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?