wellness coach on her team.
...To be continued...
...To be continued...