Jul 19, 2015
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hey. I will be a senior in college this semester and am re-thinking my career choice. I have worked really hard and have a 4.0 gpa through 6 semesters of college. I come from a family of physicians (everyone except my parents). My grandpa, professors at schools, and even friends have always pushed me to go to med school. Ever since I was young, I wanted to go to med school.

However, I don't know if its truly fits who I am. Other people take mission trips to Honduras etc. to set up clinics and help poverty stricken people down there. Honestly, that would be the last thing I would want to do. My sister came home last night with a sprained ankle and wanted me to look at it...honestly I didn't even want to look at it "just take some Advil and you'll be fine!". Also, I couldn't imagine doing any "procedures" in Med school. Anytime I am in a situation like that in a lab class I would always prefer someone else to dissect the pig etc, I don't want to be responsible if something goes wrong.

Over the summer I did research and didn't necessarily enjoy it. However, I really enjoyed being in a hospital. I enjoy working in a credible, reputable, and prestigious place. I also like being the bearer of knowledge and an "expert" that people go to for advice. I don't know what to do. I spoke with someone else that recommended going into pharmacy...maybe clinical but I would hate retail. I need some advice at this point!


2+ Year Member
May 16, 2015
Medical Student
Don't do it because you have the grades. Don't do it if other people want you to do it. And definitely don't do it if YOU don't want do it.

The med school route is a LONG road. Can you imagine yourself getting 200-400k in debt (depending on tuition, location, etc), work extremely hard for 4 years of med school (college is BREEZE compared to med school), then do another 3-7 years of residency? If you're not completely sure and very passionate about medicine, you will NOT make it. During those times when you're burnt out from studying, if there's nothing driving you forward to completing this goal, you won't WANT to. If you're not sure, go shadow some doctors and see if you even like what they do! And to see if you'll think it's worth it go to through all of this just to do what they do.

You seem like a smart kid and I'm sure can go into whatever field you set your goals for, but don't be half way through med schools with a couple hundred thousand dollars of debt before you realize that med school is not for you. STOP worrying about what your family and friends want you to do. In the end, you're going to be the one that has to spend your WHOLE life doing this, NOT them. They have nothing to lose, but you do.


Grand Rounds
Lifetime Donor
2+ Year Member
Jun 9, 2016
I don't know what to do. I spoke with someone else that recommended going into pharmacy...maybe clinical but I would hate retail. I need some advice at this point!
Good comments by @cyang55.

Perhaps take a year off to explore your "own" goals, consult with a career counselor, or "try out" some other things that might interest you, eh?

One of my best students decided that she no longer wanted to pursue medicine, despite her family's expectations. Like you, she hailed from a family of physicians; she also had a stellar GPA and a high MCAT score, and was promptly accepted into medical school. One year later (as an MS1) , and after much soul-searching, she withdrew from medical school and began to pursue a master's degree in health care administration. She liked solving problems, being a leader, being around people, working in a hospital, and sharing knowledge with other people. Now, she is a (well-compensated and well-respected) hospital administrator and an adjunct lecturer at a university. She is very happy with her career choice and does not regret withdrawing from medical school. It was her choice (and her life), and she was sufficiently mature (and sensible) to follow her own true calling. Bottom line: it's okay *not* to become a physician - especially when you do NOT want to be a physician.

Thank you.


2+ Year Member
Sep 14, 2015
United States
if you have the mentality "i don't want to do it because I don't want to be responsible if something goes wrong" - which by the way is perfectly fine - then yes I would seriously consider whether medicine is really for you. the responsibility of a physician is tremendous, and you have someone's life in front of you