For the longest I've struggled with the infamous question "Why do you want to be a Doctor". There are no medical professionals, physicians etc. in my immediate family (or even distant) that I could look up to and/or that I aspired to be like. I am not from an affluent family, background or area, that would have provided me with exposure to various esteemed professions. I never really considered any of my families medical histories to be overly traumatic and there was no profound moments that showed me, "Wow this doctor just really saved my/their life".
I simply have had this vision, for as far as my memory will go, that I wanted to be a doctor. I don't know where it came from but I can list and describe encounters, feeling, statements and what have you, that I have experienced in my life both directly and indirectly through family and friends, that has strengthened my interest and it has been like a burning sensation in the pit of my stomach, that I cannot get rid of. And, for the longest I struggled with fact that whenever I came across that question, (Why do you want to be a Doctor), my answer was never the same, or it didn't sound as nice or as moving as others I've come across.
I would become flustered because I couldn't decide if my defining "Why Medicine Moment" was:
- My grandmothers CHF (Congestive Heart Failure), End Stage CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease), or her COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- OR was my my Aunts' leg amputation due to diabetes and a series of strokes, that has left her barely functional and wheel chair bound
- OR My mom's recent diagnose of MS (Multiple Sclerosis) .....
- And the list can go on and on
I've had moments during shadowing or working in healthcare in some capacity or another and even with family, that have been completely amazing, from conversations with patients that remind me of my Granddad's witty mouth, to some interactions that were so meaningful that I got butterflies, because the patients saw me in the same light that I always envisioned myself, as someone's doctor, someone's educator, someone's confident, someone's leader, and someone's inspiration.
Then I think about my family and their medical tragedies and triumphs and the battles we are still fighting. While, I initially thought that their stories were "Average", these moment were actually very profound and were indeed what lead me down this path. And, I discovered that it's OK that I cannot pin point just one moment, because I have a series of defining moments. It's ok that my journey it not like yours, his, or her's!
At 4 years old instead saying I wanted to be a princess, unicorn or singer when I grew up, I said I wanted to be a doctor, I wanted to help the world and fix everyone's boo boos. And despite saying this some 20 odd years ago, I knew in my spirit then, what I have grown to realize through life experiences what I know now. God makes no mistakes, the passion and vision he places in your life, whether it was a vision given to you at 4 or 40, he makes no mistakes. We just have to find our path in life and this may not be easy but it is definitely a worthy pursuit!
"Before you were born, I set you apart for special work."