I Vaccinate My Child Because I Failed Medical School

We would all be better off if we trusted people who were smarter than us.

Steven Ma
6 min readJun 3, 2019


Image by whitesession from Pixabay

It’s one of the hardest things as a parent to watch your child in pain. It’s even worse when you have to hold them down and put them through that pain.

My son was 2 months old, and it was time for his first set of vaccines. He was due to get 5 shots. That’s a lot.

Like most people, I hate shots. I’ve never gotten used to them, even though I got them pretty frequently. During high school and college, I used to travel overseas a lot on volunteer trips during the summers. Each year, I got a new set of shots to protect me from a host of deadly diseases, depending on what part of the the world I was traveling to.

As an adult, you try your best to be nonchalant. But I knew that those nurses could smell my fear. At least I knew the pain was for a reason.

Yet here I was, needing to subject my son to pain and a bit of trauma without him understanding why it was happening. I knew it would be fine, since he wouldn’t remember the experience. In fact, he would forget it ever happened 5 minutes later.

But the immediate experience is still emotionally difficult.

Yet I still did it because I trust people who are a whole lot smarter than me.

I Was a Pre-Med Major

But then I dropped out because it was too hard for me.

I started my freshman year of college as a pre-med major. From there, I had planned to continue on to med school and be a doctor.

Being Asian, my career choices were limited to doctor, lawyer, or computer engineer.

But I actually did want to be a doctor. My volunteer trips overseas had shown me the extreme need there was for doctors around the world. I wanted to work at a hospital in the US, then take trips to volunteer and train others.

So with passion and confidence, I started my biology and chemistry classes. That first semester was rough. I struggled to understand and remember all the concepts being taught. In study groups, I was clearly the weak link.



Steven Ma

Blogger, Photographer, Vlogger, Consultant