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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Follow Your Heart.

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Fourteen years ago, I was in the sixth grade. Unexpectedly, my dad passed away from a massive heart attack. It was by far the most traumatic experience in my life, but as a result of that experience I decided that I wanted to be a doctor. You know, so I could somehow save another 12 year old girl from losing her dad from heart disease. I decided that I want to attend the University of Virginia and become a doctor at twelve years old. I wanted to change peoples lives through medicine.

Well, I got the UVa part right.

I graduated from UVa in May of 2010 with a degree in Biology, right on track to go to med school, right? Well, I graduated. Worked at a hotel for six months. Then, I managed to get a job working in financial aid at a proprietary school for another six months, before moving to North Carolina to work at a community college for two years, again working in financial aid.

So here we are...almost four years since graduating from UVa with that degree in Biology, and guess what...I don't want to be a doctor anymore. Just in case curious minds need to know, my reason for not wanting to be a doctor is not because gaining a medical school acceptance is unattainable for me. I decided that I didn't want to spend another 4-8 years in school obtaining a medical degree. I learned that I wanted have time to spend with family. I want to work an 8:00 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, job that will allow me to spend time with my family. Along the way, I've considered other medically-related fields such as physician assistant school and pharmacy school. I've taken the additional pre-requisite course to obtain admissions to PA school, but I will still need to gain some direct patient care experience if going to PA is really what I want to do. That option is still on the table, BUT I will be starting a new career opportunity NEXT week that I am really, really excited about. I will be an Executive Assistant to the Executive Team of a local, mid-sized medical practice. This position will give me the opportunity to see the healthcare world from an administrative prospective first-hand. From this opportunity, I will be able to definitively determine if I want to advance with this amazing medical organization in a healthcare administrator role, by pursuing a Master's in Healthcare Administration, OR if I want to continue my pursuits toward PA school. Either way, I am very excited to finally begin my CAREER as a healthcare professional. It has taken me, what feels like, a very long time to get here, but this is my time! I can and will make a contribution to the lives of others through medicine!

I have to say though, getting to this place hasn't been all peaches and cream. Along the way, I've felt pressure from friends and family to become that doctor that I talked about for so long. I was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" by my senior class peers for goodness sake, and I sure as heck didn't feel like I was succeeding working as a Guest Services Representative at a Marriott hotel (no offense!), but you know what, that journey made me who I am today. No, I am not going to be a doctor, but I am doing what makes me happy and what works for me. So for anyone reading this, and you are in a similar situation, follow your heart! You don't have to please anyone but yourself my friends!!

I'll end this with a little more inspiration:
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Until next time,
<3 Keia