Shane O'Hanlon explains the benefits of a tough decision he made at medical school-to take a break
- By: Shane O'Hanlon
In 1999, as a fourth year medical student, I made the decision to take some time out from studying. I remember the moment the idea struck me. For the first time at medical school everything made sense. After years of wading through the preclinical and heavily academic section of the course I had found my feet. Thoughts of the absolute uselessness of histology and biochemistry had dissipated, and I had mellowed. The picture began to focus, and I realised that medicine was what I expected it to be: I had been right to choose this career.
But I also realised that medicine was a vocation-a lifelong companion. And like someone facing 50 years of marriage, I wanted one last fling. A future in medicine was reassuring, but how would I feel if I never flirted with anything else? My seniors all told me that leaving medicine at any point after