When I look back at the past four years, there have been many times when I have wondered if I would do it again, knowing what I do now. The answer is still yes. I am really excited about the future, despite some unwanted advice from a very bitter anesthesiologist yesterday. During multiple cases, he told me I should abandon emergency medicine as a career as it would most certainly lead to unhappiness and career burnout. I don't know why some people seem compelled to dump their negativity on others. While it is true that I may have gently steered a couple of people away from my particular medical school, when I encounter pre-med students or medical students in classes behind me, I generally try to be supportive. It is hard enough trying to choose a major or career, without some random stranger whining about how unhappy they are.
I think that when people ask for advice they have often already made up their own mind and are really just looking for reassurance. Plus, I figure that most medical students are pretty determined individuals, so unwanted advice or negativity generally gets ignored or immediately opposed...at least that is how I often react.
In the end, I really think that individuals are responsible for their own happiness. If you don't like something, change it. If you are not happy with your career or job, retrain. If you are not happy with your money situation, get another job or spend less. If you are not happy with being tired all of the time, work less. I know that's a really oversimplified version of life, but don't we all tend to make things more complicated than they really are? So many times I tend to confuse wants and needs and make things much more difficult for myself along the way.