Med school

Choosing Med School Again

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My journey to dreaming, quitting and choosing med-school again

After years of thinking that I was just being forced to take up medicine and that I was deprived of discovering my passions, I gave up my medical dream to find out if I’m better doing something else. On my most confused point, I wrote about — Is Being a Medical Doctor my Calling?

My internship in Saudi Arabia is one of the big things that happened to me last year. I was an internee as a dietitian in Saudi German Hospital. I enjoyed everything about my training although I had a slight problem with communicating with some of the patients who are native Arabs. Despite the language barrier, I did my best to do my job and I enjoyed it a lot. The training exposed me to the hospital set-up and to the healthcare team. It opened a lot of opportunities and realizations — that include the realization that I want to become a doctor. It was something that I did not want to entertain because I already gave up that medical dream to discover something else. But during those moments I stopped thinking about being a doctor and started planning out something else about my future, my medical dream has become closer to my heart again.

After my internships in a food service facility and in a hospital setting, I spent the remaining 250 hours at HOPE — for exceptional needs in Jeddah which is a school/center for special children. During my internship there, I learned a lot about different medical conditions of special children and I observed how hands on the staff are in helping the children with various therapies and learning activities. That ability to help others is self-fulfilling. I was also exposed to different medical professions — nurses, physiotherapists, nutritionists, etc. They all play significant roles to the patients’ life. But, I found myself wanting to help others as a medical doctor.

After more than a year of giving up my medical dream, I end up back here. I’m choosing (again) the path to becoming a medical doctor. This time, it’s my decision. Aside from wanting to make my parents happy by pursuing the career they visualize me to take, I have a lot more reasons that pushed me to pursue medicine. My faith in Allah made me realize that my calling is to be a doctor and that I’m best to grow as a person in this field.

I arrived here in Philippines 3 months ago. Within 3 months, I already took up the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) and started the application process to medical schools here in Manila. There are more things that I need to do to officially enroll in a med school — graduating with BS Nutrition and Dietetics degree is first in the list. There is a long journey and a lot more challenges that I have to go through to get that MD degree.

My faith in Allah made me visualize clearly what career I’d be best at. Because of that, I’ll be work hard on becoming a doctor, even though it is only I am the one left believing in me and supporting me. As a young child, I dreamed of becoming a doctor for personal interest, the idea that doctors are respected, rich and inspirational impressed me. But now as a matured young lady, I still dream the same dream but now it is not mainly because of personal interests but to help other people especially the people in my province in Mindanao where there’s a scarcity of doctors, public and mental health advocates, and other medical services due to poverty. There’s really a lack of health education there. My grandfather made me realize the need of a medical doctor in my hometown and I hope to serve them in the future. I’ve not lived there yet and I’m planning to move there after med school and medical internship. May Allah make me an instrument to help people through medical and public health services/programs/education. I believe there’s so much to fix in my hometown and I hope I’d be able to contribute in my own way.

I entrust myself, and this journey of mine, in Allah. None of these plans is going to happen without His approval. I still am not sure with all the plans I wrote here because nothing is really certain for us to have but our present. But, the idea that I’m now close to my medical dream makes me emotional. Honestly, there were times when regret haunt me at night, what if I didn’t falter when I was a freshman college student and everything I visualized came true — graduating from college on time, joining med school right after, graduating from med school at the age of 23. But, things don’t go as planned and that’s alright. At the age of 23, I’m just about to start my med school journey. 4 years late than expected but the timing is just perfectly right.

Najmah is a 23 year old Filipino Muslim, Clinical Nutritionist and Med student. Born and raised in Saudi Arabia. Living in the Philippines since 2010. By Najmah contains posts about her life lessons, personal excellence and journey to becoming a doctor. You can also find her blogging on The Muslim Bricks

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