Career Disappointment (Part 3) – A Fork in the Road

At 21, I was up there at University with a job and enrolled in the Master’s program in Health Sciences. I was proudly working with the different professors in my faculty assisting in their research, was responsible for the set-up of the laboratories of the undergraduate program, etc. I had it all. After 6 years at the University as an employee, a professor offered me a job as an assistant; it was tempting. I had no chance of advancement there unless I went into the doctoral program and this would never happen since I was going into the medical program. I was not going to quit. I had worked hard to be where I was and I would never give up my dream.

This professor was distinct from all other professors because he always wore a bow tie. He was my favorite professor of all time and working with him was great.  So I finally quit my full time job and accepted his offer.  He was presenting me with the opportunity to grow and be a step closer to my dream.  Furthermore, he was well connected at the University.  While working with him, I created a program for seniors living in rural areas where health services were limited.  For seven months I not only assisted him but developed exercise manuals, coordinated various activities within the program and provided valuable research assistance. I even became responsible for two of his classes, providing theoretical classes and labs in both French and English.  I was 23 and 24 years old at the time and taught students older than myself.  This experience was definitely a highlight, as I greatly enjoyed working with students and they with me.

During this busy phase in my life, I also continued my studies, finally married my boyfriend, had a son and bought a house! At this time, having seen my obvious potential, my professor encouraged me to pursue my studies even further and get into medicine. He suggested that he would write a letter of recommendation to the board of directors of the medical department at that same university.  At that instance, I knew that I had to discuss this with my husband. Did we have the money required for my tuition? Could we, as a couple, make the necessary sacrifices and adjustments involved in my pursuing a degree in medicine?  With one child, a husband with a promising career and a house, what should I do?

Have you ever had to choose between a career and a family?  Tell us your story… e-mail your story at and be the next feature article on our web site.

Read the first part of this story -‘Career Disappointment (Part 1) – On the Road to Success’.

Read the second part of this story – ‘Career Disappointment (Part 2) – Help Along the Way’.

Story by Jo-Anne
Edited by Lee-Anne C.



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