First and second year was pretty decent. I got to make my own schedules and really only went to class for exams. I had my daily studying completed by the time my classmates got out of class by not attending classes each day.
At some point during the beginning of second year, we had to begin doing H&Ps on real patients in the hospital. We were assigned a preceptor, and we met with him or her once per week for a few hours while we saw our patients, wrote up an H&P, and then presented.
If I had to mark one single point during my medical school career that I started having second thoughts, it was during this time. From the first day I stepped into a “real” patient room and starting asking questions to get more information, and then finally going into the physical exam, I started to realize this wasn’t what I had signed up for.
But, most of my time was spent studying with my own schedule so life was pretty good. The fake H&Ps eventually ended and then we all moved to third year.
This is basically where my initial thoughts during second year were solidified. I started third year on pediatrics in the outpatient clinic. The hours were good, but I didn’t particularly care about dealing with lots of kids or the parents. Still, looking back pediatrics was probably the lesser of the evils in terms of clinical rotations.
After pediatrics was OB/GYN. Now, this is where it really got shitty. I hated OB/GYN. I mean I really, really hated it. It was at this point that I had second thoughts about quitting.
Why didn’t I just go ahead and bite the bullet then? I tended to always talk myself out of it. The thoughts in my head were something like “I’ve already done two years of medical school, what’s two years more?” Each rotation that I had completed (and hated) was only one step closer to finishing school — and one step farther away from me getting out.
But then I’ve always believed that sticking it out was the most ideal situation. Fall-back plans are great, as you never know what is going to happen in the future. The desire inside of me to always have a fall-back plan — all bases covered — is what kept me in for the long haul.
Knowing how things worked out, I am very satisfied with my decision and I feel that I made the best one for me. But making that decision with an unknown future was certainly scary. Now, the company is doing extremely well and I am completely happy. I could technically go back into medicine if I ever needed to. But, I don’t think this will ever be necessary.