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To those whose parents are physicians

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DemonDeacon, May 3, 2004.

  1. DemonDeacon

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    Are you going into medicine because your parent(s) is a doctor?

    I hate it when people tell me I'm doing it to be like my dad, who's an ER physician. I honestly can't stand the ER and would never want to go into that field (sorry, Dad).

    But having his physican friends definitely did help in determining what exactly I was going into (pediatric oncology). I shouldn't complain, the lifestyle isn't so bad... except the fact that I hardly see my dad and spend 80% of the time with my mom.

    Do you all get that "you wanna be a doc cause your dad is a doc?"
     
  2. celticmists18

    celticmists18 california dreaming
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    I get it ALL the time . . . the thing is, at least in my opinion, living with a physician shows you all the BAD stuff that goes on. My dad really made a point of letting me know the downside of medicine as a career, especially for me being a woman in medicine (I hear "I just don't know how women docs manage having a family AND being a doctor" at least once a week).

    Whenever I go to the hospital these days to see my dad and someone says "So you are going to be a doctor just like your dad?" I say "not really, I want to go into emergency medicine or trauma surgery" (which is worlds different from working in the LND)!
     
  3. G0S2

    G0S2 SDN Angel
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    It does have a bit of influence. For me it was good to know how tough it can be to manage time and family and how it can lead to divorce. I have had other experiences that molded my decision to enter med school. Having a parent who is a physician provided some behind the scenes insight into a doctors life. I was asked about this more than one time during interviews. My father always told me to do anything except medicine. He is supportive now.
     
  4. Bad Mojo

    Bad Mojo Cold as Ice
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    What makes it worse is that I'm about to go to the medical school he went to and was on faculty at for about 25 years. I just avoid bringing up my father's occupation and try to not let it get to me when someone accuses me of trying to be like my father. I love and respect him but make my life choices and decisions based on myself.
     
  5. bruinrab

    bruinrab Senior Member
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    Yup, people assume that you get pushed into it if one of your parents is a doctor. Even moreso if you're Asian, Desi, etc. I don't think it's about parents pushing though (at least for most people). From what I've seen, it's more about being exposed to the field from a young age and understanding what it's about early on.
     
  6. DemonDeacon

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    It feels so much better to know there are others in the same situation.

    Yeah, I also recently got the "You're parents want you to be a doctor" a few times. Both my parents are happy that I'm going into the field. I can't see myself doing anything else that they'd disapprove.
     
  7. G0S2

    G0S2 SDN Angel
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    I am also going to med school where my father is faculty. It's going to be a bit strange doing a gas/critical care rotation. When I interviewed, I expressed to the dean of admissions my concern for being judged fairly. He stated that my father's name had been stricken from every record the admissions committee would see. One interviewer said, "We look very closely at the applicants who have a parent who is a physician." I told him that I thought it was somewhat of an advantage given I knew about the lifestyle and what I was getting myself into. I think he was looking for that.
     
  8. DemonDeacon

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    Is that a direct advantage? Is it a given that all kids of doctors know the heck that lifestyle brings? Or... then when interviewers know that you've seen the heck and understand what entails with being a physician... then that will be a plus for the application?

    :D
     
  9. G0S2

    G0S2 SDN Angel
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    Meaning that they really question the applicants motivation for a career in medicine. It came off as a disadavatage. He was looking for personal reasons.
     
  10. The advantage is a) exposure b) you have MONEY so no worries about traveling expenses and being indecisive and c) legacy admissions if you want to go to the same school. Its better all across the board I think.
     
  11. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    Here is a typical convo.

    So what do you want to do?

    "Medicine"

    What does your dad do?

    "he's a doctor"

    Oh, so thats why. (with a knowing nod)

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO IT IS NOT WHY! I am not attached to my dad by the arse! I want to do it for my own reasons, and NO my parents never ONCE told me to go into medicine. In fact they told me NOT TO! I have a mind of my own! GEEZE!
     
  12. DemonDeacon

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    :laugh: that's a typical convo all right
     
  13. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    a) Yes, very true, i worked at my dads clinic for a long time

    b) not true, my dad is a FP

    c) not true, unless i want to go to med school in taiwan!
     
  14. DMBFan61

    DMBFan61 Boomer
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    if anything the influence of my father was negative....lawyers, insurance companies...none too kind for an OB/GYN
     
  15. hypersting

    hypersting Senior Member
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    No, its also disadvantageous because the children of doctors have higher attrition rates than those who are not. Med schools know this and thus try to look more closely at motivation to guard against it. Legacy (if US educated or faculty) and exposure to negatives are two of the benefits.
     
  16. Since when is a FP not a high paying job?

    I have a 7,000 dollar credit card bill from this year.
     
  17. SUPERSTARZ

    SUPERSTARZ Member
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    I really can't hear enough of:

    "So. . you want to be a doctor because your dad is a doctor?"

    And I'm all:

    "NOO!!! I want to be a doctor IN SPITE of my dad being a doctor! He hates his job. He's horribly mismatched in the profession and he's warned me on multiple ocassions that I should STAY CLEAR of the field!!!!"

    But enough about him. . . .

    I'm doing this for ME! It suits MY interests, personality and career goals.

    Next question?
     
  18. CalBeE

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    My dad went to India for medical school, and when my family went back for an alumni reunion, some people actually suggested me to go there. Even though it is one of the top med schools in the country, no thanks...I can't see myself adjusting to a completely different culture...
     
  19. getcloned

    getcloned Hilton Magician
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    To all who posted that their physician parents discouraged them from pursuing a career in medicine, why do you think this is?
     
  20. DemonDeacon

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    My parents are both happy with my decision.

    My uncle, who is a physician, and his wife tried to disuade me from going into medicine because of the stress that it entails. I mean, you have to expect a call while you're eating dinner and report to work. You have to worry about patients sueing/accusing you of frivolent happenings.

    The bigges thing for them, I think, was the amount of time you have to put in... they say it's too far of a road.

    :/
     
  21. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    I know one guy whose dad is a doc and it seemed like he was applying because he wanted to basically match his dad's accomplishments. He seemed pretty arrogant like he knew everything about the profession because of his dad, etc, etc. The fool ended up not getting a single interview.

    I wonder if his personal statement went something like, "I want to be a physician because my dad is one. Will you let me in?"

    That's not to say all or even many premeds whose parents are docs are like him. I guess I'm just giving an example of a case where having parents as doctors can make you want to be one for the wrong reasons.
     
  22. Being a US resident from India, I have heard of people going to medical school in India. But it is not worth it. I have heard people gripe about the climate mostly. yeah, don't plan on going there for med. school. Maybe help some serious thinkers like me when it comes to charity work!

    BTW go to Dharmasala in India to learn more about Buddha's teachings. ;)
     
  23. What's your current level? Med school? Resident?
     
  24. DemonDeacon

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    I'm an junior at the undergrad level. Hopefully I'll get the md with the class of 2009.
     
  25. UCLAMAN

    UCLAMAN Air Jordan Collector
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    ya...please...dont give me that fp isnt a career that could support the app process.

    sure...its not p. diddy money but it will definitely support med school applications and traveling. my dad works maintenance at kaiser, supports a family of 4 by himself and makes half the money an fp makes. my dad paid for all my undergrad education and also paid for two cycles worth of applications. over the two cycles my dad paid for an application to 60+ schools and a total of 15 interviews all over the nation from hanover to new york to pittsburgh to northcarolina. he paid for all of it. something is wrong if the fp can't cover what my dad was able to foot.
     
  26. Cuteasaurus

    Cuteasaurus Senior Member
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    Sure, I wanted to be a doctor because my dad was a doctor...when I was 5. Sheesh. Yeah, I get the "oh you're dad's a doctor" stuff all the time and I just ignore it. No one who really knows me asks that anyway.
    Maybe the adcoms see being a child of a dr as a disadv., but I can only see it as a positive. I was around when my dad did his residency. I didn't see him for a couple years... And now that he's practicing, I know how much it can suck. However, he still works really hard and his dedication is kinda inspiring. Besides, it's kinda nice to have someone buy you a stethoscope b.c he knows from personal experience that it's a good one. ;)

    On the subject of money: Just because your parents may have the money, doesn't mean they are going to give it to you. Additionally, lifestyle has a lot to do with it... I know some drs with really nice houses/cars/etc and I know they wouldn't give it up for a couple years to put kids through college/med school app cycle/etc. UCLAMAN- You are one lucky guy and I hope you've told your dad thank you. ;)
     
  27. care bear

    care bear pink fuzzy user
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    this is interesting. . .so no one else feels like they were pushed into medicine by physician parents? i feel that i definitely had pressure from mine. (father is MD)- now that i think abt it though, the pressure came more from my mother.

    that's funny abt the hight rates of attrition. ..i left med school after half a semester and i wonder if feeling pressured into the field had anything to do with it. i'm sure it did. i wasn't 100% sure this is what i want for my life.
     
  28. care bear

    care bear pink fuzzy user
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    this caught my eye too. . .i feel like so often its not abt how much money parents have (i'm talking mid. class and up) but how much they are willing to give their kids. i have a friend whose parents own property, boats, are buying more property now- and they cut off support to their Phi Beta Kappa daughter midway through her undergrad. not b/c she did anything wrong, just b/c they believe in self-sufficiency.
    that boggles my mind.
    also, am i wrong or is that type of mentality generally more a 'caucasian' one? i never hear stuff like that from friends of my own ethnicity or of other non-white ones. just wondering. . .
     
  29. footsie

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    So how would you feel if your children decided to study medicine? Proud? Indifferent? Horrified?

    When I got into med school I asked my dad (orthopaedic surgeon) this question: he tried to pretend he wasn't chuffed (although I could tell he was). Maybe I subconsciously picked up on the fact that he wanted me to follow in his footsteps & this influenced me? ... having said that, my mum (scrub nurse) actively tried to talk me out of training to be a dr!
     
  30. celticmists18

    celticmists18 california dreaming
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    My dad definitely did not pressure me into medicine. It was totally my choice, and once I made it he made damn sure I knew what I was getting into. When I still wanted to do it he was behind me 100% . . . I have a question for you guys: Is anyone else's doctor parents not paying for med school?
     
  31. bruinrab

    bruinrab Senior Member
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    Stafford loans, here I come. ;)
     
  32. Cuteasaurus

    Cuteasaurus Senior Member
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    Mmmm loans...can't wait... :rolleyes:
     
  33. twinklz

    twinklz Lover of Lagomorphs
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    I never felt pressure from my parents, but everyone else always assumed I was going to be a doctor. Thats why I majored in English--I wanted to be a professor. That changed though, and here I am.

    My dad has definitely shown me the negative sides of being a doctor. He repeatedly shows me a picture I drew of him asleep in bed when I was six asking why he was never there. (I guess that would have been a bit of a heartbreaker)

    And per the money situation, my dad's an internist, my mom's a nurse and they're teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. My dad had to cash in his retirement plan last year to pay his taxes. I've been doing this whole application process thing completely solo (thus only applying to 5 schools). So I know I'm not walking into the medicine gig expecting to make lots of money...I'm even worried about paying off my loans.
     
  34. PublicEnemy

    PublicEnemy Senior Member
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    My parents are not physicians. But let me ask you guys, whats wrong with wanting to be a doctor because your parent/s are? Is there anything wrong with truly respecting the work your parents have done, or taking pride in what they do? Whats wrong with having your parents as role models? Whats wrong with wanting to achieve the lifestyle they have and have been able to provide for you? I see nothing wrong with someone admitting that their decision to be a doctor was at least in part influenced by the fact that their parent or relative was a doctor. In fact, I think its a strength and something to be proud of to be able to say, you know and understand the lifestyle, you've had exposure to different aspects of medicine because of a parent.

    Of course I'm not talking about being pressured into doing something, obviously there is a need to express that the decision to be a doctor is a personal choice. But I'm talking about someting else.

    Why do you want to be a doctor? Do you want to be a doctor because your dad is a doctor?

    Why not? Successful, loves what he does, has the respect of the community, provides excellent lifestyle for his family etc.

    I think if you got nothing out of a parent being a physician, or if you only saw the negatives, or if you think that it didn't influence you or help you in any way, then you're either being untrue to yourself or you're wasting an incredible resource.

    Show some pride. No need to downplay the accomplishments of your parents just to show that your decision to be a doctor was some big personal thing.
     
  35. bruinrab

    bruinrab Senior Member
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    I don't know, I do have pride in the whole thing. I just had enough of the pre-med advisors who were skeptical of my reasons for going into med school. So, I went into the process expecting people to question my motivation, especially since I'm from a culture where parents do often pressure their kids to go into medicine. Didn't happen with me, but that doesn't mean people didn't expect it did. Assumptions suck, but you have to accept that people make them.

    I found the best way around this was to address it outright, in my PS, and it came up in just about every interview, so I was honest. Yes, it provided me with exposure to the field, but I also saw the negatives. My parents encouraged me to explore other fields, but when it was clear that this is what I wanted, they were supportive.
     
  36. celticmists18

    celticmists18 california dreaming
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    Though I respect your opinion I have to say don't speak of what you don't know. I'm sure all of us whose parent(s) are physicians are very proud of what they do . . .I know I am. But we also suffer because we are going into the same field. Do you have any idea what it is like to have you motives questioned at every turn? To have people tell you that you have no spine because you are just following in your parent's footsteps? To have other applicants at interviews give you that "Oooohhh, your father/mother is a doctor" look? To have your interviewer give you the same look and it makes you want to scream "No, that is only part of the reason. Really I came to the decision on my own!"?

    None of us said that there is anything wrong with our parent's being doctors, in fact most of us have said we gained from it. But we all catch a HUGE amount of flak for it too and you really have no place to comment since you have no clue what we have gone through.
     
  37. Vandyfox

    Vandyfox Member
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    My dad is an FP in my hometown (population 4,300), and I will most likely be doing exactly that: FP in my hometown- may even practice with my father for a while. Although I also like ortho . . . .

    Growing up, my parents highly pushed all of my "other interests" because they were scared of pushing me towards medicine (mom wanted to be an MD, but didn't get in). When I came to Nashville for u-grad, Mom even hinted at being "discovered" for my voice (which, was small town good, but not Nashville good, haha). I think it should not be at all surprising (speaking geneticly) if we have similar interests as our parents. Once I was certain that I wanted medicine for myself, my parents and my home community have been very supportive. People around town say, "Oh, just like your dad." but the intent is a "That's really sweet / How nice for our community" tone rather than "Typical- you unoriginal punk."
    I can't wait for the day that dad and I are running around the hospital when "Dr. Cady" is paged and everyone says (SitCom-like) "Which one?"

    So, while I really do sympathize with everyone's expereinces, I thought it might be nice to see a post about a positive in the situation like I have had.
    Best wishes to all you Dr. Kidz out there.
    -Vandyfox
     
  38. Lion-O

    Lion-O Sight beyond sight.
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    I met a guy who interviewed at a particular school that said all they did was grill him about his dad being a doctor. I don't see what the big deal is; plenty of people follow their dad (or mom) in terms of profession.

    My brother is a mechanic, like my dad. I have a friend who will take over his dad's saw shop business. Another guy I know will join his dad at a consulting firm. I think it's natural for people to take advantage of any opportunities that come there way, and a lot of times, parents are the best sources for those opportunities.
     
  39. hypersting

    hypersting Senior Member
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    Someone asked about why doctor parents discouraged their children from becoming physicians. I can think of several reasons. The biggest financial. My dad repeatedly tells me to open up a business rather than follow in his footsteps. Unfortunately for him, I won't be happy doing anything other than medicine :) Rising malpractice costs, narrowing scope of practice, competition in the affluent markets, etc etc are all reasons for the decline in physician income since 1990 (adjusted for inflation (real dollars)). Its a tough road, but I hope a rewarding one. This link should be useful in showing on residents think about this.

    http://www.texmed.org/ata/nrm/tme/texmedaug03_mededucation_discontent.asp
     
  40. rudi

    rudi Member
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  41. rudi

    rudi Member
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    sorry - no idea how to insert a spiffy link
     

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