When I first graduated high school in the Netherlands, my greatest wish was to go to med school. Med school, like most university and college studies in most of Europe, is largely paid for by government subsidies (which is awesome: no huge student loan debts and a great education!), but one of the disadvantages is that there is a lottery for med school admission and a limited number of spots (the so-called numerus fixus). At the time I was applying, you could only try twice – I did, and did not make it in either time, even though my grades were excellent and my motivation was sky-high. I got a master’s in health sciences instead, and went back to school for a master’s in strategic public relations a few years ago here in the US. I finished the first year of the MATX PhD program this summer, and am switching programs (and sort of starting over) the doctoral program in social and behavioral health today. The interesting thing: my new program is officially part of VCU Medical Center, mainly known for its medical school. No, my program is not med school but still…. talk about full circle!
Alright, some fairly big news for me. A few weeks ago, I received an offer from VCU’s Social and Behavioral Health PhD program, and after much deliberation, I am switching from the MATX doctoral program to the Social and Behavioral Health doctoral program as of next month – with the full support of my current amazing advisor (who I will keep working with) and gaining another amazing advisor. So grateful for a great school and great programs to pursue my doctorate; and for great mentors to work with and learn from. Twenty-three years after giving up my dreams of med school, I will now be pursuing a doctorate at VCU’s medical school . Life. It’s strange and good sometimes.