“Have you always wanted to be a doctor?” No. I wanted to be a lot of things when I was younger. I wanted to be a nun, a concert pianist, a newscaster, an architect, and a lawyer. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized I want to be a doctor, and it’s not until recently that I had my heart set on being a neurosurgeon. I was in my third year in college when I decided that that is who I want to be, and whenever I tell people about it some of them says that I’m too young to be deciding what I really wanted to be, and some people just say outright that it’s too big of a dream. Admittedly, it is. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by how big of a dream it is but I’ve always been one to dream big, and I’ve always been one to make it happen.
It’s a long and tough journey, that much everyone knows. I need an extra four years for my medicine proper, a year to get my M.D. license, and an extra six years (if the information I read was still accurate) to specialize in neurosurgery. My family always joked about how I’m going to spend another decade or so of my life studying — as if I haven’t had enough. Of course I have, but it’s the price I have to pay to be the somebody I’ve always wanted to be. And damn it, I will be.
Other people always comment on how much money I’m probably going to make if I do become a neurosurgeon and I have thought of it too. But honestly, it’s not the money that made me want to be one because I have an even more outrageous dream — to find (or at the very least, help in finding) the cure for Alzheimer’s. If someone beats me to it, that’s fine. Better, even because less people have to suffer its consequences. It’s just that being a neurosurgeon, you’re in control of the organ that controls almost every single bodily function — that you are going to be holding, in your very own hands, the entirety of a person. You’ll be holding his memories, his fears, his emotions, his ability to speak, how he can process information, even his movements. You get to hold so much of a person in your hands and you get to have the ability to let him keep it after an injury or accident.
It is a meticulous job but I know, in my heart, that it’s always going to be fulfilling. The first part (college) towards my journey in getting that white coat is over, and I’m onto the next one (NMAT). I still have a lot of years to fill but it’s going to be worth it. It has to be.