Medicine Conflict

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my career path. You see, I graduated from a course that wasn’t my forte. Nursing is a popular career in our country when I entered college. At the time, I didn’t know what to take, so I took my parents’ suggestion. I don’t pin it on them though. Aside from my friends, I hated every single part of it. Hate might be a harsh word, but I can tell you that every day was a struggle. I didn’t appreciate my classes. I have never participated in any activity that involved the college. And I always had a stinging feeling in my gut whenever I’m in the classroom or doing field work.

Even so, I endured. I graduated on time and got my license. But that was it. I have long decided to not turn my course into a career. I didn’t have the guts to tell my parents though, as they will be furious and disappointed. Of course, that fear only lasted for a while. It didn’t take them long enough to realize that I wasn’t looking for any job.

My father was the first to confront me. He insists that I am making a huge mistake and that I’m going to regret it twenty years from now. I understand where he’s coming from. He is an engineer on paper, but never practiced it. He had to work on different jobs to feed us. That’s why he doesn’t want us to ‘waste’ our education.

My mom, on the other hand, is very supportive on my decisions. She actually encourages me to follow what I want and realize my dreams. While her words are very reassuring, I can say that she’s having a hard time dealing with it. She’s in foreign land for years now, trying to support us. It pains me to know that she has to stay there for me to have a diploma. I want her to stop working. I want her to rest.

You see, I’m at an impasse. I don’t want to disappoint my family or myself.

Enter Medicine. The sacred profession that every kid has dreamed about. The ultimate goal of overachievers in school. Sitting all day in your office and earning cash from merely giving prescriptions is promising, no? I think more than half in our batch took admission exams in order to study this esteemed body of knowledge. As expected, most of them failed. I have nothing against them; there’s no harm in trying. But I have qualms about their sincerity. Are they taking up Medicine because they really intend to be doctors? Or are they on a dead end because they have no jobs and need a way out?

This year’s NMAT is now open for registration. Note: the NMAT is the first step if you want to study medicine here. You can try as many times as you want, and you don’t really pass or fail. It simply measures how smart you are. Your score will be used by your chosen university to judge if you are intelligent enough to enter their institution.

I already registered online, but it won’t be finalized until I pay the fee. I started to read some study materials though. I’m really doing my best to focus on it, but I can’t. I am so ambivalent. I keep on justifying that taking this exam is no big deal. That I can back out anytime I want. I don’t want to waste my time anymore. If I’m going to take the exam, I must assume that I’m going to be a doctor. I can’t say that I will only try it. No — that’s impractical and illogical.

There are other reasons why I’m bugged about this Medicine thing. I’ll just list them down. Lists are fun.

1. Money. This goes without saying. Even if I apply for a scholarship, we still have to spend tons of money. My youngest brother is going to college in two years. If I study now, I have to sell my kidneys after two years to survive. Seriously though, my parents will have to shoulder the expenses and I’m afraid that they’ll die working for our future. Scary thought.

2. I want to be a doctor, but I don’t need to be one. Sure, I have dreamed about it. I can definitely live without it though. For me, this means that I’m not really passionate with the profession. I think it’s probably because I know stuff about health but that’s it. I don’t intend to help indigent people or be a slave to a foreigner who has a terminal disease.

3. It’s nice to study again. But studying again for six to eight years? Hmm… I have a thirst for knowledge. I need to learn in order to grow. I know that studying Medicine will satiate that thirst, but what will happen afterwards? After I’m done with that university, almost half of my life is over. I can always learn on my own anyways.

4. My friends influence me heavily. I’m lucky to have intellectual friends. They have been convincing me to enter Medicine with them. While it’s fun to think that we’ll all be in college again, I think that we’ll hardly have the same experience as last time. I don’t want to do this just because my friends told me to. If that is the case, then I can just let them direct my life.

Those reasons are just the tip of the iceberg. I can think of micro-reasons, but they will sound redundant. Now, before you say, “Then don’t take it. Simple as that,” hear me out. I wish can do just that. But I really want my life to have direction. I don’t want to bitch about my broken ambitions when I’m frail. I don’t want to grow old full of regrets. Should I fail, at least I tried to chase my dreams.

Here’s what I really want to do. I want to study Communication or any art-related course. I am deeply passionate with self-expression and the arts, but I never had the chance to focus on that. I want to immerse myself with people whom I share the same passion with. When I was studying, I always felt that I was an outsider. Not with people but with ideas.

I have voiced this out a couple of times already, but they weren’t really excited with the notion. “I have to study again when I already achieved something,” is what they always imply. I know. I get the point. I made an achievement in something that I dislike, so that’s dead weight to me. I want to be challenged. I want to fail at something that I am passionate about and overcome it. That’s how I want to live my life.

I fear that if I take Medicine, it won’t excite me. It’s already hard for me to get through Nursing, and I bet that it will be the same for Medicine. I strongly want to follow my goals, but the reality of life always gets to me.

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