Disclaimer: I am not asking for medical advice, I merely want to see if any residents or attendings out there have either gone through such issues themselves, or had colleagues who have. I am currently very early in the process, I am a non trad student (31 yrs old, male 6'3") at a post bac program. My first love in medicine and my dream, has been surgery. However, I have some back issues. Beginning at about age 23 or 24, I had several episodes of lumbar strain, where I experienced a great deal of stiffness and pain, and restricted mobility for a week or two, and then it went away. In 2008 I had an MRI that confirmed an L5 S1 herniation, and some small anular tears in other discs. Then a couple months ago, I injured my back, experienced lumbar strain, except it didnt get better after 2 weeks and instead morphed into some severe sciatic pain. 2 months later, and it has started to finally get gradually better, although I'm still unable to run or walk long distances or exercise. I am now wondering about my future, and if my history means I should find another passion or get out of medicine. A friend who just finished a rads residency told me I should look for a different field. A semi retired family friend who is an ortho said otherwise.