And don't immediately reject the idea of working part time; it's grueling but not unheard of. You also might be able to thread the suture needle by applying for deferred acceptance, if your desired school offers it.
Not sure this advice is right for you? Ask a doctor. Chat up your colleagues about their career paths, how schooling affected their other life goals and whether they'd do anything differently. You might even confide your aspirations to a knowledgeable co-worker whom you trust to be discreet.
I realize that medical school, more than most postgraduate degree programs, demands a significant time commitment, so it's not a decision you can dither over forever.
However, that's all the more reason to pause and reexamine what you've "always wanted" before you charge headlong into more years of study, sweat and debt.
Karla L. Miller writes an advice column on navigating the modern workplace. Each week she will answer one or two questions from readers. Miller has written for and edited tax publications for 16 years, most recently for the accounting firm KPMG's Washington National Tax office. You can find her on Twitter, @KarlaAtWork