2020 update – after stepping away from the pre-med track for 4 years to go to work for a company that is changing medicine, I’ll be matriculating at the Medical College of Wisconsin – Green Bay this summer.
To the disappointment of almost everyone I know, I withdrew my medical school application this November (Nov 2016).
And maybe for good reason (their disappointment, that is). After barely graduating high school I pulled the classic 180. I ended up graduating cum laude, was named the outstanding senior of my class, then earned a world class MCAT score.
Not quite the feel good underdog story, but a fine example for parents praying their kid will finally get his shit together.
Just when I was about to cross the finish line by getting into med school to go on and live happily ever after-
I withdrew my application and went to work for a startup that embodies my life work.”Why?!?” asked my loved ones, classmates, and advisors. Why after working so hard to put myself in a position.
That’s a story in and of itself; involving divine providence, the fine art of doing shit that scares you,
My method for arriving here.
Reduce to first principles. When reflecting on what you want to do if life ask yourself why 3x. Then how, then what again.
The problem is we generally think in reverse and justify our presumptions instead of diving down to what truly matters.
When adults ask what we want to be when we grow up we are classically conditioned to say;
- this is what I want to do (be a doctor)
- how I am going to do it (get good grades and go to med school)
- why I want to do so (b/c I like science and helping people)
What do I:
Why do I want to be an MD?
to help people.
Why do I want to help people?
b/c its fun.
My challenge to you? Do the same. give true contemplation as to why you are pursuing an MD? the prestige.
why become a dietitian? if you want to help people with their diet, start today.
Time away from an undertaking further fuels passion and kills desire.
i.e if I really want to be a doctor for the right reasons a gap year or even decade will only make this more clear.
if I desire to be a doctor to please my ego, a year stepped away will extinguish the sparks.
The last thing I ever need to do, is pursue an endeavor to please other people, or worse my ego.
Comment w/ your 3x why.