So…You Don’t Want to Go to Medical School?


The dreaded decision for any pre-health student is whether or not to pursue the health professions (particularly medicine) when times get tough. In many cases, pre-health students have always wanted to be a physician, nurse, pharmacist, or PA and help people through healthcare. Before coming to DU, I advised Pre-Nursing majors and had many conversations with students about why they wanted to go into nursing. I heard compelling stories that started from childhood and highlighted an unwavering desire to pursue one particular specialty within the nursing profession. This career goal led students to structure their academic lives around, say, neonatal nursing; that is, until they had the chance to volunteer or shadow in the NICU.
There are many factors, both inside and outside of the classroom, that cause students to question their career goals, but one of the most challenging conversations around career exploration often happens after doing an internship, shadowing, volunteering, or conducting informational interviews. It can be devastating to pursue an experiential learning opportunity in the field that has captured your heart for so long, only to find that it wasn’t what you thought it might be.
Have you ever experienced this? It’s frustrating. It can make us feel lost. “Where do I go from here?” was often a question that students leaving the Pre-Nursing major would ask me. Fortunately, there are many options to help people and make an impact on the world through healthcare that don’t require medical school; some paths don’t involve continuing your education at all. I will be hosting a mini-course this spring, designed around supportive and intentional conversations about career exploration in the world of healthcare. This isn’t a credited course and it’s not like other courses you may have taken – it will be heavily focused on discussion, exploration, and support.
The mini-course will take place in ECS 357 (or outside, but we will always meet in our classroom first!) for the first 4 Tuesdays in May, from 3:00-3:45pm.
In this mini-course, students will:
  1. Get to the heart of why they are interested in medicine (or anything in pre-health) through guided self-reflection;
  2. Learn how to uncover DU alumni in healthcare and ways to connect with them directly;
  3. Support one another in the exploratory process and use this course as a means for challenge, empowerment, and enlightenment.
I hope you will consider joining us! You can RSVP via Pioneer Careers; be sure to register for all four sections