Hi everyone, I'm looking for any advice about the possibility of abandoning my medical studies to study mathematics and mathematical sciences (my passion, I believe). Here is the background of my situation: Mathematics, physics, programming etc have always come quickly to me. I've worked on big programming projects in my spare time which have brought me great enjoyment and am very interested in many fields in mathematics, physics, computers etc. At the end of high school I went into medicine (an undergraduate degree in Australia). I wasn't sure I wanted to do it but my idea was to try it and transfer if I didn't like it. From there on things have been tough. At the end of my first year in medicine I started to have doubts. I felt uncomfortable spending so much time rote learning biology, firstly because it didn't enthrall me, and secondly because I didn't see it contributing to my intellectual development. At that point it was too late to apply for a transfer, so I stayed. At the end of my second year, I felt very bad about medicine. I started gathering information about career prospects in science. However, all the older academics I spoke to told me the same thing: 'Stay in medicine'. They said careers in science were so tough, and unrewarding compared to medicine, that I shouldn't do it. In spite of this, I followed my heart and applied to transfer to science, majoring in mathematics and physics and enrolled (but stayed enrolled in medicine). For a while I attended both science and medicine, and when I had to make I final decision I ended up staying in medicine. Dis-enrolling from science was a deeply painful moment and it marked the beginning of an ongoing depression. I continued attending the science classes, and finished the semester of medicine with worse grades. Since then (for the past 1.5 years) I've been studying mathematics and physics as hard as I can, while keeping up my with medical work. I've had no problems covering many subjects (linear algebra, multi-variable calculus, real & complex analysis, probability & statistics, quantum mechanics, electrodynamics, relativity) and am getting into higher stuff (measure theory, algebraic structures). Something compels me to work and work on those subjects. So the situation now is: I've completed 3.5 out of 6 years of medicine, and many unofficial math/physics subjects. I have another opportunity to transfer, so now is the time to try to make a decision, again. The things keeping me in medicine are: -Some societal pressure; plenty of people have already started calling me 'Doctor'. I can get over this. -Fear that I will regret transferring. Whenever I speak to older people they express a great appreciation for medicine (the nobility and usefulness and so on), and I worry this is an appreciation that comes with age, and that will come to me with age, causing me to regret my decision, especially if I don't achieve a very successful career in science -Fear that my attraction to a science career is based on fantasies. That I may be overestimating my talents and my ability to succeed -Fear that I am slightly too old (I just turned 21) to be able to become a really great mathematician/physicist -Some appreciation of the virtues of medicine; helping people directly on a daily basis is appealing (although it doesn't excite me like science does) -Thinking I am throwing away the responsible, safe career choice for something unpredictable -The fact that I start clinicals for the first time next semester, which I should perhaps get a taste of before I decide to leave Ok, sorry for the overly long post, it's complex, and I've been trying to deal with it for a long time. I'd really appreciate your thoughts. In summary, I think my heart is in mathematical sciences, but to remove myself from medicine will take more guts than I have had up til this point, having been told many times by people much more experienced than me that it's a bad career move. Thanks again for any input.