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Reasons why YOU want to be a doctor?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by NNguyenMD, Aug 6, 2002.

  1. NNguyenMD

    NNguyenMD 10+ Year Member

    May 1, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    I was talking with someone the other day on their reasons of why they wanted to start a career in medicine and I got really annoyed on how they kept "trying" to find some all powerful all encompassing, Albert Schweitzer insiprational answer, but really came up with nothing solid in the end.

    Its my personal believe that there's nothing wrong to want to become a doctor for practical reasons, as long as you can show that you're willing to put up with stress and grueling work that comes with the training and the life. There is nothing wrong with saying you want to be a doctor because its a good career with solid financial security, who wouldn't seek that in a career? I'm sure if being a humanitarian in the Congo had very high pay with good benefits, no one would object to doing it for those reasons. A few years ago I talked with a physician friend of mine who told me his reasons for entering medicine, and it was probably the most genuine answer I've heard yet. He applied during the early nineties when the job market fell in the engineering sector, he was originally an electrical engineering major at UCI, and he was looking for a solid career change. He found it in medicine and isn't any less caring of his patients than any other doctor I've met. And money was his initial interest in medicine.

    Another thing is respect, why wouldn't respect be a reason to wanting to become a physician? I can think of a lot of people who work their asses off everyday and don't earn half of the respect thats entitled to them because of the nature of their job, they're called public school teachers. A doctor is well respected as a scholar in medical science and its applications, they work years to be experts in their field. Thats a nice perk having to your career versus a career where you are not appreciated for your experience and knowledge. Respect, in my opinion, is a well deserved to the men and women who choose to become doctors.

    Any finally helping people, think about're a highly respected well paid physician who does something everyday that many professions don't do directly, which is helping people. Who wouldn't want that? What is wrong with wanting a career that comes with the great salary potential and respect for helping sick people?

    Now granted that these aspects of medicine aren't fully visible until after at least 10 years of sadomasochistic education and training is probably where all this practicality might and disappear. Under extreme stress, these reasons ALONE, may not be enough to persuade someone who is struggling, from withdrawing from school or quitting the profession all together. I understand this, and that is why doctor should appreciate and recognize the humanitarian aspects of their work, and that doing what they do everyday has a higher, all encompassing purpose to the lives of the people they treat. I have met medical students who have dropped out or considered failing out of medical school because the stress just wasn't worth it.

    If you can convince yourself, for whatever reasons that you have, that it is worth it to stick through the most stressful 10 years of your youth, to gain whatever it is that you seek in being a physician...then I think that you've have got as good as reason as anyone else's to being a damn fine physician.
    ddukbokeeboi likes this.
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  3. Rapid Decomposition

    Rapid Decomposition 10+ Year Member

    Feb 28, 2002
    I agree - anyone who is willing to spend 10 years in tough training (and does) to become a physician deserves to be one, but adcoms look for people who they think can handle it (because not everyone who wants to do it can), and who they think want it enough (money alone really is not justification). Also, there aren't enough spaces for everybody, so they give preferential treatment to people who they believe would make the best doctors, i.e. very compassionate, intelligent, etc. So I think that's why people kind of default to an "all-encompassing", benevolent answer instead of always being totally honest (not saying that most people who put this answer are not being honest - I'm sure most are).
    It's absolutely true that people who enter medicine for intellectual or monetary reasons with no initial concern for patients can still become caring doctors once they actually enter the field, but it's impossible to be a good doctor without being first and foremost concerned about the patient. I'd take someone who is thinking about the concerns of the patient before even starting medical school than someone who just wants a stable profession out of it.
  4. none

    none 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    I tend to agree that adcoms do seem to want amazing answers far too often to this question.
  5. 2badr

    2badr **Switch** 10+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2001
    Then they are simply opening the door to people like the first poster mentioned. I go not have some deep-seeded all encompassing answer. But I think you might be right. I just would not want to come off as being phony or a fake because I am not :D
  6. poloace

    poloace Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 3, 2001
    i want to go into medicine for a few reasons... don't get on my case about them, cuz they're legit.

    1: my parents did it. i loved growing up as their child and became fascinated with medicine. dinner conversation was sometimes odd... but, interesting.

    2: it is a noble and humble profession. i'm working at a cancer center now, and it is one of the most emotionally depleting things i have ever gone though. it puts life into perspective for you as individuals who come to see an oncologist come from all aspects of life... and there is no rhyme or reason to why they have become sick. it is this part of medicine that amazes me... watching people become sick for no apparent reason. its the biggest challenge both mentally and emotionally... its humbling, and you learn a lot about yourself and who we are deep down.....

    3. my father, a neonatologist, passed away in a car accident. he gave life to so many... and was extremely amazing at it. for him i continue our goal of me becoming a physician. if an interviewer wants a real reason why i won't give up, i'll tell them... 'its for dad.'

    Coffle likes this.
  7. racergirl

    racergirl Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    I could never come up with a good short answer to this age old question either! I attended three interviews last year, and these are (in order) the answers I gave:

    "So racergirl, why do you want to be a doctor?"

    Interview #1: "Sometimes I think it's because I've completely lost my mind"

    Interview #2: "A Doctor?! Am I in the right place? This is a MEDICAL school?"

    Interview #3: "I don't have good enough teeth to be a dentist."

    All three answers got me a good belly laugh (one interviewer even dropped his notebook on the floor). After they stopped laughing they always just moved on to the next question, so I never had to come up with a "real" answer. Of course, not all interviewers will appreciate the humor, but it worked out great for me--the first two answers got me acceptances, the last one got me a waitlist.
    PHgeek123 and wuhsabee like this.

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