Type 1 diagnosis affecting your major choice?


(MaDEvans) #1

Did your type 1 diabetes diagnosis affect your choice of major in college?

I was diagnosed my freshman year of college, and I can say that I probably would never have majored in nutrition if I didn't have to think about the amount of carbohydrates in my food every time I ate.  I've liked all of the science classes my major has required so much that I'm not hoping to go to medical school after I graduate this May!


(faithe113001) #2

Yes!  I was diagnosed at 12, and probably would never have majored in nursing if I was not diagnosed and had an amazing diabetes educator!  She is the inspiration for the nurse I want to become. :)


(type1at18) #3

I was diagnosed about a month before graduating high school.

I knew my major before that and I have stuck with it since: Web & Digital Media Development.

However, that doesn't mean to say that I can't use my skills as a web developer to aid in someway to diabetes... I just have yet to figure that out.


(mcmermand) #4

Hey! For the longest time I wanted to be a pediatric endocrinologist. I was diagnosed when I was 5! Since getting older, I have found my place with nursing! I'm going in to medical anthropology, though, because I really want to work with the diabetic native american community. Never really thought about how T1D had affected my major decision until I joined Juvenation and saw how many of us want to be endocrinologists.


(MaDEvans) #5

Medical anthropology is AWESOME.  Read "Mountains Beyond Mountains" by Tracy Kidder.  It's about a doctor who sets up a clinic in Haiti and uses his training in medicine and medical anthropology to make a HUGE difference.  I think you'd like it.


(joyce) #6

After I was diagnosed, I decided that I would major in nutrition also. I'm at a community college right now and getting ready to transfer to San Francisco State.. I'm excited with all the classes I'm going to take!


(kphm23) #7

I was diagnosed my Junior year of High School and before that I had always wanted to be a teacher. However when I first started college I declared my major as Nursing. However, I did switch again to Dietetics and Nutrition and I absolutely love the major! Diabetes influenced my decision in every aspect.


(bsum) #8

My whole life I've wanted to grow up to do something to help diabetics.  When I was younger (5-10) my goal was to be a scientist and find the cure for diabetes, but I ended up with food science as my major.  My new goal is to create a new type of diabetic friendly food or improve on something we already have to either decrease the carb/sugar count or something like that, not totally sure yet


(Koen2704) #9

When you study in Europe, at university, you do a bachelor (3yrs) and a master (2yrs). In my last bachelor year I was diagnosed. Now I'm in my first master year and I need to chose a thesis. The subject has been highly influenced by DT1! I'm going to work on progenitors of betacells in the human pancreas.


(Gurney) #10

Yes it did.  I was diagnosed in 8th grade.  I was 14 (almost 15) at the time.  My grand father, who I was very close to,  died in December of that same year from pancreatic cancer (when I was in 9th grade). 

My grandfather was an engineer in the Airforce, and had complete his physics major when he was sent to college by the airforce (before the airforce academy). 

I wanted to be a physics major just like him, but about my second year in college, I read about an M.D., Ph.D. program that had the Ph.D. in biophysics.  That sounded really interesting to me.  So I decided to add premed as a second major.  I am now getting a full undergraduate degree in Physics (B.S.)  with emphasis in premedicine and I am currently taking Radiation Biophysics (Physics 431) and its a pretty cool class.  I really really like it :-)

I hope to get out with my degree in December 2009, and then persue the M.D., Ph.D program.  But that program is very selective.  It does come with free tuition and a stipend though, so I would be able to go to school literally as if it were a job.

It is very hard to get your college to understand how diabetes can affect your health and can prevent you from being on time to exams etc.  Because they often mistake Type 1 for Type 2, and often think they are the same thing, they can think that your faking, or that its impossible for you to feel that bad and still have all your feet... etc.

basically I have seen a lot of ignorance in the staff at my university.  My advice is to deal with it calmly, register with student disability services asap, even if you are in good health, as you never know when your going to be high or low, or even have DKA.  This Protects you legally, and you need it. (this is only in the USA by the way, under the Americans with disabilities act, and diabetes is considered protected under that act).  Work with your university to accommodate you. 

Dealing with all that really made me want to be doctor too.  I already was going to be a scientist, but when I found out I could be a doctor too, under the same program, I knew it was the right choice for me.

Also, I like HOUSE m.d. the tv show alot so that may have something to do with :-)


(MaDEvans) #11

MD/PhD would be awesome.  I don't have enough research experience for it though... sigh.  ~7 years of free postgraduate education, wow.  It may sound crazy to some people, but that sounds like heaven to me.  Hahaha.

And also, with an MD/PhD in the states you'll be set up with a great career as well - doing the research that you want to do.  Not so clear with only a PhD degree.


(Eric_Carpenter) #12

At first, it didn't seem that a psychology undergrad would be related to diabetes.  Junior year I got a position in a research lab and discovered human factors and ergonomics.  We work on a variety of projects, and I found out I can do research trying to reduce errors in blood glucometers or insulin pumps.  So now thanks to diabetes I'm in graduate school. (Psychologists have more options than counseling!)


(type1at18) #13

[quote user="Eric_Carpenter"]

At first, it didn't seem that a psychology undergrad would be related to diabetes.  Junior year I got a position in a research lab and discovered human factors and ergonomics.  We work on a variety of projects, and I found out I can do research trying to reduce errors in blood glucometers or insulin pumps.  So now thanks to diabetes I'm in graduate school. (Psychologists have more options than counseling!)

[/quote]

That sounds really cool. Have you actually started the research on reducing errors in the blood glucometers or insulin pumps? If so, what are the different errors you're trying to correct?


(Eric_Carpenter) #14

I'm planning things out right now. I'm trying to find out what errors people make when using equipment and what could be causing them.  I have a survey I will try to put online soon, and an experiment that will examine older and younger adults trying to learn to use a new meter.  One of my biggest frustrations has been trying to get used to the new procedure when I switch meters, on top of getting used to the new sensitivity of the meter itself.


(JFSalvatore) #15

Awesome book! I believe that Dr. Farmer practices at Boston Medical now. Definitely a good pick.


(cdavid1) #16

I was actually just diagnosed this past weekend. I am currently a Sophomore in College and I am a Gerontology major (the study of aging). I have actually been discussing with my parents the possibility of doing a dual major or minor in Nutritition. I've been thinking along the lines of Nutrition for older people with Diabetes.


(hcole) #17

I was diagnosed last February, in my second year of University, so I picked Chemical Engineering far before I was even thinking about diabetes.


(Marldance) #18

[quote user="Mad Evans"]

Medical anthropology is AWESOME.  Read "Mountains Beyond Mountains" by Tracy Kidder.  It's about a doctor who sets up a clinic in Haiti and uses his training in medicine and medical anthropology to make a HUGE difference.  I think you'd like it.

[/quote]

Ya that book was incredible. It was required freshman reading at my college last year and probably one of the few required reading books that i had a hard time putting down

 

anyways I don't know how much diabetes influenced my major however i have always known that I wanted to use my major to help peole, diabetic or not. Right now im double majoring in theater and psychology and hope to be come a drama therapist. 


(anna-marie) #19

I have already been in college for three years can I still talk to the Student Disability Service or is it too late?

I didn't want to go there but I realize now that I have had a lot of medical problems and it would be nice to have someone on my side when i comes to talking with professors.


(Eric_Carpenter) #20

You should be able to go to your disability department anytime.  Do it as soon as possible, because sometimes the departments are not as quick to get you processed as you would like.  If they end up not being quick enough a visit to your college's counseling center may be helpful in either getting advice or paperwork to help you with professor troubles.