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Calling all sons + daughters of Dr. Parents

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by camd2b, May 13, 2007.

  1. camd2b

    camd2b 2+ Year Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    Hello! I wanted to talk with fellow applicants who have a parent or other family member already in the business.

    My dad and uncle are both surgeons. So, they have allowed me to shadow them intensely in hospital rounds, office visits, and surgeries even letting me scrub in and get alot of hands on experience. I have also been able to get many additional shadowing experiences in other fields I was interested in like radiology and oncology.

    I am very nervous about talking about in interview and on application- really do not want to come across as "my dad's a doctor so accept me" I also feel weird describing all the cool things I have been able to do as a result.
    I want to come across as thankful + humble and in no way arrogant.

    So how are approaching mentioning your family in your application?
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  3. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central 2+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    Alberta, Canada
    You're right about the importance of being humble in this situation. By all means mention the "cool stuff" because it shows that you know what medicine is about to a greater extent than many applicants who are not fortunate to have relatives in the field. But do note that these opportunities pretty much came your way and mention something along the lines of "I have been lucky compared to many other applicants in that my parents were doctors and offered me opportunities that others had to struggle to find" before you into describing things you've experienced.

    Also, since as I mentioned above, these opportunities were easy to come by for you, it may devalue them to some extent in the eyes of your interviewers, so it's important to maintain your other extracurriculars to show hard work and commitment. Even something as simple as shadowing can take a lot of effort to obtain for an applicant who doesn't have any connections in the medical field, so it's important to have other accomplishments that you had to make similar effort to achieve.
  4. MChitty

    MChitty 5+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Both my parents are physicians and I actually talked about it a lot in my PS because it made me NOT want to be a doctor up until I was about to graduate from college. For me, it's always been a part of my life--we planned vacations around call schedules and my mom finished up her residency when I was about 2 or 3, so some of my first memories are centered around being a doctor.

    They are in private practice, so I've worked in the office mainly after college when they were having staff turnover so I filled in and I still help around with other stuff. I've talked about it in interviews and most seemed receptive of the fact, but I also tried to get other experience as well to show that I wasn't just going after what was right in front of my face. In my opinion you can use it as an asset-- my parents emphasized that I shouldn't go into medicine unless I was positive that it was something I wanted to do. It's also a great resource so I would use your dad and uncle's contacts to shadow other MDs so you get a broad experience.

    Also, make sure that you have your own reasons to enter medicine. I think many adcoms are suspect of children of doctors because they are wary that they are entering the field for the 'wrong' reasons. At the same time, I would be humble, but you don't have to play it down--it's part of who you are and it's not necessarily a bad thing.
  5. sprinkibrio

    sprinkibrio 7+ Year Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Don't worry about it, but be prepared to answer a lot of questions about your parents. I got bombarded... I guess people like to know your background.
  6. UMP

    UMP Recovered Under-Achiever 7+ Year Member

    Aug 27, 2004
    I had the same thing...
  7. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist Rocket Scientist Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    I didn't have doctor parents... I did have a grandfather who was a doctor and he was my biggest influence in going into medicine.

    I think you just have to be a little careful about how present yourself. Don't let it sound like you're being pressured to follow in anybody's footsteps, make it clear that this is your choice and you're very happy about it...

    For me, my grandfather has been a great role-model. At times, he did a lot to caution me away from medicine, but when he saw how passionate he was, he supported me. You need to show that you're making an educated decision, not trying to apease someone else... do that and having a doctor in the family is an asset.
  8. e12345r


    Apr 20, 2007
    Like most people here have mentioned, I think that your best tool is to show them (through your EC and your passion/commitment) that this is not a decision that reflects your parents ambitions. Definitely prepare to answer questions about what led to your decision to study medicine and really dont be afraid to bring up your parents on this. In one of my interviews, I was asked about my family and how they influenced my decision to study medicine (my father is a physician and my mother a dentist) and I told them that although they were the ones who sparked my interest in the profession, I decided to study medicine only after testing my passion for the profession (i.e., through medically related activities). I guess that they didnt have a problem with my answer because I was accepted into the school.

    Again, be able to acknowledge their influence but also make sure to separate yourself from them. In fact, my personal statement was about how my desire to study medicine evolved from a childhood infatuation towards the profession (given that medicine was all around me as a child) to what it is today — a mature decision that was solidified by my extracurricular activities and my collegiate experience. So again, dont be afraid to bring up your parents as an influence in your decision to pursue a career in medicine (because I'm sure that they were), however, make sure that you can articulate (and provide evidence for) your genuine desire to become a doctor. Prepare a solid answer for questions such as "Tell me about your family", "How has your family influenced your decision to study medicine?", and "Why medicine?" and you'll be fine. Good luck!
  9. sprinkibrio

    sprinkibrio 7+ Year Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    I'm a very family-centered person, and I never went out of my way to dispute any possible beliefs that I might only be going into the profession because of my parents. They've influenced me a ton and I credit them for my choice because, as a girl, until they told me I can be a doctor instead of my former less ambitious choices (vet/nurse), I never thought I could achieve so high. My life revolves around health care and has since a young age. After I made the decision to become a doctor, I have never waivered. It has always been the right fit for me... not because I "tested it out" but because my parents, being health care providers have always valued and clutivated qualities in me that are fit for a doctor. I now have my own goals in medicine, separate from what my parents did, but I never devalued their influence during the interview.

    My dad is a doctor, my mom a nurse, and I've worked with my dad for a summer and used his connections for a job. I made this plain and simple, highlighted the benefits of working with someone who let me do more than a stranger, and pointed out how close my dad's connection and I became because of our ties. These are things that I'm really grateful for, and I think it came off in how I talked about them, not in a cheesy "I'm so lucky" line.
  10. camd2b

    camd2b 2+ Year Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    Hello! I don't post on the boards much, mostly just read others' post. So, I appreciate how well-thought your replies are- thank-you!

    Most of you definately targeted what I was afraid of but wasn't able to fully put in words in my original post. I especially appreciate the last post mentioning the deep connection that was formed.

    Thanks again :)

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