Is my reason for wanting to become a doctor silly?

cmt2013

5+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2010
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Florida
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Pre-Medical
I have very limited interests and the only field I can see myself being happy in is in health/medicine. I started off pre med and explored everything else in between (nursing, RN, PA, PT, you name it) and ultimately ended up coming back full circle. I worked as a nurse tech for a period of time at a pediatric critical care unit. At that point I was set on becoming a physician assistant. A doctor that I worked with noticed my interest and curiosity and said I should go into med school instead (of course he's biased).
I would entertain the idea but I think what led me to really change my mind from pa to medicine was one night when a patient coded. And amidst the chaos I couldn't help but look up to the doctor (the same one who encouraged me to go to med school) and the way he called the shots. I wanted to have that same calm demeanor and the amazing amount of knowledge and skill he had. I thought this was the most badass thing ever like how can you not want to be that guy?

It's not even a happy story. The patient ended up passing away which was extremely heartbreaking. Most of my experiences working there was like that. I've seen devastated parents and had to comfort them. I've had to help nurses prepare babies who didn't make it and help place them into body bags. There were nights I would go home and cry over the losses but it didn't stop me from coming back the next day.

Yes there's a rush of adrenaline and I loved being able to be a part of trying to help the staff in a life or death situation but afterwards I wish I knew more about why and what was going on. I thought if anything, those difficult experiences would make me shy away from medicine altogether but I feel like it just made me feel like I should go into it. Is this a silly reason to go into medicine? Sometimes I feel like I shouldn't look to emotional experiences and try to think of a more "logical" reason instead. Of course I continue to shadow and I learn as much as I can about the profession as possible but when I feel discouraged about my decision to pursue medicine I just recall those moments and how I hope to someday be able to do as much good for others as those doctors have.
 

darklabel

PGWhy
7+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2012
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Better than the typical "Because the human body is fascinating" , my grandma's medical/death, variation of helping people answers.

I've always hated this questions since every answer seems "played out". But your answer seems genuine and heck, its actually real. I still can't adequately convey why I want to go to medicine.
 
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Dec 18, 2013
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I guess it depends on the person. Assuming I actually become a doctor one day, I do not have the "call the shots" personality as you describe. Of course, in situations like these, you have to step up. So as long as your reason for being a doctor isn't the $$$ I consider it valid.
 

wjs010

7+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2012
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I guess it depends on the person. Assuming I actually become a doctor one day, I do not have the "call the shots" personality as you describe. Of course, in situations like these, you have to step up. So as long as your reason for being a doctor isn't the $$$ I consider it valid.
Money should totally be a factor. It's a responsible thing to think about. We've all got our reasons . Nonetheless OP has a good reason. Just be true to yourself and screw if anyone else doesn't think you're sincere. One of my main reasons for going to med school was because I am fascinated by the human body. Some of us don't have premonitions at an early age. I wish I did lol. Don't worry about the reasons :)
 

jayoh

turning mountains into molehills
7+ Year Member
Aug 18, 2011
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I have very limited interests and the only field I can see myself being happy in is in health/medicine. I started off pre med and explored everything else in between (nursing, RN, PA, PT, you name it) and ultimately ended up coming back full circle. I worked as a nurse tech for a period of time at a pediatric critical care unit. At that point I was set on becoming a physician assistant. A doctor that I worked with noticed my interest and curiosity and said I should go into med school instead (of course he's biased).
I would entertain the idea but I think what led me to really change my mind from pa to medicine was one night when a patient coded. And amidst the chaos I couldn't help but look up to the doctor (the same one who encouraged me to go to med school) and the way he called the shots. I wanted to have that same calm demeanor and the amazing amount of knowledge and skill he had. I thought this was the most badass thing ever like how can you not want to be that guy?

It's not even a happy story. The patient ended up passing away which was extremely heartbreaking. Most of my experiences working there was like that. I've seen devastated parents and had to comfort them. I've had to help nurses prepare babies who didn't make it and help place them into body bags. There were nights I would go home and cry over the losses but it didn't stop me from coming back the next day.

Yes there's a rush of adrenaline and I loved being able to be a part of trying to help the staff in a life or death situation but afterwards I wish I knew more about why and what was going on. I thought if anything, those difficult experiences would make me shy away from medicine altogether but I feel like it just made me feel like I should go into it. Is this a silly reason to go into medicine? Sometimes I feel like I shouldn't look to emotional experiences and try to think of a more "logical" reason instead. Of course I continue to shadow and I learn as much as I can about the profession as possible but when I feel discouraged about my decision to pursue medicine I just recall those moments and how I hope to someday be able to do as much good for others as those doctors have.
Sounds like you had an experience while shadowing that made you realize that you think the physician's role is awesome, and that it's something you want to do. Nothing silly about that
 
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medickdb

5+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2011
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To play devil's advocate: Doctors aren't the only ones who run codes. In fact, codes are simple in the realm of medicine. There are algorhythms, in this case CPR and pediatric advanced life support. You'd be surprised how badly most codes are run.

That being said, it sounds like your experiences have pushed you to further yourself. If you feel your reasons are sufficient to pursue the rigors of medicine, then who's to tell you otherwise? I've met plenty of doctors who have told me they still have no reason for entering the field other than they didn't know what else to do. Pursue medicine further if it interests you. We all have our reasons, and I wouldn't say yours is silly, especially when compared to others we've all probably heard.

Good luck.
 
Feb 25, 2010
165
2
Status
Pre-Medical
Not silly at all. It's also why I wish pre-meds put more focus on more meaningful clinical experiences such as yours. It wasn't until I worked in EMS that I realized the depth of my interest in medicine, and the vast difference in medical knowledge between physicians and other health care providers (no offense to anyone, I'm one of those health care providers I'm talking about!)

The only thing I'd say is you probably should work on emotionally distancing yourself from your patients more. Empathy is a beautiful thing to have, but too much of it can cloud your judgement. Just how you remarked how call the pedi intensivist was during the code, try to emulate that. Not just for the patient but for your own sanity as well. What my paramedic instructors always preached was "remember, it's not your emergency"