Quantcast

Advantages of a parent as a doctor?

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

canmed96

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2016
Messages
69
Reaction score
13
Hi guys, i am lucky enough to have my mother as a doctor in the family. Is there any way this could be advantageous for my journey into med school? if so, how can i make the most of it?

Thanks
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
35,061
Reaction score
14,951
Hi guys, i am lucky enough to have my mother as a doctor in the family. Is there any way this could be advantageous for my journey into med school? if so, how can i make the most of it?

Thanks
Through your mom's professional contacts, it should be easy to set up a variety of physician shadowing opportunities. You won't have to make calls to multiple doc's offices trying to cadge an observer's spot.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

AccessoryNavicular

Full Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
68
Reaction score
51
I also think the value in having a mom as a doctor is having somebody who can guide you through your undergraduate years and help you make smart decisions between balancing coursework and extracurriculars


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

JustAPhD

Not a hummingbird expert
5+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2016
Messages
3,472
Reaction score
8,836
There's a wide range of benefits, ranging from (as mentioned) ease of shadowing to guidance to economic benefits you most likely have.
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
35,061
Reaction score
14,951
I also think the value in having a mom as a doctor is having somebody who can guide you through your undergraduate years and help you make smart decisions between balancing coursework and extracurriculars


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
One would hope, however practicing docs not intersecting with medical education may not have a realistic idea of what ECs are expected these days. Twenty to thirty years ago shadowing, nonmedical volunteering, research, and leadership weren't emphasized as much.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

studentdocftw

M4
5+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
1,371
Reaction score
1,441
Be prepared for the inevitable question related to how much your mother has influenced you to pursue medicine. Keep in mind, this question is open ended and can be used to deduce whether or not your mom influenced you, or "pushed you". Make sure your answer represents the former..and if by chance it happens to be the latter...push back!!!
 

binko

At home I want you to call me Dr. Marvin.
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
995
Reaction score
138
It really depends on their specialty and how familiar they are with med school *now*.

My parent who is a doctor has helped me get access to some really cool experiences but ultimately those aren't probably going to be all that helpful for admissions. They also completely don't understand the current admissions process and they give me terrible advice all the time. It's a double-edge sword.
 

bcemslayer

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2015
Messages
120
Reaction score
161
Some schools' secondary applications have a section that asks for your affiliations/ties with their school. So if you plan on going to the same school your mother attended, that might be a tad helpful!
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
35,061
Reaction score
14,951
Some schools' secondary applications have a section that asks for your affiliations/ties with their school. So if you plan on going to the same school your mother attended, that might be a tad helpful!
Let me pass on an SDN story of how legacy can bite you in the butt: One interviewee was castigated as to why her mother hadn't donated more money to her alma mater over the intervening years. It's unbelievable to me that 1) someone actually looked this up, and 2) they yelled, yes yelled, at a child about it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

mcatjelly

Meow
7+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2013
Messages
1,828
Reaction score
1,812
My mom is a physician and it absolutely afforded me advantages. We have a great relationship, so growing up I had someone who was always willing to talk about all aspects of their job with me--medical knowledge, the day-to-day life, etc. She never pushed, just fueled my interests.

On the more tangible side, the practice gave me a job working with EHR for several summers and I had an easy in for shadowing. Can't dispute the value of those benefits.

I did have one interviewer say, "Oh, your mom's a doctor? Bet she wasn't around much, huh?" which was annoying, but otherwise no one ever challenged my motivations for pursuing medicine.
 

terra330

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2012
Messages
401
Reaction score
321
Primary benefit for me was access to shadowing. Got access to some cool experiences that would have been difficult for someone without a doctor in the family.

Wasn't super helpful in actually helping me with the application process. My dad didn't get his MD in the US, so he was even less familiar with it than other doctors his age.

Downsides: You will have some people assume you're going into medicine because your parents pressured you into it (and it's a double whammy if you're Asian)
 
D

deleted647690

They'll probably be more understanding of your career aspirations. You won't have a mom that always says, "Why don't you just become an orthopedic surgeon?" or "Become a plastic surgeon so you can give me plastic surgery"
 

CaliforniaDreamer

Full Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
972
Reaction score
1,339
They'll probably be more understanding of your career aspirations. You won't have a mom that always says, "Why don't you just become an orthopedic surgeon?" or "Become a plastic surgeon so you can give me plastic surgery"
My mom is a doctor and she is always telling me to go into plastics lol.

I also think the value in having a mom as a doctor is having somebody who can guide you through your undergraduate years and help you make smart decisions between balancing coursework and extracurriculars
Honestly, this sounds like a pipe dream in most cases (unless your parent is quite young and/or actually works in admissions).
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Messages
25,946
Reaction score
45,161
In all likelihood, your family is in the top 1-2% by income in the US. Don't discount the role that money plays in this process: tutoring, coaching, travel expenses, unpaid internships, etc.

You have a handy answer when asked if you understand the lifestyle & demands of the profession.

You have a foot in the door in getting shadowing opportunities with your parent's colleagues, summer research opportunities, networking.

Frankly, I think that parents are not helpful in the admissions process unless they have first hand knowledge of the process today vs. 25-30 years ago when they applied.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Mad Jack

Critically Caring
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2013
Messages
37,388
Reaction score
72,483

canmed96

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2016
Messages
69
Reaction score
13
In all likelihood, your family is in the top 1-2% by income in the US. Don't discount the role that money plays in this process: tutoring, coaching, travel expenses, unpaid internships, etc.

You have a handy answer when asked if you understand the lifestyle & demands of the profession.

You have a foot in the door in getting shadowing opportunities with your parent's colleagues, summer research opportunities, networking.

Frankly, I think that parents are not helpful in the admissions process unless they have first hand knowledge of the process today vs. 25-30 years ago when they applied.
Thanks for your reply. Could you elaborate on summer research opportunities? I live in Canada in a small city so i'm not too familiar with that aspect
 

toutou

Throwing shades and being petty.
5+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2012
Messages
539
Reaction score
635
Must be nice to have mum or dad or both who are doctors. I can only imagine the conversations / talks on what it's like. Mine works as warehouse assembler and they cried seeing me graduate from college and working a job making over $8/hr.

I went to college with kids who's parents were physicians and the things I worry about like financials, they never had to worry about it. So for me, that was the only benefit I saw first hand by having friends who live that life.
 

I'm No Superman

Crushin' scones
5+ Year Member
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
1,947
Reaction score
395
Hi guys, i am lucky enough to have my mother as a doctor in the family. Is there any way this could be advantageous for my journey into med school? if so, how can i make the most of it?

Thanks
For me, shadowing was stupid easy to do, and it took me about 2 hours to schedule and update all of my immunization records. I also have access to a person who has completed every stage of the medical training that I'm about to undergo. I'd say that it is an advantage
 

PossibleDOC?

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
378
Reaction score
308
Students of doctors have many privileges that us people who's parents aren't. You don't have to work, allowing for more accessibility in regards to tutoring times, study time, and unpaid work. This unpaid work can include shadowing and internships as well as just general volunteering. I saw a few friends who parents were dentists and MDs and they enjoyed their college experience and were able to get As because all they did was study and when not studying they partied. Also their parents had friends on the med and dental school adcom so you know "I scratch your back you scratch mine" came into play as well.

Its a gift appreciate it for what it is and use the search button more often.
 

MareNostrummm

D.O. Class of 2022
5+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2015
Messages
1,434
Reaction score
1,696
You definitely have significant advantages if your parent's are doctors. However, keep in mind that you still have to have the right personality and work ethic.
 

canmed96

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2016
Messages
69
Reaction score
13
Must be nice to have mum or dad or both who are doctors. I can only imagine the conversations / talks on what it's like. Mine works as warehouse assembler and they cried seeing me graduate from college and working a job making over $8/hr.

I went to college with kids who's parents were physicians and the things I worry about like financials, they never had to worry about it. So for me, that was the only benefit I saw first hand by having friends who live that life.
My mom started off working in a factory before she became a doctor, so i know that feeling during my early years. Good for you man! you should be proud
 
7

777137

Let me pass on an SDN story of how legacy can bite you in the butt: One interviewee was castigated as to why her mother hadn't donated more money to her alma mater over the intervening years. It's unbelievable to me that 1) someone actually looked this up, and 2) they yelled, yes yelled, at a child about it.
Was it a stress interview possibly?
 

summergirl

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
947
Reaction score
1,348
Let me pass on an SDN story of how legacy can bite you in the butt: One interviewee was castigated as to why her mother hadn't donated more money to her alma mater over the intervening years. It's unbelievable to me that 1) someone actually looked this up, and 2) they yelled, yes yelled, at a child about it.
It's the school's fault for not including that as part of the admission requirement when her mother applied to the school. I mean, it's not like they should be shy at asking for crazy things.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

GoCubsGo20

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
516
Reaction score
683
I can see the many advantages, but there are also some obvious disadvantages. I hate to generalize, but I can't imagine someone who grew up with a physician for a parent struggled for much. Probably grew up rarely interacting with lower/middle class people, and I think thats a huge disadvantage. Not to knock anyone with a physician as a parent though.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Messages
25,946
Reaction score
45,161
Thanks for your reply. Could you elaborate on summer research opportunities? I live in Canada in a small city so i'm not too familiar with that aspect
Maybe some of your parent's former classmates do research and would have a program for undergrads to do summer research. It is about networking and using contacts to identify opportunities. It might mean going away from home for a summer.
 

erics2814

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2016
Messages
55
Reaction score
55
So basically, connections and networking is the advantage you get with having a physician parent? So if my dad owns a group but doesn't have his own outpatient clinic, it's still an advantage?

Also, how important is this in interviews? And is it for the better or worse? It sounds like you need to be very careful when answering these questions.

As someone mentioned earlier, it sounds like coming from a family with higher income is a disadvantage because you never had to struggle money wise. But I feel like proper volunteering and showing dedication to helping the undeserved could make up for that.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using SDN mobile
 
Last edited:
D

deleted647690

So basically, connections and networking is the advantage you get with having a physician parent? So if my dad owns a group but doesn't have his own outpatient clinic, it's still an advantage?

Also, how important is this in interviews? And is it for the better or worse? It sounds like you need to be very careful when answering these questions.

As someone mentioned earlier, it sounds like coming from a family with higher income is a disadvantage because you never had to struggle money wise. But I feel like proper volunteering and showing dedication to helping the undeserved could make up for that.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using SDN mobile


Someone that comes from a family of money can't control that. Just don't act like a snob and you'll be fine. Unfortunately though, people might make assumptions I guess.
 

erics2814

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2016
Messages
55
Reaction score
55
aka. humblebrag that my family is well off...... how can I abuse nepotism to the fullest without actual merit

I translate BS
I think its a really good question. A lot of premeds have a doctor as a parent and they wonder the same thing. Also, he doesn't sound like he's bragging to me. I think you are assuming too much from what he's said.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using SDN mobile
 

anonymoose1640

Full Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
221
Reaction score
169
As someone mentioned earlier, it sounds like coming from a family with higher income is a disadvantage because you never had to struggle money wise. But I feel like proper volunteering and showing dedication to helping the undeserved could make up for that
As someone who grew up in a very poor family and who continues to "struggle money wise" ... my life was difficult and I would not wish growing up in that type of environment on my worst enemy. Please don't say being from a family with a higher income is a disadvantage. It's an insult to everyone who did not come from wealth. Your statement is honestly on par with the people who complain about URMs having a higher chance of receiving a medical school acceptance than ORMs. I don't want to derail this thread, but I sincerely hope you take a moment to think about what you've said and consider the blessings you've had in your life that many people have not had the opportunity to have. Good luck with your medical school applications.
 

erics2814

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2016
Messages
55
Reaction score
55
As someone who grew up in a very poor family and who continues to "struggle money wise" ... my life was difficult and I would not wish growing up in that type of environment on my worst enemy. Please don't say being from a family with a higher income is a disadvantage. It's an insult to everyone who did not come from wealth. Your statement is honestly on par with the people who complain about URMs having a higher chance of receiving a medical school acceptance than ORMs. I don't want to derail this thread, but I sincerely hope you take a moment to think about what you've said and consider the blessings you've had in your life that many people have not had the opportunity to have. Good luck with your medical school applications.
I was just quoting the person two comments above mine. You're completely right of course. I was just referring to specifically the application process. But yeah I agree with what you say.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using SDN mobile
 

anonymoose1640

Full Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
221
Reaction score
169
I was just quoting the person two comments above mine. You're completely right of course. I was just referring to specifically the application process. But yeah I agree with what you say.
Ah, apologies! I see the comment you're responding to now, I must have missed it on the first pass. While I understand what you and @GoCubsGo20 are trying to say, I think the disadvantages to growing up "comfortably" (though for physicians, that's a generalization, not all physicians are very wealthy of course) don't outweigh the benefits you might find growing up in that kind of situation. However, no one's life is perfect and we can only make the best with hand that we've been dealt. :)
 

GoCubsGo20

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
516
Reaction score
683
So basically, connections and networking is the advantage you get with having a physician parent? So if my dad owns a group but doesn't have his own outpatient clinic, it's still an advantage?

Also, how important is this in interviews? And is it for the better or worse? It sounds like you need to be very careful when answering these questions.

As someone mentioned earlier, it sounds like coming from a family with higher income is a disadvantage because you never had to struggle money wise. But I feel like proper volunteering and showing dedication to helping the undeserved could make up for that.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using SDN mobile
But growing up interacting with the people that volunteers serve cannot be replaced. Just my opinion though
Ah, apologies! I see the comment you're responding to now, I must have missed it on the first pass. While I understand what you and @GoCubsGo20 are trying to say, I think the disadvantages to growing up "comfortably" (though for physicians, that's a generalization, not all physicians are very wealthy of course) don't outweigh the benefits you might find growing up in that kind of situation. However, no one's life is perfect and we can only make the best with hand that we've been dealt. :)
Definitely agree! I think life is what you make of it, not how you might start out.
 

terra330

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2012
Messages
401
Reaction score
321
Also, how important is this in interviews? And is it for the better or worse? It sounds like you need to be very careful when answering these questions.

It did come up in my interviews, but not a lot of time was spent on it. From what I remember, I was asked what kind of medicine my dad practiced and whether his being a doctor influenced my decision to pursue medicine.

Just answer the questions like a normal human being and you'll be fine.
 
This thread is more than 5 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
Top