Hypochondriac wanting to study medicine - bad idea?

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ZettaLost
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Report Thread starter 7 years ago
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So I'm a major hypochondriac. It's gotten better over the past couple of years, but it's still there and I don't think it will ever go away. I always freak out a LOT when I get a sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, slight dizziness etc. I can always manage to convince myself that it's a horrible, life-threatening disease.

The weird thing is I'm fascinated by diseases, and I'm always so interested in the mechanism of a particular disease, how and why it presents the way it does, etc. I probably know more about diseases than anyone else at my school. I read a lot about cancer because that's the field I would love going into: cancer research. However it's only when I fall sick or find something weird with me that I recall all the diseases I've read about and start matching those symptoms to mine.

I'm scared that by going into medicine I'll only make my hypochondria so bad again that I can barely function. However it's the one thing I'm passionate for and I don't see myself working in any other field.

Bad idea?
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belis
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There are plenty of medics around with health anxiety and other similar issues. I wouldn't say that it should stop you if that's what you truly want to do. You may want to look into other careers as well though. For example if cancer research is what you really want to do than going into it through biomedical sciences may be easier and more rewarding. Doctors can be involved in research and many are at various stages of their careers but overall their predominant role is to treat patients. Does that side of things appeal to you?

Did you have any treatment for the hypochondria? It can respond very well to CBT.
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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Do you worry when other people around you are unwell, or it it just your own illness you tend to panic about? If the latter, then you would most likely cope just fine as a doctor.

Also, you may find that the high quality education and experience would let you learn just how likely/unlikely it would be for various things to happen, and would hopefully put your mind at rest.
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