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Is becoming a doctor really making something of your life?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by neurocirujano, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. neurocirujano

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    Obviously becoming a doctor and helping people is one of the best things anyone could end up doing. It's just that sometimes I wonder if becoming a doctor is really doing everything I can with my life. My ultimate fear is laying down to die without having done something world-changing, amazing, incredible. I want to alter world events in some way.

    Anyone else have this same fear and desire? Thoughts? Is there something you think you could do outside of medicine to accomplish a life goal such as this?
     
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  3. janderson001

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    You can worry about that AFTER you actually became a doctor. Until then, shush.
     
  4. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    99.99999% of the people on this Earth will not do anything world-changing, amazing, or incredible. do you realize how incredibly difficult it is to change the world. props to you on having high expectations. i hope that you achieve them.
     
  5. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    umm definitely....If you want to make a huge discovery or alter world events as you say...you might want to consider research...theres plenty of things out there waiting to be discovered.
     
  6. PreMD86

    PreMD86 'Pre' free!
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    Have you given any thought to becoming president? It has the lowest GPA averages of any world-changing career.
     
  7. neurocirujano

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    Well, I know it is improbable that I will make any significant ripple in world events, but I feel like I have to at least try. This is absolutely the only thing that makes me consider politics. Sometimes it makes me want to drop medical school plans altogether and pursue something different, out there, you know?

    Has anyone seen Lions for Lambs or Charlie Wilson's War? It just makes me want to do something "different."
     
  8. neurocirujano

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    Haha... good point!
     
  9. neuro1617

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    It's not "one of the best things one could end up doing" to everyone. I think sometimes it's not really the heroic, if you will, vision some pre-meds may think it is. You want to be able to enjoy it for it to be worthwhile to you. There are a ton of other worthwhile things in this sense that you could do with your life. No, I don't have that fear because I'm not interested in doing it just because it's world-changing or admirable. I am kind of giving up the option of other careers I might have chosen. I do have the fear I guess of the sacrifice you have to make for medicine in terms of family and free time for other things..but everyone needs a job to pay the bills, and doctors are not the only professionals who work long, hard hours to do so.

    To add, I'm not saying it's not a gratifying job that can change lives, of course it is. I guess it will be doing everything you can with your life if it's what you really want and what makes you happy. Just my opinions..hope that all makes sense...
     
  10. 87138

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    You would make a much more positive impact on society as a janitor.
     
  11. piss ant

    piss ant Mike Rowe for President
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    /
     
    #10 piss ant, Jun 13, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  12. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    :thumbup:


    I was going to say nursing assistant. Can't beat getting minimum wage to clean up someone else's bodily fluids.
     
  13. neurocirujano

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    If I ever did enter politics, I would obviously do it to try and "fix" that. But, it's hard to disagree.
     
  14. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    Mother theresea??
     
  15. TehDoc

    TehDoc What a pain...
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    No, don't become a doctor.
     
  16. neurocirujano

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    I understand how what I said can come off as me thinking too highly of myself. I know it sounds cliche... Let me preface this by saying I don't want to get into a debate over religion, but I, personally, have a hard time believing in the existence of God. Consequently, it horrifies me that I may be wasting my life away. I just feel motivated to find some meaning in my life.

    I know.. you're probably wishing you didn't read that last sentence. But it's true!
     
  17. neurocirujano

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    No. I don't want to be another Mother Theresa (as amazing a person she was). I don't even know if it's helping people that I want to do. I really just try and work hard at everything I do so I can keep all of my doors open, so to speak. Still, it's hard to stay motivated as a premed when I'm not completely sure what I want to do with my life.
     
  18. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    Simple...get a smoking hot wife and make lots of beautiful babies....your legacy will then carry on.
     
  19. iduwanna

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    This is a good point.

    If you have half the genes you think you have, start plant'n 'em.

    Then, just sit back and watch the world change.
     
  20. neurocirujano

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    Haha, where am I watching from?
     
  21. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    You're having a really difficult time conveying what you're trying to say. But just for some perspective, you're coming off as a total prick. I'm sorry, you probably mean well, but I think probably most people would agree with me here.

    Also, you seem to have absolutely no clue about the audience to whom you're addressing yourself.

    Further, you seem to be working within some very bizarre paradigms if I do say so myself.

    To whit:
    (1) The existence or non-existence of God does not in and of itself make your life meaningful or meaningless except insofar as you believe it does. (Read: existentialism is great, but get over yourself). Do you not REALIZE that we're all constantly in search of finding ways that we can create meaningful and satisfying careers? (I mean, most people with a brain, anyway).

    (2) OBVIOUSLY there are other, equally important ways to contribute to society than be a doctor. I mean, what planet do you LIVE on? Have you been hypnotized by a physician cult?

    (3) Addressing yourself to a pre-med crowd with the statement: re: a career as a doctor "Is that all? Is that really the best you can do?" is just about as insulting as it gets.

    That's all. Consider it.
     
  22. xxbruinxx

    xxbruinxx Senior Member
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    OP-
    to some degree i can indentify with those feelings, especially in light of the passing of Tim Russert. Everytime someone with such a profile loses their life, I get to thinking about what impact and legacy I will leave behind at the end of my life. I'm not out to discover the next big miracle drug nor am I setting my sights on eliminating world hunger, but at the same time, I would hope that I'll be able to accomplish something larger. I guess I want to be able to look back on my life at 85yo and be able to say without a doubt that yes, I was given this one life, and I have absolutely made the best of it, and impacted the lives of others for the better.


    Just some thoughts...
     
  23. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    man all yall have high aspirations...I just wanna make money and retire a happy old man.
     
  24. neurocirujano

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    Okay, I'm sorry. But THIS is what I was trying to convey! It's really my legacy that I am concerned with. Thanks for being so much better with words.

    Sorry to those of you I have come off as a "prick" to.

    My legacy. My destiny. That is what I am concerned about. I am just always concerned that I'm not doing the best with what I have.
     
  25. SketchLazy

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    Maybe not a prick, but you're coming off as completely self-absorbed. Must come with the delusions of grandeur.
     
  26. TehDoc

    TehDoc What a pain...
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    Your legacy? Give research a shot. Otherwise most likely no, IF you get into medical school and get through residency.
     
  27. neurocirujano

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    Well, I know I am being self absorbed. I'm talking about my legacy. It doesn't really get more egotistical than that. Still, it doesn't change how I feel. Can you all honestly say you're not concerned about your name living on after you die? I mean, a lot of people probably don't think about it or really care as long as you live a happy life. But some of you have to want your name to carry weight, power! I really hope I'm not the only one.

    You don't have to call me self-centered, high and mighty, etc. This is what a conversation such as this entails!
     
  28. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    Personally I think the entire medical school app process is self absorbed and egotistical

    Writing responses to secondaries, Ps, and Descring your ECs in a way to make yourself look wonderful

    Talking about how great you are during the interviews...so whats wrong with wanting a little legacy?
     
  29. WinterLights

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    Such concerns are meaningless.
     
  30. neurocirujano

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    I agree.

    I also love Roseanne. I also thought you were a girl before I read one of your other posts as you said she makes you hot! :laugh:
     
  31. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    What can I say?? Shes tons of love
     
  32. TehDoc

    TehDoc What a pain...
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    Spouse, reproduction, kids, FAMILY? What the hell is the point of this thread?
     
  33. xxbruinxx

    xxbruinxx Senior Member
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    I'm curious as to what is driving such thoughts and feelings?

    I think some people on here are being a bit harsh, but at the same time OP, you cannnot go through life making a difference simply for the sake of legacy or fame. Like i said, I can understand your thoughts, but at this stage in your life (still in college?), I think you should take the simple approach of living out your life in the best and most generous way you can. Let the cards fall where they may. People don't set out to leave behind great legacies or powerful names...it's their actions that speak for themselves...what people notice and remember.

    so for now..focus on your studies and school, figure out what makes you "happy"...as hippie as that may sound...and go for it, whether it's medicine, politics, or acting. You can make a difference in this world in sooo many ways.

    I think it's great that you think this way...that you set aside time for "inner-reflection" if you will...it can only help (as long as hubris doesn't overshadow)
     
  34. neurocirujano

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    Honestly, I don't think I'm ever going to get married.

    If it comes down to it, I will donate sperm in a final attempt to live on. Seriously, though.
     
  35. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    :thumbup:

    That is what I meant to say.


    OP, the world is your oyster. There are things appropriate to ask on random anonymous internet forums and there are things that are not appropriate to ask. This question primarily falls under the latter category.



    How would WE know what your legacy is? We've never even met you. For all we know, you're Picasso and you're wasting your energy on medicine. Give me a break.
     
  36. neurocirujano

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    Right. I think what brings these emotions on are the feelings of stagnancy (is that a word?) that comes with being in college. I mean, I'm active in the community and feel like I'm learning a lot, but I don't feel like I'm really moving. I feel like I'm just jumping through hoops in order to get to what I really want to do, and sometimes I begin to wonder if it's worth it. Specifically, if it is worth all this time. I just feel like I want to do something bigger.

    And don't worry about the pride. I am the first to admit that I have absolutely no reason to be prideful sitting where I am today, which I see as nowhere. Gosh darn' it! I just get overly concerned sometimes! But, really I think the source of all these thoughts comes from the fact that I feel so stagnant on this long time-line we are all sitting on.
     
  37. TehDoc

    TehDoc What a pain...
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    Sorry if I sounded harsh but bruin is right. Things will fall into place and btw I know people who thought they wouldn't get married but there they are living happy with their SO. Just focus on school work and hang out with friends. :thumbup:
     
  38. neurocirujano

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    I am just trying to gain some insight on our perspectives as inexperienced students who are working to commit to something that will define us for the rest of our lives. It just seems that in a sense we could possibly be missing the forest for the trees.
     
  39. WinterLights

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    Perhaps those thoughts come from a fear of mortality.
     
  40. neurocirujano

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    No worries. I completely understand how I came off and will probably continue to come off as a prideful SOB.

    Now most will probably blame my feelings on my lack of a social life. I like the idea of having fun hanging out with friends, going to a party or two, etc., but whenever I'm doing this, I feel, again, like I am wasting my time. I'll think, "Well, I could at least be studying right now or something." This then leads to the thoughts I presented above.
     
  41. neurocirujano

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    That's exactly what it is. I feel desperate, and, as young as I am, I still feel like I'm in a race against the clock.
     
  42. SketchLazy

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    True, but a lot of people do share the same legacy. The happiest and most fulfilled people I've met are the ones with family and friends. The ones who are mired in their careers and their own personal struggles for greatness seem to be the most void. In the end, maybe we are just a victim of our own biologies, ruled by the four F's. Except in our case, we get to dwell on where we screwed it all up, apparently on internet message forums.
     
  43. neurocirujano

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    Point taken, but I still think it's applicable to premeds especially as we are committing to something that will greatly define who we are and largely determine the remainder of our small lives.
     
  44. LostLost

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    OP " You cannot do great things... only small things with great love." Mother Teresa

    Whatever you do remember this saying because chances are you won't be doing something world changing. These type of things aren't normally planned. They just happened. Scientific discoveries, political revolutions, wars, etc.

    The so called "people who changed the world" ... they faced moments where they had to make a decision and they did what they thought was right. These people don't plan to be "great" ... they are considered "great" because they did the right thing with what the time has given to them. You will face the same moments where you will be challenge to do the right thing... make sure you live up to your conscience.
     
    #43 LostLost, Jun 14, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  45. Bahadur

    Bahadur Cookies! nom nom nom
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    Sorry, couldn't resist the urge:

    "Be the change you wish to see in the world"

    - Mahatma Gandhi


    To each his own.
     
  46. neurocirujano

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    Gandhi viciously beat his wife regularly.

    It's true. Look it up.
     
  47. CubaLibre

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    I've thought about this extensively, and I've come to a depressing conclusion. Who the F gives a flying F about a legacy? That's a load of horse doodoo. What's really your motivation? So your contemporaries remember you as this great, accomplished human being? If you're lucky maybe even the generation after you remembers you. Who cares though? 500 years will pass by eventually. 1000 years will pass by eventually. 10000000000 years will pass by eventually. Da Vinci and JFK won't be remembered at that point, and neither will you. Ultimately, no one will remember you. Whether you do nothing or you discover the cure for Cancer and Aids, it makes no difference. I'm pretty hammered right now, but I feel as clear as ever so I figured I'd weigh in. Life is short. Really, really short. Enjoy it. Give it all you've got. There ain't no sense in holding back. :)
     
  48. 8744

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    One day, if you are still on SDN, you will look back at this thread and cringe for shame that you were ever such a pompous ass. I assure you that the things you believe to be problems, your goals, your motivations, and your expectations will change so radically in the next twenty years that you won't recognoze yourself.
     
  49. 8744

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    Gandhi was a urine-drinking, racist, war-mongering mother****er. Look it up. The history most of you know about the Mahatma is mostly contrived and sanitized.
     
  50. 8744

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    All you will care about in ten years is the money. If you make a decent income at medicine with good hours, you will likely be happy. If you don't, you will dislike it.
     
  51. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I think the above quote from Mother Theresa got it right. You cannot focus on changing the world. You can only focus on what you are doing. If what you are doing has a big impact, great. But it probably won't. Folks who seek to change the world fail. Folks who set finite accomplishments often see them having larger ramifications. It's the dudes who focus on legacy that never seem to have a good one. (Nixon was a president obsessed with his legacy and he is best known for the Watergate fiasco.)
    As a physician, you will possibly help some people live a better life, and a few may remember you for that. You probably will inadvertently worsen some people's conditions or even cause their demise, and their families will remember (or sue) you for that too. So no, becoming a doctor is not going to make your name live on. Always thinking of ways to improve what you are doing might -- if you become a surgeon and think of a better tool to do a certain kind of procedure, or think up a better procedure altogether, it may gain acceptance and carry your name. Or if you do research, you might get known for something.
    But again, most of the folks who manage to get known in medicine this did not seek it. It found them because that was the kind of practitioner they were.
     

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