Tour for Diversity in Medicine

#T4DPacNW Day 2: You are the Driver and You Make the Decisions

One of the questions that keeps coming up during the tour is how to pursue the career you love and maintain relationships with the people you love, specifically your parents. When you decide to drive down the path to professional school, usually your parents are right there in the car with you, cheering you on, but it can be challenging to navigate your road to becoming a health care provider if your parents keep trying to take the wheel from you.

Often this comes up when you hit a pothole in the road, like your grades aren’t where you would like them to be. Other times can be when you are turning down a street you’ve never been on before, like contacting a hospital for the first time to try to shadow a doctor. As passengers and your support system, it is natural for parents to want to step in and help you when these things happen, but it’s important for your development and your career that you are the person that acts. You need to be the person that changes the tire if it goes flat after that pothole and you need to be the person that drives down that new street. You need to be the person that figures out how to get your grades back on track and you need to be the person that contacts a doctor to inquire about shadowing opportunities. Allowing your parents to do it for you not only robs you of the experience, it undermines your ability to handle your own life. Would you have much confidence in your new doctor if they showed up for your first appointment with their mom or dad?

Remember that you are the driver and you make the decisions about where to turn, how fast to go, and when it’s time to take a break to stretch your legs and refill the tank on this road to your career. Do you take the advice of your passengers into consideration? Absolutely, but the action needs to come from you. Letting someone else grab the wheel while you’re driving usually results in your car needing costly repairs.

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