Well, in college I was on the pre-med track and majoring in Biology. I had some slip-ups along the way and my grades were going to have to improve before applying to med school, specifically in Organic Chemistry and one biology course. I had also met a boy on whom I could blame those slipping grades. That boy and I started to become more serious and I started to wonder if I was willing to put our relationship through the rigors and stresses of medical school. I also started to wonder if I personally was willing to spend 4 more years in school, plus at least 3 years in a residency.
The summer after my sophomore year I had the opportunity to work at a local Emergency Room at the side of a physician, learning what it was really like to see and treat patients. I cannot exaggerate the importance of this job in regards to my future. While there, I learned I really did love medicine as much as I had thought, but I still wasn't sure I was willing to put my life on hold for 8 more years. I also had an inside look of the lifestyle of a physician and wasn't sure I was willing to have that same schedule and stress. Having a family was really important to me and with the boy and I getting more serious it was more important than ever.
I had the opportunity to work with ER physicians, nurses, techs, and secretaries as well as medical and PA students. I spoke with the PA students about what it was they did, what PA school was like, etc. It got me thinking about this as a really good idea. I did my research, talked with that boy and made a decision, I was going to pursue it. After that decision, my grades improved dramatically, I graduated just 3/100ths of a point off from honors status and got accepted to one of the best rated PA programs in the nation.
It was the perfect solution for me - I could have my cake and eat it too. I would be able to practice medicine, treat patients, and have a family without waiting or compromising on anything. I made a decision and never looked back.
That boy is now my wonderful husband and is so supportive of me and my career. After 2 years of the most intense, stressful and jam-packed PA program I could've imagined, I still believe it is the perfect profession for me. And while I don't like to say never, I don't see me going back to become a physician, the appeal just isn't there. So when patients, family, or friends ask if I'm going to become a doctor, I politely smile, and tell them no, I'm happy where I am.