drstrangelove

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Over the weekend I got into a heated debate with a friend over the motivations for pursuing a MD degree. He is currently finishing his first year, and mentioned how it was a chore through the interview process of pretending his primary focus was to directly help sick people. He noted though, that all admissions people are looking for it so it?s necessary to show sincerity. When I asked him why then he wanted to be a doctor, he made it clear that many things are easier with a MD in life. He is the type also that is much more interested in the science of medicine than with the empathic side--eventually his goal is a career in research. I asked him why didn?t he go for a PhD? His reply was that a PhD would better prepare him for research but doesn?t give him as many options as an MD, from money, to grants, to career choices. A lot of his points seemed valid. But is it ok to have no interest in being by the bedside of the ill? What do you think?
 

gschl1234

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drstrangelove said:
Over the weekend I got into a heated debate with a friend over the motivations for pursuing a MD degree. He is currently finishing his first year, and mentioned how it was a chore through the interview process of pretending his primary focus was to directly help sick people. He noted though, that all admissions people are looking for it so it?s necessary to show sincerity. When I asked him why then he wanted to be a doctor, he made it clear that many things are easier with a MD in life. He is the type also that is much more interested in the science of medicine than with the empathic side--eventually his goal is a career in research. I asked him why didn?t he go for a PhD? His reply was that a PhD would better prepare him for research but doesn?t give him as many options as an MD, from money, to grants, to career choices. A lot of his points seemed valid. But is it ok to have no interest in being by the bedside of the ill? What do you think?
It would seem like the most logical thing for him to do is to get an MD/PhD. There's nothing wrong with wanting to focus on research. He should be proud and honest about it and just plain state it in his interviews. I don't know why it would count against him. Some schools have more focus on research anyway.
 
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exmike

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Some people arent the "people" type. And some people arent interested in hand holding.

Radiologist might never see a patient face to face, so does it matter if they are empathetic? Wouldnt you rather your radiologist be skilled rather than caring?

What about your thoracic surgeon? You're only interaction with him/her might be when you're under the gas. Do you care how much he cares about patient care, or do you care how skilled he is at what he does?

Some people go into medicine b/c they're skilled, and thats just fine. I think what is important is that you chose a specialty that matches your motivations.
 

Lion-O

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Everyone has different motivations; I don't think it's so bad. It doesn't sound like your friend is a completely self-centered and uncaring. Like you said, he leans more toward the science side than the humanistic side. And I definitely don't think it's wrong to want to do research, and at the same time make somewhat of a good living.
 

Gleevec

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Sounds like a budding radiologist to me.
 
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