Is med-school fit for a philosopher?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by zhenka11230, May 12, 2008.

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  1. zhenka11230

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    There seems to be personality traits unique to philosophers(i.e questioning everything, always trying to get the big picture, ignoring common sense etc...) I was wondering if you guys think a philosopher would fit in among medical students and if there are some amongst you who are also suffering from pathological thinking, aka - philosophy.

    I do very well in my philosophy classes and i considered a career in psychotherapy or philosophy but found them to not be worth the effort(i.e low pay after long years etc..) I consider respect/usefulness/money/reliability to be important so the next thing i looked at was medicine. I do not believe in "doing what you like" and "don't go for money". I think that such concepts are naive utaliterian principles . No job is fun but some are interesting.

    I guess this post is a mixed bowl but i would love to see some comments.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. cpants

    cpants Member

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    You had me until "ignoring common sense". Philosophers not welcome.
     
  4. Margaux1985

    Margaux1985 0k member

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    Unlike philosophy, there is no grey area. If you screw up, someone dies.
     
  5. zhenka11230

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    Well not completely ignoring ;) Just that philosophers don't find "it is because it is" kind of answers satisfying. I mean look at Einstines time is relative concept, if he wouldn't be a metaphysical philosopher as well as scientist he would never come up with it because it goes against all common sense.
     
  6. dArroway

    dArroway Gettin' my hood on

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    abort please.

    if "common sense" just means what most people know then I guess doctors would go beyond that as einstein did...
     
  7. zhenka11230

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    I find that intriguing.
     
  8. dArroway

    dArroway Gettin' my hood on

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    LOL,
    find wat intriguing?
     
  9. zhenka11230

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    Well the idea that you cannot screw up or someone dies is intriguing to me. It would motivate me to stay on top of my potential.
     
  10. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane
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    Fortunately, that's more often wrong than right. Most mistakes aren't fatal mistakes.
     
  11. Margaux1985

    Margaux1985 0k member

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    You sound almost disparaging with regards to the study of philosphy. No matter how long the training is or how little it pays, it does have an important role in our society and we need philosphers as much as we need good physicians.

    As for the "respect/usefulness/money/reliability" part, you need to consider the recent events in healthcare. Physicians just don't get as much respect today as they used to get. Nowadays, control rests mostly with Congress, the pharmaceutical industry, and managed healthcare bureaucracies. As for money and reliablity, even that's fading. Malpractice costs take up nearly a quarter of some physician's salary and the hours are so long (80 hrs/week) that a plumber would make more money if he charges billable hours. Besides that, my dad says that in the future his hospital plans on outsourcing some of the outpatient procedures (i.e. X-ray chart-checking and MRI diagnosis) to doctors and healthcare facilities in Europe or India, so the profession may no longer be as stable as you might imagine.

    As for "doing what you like" and "don't go for the money". Truth be told, most physicians go into medicine because they have the personality for it and geniuenly like what they do. Besides that, most physicians coming out of residency still have a hefty debt to pay off, so it's not like they're living the high-life coming out of medical school. All you have to ask is, would you be willing to go into medicine if you get paid $80k/year instead of $180k/year. If not, there are many other professions out there that have the same respect/usefulness/money/reliability that medicine has are better suited for a philosopher.
     
  12. barto123

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    dont worry, lots of self-proclaimed philosophers like you go to med school. in addition, pretentiousness is very well received at interviews, you'll fit right in.
     
  13. zhenka11230

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    Well i am not disapproving of philosophy as a career, it is just that i am too aware of its economical disadvantages. Thing is i would rather be a psychotherapist but if psychiatrist makes 3x as much, i would much rather be a psychiatrist.

    There is alternative road to become a lawyer but unlike medicine i just would not motivate myself to go for it.

    In truth there is only three fields that make sense salary wise: business(finance), law, medicine. I have a big heart, i spend a lot of time studding and thinking but i am NOT willing to not be properly compensated for the effort.
     
  14. Schemp

    Schemp drawing infinity

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    While I appreciate your candor, be prepared to lie outright to your interviewers about your motivation, because this is exactly the type of stuff they don't want to hear.
     
  15. SaveThisLabRat

    SaveThisLabRat $700 Billion Dollar Woman

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    Funny, my dad hires lawyers. They compete for a 50k a year job.

    Oh and your comment about, "I don't believe in going into a job because you like it" or something to that effect. That's absolute nonsense. You picked your major, possibly, because you liked it. You obviously didn't pick it for the money. I mean, a B.A. in philosophy? WTF are you going to do with that? Same thing goes for your career.

    If you happen to make it as far as residency, you're going to pick something you like. Why would you spend years studying something you detest? I guess you could, but that's pointless.

    I don't really know where I was going with this post.
     
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  17. zhenka11230

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    To me "perfectly fitting job chosen for altruistic reasons ignoring financial prospects" sounds and awful lot like "find your soulmate." Neither exists to anyone who has a healthy amount of skepticism.
     
  18. SaveThisLabRat

    SaveThisLabRat $700 Billion Dollar Woman

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    What does that have to do with not believing you can find a job you like?

    Are you a freshman? This may explain things.
     
  19. Margaux1985

    Margaux1985 0k member

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    It seems as though you've really bought into hype surrounding those three fields. I'm really surprised that a philospher would consider money to be such a huge factor in choosing the type of career to pursue (Why do you need to earn more than what you are comfortable living with - money doesn't buy happiness). If you really think those three professions are the only ones that would compensate you properly, I would suggest that you arrange to gain more exposure to those three fields (work or intern in a law or financial firm and then shadow a physician) to see which career is best for you. You might be surprised by what you learn.
     
  20. zhenka11230

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    Well depends what you mean by like. I made a distinction between liking as in pleasure from doing something and liking as in interesting. I would hate to do philosophy if my only motivation was joy from doing it. It is tedious, hard intellectual work, but it is one of the best tools to teach one to think and it is darn interesting! Who the hells likes med school? Only a disturbed person would! Fact is people do it either because they want to be doctors and help people or because they find it interesting and a challenge. In the former case they suck it up as means to an end and in the latter they are doing it for growth rather then pleasure.

    I watched a documentary on poverty recently and i sure didn't do it because i "liked" it. I did it as a duty to society, i did it because it was interesting, i did it because this knowledge might benefit myself and others, i did not do it because i like watching suffering on tv. Get my point?
     
  21. Margaux1985

    Margaux1985 0k member

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    Then you might want to go on a couple of dates to see which one is your "closest match" and who you'd want to sleep with. :)
     
  22. smeagol

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    1. Those personality traits are not unique to any specific profession. And I would argue that the last one isn't quite on the dot.

    2. You may want to consider M.D./Ph.D programs that offer a Ph.D in bioethics or something similar.

    3. It is embarrassing for a self-proclaimed philosopher to misspell 'utilitarian.'
     
  23. zhenka11230

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    I did not "buy" into anything. Statistics my friend.

    There is no happiness. Happiness is for new-age mambo jumbo type of people.

    Money brings status, sensual pleasures and comforts of living and tons of opportunities such as ability to travel the world. I would love to live in a modern glass house with an outlook on a beautiful garden and for that i need money!

    I think "money doesn't matter" is one of these conventional folk-wisdoms that philosophy taught me to proudly ignore and think for myself. The same goes for existence of god, existance of soul or a just world.

    Philosophy made me a realist and not a naive idealist and i thank it for that.
     
  24. SaveThisLabRat

    SaveThisLabRat $700 Billion Dollar Woman

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    I think, like, you'd make another House, MD. You know, while the science majors are testing the guy's white blood cell count, House broke into the patient's house to kidnap his cat and test the fur for AIDS.
     
  25. cpants

    cpants Member

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    Amen Marg. My favorite is "business". Pre-meds always seem to think that they could go into business and do as well financially as they would as doctors. The fact is, the vast majority of people in "business" are grinding it out doing unrewarding jobs, and they are making less than doctors.

    Yeah, I know your roommate got a job in i-banking making 200k a year right out of college. Guess what, that wasn't the choice you made when you chose to go into medicine. People who get those great positions are really smart, great at networking, and have busted there @sses as hard, if not harder, than you pre-meds did.
     
  26. Margaux1985

    Margaux1985 0k member

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    So true, so true :thumbup: The good ones graduate from Yale, Harvard, Georgetown and get picked up right away by the big law firms. The rest (90%) seem to have trouble finding jobs and attracting clients.
     
  27. zhenka11230

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    Eh, i don't know what i would do without automatic spell check on my computer!
     
  28. zhenka11230

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    And this is exactly why i am considering Medical career over business and law : )
     
  29. SaveThisLabRat

    SaveThisLabRat $700 Billion Dollar Woman

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    This reminds me of the guys who you want nothing to do with trying to hit on you and thinking they're so smooth when they tell you they're major is business. Lol. Give me a break.
     
  30. Katatonic

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    :thumbup:

    Bentham is rolling in his grave.
     
  31. Wylde

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    how do you explain people who are marine biologists, everest tour guides, life-long military people, the guy who owns the corner bakery?

    People don't just guide groups of people up Mt. Everest because they can't find work elsewhere. They do it because they love the job!

    Same goes for a lot of park rangers, etc.

    You don't have to chose a job for "altruistic reasons" to chose the job you LOVE. There are tons of people who are happy making 30-60k a year at jobs because they love doing them! Ie teachers go into teaching when they could double their salary in industry.

    Edit: I think you have a very skewed opinion of salaries.

    -Top lawyers (ie the people that graduate from t14 law schools) make a lot of money, especially because there isn't the salary cap you see in healthcare. Also, all the kids that aren't graduating from a top 30 law school are going to have trouble finding 50k jobs or even jobs at all. Law is full of idiots who make no money!

    -Top business (see top lawyers)

    -Physicians do make a lot of money, but they also don't start making money until their 30s and the average is around 160-200k

    -Engineers, actuaries, dentists, pharmacists, optometrists, programmers, etc. etc. can all make into the 6 figures. Doctor, Lawyer, Business man are not the only 3 professions where you make money. You will be much happier and more successful making 100k and enjoying your job compared to making 200k and hating it.
     
  32. zhenka11230

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    Who the hells loves teaching? They do it for noble reasons such as sense of duty. I am sure teachers don't like teaching, the like the idea of teaching so to speak. They like the consequences their job produces, but the job itself... i doubt it.

    Again the trick is that the word love and like changes meaning in different context. What i am arguing against is liking/loving as in getting pleasure out of a process of work itself.
     
  33. PharmDstudent

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    For what it's worth, it sounds like you could be an INTP. You should test to make sure though. My boyfriend is an INTP, so I'm familiar with their style.

    (http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:z4DTzTd9ba4J:www.iusb.edu/~sbcareer/INTP.pdf+INTP+neurologist&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=us&client=firefox-a) Check out this link. Under Health Care/Technical it lists Neurologist and Plastic Surgeon. I think Socionics does the best job with inter-type relations, so I would use that if you get more interested in it.
     
  34. Katatonic

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    I know anecdotal evidence is null, but I know several teachers personally who actually love it. As in, they enjoy the fact that it's difficult at times, but they get to teach young minds and it brings them pleasure. Also, I don't think teachers do it out of a sense of "duty", not everyone is a Kantian.
     
  35. zhenka11230

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    I think those INTP and whatnot are the same as horoscopes... Load of crap. People relate to it because it relates to everyone. People cannot be lumped into a few categories.
     
  36. PharmDstudent

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    Ok. At least I tried.

    Typology profiles are meant to serve as a guide. Also, there have been a few different threads about typology on SDN if you want to look that up too.

    These are a few significant figure heads in analytical psychology: David Keirsey, Carl Jung, and Aushra Augustinavichute.
     
  37. zhenka11230

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    Well to be honest i agree that it is possible to enjoy once job. Just that i do not believe one is born liking something, rather one grows to like something by exposure to it and emotional events related to it. Of course personality has to fit in with the job as well.

    There has to be a psychosocial process or processes to why one grows to like something. I suspect cognitive dissonance has quite a bit to do with it as well(e.g i spent all this time studding medicine and to justify the effort i think of it as a worthy goal and i enjoy it)
     
  38. zhenka11230

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    People like Carl Jung lack skepticism as did many psychologists(don't know about present.) People have infinite personality traits and the attempt to categorize them is trivial imo.

    I think i was a little rude to you tho, i apologize! You tried to help after all and i just criticized you like that : (
     
  39. Mister Pie

    Mister Pie Senior Member

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    Of course there's a place for philosophers, I know some places offer dual degree programs with bioethics as the second area of study. With regards to the science though, my impression is that you'd better accept at least SOME of the things that are presented, otherwise if you start questioning/pondering/taking long walks while daydreaming about the validity of every biochemical reaction/bit of anatomy that you're taught in class you're going to quickly fall behind.
     
  40. PharmDstudent

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    Everything can be trivial to a point. Until scientists can define the human psyche through genetic means, I think this is the best, or perhaps the only, way to understand people without knowing them personally. Like so many other things, systems can have flaws. I don't agree with some of the stuff that they incorporate into typology, but other parts are very valuable and practical (which a common-senseless philosopher might need ;)).
     
  41. Wylde

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    You are probably the most ignorant self-proclaimed philosopher I have ever met. Most philosophers consider themselves intelligent and enlightened...

    Just because YOU do not like teaching, doesn't mean Jimmy doesn't like teaching. Open your mind, the world does not revolve around you and not everyone likes what you like.

    What kind of "consequences of teaching" are there? Summers off...? You can get time-off in many jobs, or work part-time for double the salary of a teacher.

    You also didn't address the people who are park-rangers (something people like, but low pay), rural guides, etc. If your opinion had any admirable merit you could defend it against these examples instead of choosing one and twisting reality.

    You are either very ignorant or a troll. Also, not everything is about making money!!! What is the point in making money if you don't enjoy doing it?

    Consider this:

    a) You will be studying your butt off until about age 26
    b) At 26, you will work for 3-7, 80 hours/week, 30-40k salary
    c) After those years, at age 30-33, you will finally have a 6-figure salary but you will be working 60 hours a week for the rest of your career.

    Now, that is all fine and dandy. It sucks, but it is worth it if you ENJOY the material and the job details. Do you want to work these kind of hours in something you are not interested in... just for 6 figures? You can make a similar amount in a profession you enjoy more (engineering, business, IT industry, etc.).

    You care way to much about the money.

    EDIT: I didn't read any of the other posts before making this one, so I'm tossing these comments in as an edit.

    Of course !???

    Example: No one came out of the womb "liking money" or "liking sports". You are "exposed" to money, sports, friends, and have positive "emotional events related to [them]".

    I don't see your point, it's like you decide to throw in a bunch of unecessary words to try and argue something that everyone considers common sense.

    What does cognitive dissonance have to do with enjoying hanging out with friends? Or on a different level, what does it have to do with enjoying a career you are passionate about?

    Example: You love studying ancient civilizations, so you become an archaeologist. You genuinely enjoy your job and do not need some validation that you enjoy it (if you didn't). Some careers are highly focused (ie archeology) and there are people who are passionate about these "highly focused" topics, therefore people actually do enjoy their careers. While there may be things they would rather be doing (hanging out with friends, sleeping), there are a lot of times where people do like going to work.

    PS: Sorry if I come off a little too hostile, I'm very tired. I guess my main point is that people can (and do) enjoy their professions; you should choose a career because you will like going to work on some days and on the other days you will be able to tolerate going to work.
     
  42. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Not quite. There are quite a few myths about law abounding in pre-allo -- I guess folks like to make themselves feel better about their decisions by echoing misinformation about other fields.

    Law is certainly different than medicine in that the range is huge. I know lawyers who earn several million dollars a year in salary. I also know a lawyer who earns $18k per year. So it's not the tight grouping you see in medicine. Over a third of lawyers earn quite well (even better than many physicians). But there are many times more lawyers than doctors so if you look at it by number and not percentage, there are actually more high income slots in law than medicine. Which is really the way to look at it, because the folks who do poorly in law are generally not the folks who would have gotten into med school. You have to compare apples to apples. If you are getting into med school, you likely wouldn't be average in law. You have the motivation and smarts to do well in that field, which mainly requires having a good head on your shoulders.

    Looking at an average in each field isn't the right way to compare, because you lump in the thousands of lawyers who wouldn't be competitive for medicine. Law isn't as selective as medicine, there are more law schools, and the classes are bigger. So a ton of people become lawyers who aren't really all that bright, just motivated. Those are often the ones fighting for those $50k salaries -- The best ones won't stay there at that salary for long. While the top law schools tend to do best in placing folks into the big, high paying firms, the top 10-15% of most of the more regional schools (the non-top schools) also get those jobs. In fact the big firm offices in cities other than Boston, NY and LA tend to be composed quite heavilly with non-Ivy types. And there will be folks who weren't top students, who still get to big firms through government service experience, etc.

    So let's not focus on the folks in situations you would never be in should you choose law. Look at those who had the option of either law or medicine. Those of us who had that option can assure you that the money tends to be as good, if not better, in law. And you get it earlier and with less debt. It may not be what you enjoy, but the good money is there, if that's your big motivator.

    Back to the OPs question, (1) common sense is the most important skill of a physician. "common things being common..." is frequently quoted in this field. You focus on the horses, not zebras. And you can reason out a lot of things, if you use your brain. (2) philosophy is as good a major as anything for medicine. Meaning it doesn't matter what your background is, everyone brings something unique to the table.
     
  43. cpants

    cpants Member

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    Uh actually most teachers love teaching. You get to hang out with kids all day. It's incredibly rewarding. You get summers off and you only work from 8-3. For this you make 50k+, incredible benefits, and job and retirement security. It's not a bad gig, and the jobs are actually somewhat competitive, despite popular opinion.
     
  44. bioteach

    bioteach MSIV

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    Are you serious?!?!?!?!? I teach A&P at a city college out of a "sense of duty"? I sure hope you are a freshman "philosopher" (hah! love it) and have a long way before you hit the real world.
     
  45. dArroway

    dArroway Gettin' my hood on

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    Nice post. :thumbup:
     
  46. zhenka11230

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    I meant to say "such as" a sense of duty. The actual process of standing in from of 30 people and trying to explain something you already know is not that fun is it? What is fun is knowing that those people will get out of your class more educated then when they came in.

    I think "liking" something is much more complex then what you guys try to express. What most of you say is common sense, there is no need to tell me that. I tried to go a little deeper into the topic but most of you miss the point completely and attack an argument a never made (straw man) .

    For example i can like Medicine because i get to save peoples lives but not because i like what i am learning. Or it can be the opposite, i like it because of the topic but i find saving lives to be irrelevant. It can be both. The word likes is very complex.

    Does a doctor who goes to Africa and work for **** money but saves lives do it because he "likes" it? I think he does it because of consequences such as saving kids who would die and some other moral sense like a sense of duty.

    How does one grow to like something? That is a very complex psychological question and please don't tell me the answer is common sense. I identified one possible reason for why someone likes something (cognitive dissonance). But there are gazillion of them. What i mean by emotional events is emotionally associating events like visit to a doctor who saved your life that could potentially make you want to become a doctor.

    Before you write posts directed to someone who is about 12 years old, please try to understand what i am saying instead of attacking imaginary straw man argument.
     
  47. barto123

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    philosophize all you want, but please please do yourself a favor and never call yourself a philosopher again. for that matter neither thinker or intellectual. doing so makes you seem like a little douche who should be slapped across the face with a white glove. thoughtful or pensive individual is the best you can do at this stage.
     
  48. zhenka11230

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    Oh yes good job! You offended a person for no reason! You will make a good doctor! /end sarcasm.

    Does that feel good? No.

    Please write constructive criticism.
     
  49. Kernal83

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    Just a tidbit of knowledge. I actually knew a sherpa (did I spell that right?) and he said that he did it mostly for the money. To elaborate, he just did that job for the several months of tourist season so he could relax the rest of the year on his earnings.

    I totally agree that there are many other professions out there that you can earn a great paying salary and still be in the medical field. Nursing, PA, Dental, Pharm?
     
  50. zhenka11230

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    Yeah... Nice job there offending someone! Thanks i appreciate it. Why don't you try constructive criticism for a change.

    Btw, i don't need your approval to call myself a philosopher.
     
  51. zhenka11230

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    Thanks dude ; )

    The thing is money is not my ONLY motivator nor am i crazy for money. It is just that i consider it to be among top reasons to choose a career. Of course it is second to a meaningful factor ; )

    Thanks for a good response!
     
  52. armybound

    armybound future urologist.
    Physician Moderator Emeritus

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    Please keep your comments constructive and avoid insulting others.
     
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