>Today is exactly four weeks before school starts. On August 20th, 100 incoming medical students will report for two days worth of orientation before they throw us into the fire with classes beginning on the 22nd. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone since I first made up my mind that I was going to be a doctor.
I had been considering going to medical school since 1997 when my son Manning began having seizures shortly after birth. We met so many great doctors that I began to think about what it would be like to be one. However, the thought seemed so fanciful. I had three kids, a wife and a mortgage. Not only does medical school cost a lot of money, but you are too busy to make any money while you’re in school. It just didn’t seem feasible.
In 1998, I met a fellow named John Boyles who was around my age. He had two kids and was in his second year of med school here at UMC. Meeting him kind of turned a light on for me that it could be done. However the thought of quitting my job and drastically changing my life still seemed a little too fantastic to consider. I continued to think about it though, and started looking around at Southern Farm Bureau Life, where I worked (and still do!) as an actuary in the investment area. What did I want to do there and who did I want to be when I was 50 years old? I didn’t see anybody there that I wanted to be! Instead of being freaked about thinking of jumping off the cliff into a new career, I began to get freaked out about being trapped in my old career.
On February 27th, 1999, Angie and I went to see the movie, October Sky. In the movie, a young man spurns his father’s notions that he should follow his dad into the coal mines because he wants to be a rocket scientist. He follows his dreams and ends up working for NASA. When I got home, I knew that I was going to be a doctor.
In the next four weeks leading up to the start of school, I’ll write about the process I had to go through to get accepted into medical school. I hope some folks out there will find it interesting enough to keep reading.