Much of the past few years, I have regretted decisions I've made... The decision to stay in medical school, the decision to... Well, mostly that. I knew about a week into medical school it wasn't for me. I looked into PA school, and transferring to dental school, but was too afraid to make any moves. So I kept on with the flow, and eight years later I am a fellow. I have thought about the decision not to quit many times, and have wished I could go back and shake myself and do what I was so afraid of doing: disappoint my parents, not become a doctor, do something different, not become a doctor, disappoint my parents. I was young and living alone and terrified, and if my parents were more supportive I maybe would have quit, but that's no excuse and I have absolutely no doubt that I definitely should have, because here I am on a random weekend night, still regretting my decision not to take action then.
What makes me really think about this again, you ask? No, I don't drive myself crazy on a daily basis; but as I mentioned, I'm now in fellowship and I don't like it. The field isn't what I thought, the program isn't what I thought, and really, I just don't need it! Since I've matched and committed to the year, I'm willing to complete the year (to be a responsible adult, but really so on my resume I don't have to say I quit fellowship after two months). But I don't want to stay for next year (it's a two year fellowship.) My husband supports me no matter what I decide, but he says, "But it's only one more year! Then you can be board certified in another field and be even more marketable!" True, true.
My big hesitation again with quitting after this year is: I'm still afraid to disappoint my parents. And boy will they be disappointed if I end up practicing just psychiatry. Eight years later, and that young, scared girl hasn't grown up much.
I wish I could have quit then, and I want to quit now. When is enough regrets, enough? When can I just make decisions for me, and not for others? When can I do what I want? When can I just be happy with my job?
Disclaimer: This post is not meant to discourage anyone looking to go into medicine. Just like some people like chocolate and some vanilla, everyone's desires are different.