I am currently on leave of absence, after deciding in February 2011 that I wasn't sure if med school was right for me. I was a second year at the time that I left. The main reason for this was consistently poor performances on exams. First year, I failed a class but successfully re-mediated it over the summer. Second year, I failed the second exam of the year (yikes) but was able to get my grade up to passing for the course itself. I also received a marginal pass for another class. Looking back, I can honestly say that my study habits were extremely poor (if not non-existent) and, although I wanted to change, I was never able to find the motivation or self-discipline to do so. So, to make a long story short, I was sick of barely passing or failing every test, and absolutely frustrated with myself for not changing my ways.
Now that I am on leave of absence, I have been seeing a therapist, and I have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and PTSD from a sexual assault which occurred in college (I am not the same person as the previous poster re: sexual assault). Looking back at when I was in med school, it makes sense -- I was sleeping all the time or not sleeping at all (especially night before exams), had a total and complete inability to concentrate, was hardly eating some (most?) days, and was constantly anxiety-ridden (had to be prescribed meds).
In about 2 months, I have to tell the school whether or not I am returning next year. Although I have obviously been weighing the pros and cons of going back, I am more confused than ever. It is clear now that I was not able to perform to the best of my ability due to my ongoing issues from the assault. There is a part of me that wants to believe, now that I am dealing with these issues, have found a good therapist, etc., I will be able to go back to school and succeed. There is another part of me that wonders if maybe I truly just don't want to be a doctor, and I will continue to suffer from lack of motivation if I return to school, regardless of medication, therapy, etc. I can honestly say I hated med school while I was there, and I don't know if I want to go back -- but couldn't that be partially because I was having such a hard time? Maybe if I felt more focused, on-task, successful, etc. it would be more tolerable.
So I guess my question is, how am I ever going to make this decision? The thing I have been trying to figure out (above all else) is -- do I really want to be a doctor? Because that's what matters in the end. The problem is, I don't even feel like I can answer this question. There is a part of me that is still attached to medicine, but another part that no longer feels it's worth the sacrifice. I do have other interests, but I would need to go back to school and get an advanced degree for most of them (Masters degree, etc.) I don't know if I want to incur more debt yet end up with a lower-paying career -- my alternative choices don't pay much and I'm concerned about paying off my student loans. I would appreciate any thoughts or input.
There is no way anyone on the internet can answer this for you, but here are some thoughts.
First, if your LOA just started 2-3 months ago, you haven't had nearly enough time to deal with the issues you discussed. It will take another year or so. Whether you take that year depends on a lot of things, including finances, but don't expect that 3 months was enough time to resolve all the issues you mentioned.
Second, I strongly encourage you to find 3-4 FACULTY mentors, especially in fields you might be interested in and spend some real time talking with them about their lives, experiences and ideas. Don't give up if the first few folks you talk to don't have the answers. Also, look broadly, don't discount talking to late middle age guys....we might not have your perspective, but we might know a bit about life.
Third, from reading this post and your other posts, I think you still have a strong interest in medicine and probably have a lot to offer to the field and to future patients. You just need more time, more counseling and more mentoring to be sure.
You are welcome to PM me as well.