I lived my childhood with my head stuffed in books, video games, and studying in school. But as Eyedea rapped
"They taught me how to know everything except my soul
Which is everything I need to grow
Everything that keeps me whole
Everything that ever meant anything to Eyedea"
I went to the nearest private university I was accepted into for my undergraduate studies. I applied for medical school and went to one that was near where I grew up and my family was. I applied for and matched into a combined residency program in Family Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. I told everyone that I enjoyed all of my core rotations but didn't want to do any of them as a career... so I picked one in which I could see the most diverse patient population. This was one of the earliest clues that a traditional physician career was not for me.
Once I graduated from my residency I stayed at the hospital where I trained and eventually became the program director of the program that I graduated from while practicing corporate clinical medicine full time. I had done GME administrative work for 5 years, had hospital leadership responsibilities as the vice-chair of the Family Medicine Department for 2 years, and participated in QI projects. I held clinical faculty appointments during this time in multiple schools as I taught rotating 3rd and 4th year students.
In the 5 years since I graduated from residency, there were many other clues that a traditional physician career was not for me: I studied and became certified in medical acupuncture and clinical homeopathy, board certified in Integrative Medicine, gained an additional qualification in Pain Medicine, and took hundreds of hours of CME in Osteopathic Manipulation. I also started taking classes to get my Masters Degree in Biomedical Informatics within this time frame. I also dabbled in some non-clinical work during this time as well.
Another clue was my extensive pursuit of other interests: I am a MBTI certified practitioner, did hundreds of hours of coursework in the Enneagram, got my Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma, graduated from the altMBA program (cohort 33), and I have books and books about behavioral economics, Jungian psychology, western and eastern philosophy (especially existential philosophy), business... and I never really lost my hobby of playing video games.
Once it was time to negotiate/renew my contract, I decided (after a lot of help and internal discourse) that I would leave corporate clinical medicine behind to pursue my passions.
Were my student loans paid off? Nope.
Was my future assured? Nope.
And plenty of other "nopes."
But still, I decided to live my authentic physician life and, as Eric Tait, MD, MBA puts it, "be paid to live the life I want to live."
My passion, purpose, vision, and mission for my career are two-fold
1) Integrate all of my knowledge, training, and interests to help others find and pursue their authentic lives... and I am currently focusing on physicians in a time of uncertainty and loss of trust in the healthcare system.
2) Integrate Osteopathy, the Enneagram and "Fourth Way" principles, and the Jungian concept of Individuation for healing and treating patients.
As Napoleon Hill says, what is needed is a definitive purpose and plan.