Dear Nadine Khan,
I am a 24-year-old single man and belong to a middle-class family. I always wanted to become a doctor; in fact, I never thought I would take another profession, but I could not clear my entry test and wasn’t able to get admission in MBBS. I was utterly devastated, so my father suggested that I get into a related field, as my second best option. In the beginning, I did not like it but, later on, I turned out to be one to top students of my class. I was enormously appreciated by my teachers, and developed confidence and started liking and enjoying my subjects. When I entered the professional field, I was greatly ambitious, but I found out that my chosen field doesn’t have that great scope in this country and this truly hurt me. I have started thinking about doing MBBS again. I am in continuous stress and I feel that I made a mistake by choosing this field. I have a belief that a person should do what he loves to succeed in life. Honestly, I feel so confused and lost. Do you think it would be better to continue in my profession or change it, even though it won’t be easy at all?
Many students aspiring to get into med school end up taking up other fields related to health sciences and do very well. You also seem to have adjusted to the alternate you chose. The problem is that you are not earning well enough right now and are disappointed because of it. You stated you found yourself many subjects that you liked and excelled at while you were a student, so it’s not that you don’t like what you are doing. As for money, at entry level may be you are not getting what doctors get, and it’s the comparison between your earning and that of a doctor that seems to have disheartened you. It’s not strictly true that your field doesn’t have scope in Pakistan. Medicine related fields are becoming important because our country’s current situation is very fluid, offering scope to those who are good at what they do. So if that’s the only reason, don’t give up without talking to your seniors and contemporaries.
You can, of course, make another stab at becoming a doctor, but you will have to find out if you are still eligible to take an MCAT or not. In the West, people change their fields all the time if they are not happy with what they do, and the system there allows them to do it, too. However, here things are different and due to shortage of seats in public universities, admission criterion for those who wish to change their fields must be taken into account. You can apply for MCAT for three years after doing HSC, but since you already have another degree in the related field, I am not sure if this rule applies to you; you will have to find out by contacting the admission cells of different med schools. You can try getting into private universities if you can afford it.