Bent not Broken
Most doctors I know started medical school straight after school or after undergraduate study. A New Zealander named Lauren Roche took an unconventional path to becoming a doctor, which included stints as a stowaway, stripper, prostitute, and drug misuser. She is now a general practitioner and describes this journey in her courageous autobiography Bent not Broken.
Roche begins with snippets and stories from her childhood which reveal instability, poverty, and abuse. At the age of 17, after several traumatic and turbulent years as a teenager, she had Christopher, her first child. Over subsequent years she misused drugs and alcohol. After a suicide attempt, Roche was admitted to a psychiatric unit at the age of 19. This was a turning point in her life, and she decided to return to high school with the aim of studying medicine, a dream many saw as “unrealistic.” Despite this, she persevered and was accepted