Why I Quit

Forty years after quitting med school, I still have nightmares. I walk 600 miles to figure out why.

  • lynne merritt whelden
  • lynne merritt whelden
  • lynne merritt whelden
  • Don Hess
    Key Cast
    "Doctor #1"
  • Jan Hess
    Key Cast
    "Doctor #2"
  • Emma Joy Hess
    Key Cast
    "Doctor #3"
  • Ashton Gardiner
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    48 minutes 31 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • self-distributed
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: Internet, Video / Disc
Director Biography - lynne merritt whelden

After quitting medical school in 1979, I worked in a factory for a few months. Then I got hired by the local NBC affiliate as a news cameraman. I was fired 8 years later and went solo. My first love was making backpacking films. In 1987 I made the first ever documentary on the Appalachian Trail. "Five Million Steps" was shown on PBS stations as well as hostels along the trail. Over the next 30 years I shot a dozen hiking videos, often focusing on the psychological aspect. "Why I Quit" is my deepest probe into the mind so far. The story unfolds as I hike the 600-mile Finger Lakes Trail in NY from end to end.

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Director Statement

"'Why I Quit' begs the question...how could I dive so deep into medicine with so much uncertainty? Forty years later I still have nightmares. (In fact, the night after posting the video on YouTube there I was...doctor in a medical setting, expected to make wise decisions, yet unable to operate a simple blood pressure machine.)
Every educator should see this film. I fooled them in high school and college while fooling myself. If only someone had pulled me aside and said 'Lynne, something's not right here.'"