Volunteering? For med school.
Research? For med school.
It's all lip service and it makes me feel incredibly cynical and jaded. Now don't get me wrong, there's some great people there as well. But still.
On the side though, I'm am also going the business route. It was kind of my side major, but since I got into the B-school I decided it was unfair to treat it that way. So I gave it a bit more effort. I've gotten a much warmer reception-- I continue to be shocked by what should be considered routine-- actually getting a response to my emails among other things. So my med school/ other (business) career probabilities dropped to maybe 70/30. You'll notice I frame this from the pre-med perspective.
First and foremost my motivation for being a doctor was to help people. It may sound a bit lame, but I wanted to do something good in the world. Being a doctor was the profession that aligned most closely with my moral compass. In case you're curious, yes, I do have a very old-fashioned set of values.
Recently though, I wondered how much good could I do there-- what could I truly accomplish as a doctor? The American healthcare system is broken, hemorrhaging talent, money and resources. What could I do as another cog in a broken machine? More than likely I'd be stuck in a hospital working long shifts, seeing mostly in-patients (unless I did Emergency Medicine). I might ease someone here, save a life over there, but that would be the limit of my powers.
Maybe it would be better to try and fix the broken machine that is the healthcare system. Maybe doing something in the business school to look at making the healthcare system more effective and efficient would be a better way to achieve my career and moral goals. If I could cut even one or two percent of inefficiency from a hospital, I could potentially help more people than I could in 20 years of being a doctor.
I still want the white coat. But I'd be okay trading it for a black suit jacket. I'll hold off saying I quit pre-med. I'm 50/50 now, or at least that's what I stubbornly tell myself. I'm more or less done with my pre-med requirements-- Bio, Chem, Orgo, with only the need for a letter on a transcript to confirm Physics, which essentially I'm taking for the third time. I'l finish my Bio major. I'm not quitting because its too hard. I'm not quitting at all. Yet.