From recent posts, it’s clear I’ve become more unsure about my path in medicine. But as of yet, I have no plan, or really any solid direction. What I do know is that the idea of taking a break has become more and more appealing to me.
The journey to where I am now has been linear. I went from high school, to sixth form (college), to university, to working without taking any gaps. I’m really grateful I didn’t have to reapply to medical school and that I got the grades I needed. It’s been a steady trajectory to where I am now. And there’s the opportunity to just keep going. I could potentially apply for another training programme after F2, become a trainee, become a registrar and then become a consultant or a GP. Do the necessary exams along the way, jump through the necessary hoops. Knowing at each point what my next step is going to be. And there’s safety in that, having a plan for the next 10 years. But right now, it doesn’t appeal to me.
Medicine can be rigid, particularly in a training programme. There’s not much control over where you go and what you do. Do you want to move to Bristol? Tough, you have to work somewhere else instead. It’s a constant juggling process: work, family, life in general with medicine always coming up as a top priority. You need to make sure accreditations are up to date, keep up with exams, portfolio all the while bouncing between night shifts and day shifts.
Ultimately, what is the rush? Do I want to be a young consultant? Not particularly. I want to have experiences that go beyond the allocated days I have for annual leave. I wonder what it feels like to be in control of my own schedule, choosing what I want to do and when I want to do it. Taking risks, going out of my comfort zone. Taking the time to learn new skills, or live in new places
And it honestly feels like it’s not possible to do all those things alongside medicine. At least right now. So, at the moment I’m taking tentative steps and looking outside the proverbial box. Just a peak to see what the world outside has to offer.