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M.D. For Life

Dear Sugar
I just turned 25 and decided to take a good look at my life and reevaluate my goals and the direction of my career. I am in my final year of medical school and after a few years of indecision about my chosen field, I decided that this might not be the job for me. It does not give me the thrill and adrenaline rush that it gives my friends and colleagues.

The deeper I get the more I realize this is too much of a time commitment and requires too many sacrifices unless it my true passion. To make matters worse, I am also second guessing my relationship with my fiancé. We love each other dearly, however our relationship has been strained for some time now and I am unsure if I am ready to follow through with this engagement.

My family is very supportive of my indecisiveness and my fiancé has offered me a financial and supportive safety net, but I am just not sure I want it. When I ponder what else I would do with my life if I wasn't a doctor I come up empty handed. I've wanted this career since I was a small child and I have spent so many years gearing towards this one career that I don't have any other skills.

Sometimes I think I'd be happiest watching daytime TV on my couch. What should I do about my career dilemma? Should I stay with this man and get married to him because he's offering me a way out of my job? M.D. Madeline

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Dear M.D. Madeline
I am sorry you are going through such a confusing time in your life; it sounds as though you need a well deserved break. You are not alone in second guessing your career choice. The stress of medical school and the pressure of following your childhood dream can be quite overwhelming, not to mention the added confusion of upcoming nuptials.

Marrying someone as a way out is not only unfair to your fiance, but unfair to you as well. Running away from your problems and fears however, will not make them disappear. Are you going through the motions because you don't want to disappoint your loved ones or are you feeling burnt out and overwhelmed? It is important for you to live your life for you.

There is nothing wrong with changing your career choice, people do it all of the time. You just need to ask yourself if being a doctor is really your dream. If it ultimately is, then go for it. It's been a long road and you are almost there. Perhaps you just need to get re-focused and centered.

I know your classes are very time consuming but it is important to take care of yourself and do some necessary soul searching. Is there anyone you can talk to; a guidance counselor or a friend? Could your sudden life reevaluation be a mixture of feeling trapped and confused?

Not knowing exactly what you want to do is a normal feeling and can sometimes take years to discover. Your medical degree will not be wasted no matter what you end up doing. There are endless careers out there and I am sure, with time, you will find your niche. You should be very proud of yourself for coming this far.

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