Its 2:36pm, Thursday afternoon at the Nephrology Clinic, CHOP. Students are seen sitting on executive chairs, across one another in the consulting room, it’s been a long day. They are having their Senior Pediatrics rotation and activities are at their peak, having received additional logbook pages to compensate for the four week extension to the posting. Two students, in their early twenties, are seen engaging in an argument.

Tunde_ I don’t agree with you Tade. That way, you can choose whether to or not to practice medicine.
Tade_ That is not true. I hear people say that often but, if you don’t have a choice, you will have to practice medicine.

It is quite nauseating when a young man in his twenties talk about how, as regards an area of his life, he doesn’t have a choice. I mean, how can you resort to thinking you are boxed up but to do or be okay with something you don’t like, at such a tender age.

Come to think of it, you are young, healthy, energetic and zealous. You are not mentally retarded, you can think. You can reason. Your hands are in good state, you can work. Your legs are fine, you aren’t crippled. Then, what is the excuse? What, other than laziness, is the reasonable explanation for putting your eggs in a basket?

Your excuse…medicine? Obviously not. As engaging and demanding medicine is, you still get free time here and there. I am sure you have seen classmates of yours in one business or the other. Some of them could choose not to pursue a career in medicine upon induction, devoting their time to their chosen dream business.

There are a number of options open to anyone in medical school or afterwards. Don’t get caught up doing what you do not want to do for the rest of your life. Haven spent 6 years in school studying medicine is not a reason to pursue a career in it. For some of us, we got in because of our childhood dream. Now we are grown, we know what it involves and we have doubts.

These are early years of our lives, we are not expected to have life figured out. These are times to experiment, make mistakes, take risks, get your heart broken, break someone’s heart, fail, be disappointed, get uncomfortable, make enemies, annoy people,…

You as well need to meet people, have friends, learn skills, improve yourself, self educate, learn punctuality, gain experiences, attend paid conferences and summits, learn commitment, devotion, loyalty, meeting deadlines, being decisive, being responsible for things, among others.

Where your money is, your mind is also. Get ready to spend to learn, you will never regret it. Remember, you can always get money back, you can’t have time back. Money is primarily the end point of being to school, you will get more of that in time. The same is not so for time. Every second, after its gone, cannot be recovered.  You are in school, you have the time. A lot of things change after you graduate, you can’t afford not to be ready.

Don’t worry about people, what they say or do. No one has their lives figured out. Do what you need to do. You can start again, it is never too late. Think about it, your colleagues, you have been together for three four five years now, you don’t need to “form” for anyone. They know you already. They have an idea of who you are yet, they say hi to you every morning. So, do what you need to do. There is a caveat here though, learn from people, their mistakes and their successes. You are better off that way.

Oh, I am in school, I don’t have time, I don’t have the resources. But, have you seen that classmate of yours with a business, a job, talent, a skill? Yes, a good number of times, most started before gaining admission into school or just immediately after. But, note this, nothing stops you from planning ahead, thinking, reading about your interests and other things you want to do. Study about those that are successful in those fields you dream of, you are better off prepared. Its time to stop gate-crashing phases of life. Plan ahead.

I don’t care what you do
I don’t care who you are
Nor do I care where you are
I just know this, you’ll always have a choice!
To do the things you want to do, or to throw in the towel.