Taking the First Baby Step
Having read everyone's comments, I felt like I'd found (or been found by) my very own tribe of wannedabe-doctor sisters! How weird and wonderful.
There was one commenter named Tea who kindly responded to my ranting, and out of all of us, I feel she may have the greatest variety of options open to her (no offense to the rest of the tribe) because she's still in university deciding her future and isn't tied down yet...I don't think. You could do anything, Tea! Well, except medicine, I guess--but forget about that!
When I eventually gave up on becoming a doctor (dropping out of university for a year, because I felt so lost), I also foolishly gave up the more important part of my dream, which was to help people. I felt like without the skills that a medical degree would imbue me with, I would be worthless. I was so wrong. Now I have all this great desire to help, in any way at all, but my options are limited by the most basic things, like a husband and dog who need me. I'm not giving up so easily though!
For me, I've decided the first thing I need and can do right away is increase my knowledge. Life Jaime said in her comment, there are so many causes we could devote ourselves to. I've been doing a lot of searching and, quite simply, reading all I can. If anyone's interested, I found two great groups: human rights organization Global Exchange and the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Both sites have a lot of good information on important issues (or at least I think they're important) and both groups offer internships and also admit to needing volunteers--hint, hint, all you free people out there!
Sorry, I hope the tone of this post wasn't too preachy.