DEAR HARRIETTE: I find myself in a difficult situation. I am currently enrolled in medical school, and although it has been a dream of mine for a long time, I'm beginning to feel overwhelmed and unsure if this is the right path for me. The intense workload and pressure are taking a toll on my mental and physical well-being. I'm considering the possibility of quitting, but I'm torn between pursuing my passion for medicine and acknowledging the toll it's taking on my overall health. How can I make my decision without feeling like I'm letting myself down or abandoning a dream I've worked so hard for? I want to make a thoughtful and informed choice about my future, but the fear of disappointment and societal expectations are making this decision even more challenging. -- About To Give Up
DEAR ABOUT TO GIVE UP: Seek out perspective on your situation from others who have had the experience. Find a TA, hospital resident, student about to finish med school or a trusted professor to talk to about your experience. Ask for advice on how they managed through the tough times. As hard as it seems to be, what you are describing sounds pretty common.
If you can figure out a way to take care of yourself through med school and your residency, it can be worth it. Request strategies that others have used to work through the challenging periods. Do your best to eat healthy food, exercise and carve out as much time for rest as you can. Try not to give up yet.