xylem29

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This post is inspired by an earlier thread about CRNA's and Plastic Surgeons - while it is true that some do it for the money, I reckon that many do it out of passion. Not just a passion to "save people", but gosh darnit - medicine is just so friggin COOL and interesting. Take a look at these threads and tell me it doesn't get you excited about becoming a physician

On Rads: http://www.premed101.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13228

On Internal Medicine: http://www.premed101.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16593

On Anesthesia: http://www.premed101.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14308

On surgery (post # 12): http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=366273

And all other specialties I'm sure has their own COOL and exciting things to learn too. The pure COOLNESS aspect, sorta like a geek, more than "helping people", is why I want to go into medicine. Just as an insect biologist finds the biology of these little creatures so fascinating and cool, they would devote their entire lives to researching them - I find medicine and human biology fascinating to the point where I'd spend my whole life doing it too. There's SO many professions and jobs where we get to help people, many! But these jobs aren't as fascinating and interesting to me as medicine is!
 

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The question that students should ask themselves is....

Lets say there's no debt after graduation but you earn only a modest salary- enough to just get by and live. Would you still do it? Have you tried other things out but realized that theres nothing in this world that will appease you more than being a physician.

Instinct and Intuition are the best ways to answer "why medicine?"

Sure people go into the profession for the money, but it seems delusional to do so when there are plenty of other careers out there that make tons more a decade faster, and at half the stress. At the end of the day it comes down to how much you like doing what you do, and how good you are at doing it.
 

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http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=366273And all other specialties I'm sure has their own COOL and exciting things to learn too. The pure COOLNESS aspect, sorta like a geek, more than "helping people", is why I want to go into medicine. Just as an insect biologist finds the biology of these little creatures so fascinating and cool, they would devote their entire lives to researching them - I find medicine and human biology fascinating to the point where I'd spend my whole life doing it too. There's SO many professions and jobs where we get to help people, many! But these jobs aren't as fascinating and interesting to me as medicine is!
Isn't it too bad that this isn't really an acceptable answer? I wish it was.

Everything I've ever studied about medicine has fascinated me. Physiology was cool, I think our bodies do some neat things. Neuronatomy is mind-blowing. The way our spinal cord is organized, the way out brain is organized.. just amazing. I can't even explain it, the body just baffles me. Immunology is fascinating to me. Our bodies just have so much stuff going on that are all amazing on their own, but together it's crazy. Learning some just makes me want to learn more. Learning more makes me want to teach others and apply it to someone's life. Give me a medical license, let me learn everything I can handle, let me teach everything anyone wants to hear, and let me physically apply my interest to someone's body and I would love life every day.

But, like I said, it's too bad that can't be my answer to "why medicine." It's also too bad that they won't accept that we're naturally attracted to it. Why not law? I'm not interested. How about a biology professor? Doesn't excite me. Business? I'd rather kill myself.
 
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The question that students should ask themselves is....

Lets say there's no debt after graduation but you earn only a modest salary- enough to just get by and live. Would you still do it? Have you tried other things out but realized that theres nothing in this world that will appease you more than being a physician.

Instinct and Intuition are the best ways to answer "why medicine?"

Sure people go into the profession for the money, but it seems delusional to do so when there are plenty of other careers out there that make tons more a decade faster, and at half the stress. At the end of the day it comes down to how much you like doing what you do, and how good you are at doing it.


I don't think other careers yield a higher salary with half the stress...unless you are talking about a stripper or high fashion model (which of course come with their own different kind of stress). All high paying jobs come with putting in the time and effort. I think we all get disillusioned that only medicine requires long hours and a not-so-ideal lifestyle. The CEO of the firm puts in the time and hours and may travel away from his family. Isn't rich overnight. Big shot lawyers have hard cases and crazy hours too....
 

braluk

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Oh of course...I think for me, when i describe stress...its stress in terms of having lives on your hands, while being yelled at by an attending, long hours for crappy pay during residency, pimped out to make you look stupid, etc..etc..

My point is that, if you take a look at ibanking (I hear the moans and groans now for bringing this back up again), yes you work ridiculous hours and yes, not everyone makes it to a 6 figure salary- but at the very least, you start off with a salary somewhat higher than what you'll find as a resident. At the end of the day, they can go out and have fun (at least my ibanking friends too...lucky bastards).

I figured that the high rate of suicide/alcoholism/drug abuse and divorce were the manisfestations of this unique type of stress that you might not see in other places.
 

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Oh of course...I think for me, when i describe stress...its stress in terms of having lives on your hands, while being yelled at by an attending, pimped out to make you look stupid, etc..etc..

I figured that the high rate of suicide/alcoholism/drug abuse and divorce were the manisfestations of this unique type of stress that you might not see in other places.
It might be easier just to say "consequences." doctors definitely deal with consequences that few other jobs have to deal with. soldiers are comparable, and you bet they're stressed out. of course they don't get paid nearly as much.
 

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Point noted.



But at the risk of hijacking the OPs thread...

most professions that require many manhours and are high stress are going to be ones in which, despite its amenities, require a level of instinct and how happy you will enjoy doing it if those amenities were taken away.
 

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I don't think other careers yield a higher salary with half the stress...unless you are talking about a stripper or high fashion model (which of course come with their own different kind of stress). All high paying jobs come with putting in the time and effort. I think we all get disillusioned that only medicine requires long hours and a not-so-ideal lifestyle. The CEO of the firm puts in the time and hours and may travel away from his family. Isn't rich overnight. Big shot lawyers have hard cases and crazy hours too....

I agree. There are other jobs out there that require people to make harder decisions then the average physician. Physicians usually have results of tests to let them know if this person has this disease or not and gives medications or orders tests on what is presented to him/her. There are many people out there in this world that have to make harder choices. Some examples are cutting jobs, sending jobs over seas, moving a company, closing a plant, expanding a company at the hope of a profit, and so many other possible examples.

Deciding if a physician should do this or that test is a lot easier then making the choice of cutting jobs from 3,000 people. Physicians usually are not the people who make the hardest choices in medicine. The family is usually the ones who make the hardest choices in medicine (i.e., pulling the plug on their 2 month old child or 10 year old son).

Physicans really don't have much autonomy anymore.
 

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I agree. There are other jobs out there that require people to make harder decisions then the average physician. Physicians usually have results of tests to let them know if this person has this disease or not and gives medications or orders tests on what is presented to him/her. There are many people out there in this world that have to make harder choices. Some examples are cutting jobs, sending jobs over seas, moving a company, closing a plant, expanding a company at the hope of a profit, and so many other possible examples.

Deciding if a physician should do this or that test is a lot easier then making the choice of cutting jobs from 3,000 people. Physicians usually are not the people who make the hardest choices in medicine. The family is usually the ones who make the hardest choices in medicine (i.e., pulling the plug on their 2 month old child or 10 year old son).

Physicans really don't have much autonomy anymore.

Wow...this is the most sadly naive and simplistic view of medicine I've ever seen.

It may never have occurred to you, but physicians do not always have test results in their hand when making decisions. Lab results are often inconclusive. Sometimes the labs are just plain wrong. Plus, lab results take time - often 12-14 hours. If you have a patient in crisis, you don't have time to waste sitting around for lab results. (P.S. "Stat" doesn't mean that you'll have lab results within 5 minutes. It means that you'll have lab results within 2 hours instead of 12.) You have to make a decision NOW based on what you can observe.

By the way, deciding which test to order isn't all that easy sometimes either. You need to decide on a clinical diagnosis BEFORE you order the test. Ordering an MRI or a CT scan "just in case" (without a good clinical reason) is a bad idea, and very expensive.

Physicians do not necessarily make the tough choices - you're right. But you must also realize that what a doctor tells a person may impact that person's decision-making process. Realizing that you may be giving someone bad advice is a sobering and humbling thought.

Sure, being a doctor is probably easier than being a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. (Of course, that CEO will probably be able to retire sooner, has less debt, and makes more money, but, well....) But it's ridiculous to say that being a doctor is a relatively easy job.
 

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Isn't it too bad that this isn't really an acceptable answer? I wish it was.

Everything I've ever studied about medicine has fascinated me. Physiology was cool, I think our bodies do some neat things. Neuronatomy is mind-blowing. The way our spinal cord is organized, the way out brain is organized.. just amazing. I can't even explain it, the body just baffles me. Immunology is fascinating to me. Our bodies just have so much stuff going on that are all amazing on their own, but together it's crazy. Learning some just makes me want to learn more. Learning more makes me want to teach others and apply it to someone's life. Give me a medical license, let me learn everything I can handle, let me teach everything anyone wants to hear, and let me physically apply my interest to someone's body and I would love life every day.

But, like I said, it's too bad that can't be my answer to "why medicine." It's also too bad that they won't accept that we're naturally attracted to it. Why not law? I'm not interested. How about a biology professor? Doesn't excite me. Business? I'd rather kill myself.

So...why not become a neuroscience professor? Why not become an immunologist?

I don't think that saying that you're interested in the human body is a bad answer to "why medicine." But it's an incomplete answer. If you don't have (at least) an abstract desire to help people, then why become a doctor?

The reason why they aren't satisfied with just "I'm interested in it" is because it's so easy to get caught up in a patient's disease process, and forget that the patient is a human being too.

I was on a patient visit in the hospital a few weeks ago. One of the other students in my group was so fascinated by a patient's disease that he forgot that an actual person had that disease. He kept exclaiming over how "cool" it was to be able to palpate that guy's liver, but was totally oblivious to the patient's gasps of pain whenever someone touched his abdomen. You really need to have both: a desire to help people and a genuine interest in the science part.
 

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So...why not become a neuroscience professor? Why not become an immunologist?

I don't think that saying that you're interested in the human body is a bad answer to "why medicine." But it's an incomplete answer. If you don't have (at least) an abstract desire to help people, then why become a doctor?

The reason why they aren't satisfied with just "I'm interested in it" is because it's so easy to get caught up in a patient's disease process, and forget that the patient is a human being too.

I was on a patient visit in the hospital a few weeks ago. One of the other students in my group was so fascinated by a patient's disease that he forgot that an actual person had that disease. He kept exclaiming over how "cool" it was to be able to palpate that guy's liver, but was totally oblivious to the patient's gasps of pain whenever someone touched his abdomen. You really need to have both: a desire to help people and a genuine interest in the science part.
Those are my reasons for being interested in medicine, not why I want to be a doctor. That's a whole other list of reasons.
 

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So...why not become a neuroscience professor? Why not become an immunologist?

I don't think that saying that you're interested in the human body is a bad answer to "why medicine." But it's an incomplete answer. If you don't have (at least) an abstract desire to help people, then why become a doctor?

The reason why they aren't satisfied with just "I'm interested in it" is because it's so easy to get caught up in a patient's disease process, and forget that the patient is a human being too.

I was on a patient visit in the hospital a few weeks ago. One of the other students in my group was so fascinated by a patient's disease that he forgot that an actual person had that disease. He kept exclaiming over how "cool" it was to be able to palpate that guy's liver, but was totally oblivious to the patient's gasps of pain whenever someone touched his abdomen. You really need to have both: a desire to help people and a genuine interest in the science part.

Actually, as I reread this post, I think it sounds more aggressive and misanthropic than it was meant to be. It's not meant to be a judgement on you, just an explanation. I really think that medicine is unique because it combines so much serious science with humane considerations as well. I can't think of many other professions that do that. That's what I think adcoms are looking for, and why they don't accept just "I want to help people" or "I really am interested in the body's disease processes" as good answers.
 

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Physicians usually are not the people who make the hardest choices in medicine. The family is usually the ones who make the hardest choices in medicine (i.e., pulling the plug on their 2 month old child or 10 year old son).

Situations may vary, but in general, "pulling the plug", that is, withdrawal of ventilation from an infant is a situation in which the family must give consent or agree to it. However, the physician must certify in some fashion that the infant has a terminal or irreversible condition such that withdrawal of life support is appropriate. They must then communicate their view effectively to the family and guide the family to give their consent.

No doubt the family has a difficult role in giving this consent, but to imply that there is solely a parental decision to withdraw support is inaccurate. Oftentimes the decision making process for the physicians is very challenging in these circumstances as the prognosis for infants can be so uncertain. Different physicians can strongly disagree about this and it is among the most stressful aspects of neonatal or pediatric critical care and at times, cardiology.

There are situations in which the family may wish to withdraw support and the physician disagree or vice versa. These are uncommon but occur and require a difficult process to resolve.

Sorry that the OP couldn't find anything cool to post about pediatrics.:mad:
 

xylem29

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So...why not become a neuroscience professor? Why not become an immunologist?

I don't think that saying that you're interested in the human body is a bad answer to "why medicine." But it's an incomplete answer. If you don't have (at least) an abstract desire to help people, then why become a doctor?

The reason why they aren't satisfied with just "I'm interested in it" is because it's so easy to get caught up in a patient's disease process, and forget that the patient is a human being too.

I was on a patient visit in the hospital a few weeks ago. One of the other students in my group was so fascinated by a patient's disease that he forgot that an actual person had that disease. He kept exclaiming over how "cool" it was to be able to palpate that guy's liver, but was totally oblivious to the patient's gasps of pain whenever someone touched his abdomen. You really need to have both: a desire to help people and a genuine interest in the science part.

yeah - that's the idea, but if you have any family or friends that have ever been to the hospital, you'll know that there are nurses and docs out there who seem to not give a **** about "the geniune desire to help people" part.
 

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Oh of course...I think for me, when i describe stress...its stress in terms of having lives on your hands,

While I pretty much agree with your prior post, I have to tell you that nothing makes people more angry with you than losing them large amounts money, so having someone's lives in your hands isn't necessarilly the most stressful thing in the world. If they don't make it, you will feel horrible, but they tend not to complain. Have someone concerned that you could cost them a millions if you can't get a deal done, and call you hourly to give you an earfull, and you will know what real stress is.:laugh:
 

smq123

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yeah - that's the idea, but if you have any family or friends that have ever been to the hospital, you'll know that there are nurses and docs out there who seem to not give a **** about "the geniune desire to help people" part.

Yes, I know. My attending ripped the pajamas off of a sleeping (NOT comatose!) patient, just to show off the patient's gynecomastia. The poor patient was so startled to wake up and see 3 med students staring at his chest.

But, you know, ideally....
 

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While I pretty much agree with your prior post, I have to tell you that nothing makes people more angry with you than losing them large amounts money, so having someone's lives in your hands isn't necessarilly the most stressful thing in the world. If they don't make it, you will feel horrible, but they tend not to complain. Have someone concerned that you could cost them a millions if you can't get a deal done, and call you hourly to give you an earfull, and you will know what real stress is.:laugh:

That's true, but their surviving relatives sure yell pretty loudly! (And then they call their lawyers.)
 
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