written by josh weinstein (peace advisor)
In the end, I made the decision to switch to computer science and a CS-related career tract, for three main reasons. Keep in mind these reasons are only of my own opinion, I am by no means trying to say what the medical profession is or is not.
I am a really creative person. I love to paint, draw, write stories, and much more. It also happens that I love science. When I was 16, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system. After undergoing chemotherapy and radiation for nearly 6 months, I was entirely awestruck by the wonders of modern medicine. I wanted nothing else then to be a doctor one day.
However, as time went on, and during my long hours studying for exams at Berkeley, I discovered something. Generally, a science, can either make discoveries, or invent new processes to do things. MCB, and in further medicine, is entirely about making discoveries and achieving the best standard of care. There isn’t much room at all for creativity. The ways in which medicine is practiced and MCB is researched hold very strongly towards proving hypotheses and staying toward basic principles and concepts. Overtime, this really got to me, as I wasn’t really finding ways to express my creativity directly as a premed.
The next reason, has to do with a rather miraculous dream I had one night last January. In my dream, I was riding on the BART, back from San Francisco. At the Ashby stop, the spirit of Steve Jobs walks in the door and sits down on the seat next to me. We start talking with each other, and we have a long discussion, about life, why are we all hear, and of course, computers. Near the end of the conversation, he says to me:
“Regardless of what you choose to pursue in life, remember one thing. Life is very short, it’s nearly a speck of time in the grand scheme of the universe. Even though I accomplished a lot when I was alive, there is still so much I never got the chance to do. Spend your life doings things you love to do, because when it’s all over, you will never get to experience them again.”
Having this dream really opened my eyes, and forced me to look at my life and what I really wanted to do. It made me realize that I didn’t think I would be happy with the lifestyle of being a medical student and a doctor, despite absolutely loving the idea of surgery, medicine, and MCB. I felt I needed something more free and creative, where entire businesses and industries are built around ideas and brainstorming.