aheyn01

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Hi all...

Just jointed this forum - have a heap of questions to ask over time.

I've always had a 'distant' interested in medicine - part of me is very analytical and so I love finding out why things happen. Just lately though I've been reading up on alot of medicine-related topics and find it fascinating.

Anyway to the point of this message........ for current med students and ones who have finished - what were the main reasons and how would you rank them, of why you choose to 'become a doctor' and go to medical school. Be honest.

For me, if I do go ahead - it would be a combination of wanting to help people, money, prestige and sense of accomplishment. Probably in that order too.....

How would you rank your reasons ?
 

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I rate my reasons as A+.
 
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aheyn01

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always a smart arse reply isnt there........

please answer the question, otherwise dont bother replying...
 
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sentrosi

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That wasn't an answer to the question? Well, I guess that's the confusion that happens when you start out saying "rank" then move on to "rate".
 

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You want to know what reasons people have for going into medicine? Ask them at their med school or residency admissions interviews and it's obviously, most definitely, to help people and ease suffering. Money? They don't even like that...

I hope you don't hope to obtain any useful information via a question like the one you posted. Everyone is full of crap. The best, and only, answer is a perusal of which residencies are most competitive. Hmm...Plastic surgery, dermatology, otoRHINOlaryngology...specialties with the most of "money" and the least of "help people." Confused? Yea, so am I. And getting a bit cynical too, if it wasn't already obvious...

Disclaimer: I KNOW that you aforenamed guys DO help people, and that the way someone feels about him/herself is, obviously, just as important as how well their nervous and cardiovascular systems work. Wouldn't want you to think me an insensitive jerk or anything.
 
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aheyn01

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Yeh I know your right - what I meant is, there are other reasons that might direct or influence someone into doing medicine.

Like - of COURSE helping people goes ahead of money....... but someone might have seen the money doctors make, and that prompted them to look into medicine.

Also the prestige reason......alot of doctors are revered by the general public - this would influence someones decision as well.....

stuff like that -
 

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I guess I'll give you a serious reply, because no one else seems to be willing to.

There are many reasons for entering medicine. They are not all helping people, and they are not all money. That being said, of course these factors matter.

Medicine is a lifelong commitment. The day you get your first loan check, you are basically stuck. Some of us like long term commitments. The acacademic track in medicine is still the most rigorous of any discipline in terms of years, hours, etc... Many people love the challange. Then there is the social prestige, and some people like that too.

Medicine is also a way to use science and get visible results. For some people, sitting in a lab and running experiments just takes too long. Evaluate thoroughly before getting onto the medical track. It is many years of work to get in, followed by many years of work to get out. The money will come, but you will be much older than most people when you start making it, and unless you are independently wealthy, it will be a LONG time before you have your debts paid off and break even.

Food for thought.
 

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1) My interest in the dynamics of medicine as a profession-the social interaction with patients, the decision making, the leadership opportunities, the fiduciary responsibility, the challenge, etc.

2) My interest in medicine as an academic subject-What could be more worthwhile than trying to understand human structure and function?

3) My interest in all things scientific-the research aspect of medicine, the logic of biology, the integration of various emergent properties in different disciplines. So beautiful.

4) Money/Power/Prestige.

5) The physical/technical challenge of medicine-procedural stuff.

6) The desire to apply my knowledge to improve my own health and fitness.

7) Making a positive difference in the world-low on the list because it is common to every other profession I would consider.
 

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I don't want my reasons to sound too "new age" but I guess they are, at least tha main one is.

I do not like the way society looks today. I do not believe in working 9 to 5 to be able to buy a house, dog, Volvo and useless **** that you are conditioned to buy. I simply do not believe that human beings are designed to live that kind of life, especially not when so few can enjoy the real profits.

However, it is very difficult to live a life separated from this reality. The only way to justify such a life, from my point of view, is if you can help people in the process. Becoming a doctor seems to be the ideal profession considering the situation.

So if you ask me why I want to be a doctor, I'd answer "Out of necessity".

I wouldn't be doing it for less money though... I hate myself ;)
 

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4. Getting greeted as "Dr. xxxxxx".... as a REAL dr. Not Dr phil, or your professor phd's.

Don't tell me I won't be happy. YOU DON'T KNOW ME!!!
or maybe i don't want to be happy, and just want hoes.
 

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Callogician said:
1) My interest in the dynamics of medicine as a profession-the social interaction with patients, the decision making, the leadership opportunities, the fiduciary responsibility, the challenge, etc.

2) My interest in medicine as an academic subject-What could be more worthwhile than trying to understand human structure and function?

3) My interest in all things scientific-the research aspect of medicine, the logic of biology, the integration of various emergent properties in different disciplines. So beautiful.

4) Money/Power/Prestige.

5) The physical/technical challenge of medicine-procedural stuff.

6) The desire to apply my knowledge to improve my own health and fitness.

7) Making a positive difference in the world-low on the list because it is common to every other profession I would consider.
Good response!
 

cfdavid

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I don't believe there are any "right" reasons to go into medicine. It's a JOB for Christ's sake. Sure, it's a demanding field, but I can tell you first hand that medicine doesn't have a monopoly on being a tough road in terms of time and hours.

Personally, I love the biological sciences. I've never minded working hard, and I get along just fine with people. I like the idea of being in a challenging work environment, and in a career that involves a lot of problem solving.
Yes, it will be great and very rewarding to "help people". And to get paid to solve problems that help people in such ways will be very cool.

Being able to live a comfortable life is a big plus. I don't need to be rich, but to have great job security and a nice income only makes life that much easier. And medicine provides that.
 
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cfdavid said:
I don't believe there are any "right" reasons to go into medicine. It's a JOB for Christ's sake.
By virtue of medicine being a profession, the expectations are higher than merely a job. The ethical standards and way you are expect to comport yourself are different than the 9 to 5 crowd. They don't make you take an oath for most jobs. Nor is the length of schooling, the length of training and the expectation of lifelong learning.
Admissions folk do the best they can to ask "why medicine?", and there are certainly wrong answers that will cost you admission. So yes, there are right and wrong reasons.
There are also reasons that, although not per se wrong, are ones that create unrealistic expectations and almost guarantee dissatisfaction in this career.
 

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aheyn01 said:
Anyway to the point of this message........ for current med students and ones who have finished - what were the main reasons and how would you rank them, of why you choose to 'become a doctor' and go to medical school. Be honest.

How would you rank your reasons ?
1. RESPEK!!!

 

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1) I wanted a job that afforded me continuous opportunities for learning & for skill development.
2) I wanted a job that involved daily interactions with both peers and lay persons.
3) I wanted a job that left the world better for my having done said job.
4) I wanted a job that afforded flexibility w.r.t. content and job role.
5) I wanted a job that had a certain minimum prestige, and that could pay me at least 70K a year.
 

cfdavid

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Law2Doc said:
By virtue of medicine being a profession, the expectations are higher than merely a job. The ethical standards and way you are expect to comport yourself are different than the 9 to 5 crowd. They don't make you take an oath for most jobs. Nor is the length of schooling, the length of training and the expectation of lifelong learning.
Admissions folk do the best they can to ask "why medicine?", and there are certainly wrong answers that will cost you admission. So yes, there are right and wrong reasons.
There are also reasons that, although not per se wrong, are ones that create unrealistic expectations and almost guarantee dissatisfaction in this career.
Yes, namely those that hinge majorily on altruism.

And coming from the business environment, I can tell you that doctors aren't the only ones that must exercise ethics and integrity. And, there are comparable consequences for not doing so in other professions. That's not unique to physicians.

Sure, there are greater expectations of a doctor than of a grocery store check out clerk. But, that's not the context from which I was speaking. I'm was mainly comparing an MD/DO to other professional careers.
 

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cfdavid said:
Yes, namely those that hinge majorily on altruism.
.
I actually think BOTH the altruism crowd and the for the money crowd are off target. Both these things are nice perks if they happen, but shouldn't be the primary focus, and most adcoms will send you away if you show up with these extreme goals. You go into medicine because it is something that interests you, excites you (at least some of the time), mentally stimulates you, and is something you won't hate getting up and going in to do each morning. If you only are working for a paycheck you will be forever jealous of those in other fields who are doing well with less effort, and if your sole goal is to help people, you will be an emotional wreck during those zillion times when you can't. Neither Mother Theresa nor Ivan Boesky would make a particularly good doctor.
 

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Law2Doc said:
If you only are working for a paycheck you will be forever jealous of those in other fields who are doing well with less effort, and if your sole goal is to help people, you will be an emotional wreck during those zillion times when you can't. Neither Mother Theresa nor Ivan Boesky would make a particularly good doctor.
Well said. :) :thumbup: :thumbup:
 

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Law2Doc said:
I actually think BOTH the altruism crowd and the for the money crowd are off target. Both these things are nice perks if they happen, but shouldn't be the primary focus, and most adcoms will send you away if you show up with these extreme goals. You go into medicine because it is something that interests you, excites you (at least some of the time), mentally stimulates you, and is something you won't hate getting up and going in to do each morning. If you only are working for a paycheck you will be forever jealous of those in other fields who are doing well with less effort, and if your sole goal is to help people, you will be an emotional wreck during those zillion times when you can't. Neither Mother Theresa nor Ivan Boesky would make a particularly good doctor.
Agreed. Both of those extremes could indeed lead to major job disatisfaction. And it's my opinion that it's because they may deviate so much from the day to day practice of medicine. That's why I'm an advocate of liking a job for the day to day aspects of what the job entails, as opposed to some sort of ideal that may not coincide with reality (in it's entirety).

That being said, IMO, medicine does in fact offer so many different rewards to those that decide to pursue it as a career. Perhaps there aren't the financial rewards of old, or the historic, unquestioned thankfullness and automatic compliance as much these days. But, it's still a really neat career.
 

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Callogician said:
3) My interest in all things scientific-the research aspect of medicine, the logic of biology, the integration of various emergent properties in different disciplines. So beautiful.
Biology may be beautiful, but isn't particularly logical. Well, at the cellular level anyway.
 
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H_Caulfield said:
You want to know what reasons people have for going into medicine? Ask them at their med school or residency admissions interviews and it's obviously, most definitely, to help people and ease suffering. Money? They don't even like that...

I hope you don't hope to obtain any useful information via a question like the one you posted. Everyone is full of crap. The best, and only, answer is a perusal of which residencies are most competitive. Hmm...Plastic surgery, dermatology, otoRHINOlaryngology...specialties with the most of "money" and the least of "help people." Confused? Yea, so am I. And getting a bit cynical too, if it wasn't already obvious...

Disclaimer: I KNOW that you aforenamed guys DO help people, and that the way someone feels about him/herself is, obviously, just as important as how well their nervous and cardiovascular systems work. Wouldn't want you to think me an insensitive jerk or anything.
Well said. There's always going to be exception to the rule but general trend and behavior says it all.

For me
1. I love science. Medicine is one of those field that combine multiple disciplines into one and require endless learning.
2. I like the intensity and challenge.
3. Job security, money, prestige
4. I think I have life experiences and skills that can be a basis to become a good doctor, so I would enjoy it more.
 

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Jediballa said:
I don't want my reasons to sound too "new age" but I guess they are, at least tha main one is.

I do not like the way society looks today. I do not believe in working 9 to 5 to be able to buy a house, dog, Volvo and useless **** that you are conditioned to buy. I simply do not believe that human beings are designed to live that kind of life, especially not when so few can enjoy the real profits.

However, it is very difficult to live a life separated from this reality. The only way to justify such a life, from my point of view, is if you can help people in the process. Becoming a doctor seems to be the ideal profession considering the situation.

So if you ask me why I want to be a doctor, I'd answer "Out of necessity".

I wouldn't be doing it for less money though... I hate myself ;)
Hey. Don't knock owning a house, a Volvo or a dog. It sure beats living in a cardboard box pushing a battered Wal Mart shopping cart full of your "stuff" with nothing but the rats to keep you company.

Your problem is that you're too materialistic. That is, you ascribe too much signifigance to material things. It's just a friggin' car, fer cryin' out loud. Sure it has heated seats and fine corinthian leather but so what? Your not hurting anybody by owning it and I don't understand the huge burden of guilt you are taking on yourself.

Rather I do understand it. You are young, you come from a wealthy family, and Sidartha-like you have just discovered that not everyone enjoys the lifestyle to which you have become accustomed. By some inexplicable logic, you now feel the need to kiss up to the poor to validate your self-image.
 

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Panda Bear said:
Hey. Don't knock owning a house, a Volvo or a dog. It sure beats living in a cardboard box pushing a battered Wal Mart shopping cart full of your "stuff" with nothing but the rats to keep you company.

Your problem is that you're too materialistic. That is, you ascribe too much signifigance to material things. It's just a friggin' car, fer cryin' out loud. Sure it has heated seats and fine corinthian leather but so what? Your not hurting anybody by owning it and I don't understand the huge burden of guilt you are taking on yourself.

Rather I do understand it. You are young, you come from a wealthy family, and Sidartha-like you have just discovered that not everyone enjoys the lifestyle to which you have become accustomed. By some inexplicable logic, you now feel the need to kiss up to the poor to validate your self-image.
You can still not want or need things even if you are able to buy them. Choosing to not follow a certain lifestyle doesnt automatically make you high and mighty.

If i become a doctor, i'm certainly not working 9-5 or spending the money on a house, a volvo, and a dog. I think the 9-5 suburban ideal is way overrated and overpriced. Becoming a doctor just to achieve this, if it's your main goal in life, seems like a waste of time.
 

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1. The belief that my life will matter somehow
2. The ability to give back to the community and help others
3. Intellectual stimulation
4. Challenging science
5. Respect
6. Money

For those of you only interested in money, seek life elsewhere. Go into corporate law. Trust me, you will make a lot more money as a partner in a law firm than as a physician.
 

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Ross434 said:
You can still not want or need things even if you are able to buy them. Choosing to not follow a certain lifestyle doesnt automatically make you high and mighty.

If i become a doctor, i'm certainly not working 9-5 or spending the money on a house, a volvo, and a dog. I think the 9-5 suburban ideal is way overrated and overpriced. Becoming a doctor just to achieve this, if it's your main goal in life, seems like a waste of time.

I didn't realize that you young people were so religious.
 

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Ross434 said:
If i become a doctor, i'm certainly not working 9-5 or spending the money on a house, a volvo, and a dog. I think the 9-5 suburban ideal is way overrated and overpriced. Becoming a doctor just to achieve this, if it's your main goal in life, seems like a waste of time.
Whatsamatta? You no like the dogs?

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H_Caulfield said:
You want to know what reasons people have for going into medicine? Ask them at their med school or residency admissions interviews and it's obviously, most definitely, to help people and ease suffering. Money? They don't even like that...

I hope you don't hope to obtain any useful information via a question like the one you posted. Everyone is full of crap. The best, and only, answer is a perusal of which residencies are most competitive. Hmm...Plastic surgery, dermatology, otoRHINOlaryngology...specialties with the most of "money" and the least of "help people." Confused? Yea, so am I. And getting a bit cynical too, if it wasn't already obvious...

Disclaimer: I KNOW that you aforenamed guys DO help people, and that the way someone feels about him/herself is, obviously, just as important as how well their nervous and cardiovascular systems work. Wouldn't want you to think me an insensitive jerk or anything.
What's the big deal with wanting to make a nice living when you're all grown up? No one should be going into medicine to get rich -- if that's your aim, there are better ways in life to do it. But having a nice income is certainly one of the things that you DO get out of becoming a doctor, and after giving up my 20s in rigorous study and looking forward to years of low pay and long hours in residency, plus a quarter-million in debt, I'll be gosh darned if I don't have something to show for my trouble.

I'm here to help people, for sure -- I want to make an honest living and help my patients live healthier lives. But I'm not interested in being a martyr.
 

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vtucci said:
For those of you only interested in money, seek life elsewhere. Go into corporate law. Trust me, you will make a lot more money as a partner in a law firm than as a physician.
This is an unfair comparison. Becoming a partner at corporate law firm usually requires that you go to a top-20 school, work like a madman as an associate, and have exceptional talent.

Everyone loves to pretend that he could have "sold out" and made big bucks, but it's easier said than done.
 

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Callogician said:
Becoming a partner at corporate law firm usually requires that you go to a top-20 school,
I'm not sure how this myth got started on SDN, but it really isn't true. Take a gander at Martindale Hubbell, the major law directory, and you will see that quite a large percentage of major law firm corporate law partners come from law schools outside of the top 20. (I would also suggest that corporate law is not even the most lucrative specialty in the law, although it sounds like it should be because "corporate" connotes big money. :rolleyes:)
You will have to work long hours to get there though, and either be talented or be a rainmaker (which will carry you further than talent, actually). The truth of the matter is that most people on the medicine path, if they applied the same kind of effort and energy to a career such as law as they did to their premed, medical and residency training, would do quite well. :)
 
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