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Nov 28, 2015
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Well, I'm an 18 year old male, and after taking a year off after high school, I decided to apply for medical school in the UK. I decided to be a doctor, because....well to be honest, I'm not really sure. I'd had some slight inkling to pursue a medical career when I was younger. I actually liked being in hospitals, although I was always there dangerously sick and for emergency medical attention. I don't have the delusion that doctors are some great or noble saviours, and I spent several weeks shadowing at a hospital, so I have a reasonable idea of what it entails.

I am a very empathetic person (not boasting, It's just a characteristic like any other), and seeing people in pain has always made me want to help them, despite the situation (something that isn't as nice as it sounds). It's not like I applied for medicine because of some particular love for the career, it just felt the most right, and although I researched hundreds of other careers, (I was a bit reluctant to be exposed to all the pain that doctors will inevitably see) they all seemed hollow and just inexplicably dissatisfying.

As a result, I now have several interviews for medical school. I'm afraid that I might perform badly at these interviews, due to the fact that although I have an excellent application on paper, I have almost none of the stereotypical "morals" or behaviors generally expected for the occupation. I don't believe that human lives are "worth" any more than any other lives, but yet I'm not cruel or uncaring; on the contrary, I think I'm a pretty compassionate person (a paradox, I know, but I can't explain why I feel this way). Although, as I said, I don't have any belief in some intangible value or uniqueness of humanity, I believe that my drive to help people would be sufficient motivation for this career.

I'm also very antisocial, however I can thrive in social situations because I know how to act appropriately under social norms, but prefer not to unless necessary. In addition, due to my upbringing, I am unable to show certain emotions, particularly empathy. It's not that I don't feel them strongly, but I have stifled my expression of them for so long, that I am unable to show them without conscious, uncomfortable effort. I'm afraid that this might impact my ability to deal with patients.

I believe that I could make a great or at least a good doctor, but I'm afraid that my interviewer would take some of my opinions negatively and believe that I am cold and unmotivated. Would he/she be justified in doing this?
 

AlteredScale

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Well, I'm an 18 year old male, and after taking a year off after high school, I decided to apply for medical school in the UK. I decided to be a doctor, because....well to be honest, I'm not really sure. I'd had some slight inkling to pursue a medical career when I was younger. I actually liked being in hospitals, although I was always there dangerously sick and for emergency medical attention. I don't have the delusion that doctors are some great or noble saviours, and I spent several weeks shadowing at a hospital, so I have a reasonable idea of what it entails.

I am a very empathetic person (not boasting, It's just a characteristic like any other), and seeing people in pain has always made me want to help them, despite the situation (something that isn't as nice as it sounds). It's not like I applied for medicine because of some particular love for the career, it just felt the most right, and although I researched hundreds of other careers, (I was a bit reluctant to be exposed to all the pain that doctors will inevitably see) they all seemed hollow and just inexplicably dissatisfying.

As a result, I now have several interviews for medical school. I'm afraid that I might perform badly at these interviews, due to the fact that although I have an excellent application on paper, I have almost none of the stereotypical "morals" or behaviors generally expected for the occupation. I don't believe that human lives are "worth" any more than any other lives, but yet I'm not cruel or uncaring; on the contrary, I think I'm a pretty compassionate person (a paradox, I know, but I can't explain why I feel this way). Although, as I said, I don't have any belief in some intangible value or uniqueness of humanity, I believe that my drive to help people would be sufficient motivation for this career.

I'm also very antisocial, however I can thrive in social situations because I know how to act appropriately under social norms, but prefer not to unless necessary. In addition, due to my upbringing, I am unable to show certain emotions, particularly empathy. It's not that I don't feel them strongly, but I have stifled my expression of them for so long, that I am unable to show them without conscious, uncomfortable effort. I'm afraid that this might impact my ability to deal with patients.

I believe that I could make a great or at least a good doctor, but I'm afraid that my interviewer would take some of my opinions negatively and believe that I am cold and unmotivated. Would he/she be justified in doing this?
The outcome of your interviews will probably decide whether or not you should continue on this path. If you get accepted then perhaps a school knew that you could demonstrate an inkling of empathy and emotion contrary to what you feel.

If you get no acceptances well then that's a sign that you probably should not go down this path.

IMHO, the fact that you are already aware that you cannot provide empathy or emotion to others is alarming and alternate careers should be considered. You will be asked and be GRADED on how much empathy you demonstrate when you are conducting standardized patient interviews. Yes, this entails speaking with a patient and going beyond the closed ended questions ("Do you smoke? Do you drink?..etc etc).

Again, your interviews will be the time for faculty to figure out just what your motivation is and "it felt right" may not cut it. You not getting accepted could be a blessing in disguise.
 
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The Wobblie

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Going to med school in the UK will make it very, very, very difficult to gain a residency in the US, even if you are a US citizen. FYI.
 
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Law2Doc

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Hopefully in your applications you didn't portray yourself as an antisocial person without "morals". :)

Honestly nothing you've written here suggests you'd even like being a doctor and most of what you've written suggests you are only applying to medicine because you didn't yet find something that suits you better. Medicine is not for everyone, and frankly "helping people" tends to be a very shallow motivation that people tend to harp on when they don't really know what doctors actually do.

You sound very poorly thought out (i.e. "I am a very empathetic person but not good at showing empathy"). Which at 18 is fine but to me means you should probably go to a traditional four year college and figure things out. As mentioned, If you are a US person and hope to practice in the US, going out of the country will make it harder to get a residency, and usually not save you any time anyhow. And based on what you've written, the few extra years of exposure to other things, and figuring things out won't be wasted time. My bet, from what you've written, is that a life of showing empathy to people on the wards isn't your dream job.
 
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As stated above, "helping people" is a shallow motivation that will be torn apart during an interview if that is the response you give. For example, one of my friends gave a similar answer and the interviewers response was you like helping people, you can help people a million ways in a thousand different careers, many of which are health related. You can help others as a CNA, RN, technician, PA, etc. so why as an MD? Needless to say, unless you have a really solid response, this gets a lot of people stumped. On top of that, most interviewers have seen hundreds of other applicants and can tell right away if it is a genuine answer or not.
 
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If I were you, I would consider a career in scientific research or medical management. Maybe your interest has originated from a desire to pursue the advancing field of medicine yet you confused it with patient care. There are many careers in the healthcare sector that do not involve interaction with the sick. Pharmaceutical companies and hospital administrators are very well compensated. It simply does not appear that you are a solid candidate for direct patient care due to your apparent lack of drive to "help others".
 

Hillo

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You should look at live, naked people and experience a death of someone you like.
It might give more insight on who you are.
 
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