Growing up, I thought I was pretty bright – but who doesn’t think they are pretty bright in America. It is sort of a trademark of our culture, isn’t it? Everyone thinks they’re special, everyone thinks they have certain skills that other people do not have. But like many of the especially bright people who surrounded me, I did not do very well in school. I just did not have the attention span for it, and my grades reflected that fact. I had always wanted to have a career in dentistry or medicine, but I did not see how this was possible. There was just no way that I could make it through medical or dental school.
It did not even occur to me that there were medical and dentistry job opportunities other than being a dentist or physician. When we tried to start a band in high school, everyone wanted to be the singer and lead guitarist. And of course, after high school, every wants to be the doctor, and some a dentist. No one even thinks about being a nurse anymore. Nonetheless, some of the best medical job opportunities or those in the dental field do not require the kind of intense medical/dental training that I feared.
The first medical opportunity that I took was a job opening up as an orderly in the local hospital. It was difficult work, and not glamorous, but it paid pretty well and I could get into it straight from school. I figured that it would be a good entryway into a medical career or open the door for dentistry options. After that, I could see if I wanted to pursue more ambitious medical job opportunities. Well, it turns out that I did. I found it rewarding. Working in a psychiatric hospital like I was, you get to really see people struggling with real-world problems. Although some of them failed to get better, when they did it was quite an experience to be part of the healing process. I think this is what draws people to medicine in the first place.
Now, I work as a nurse vs. opting for the various dental job opportunities. This does require a good bit of schooling, and it turns out that I was better at school than I thought. It allows me to interact directly with patients, and it pays much better than most medical job opportunities. Honestly, even though medical job opportunities are pretty lucrative, I would advise against going into them immediately. Before you go in for four or five years of school, you should take an entry-level position in a hospital and see if it is for you.