At some point there will have to come a time where my caring for patients will have to be substituted for a drive to learn how to care for patients.
Medical school has always been the goal. In the background, mostly, over the past year of paramedic training - but the ultimate goal nonetheless. My motivation to become a paramedic was derived out of a desire to care for patients, to obtain the opportunity to touch them with my own hands and listen to their complaints. The experience has been extremely visceral: a realistic up-front endeavor into the "realities" of medicine that I couldn’t possibly have imagined beforehand. Each day I ride in the back of ambulances, granted the chance to experience these people, bear witness to emotion and - once in a while - do something about it. Despite all of the work that this requires, the genuine strength and depth of knowledge that truly is necessary, this is fun for me.
I don’t mean to sell paramedicine short. How could I, I'm not even a medic yet. Still though, I am constantly nagged by a part of my brain that forces upon me the memory that, yes, this is supposed to be a building block. The bulk that is "Medical Training" still lies ahead of me, a great mass of the unknown that it only illuminated in part by my endeavors in EMS. There is so much more that I could learn. So much more to experience. Medical school provides the opportunity to take that next step: the realization of all that yet remains a mystery. There, I think to myself, they can teach me how to really take care of patients.
All the while, though, I remain fascinated by ambulance work. These patients, and the treatments which I am able to provide for them, make me happy. I ride on calls each day, observing or even myself making a difference in people's lives. We in the ambulance see patients at the moment of their weaknesses and are gifted with an opportunity to lend strength, medical treatment and a calm voice. The feeling is intoxicating.
Medical school is a grounded and sure-fire pathway to excellence. I could have the opportunity to know more, do more, and -- it is assumed -- get more from my patients. The chance requires dedication, though, and a willingness to lash myself to the mast of science and resist the siren call of this visceral EMS experience. I need to give up what I enjoy to obtain something that I think - only through secondhand experience - will give me more in return.
Ostensibly, medical school provides an opportunity for better. ...But I wonder, how much of what I love will I have to give up in hopes that what comes out on the other end will surpass it.
I'm still not sure what to do.