This Doctor Shares How She *Almost* Quit Med School

Plus, tips that personally helped her pull through.
by Mylene Mendoza   |  Jul 11, 2021
Image: (LEFT TO RIGHT) INSTAGRAM/IANSTAMARIA, YOUTUBE/IAN STA. MARIA
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Remember that scene in Pitch Perfect 2 where Amy confronts Beca about her secret internship at a record label, and Beca opens up to Amy about the harsh reality check from the internship, saying, "It turns out, like, I'm totally not good enough to be a music producer, which is cool and fun to know as I enter the rest of my life."?

Some of us have probably been in the same position of second-guessing our career choices. It's not unlikely to begin to doubt yourself as you go deeper into your journey towards your dream career.  Every profession has its own set of challenges, especially fields like medicine. You spend more or less a decade training to become a doctor, which involves countless sleepless nights in a high-pressure environment. At some point, many will begin to question their place in the field, with some even quitting med school altogether (which is not a bad thing, even if it took you some time to realize that it wasn't for you at all).

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For doctor and YouTuber Ian Sta. Maria, a similar situation *almost* happened to her. In a video on her YouTube channel, Doc Ian opens up about how she almost left med school. "There were times when I felt like I wanted to quit. There were times when I was crying all day, where I felt like a failure," Doc Ian shared in her vlog. Fast forward to now, though, she finally has her MD, and more importantly, she gets to work in a field she feels passionate about.

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To help out her viewers who find themselves in a similar position she was in, Doc Ian also shared a few tips that personally helped her trust the process and get through the hardships of med school.

Take a step back.

When pressure starts to build up to the point that it's almost overwhelming for you, Doc Ian reminds everyone not to push themselves to the limit. "The more na ilalagay mo sarili mo sa pressure, you'll end up having so much anxiety, as we don't want that." If you're starting to feel burnt out by med school, it's okay to pause, step back, and let yourself breathe. 

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Connect with friends from time to time.

In med school, people expect you to be laser-focused with no room for distractions. And although a little alone time can be good for everyone, Doc Ian still suggests to get in touch with your friends every now and then. It helps to unpack all your emotions by opening up to friends and classmates, especially since they most likely have the same experiences, too. 

Watch medical-related content.

One thing that contributed to Doc Ian's motivation was her interest in watching medical vlogs. Learning about the lives of med students like her gave her the boost to believe that she can do it, too, and it's also what inspired her to start her own YouTube channel. (No idea who to subscribe to yet? We've got a list of medical YouTubers to start you off.) Aside from that, watching TV series that revolve around her field, like Grey's Anatomy and House M.D., also helped her stay driven and even helped her get exam questions right!  

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Want to learn more? Watch Doc Ian's full video here:

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Candy is now on Quento! Click here to download the app and enjoy more articles and videos from Candy and your favorite websites!

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Mylene Mendoza
Candy Staff Writer
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