dockdock

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I'm new to this forum, and I'm not sure if this is the right section to post this thread, but anyway--

There's a lot of Indian-American pre-meds on this forum who are posting about going to India for medical school. There's also a strong "parental-control" sentiment which comes through almost subliminally...hell, there's a thread where a person directly asks what other Indians' parents think about the prestige of the DO degree!

So, I'd like to share my story with the forum. Hopefully, it'll spark at least a tiny flame of independence in at least one person.

My parents are from India; they immigrated here before I was born. I was born and raised in the US. No one in my family is a doctor.

As far back as I can remember--even when I was in kindergarten--my mother has been shoving me into medicine. Both of my parents strongly discouraged any interest I showed in other subjects, unless it could be used on a med school application. They told me that I will be a doctor, because it is the most noble profession, prestige, money, blah blah blah.

I have never had any interest in helping people; I have never had any interest in medical science.

I suspect many of you Indian pre-meds don't have any true interest in medicine--rather, it's the culture amongst Indians and their social gatherings that you must become a doctor, or else you're nothing.

Back to my story: during high school, my parents made me apply to 6-yr programs. I was just a kid--brainwashed, emotionally abused, told day after day that any non-medical interest is "evil." So, I sent out the apps, and I got into a 6 year program on the east coast.

I wanted to be a physics major in college--it was my dream to develop new theories in physics. But, in the 6 year program, I had to be a bio major.

After those 2 measly years of "college," I started med school. While I performed well above average, I hated every minute of it. I took a year off after 2nd year of school, and my parents said I was killing them by doing so. I spent that year "finding myself," working full-time, traveling the world, fully supporting myself.

So I graduated med school this year, and I didn't apply into residency. I'm done.

I've been cheated out of a true college experience, though I did rectify those mistakes...I've lived a more adventurous, fulfilling life than most people I know, all thanks to "waking up" to what had been done to me.

I'm now in college again, studying for a physics degree, and then I'll go to physics grad school.

It makes me cringe to be around large groups of Indian college kids--I know first-hand the pressure exerted by the community. Here's how the hierarchy goes: MD -> DO -> Dentist -> PA -> PT/OT -> Death

So, Indian kids, it's OK to be yourself. It's OK to say you don't want to be a doctor.

And to those of you who sincerely do wish to become doctors, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.
 

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dockdock said:
I'm new to this forum, and I'm not sure if this is the right section to post this thread, but anyway--

There's a lot of Indian-American pre-meds on this forum who are posting about going to India for medical school. There's also a strong "parental-control" sentiment which comes through almost subliminally...hell, there's a thread where a person directly asks what other Indians' parents think about the prestige of the DO degree!

So, I'd like to share my story with the forum. Hopefully, it'll spark at least a tiny flame of independence in at least one person.

My parents are from India; they immigrated here before I was born. I was born and raised in the US. No one in my family is a doctor.

As far back as I can remember--even when I was in kindergarten--my mother has been shoving me into medicine. Both of my parents strongly discouraged any interest I showed in other subjects, unless it could be used on a med school application. They told me that I will be a doctor, because it is the most noble profession, prestige, money, blah blah blah.

I have never had any interest in helping people; I have never had any interest in medical science.

I suspect many of you Indian pre-meds don't have any true interest in medicine--rather, it's the culture amongst Indians and their social gatherings that you must become a doctor, or else you're nothing.

Back to my story: during high school, my parents made me apply to 6-yr programs. I was just a kid--brainwashed, emotionally abused, told day after day that any non-medical interest is "evil." So, I sent out the apps, and I got into a 6 year program on the east coast.

I wanted to be a physics major in college--it was my dream to develop new theories in physics. But, in the 6 year program, I had to be a bio major.

After those 2 measly years of "college," I started med school. While I performed well above average, I hated every minute of it. I took a year off after 2nd year of school, and my parents said I was killing them by doing so. I spent that year "finding myself," working full-time, traveling the world, fully supporting myself.

So I graduated med school this year, and I didn't apply into residency. I'm done.

I've been cheated out of a true college experience, though I did rectify those mistakes...I've lived a more adventurous, fulfilling life than most people I know, all thanks to "waking up" to what had been done to me.

I'm now in college again, studying for a physics degree, and then I'll go to physics grad school.

It makes me cringe to be around large groups of Indian college kids--I know first-hand the pressure exerted by the community. Here's how the hierarchy goes: MD -> DO -> Dentist -> PA -> PT/OT -> Death

So, Indian kids, it's OK to be yourself. It's OK to say you don't want to be a doctor.

And to those of you who sincerely do wish to become doctors, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

When I started reading this, I assumed this was another rant, but I have to say, your argument rings true on many levels.
Either way, kudos for having the guts to follow your heart. Best of luck!
 
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dockdock

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I'm glad to hear you're in medicine for the right reasons.

From my personal experience with Indian student groups, communities, etc, the majority of the Indian pre-meds were blindly forging ahead, not even thinking, "Do I really want to do this?"

It was a herd-mentality, so to speak...no one ever asked, "Why?"

That's not to say they won't make great doctors--the best doctors I've met are Indians.

But, there's bound to be some more people than just me who got caught up in the meat-grinder. In fact, I know it for a fact.
 
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Shah_Patel_PT

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dockdock said:
I'm new to this forum, and I'm not sure if this is the right section to post this thread, but anyway--

There's a lot of Indian-American pre-meds on this forum who are posting about going to India for medical school. There's also a strong "parental-control" sentiment which comes through almost subliminally...hell, there's a thread where a person directly asks what other Indians' parents think about the prestige of the DO degree!

So, I'd like to share my story with the forum. Hopefully, it'll spark at least a tiny flame of independence in at least one person.

My parents are from India; they immigrated here before I was born. I was born and raised in the US. No one in my family is a doctor.

As far back as I can remember--even when I was in kindergarten--my mother has been shoving me into medicine. Both of my parents strongly discouraged any interest I showed in other subjects, unless it could be used on a med school application. They told me that I will be a doctor, because it is the most noble profession, prestige, money, blah blah blah.

I have never had any interest in helping people; I have never had any interest in medical science.

I suspect many of you Indian pre-meds don't have any true interest in medicine--rather, it's the culture amongst Indians and their social gatherings that you must become a doctor, or else you're nothing.

Back to my story: during high school, my parents made me apply to 6-yr programs. I was just a kid--brainwashed, emotionally abused, told day after day that any non-medical interest is "evil." So, I sent out the apps, and I got into a 6 year program on the east coast.

I wanted to be a physics major in college--it was my dream to develop new theories in physics. But, in the 6 year program, I had to be a bio major.

After those 2 measly years of "college," I started med school. While I performed well above average, I hated every minute of it. I took a year off after 2nd year of school, and my parents said I was killing them by doing so. I spent that year "finding myself," working full-time, traveling the world, fully supporting myself.

So I graduated med school this year, and I didn't apply into residency. I'm done.

I've been cheated out of a true college experience, though I did rectify those mistakes...I've lived a more adventurous, fulfilling life than most people I know, all thanks to "waking up" to what had been done to me.

I'm now in college again, studying for a physics degree, and then I'll go to physics grad school.

It makes me cringe to be around large groups of Indian college kids--I know first-hand the pressure exerted by the community. Here's how the hierarchy goes: MD -> DO -> Dentist -> PA -> PT/OT -> Death

So, Indian kids, it's OK to be yourself. It's OK to say you don't want to be a doctor.

And to those of you who sincerely do wish to become doctors, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.
Dude how old are you???? If you are not interested in Medicine....get out of the field...

My Story:

Yes I am Indian....I have always wanted to get into medicine since high school. Both my parents (yes BOTH indian) have always discouraged me into going into the field, since it takes a long time and because docs have a stressful life. Those are the main reasons they did not want to go into the field.

I did my own thing....and soon will be starting residency...

I really think Indian kids should really do what they want! and NOT what is forced onto them!
 
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dockdock

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Shah_Patel_PT said:
Dude how old are you???? If you are not interested in Medicine....get out of the field...

My Story:

Yes I am Indian....I have always wanted to get into medicine since high school. Both my parents (yes BOTH indian) have always discouraged me into going into the field, since it takes a long time and because docs have a stressful life. Those are the main reasons they did not want to go into the field.

I did my own thing....and soon will be starting residency...

I really think Indian kids should really do what they want! and NOT what is forced onto them!
Ummm, didn't you read my post? I'm out of medicine already. As soon as I graduated, I took the summer off, and now I'm working towards a physics degree.

That's good to hear you're in medicine of your own volition, but it's completely illogical to say that ALL Indian kids are in medicine because they truly love it, just because that happens to be the case with you.
 

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MD Rapper said:
Here's why: Indian people are an extremely intelligent bunch. We appreciate the value of science and math, but we also see the need to do something "good" with our lives in the service of others. For many of us, our religion tells us that this is the proper way to live our lives (doing good deeds to attain good karma). Furthermore, you can't exactly argue with the prestige/financial aspect of the career, which we should be somewhat entitled to down the line for being such an intelligent, hardworking, and disciplined community. Indian people also seem to love stability and a job setting with certain prospects for advancement. My point is that for a lot of us, medicine is an ideal profession. A lot of Indians may not be able to explicate it the way I do, but I'm sure they can at least partially agree with the things I'm saying. I also believe that to a certain degree, we should be happy that our parents (and community) take such an active interest in guiding us to pursue such amazing careers.
MD Rapper said:
Thanks for the response and for not taking any offense to my post... I think it could be thought of as negative if you happen to be in the wrong mood.

But really, there is definitely a component of truth to what you're saying. Everone should take an active interest in figuring out if alternative careers are suitable at some point in their lives. I just try to look at it this whole issue in a positive light... that our community is so strong that even those who aren't really bright enough for significant self-awareness can at least enjoy the benefits of a great career.
I'll take the bait and take offense for him.

Indians are not any more of an "extremely intelligent bunch" than any other ethnicity. Moreover, they do not deserve a medical career by virtue of their religion, and are not any more "intelligent, hardworking, and diligent" as any other ethnicity. America is supposed to be about assuming people are equally capable across superficial categories like race.

....And what was that BS about someone not being bright enough for self-awareness, but can still get a career as a physician just because of their "community"?! Those are exactly the people admissions committees are trying to weed out.
 

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I agree, mdrapper's post is somewhat illlogical. Furthermore, making broad and sweeping generalizations about any ethnicity's propensity for dilligence and intelligence borders on racism. Perhaps if this was described as a certain culture's tendency (ie American Indians) towards professional careers it would hold stock a bit better. But, even then...
 

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Hi,

I went to a state school where 1/3 of the class were Indians. Also, they were about 1/3 of the class who were of Pacific Asian descent. I just thought that the Asian culture values hard work and discipline. May be they do well because of this and are more likely to get into medical school. I know that in each culture whether one is of European descent, Asian descent, African-American descent, or Hispanic American descent, there are people amongst them that their families pressure them to become doctors. I don't know if I would group all Asians in one basket. Not all of the Asians went into high-paying specialties that I would think that their parents would expect from them. I understand your dilemma though. It's really unfortunate you were very young when you went to medical school. This may have tainted your view about others like yourself. I realized that many of the Asian students came right out of undergraduate university. Again, I just thought that they did well academically that they were able to get accepted without many problems. However, I do know of some people who did very well in medical school who were Asian descent who dropped out of residency. I just thought they were individual cases. I did not think that they were pressured into medicine. May be they were maybe they were not. I just think it is interesting that you wrote this post to steer your peers away from medicine. I do agree with you that you have to have the self-motivation and desire to do medicine otherwise it will be a really painful experience like you said. I don't think it really matters what descent you are: your experience can happen to anybody.

I wish you the best in your new endeavors. I hope your experience will be more satisfying and fulfilling.

dulce
 
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dockdock

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dulceleche said:
I just think it is interesting that you wrote this post to steer your peers away from medicine.
Nope, I didn't write it to steer my peers away. I wrote it because it is my opinion that in the Indian-American culture there is lots of pressure to become a doctor, whether or not a person actually wants to be a doctor.

Take a group of Indian pre-meds and see how many of them would be pre-med if they had ZERO influence from relatives. Then, take a group of Caucasian pre-meds and see how many of them would be pre-med if they had ZERO influence from relatives.

In college, I was active in the Indian Students Association. A huge number of these students were pre-med, and from my personal interaction with them, I can tell you a great many of them were there because of the community pressures. Among my non-Indian pre-med friends, the community influences were minimal.
 
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dockdock

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Northerner said:
I'll take the bait and take offense for him.
Thanks! The post was obviously written to bait me into lashing out, but I didn't want to bother. Northerner, I agree with what you said, but I didn't bother writing it out originally.

Saying that Indians are "an exteremely intelligent bunch" is laughable. Oh yeah, and blacks are naturally criminals, Asians can dive for long periods, and Egyptians are born terrorists. :rolleyes:

If someone doesn't have the self-awareness to pick his own damn career, then why on Earth would that person be intelligent enough to be in charge of people's LIVES?
 
M

MDJatt here

dockdock said:
I'm new to this forum, and I'm not sure if this is the right section to post this thread, but anyway--

There's a lot of Indian-American pre-meds on this forum who are posting about going to India for medical school. There's also a strong "parental-control" sentiment which comes through almost subliminally...hell, there's a thread where a person directly asks what other Indians' parents think about the prestige of the DO degree!

So, I'd like to share my story with the forum. Hopefully, it'll spark at least a tiny flame of independence in at least one person.

My parents are from India; they immigrated here before I was born. I was born and raised in the US. No one in my family is a doctor.

As far back as I can remember--even when I was in kindergarten--my mother has been shoving me into medicine. Both of my parents strongly discouraged any interest I showed in other subjects, unless it could be used on a med school application. They told me that I will be a doctor, because it is the most noble profession, prestige, money, blah blah blah.

I have never had any interest in helping people; I have never had any interest in medical science.

I suspect many of you Indian pre-meds don't have any true interest in medicine--rather, it's the culture amongst Indians and their social gatherings that you must become a doctor, or else you're nothing.

Back to my story: during high school, my parents made me apply to 6-yr programs. I was just a kid--brainwashed, emotionally abused, told day after day that any non-medical interest is "evil." So, I sent out the apps, and I got into a 6 year program on the east coast.

I wanted to be a physics major in college--it was my dream to develop new theories in physics. But, in the 6 year program, I had to be a bio major.

After those 2 measly years of "college," I started med school. While I performed well above average, I hated every minute of it. I took a year off after 2nd year of school, and my parents said I was killing them by doing so. I spent that year "finding myself," working full-time, traveling the world, fully supporting myself.

So I graduated med school this year, and I didn't apply into residency. I'm done.

I've been cheated out of a true college experience, though I did rectify those mistakes...I've lived a more adventurous, fulfilling life than most people I know, all thanks to "waking up" to what had been done to me.

I'm now in college again, studying for a physics degree, and then I'll go to physics grad school.

It makes me cringe to be around large groups of Indian college kids--I know first-hand the pressure exerted by the community. Here's how the hierarchy goes: MD -> DO -> Dentist -> PA -> PT/OT -> Death

So, Indian kids, it's OK to be yourself. It's OK to say you don't want to be a doctor.

And to those of you who sincerely do wish to become doctors, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.
your parents did that to you, as you say
does'nt mean every Indian parent does that, RITE!!!
 

Northerner

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MD Rapper said:
I didn't mean to imply that this was due to genetics. What I meant by that statement was that Indians in the United States tend to be an extremely intelligent bunch due to numerous environmental reasons.
Compared to who?
 
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Premedtomed

MDrapper (although I don't like rapper has made some good comments, although not presented them clearly enough (perhaps) or our non Indian friends don't want to flat out accept them.

Environment does play a huge role. Education is a highly regarded religiously speaking.
 
P

Premedtomed

Other reason is Economic. India is rising due to the service sector - lot of Indians with good degrees looking for better opportunities.

That's the way the world is headed. In the US too, service sector is bigger than manufacturing.
 

Northerner

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MD Rapper said:
Compared to many other races in the United States. That goes to say even, that Indians in the United States as a whole tend to be more intelligent than Indians in India when the whole country is grouped together. Here are just a few reasons I can think of as to why 2nd generation Indo-Americans are mostly intelligent. Please keep in mind that these are general trends...

- Parents are often well-to-do when they come to the US as immigrants, so they are able to afford their children the best opportunities.
- Parents highly value education, stick-to-it-ness, careers with high prestige, stability and pay. Therefore, this requires children to stay in school for longer periods of time. More school = more education
- The Indian community as a whole resultingly values the same ideas and adds pressure by continually asking what you're doing with your life as you're growing up. (This could be thought of as good or bad depending on how you want to look at it.) This also creates a culture of high education.
- Whether we want to admit it or not, Indian people tend to be more competitive/want to do better than the pack. This also leads to the need of always trying to do more. Since we already tend to excel in education, it continually gets pushed to another level.

I could go on but I hope this illustrates my point. I'm not saying that other races don't have these characteristics... my opinion is that it's just not as prevalent for them. I also realize that it may sound racist to some to generalize characteristics of races, but as long as there are different cultures out there and a lack of full assimilation, you're going to see certain characteristics associated with certain races.
As long as you're aware of your racism, I'm satisfied.

It's pretty disheartening as a white person to hear someone such as yourself speak so ethnocentrically, however. As a racial minority, a place like America where racism is largely not tolerated by the majority race ideally should not be taken advantage of in the way you seem to be doing. When you speak of racial elitism, you make me question whether I really should be putting myself on the line every time I defend Indian people when others make stereotypes or subtle insinuations about them. Stereotypes that characterize races in a positive light are often just as harmful as negative ones. Luckily for you, I don't listen to those like yourself who seek to assign or identify inequitable power in such a superficial category such as race, and your painful stereotypes do not change what I think is right. And the next time someone makes a racist comment about you, I'll defend you again in spite of your disdainful egotism.

Not to mention, this is the internet and idiots on the internet are abundant of all races. So I take idiotic posts with a grain of salt.
 
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Northerner

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Premedtomed said:
MDrapper (although I don't like rapper has made some good comments, although not presented them clearly enough (perhaps) or our non Indian friends don't want to flat out accept them.

Environment does play a huge role. Education is a highly regarded religiously speaking.
"Non-Indian friends don't want to flat out accept them"?

Accept the fact that Indian Americans are "more intelligent" than other Americans? You two are so adorably naive that I almost want to hug both of you, pat both of you on the head and send you to bed. Whoever said such contentions are laughable is right on.

Premedtomed said:
Other reason is Economic. India is rising due to the service sector - lot of Indians with good degrees looking for better opportunities.

That's the way the world is headed. In the US too, service sector is bigger than manufacturing.
You're hilarious!
 

max_wannelius

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MD Rapper said:
Compared to many other races in the United States. That goes to say even, that Indians in the United States as a whole tend to be more intelligent than Indians in India when the whole country is grouped together. Here are just a few reasons I can think of as to why 2nd generation Indo-Americans are mostly intelligent. Please keep in mind that these are general trends...

- Parents are often well-to-do when they come to the US as immigrants, so they are able to afford their children the best opportunities.
- Parents highly value education, stick-to-it-ness, careers with high prestige, stability and pay. Therefore, this requires children to stay in school for longer periods of time. More school = more education
- The Indian community as a whole resultingly values the same ideas and adds pressure by continually asking what you're doing with your life as you're growing up. (This could be thought of as good or bad depending on how you want to look at it.) This also creates a culture of high education.
- Whether we want to admit it or not, Indian people tend to be more competitive/want to do better than the pack. This also leads to the need of always trying to do more. Since we already tend to excel in education, it continually gets pushed to another level.

I could go on but I hope this illustrates my point. I'm not saying that other races don't have these characteristics... my opinion is that it's just not as prevalent for them. I also realize that it may sound racist to some to generalize characteristics of races, but as long as there are different cultures out there and a lack of full assimilation, you're going to see certain characteristics associated with certain races.
Dude, you are totally right. Indians outnumber all other minorities in engineering at my school, by a ratio of 10 to 1. I dunno the reason for that, maybe its wat you say? But the funny thing is, the same kinda ratio is appearing for the faculty too. Not that I mind... except the accent is a bit hard to follow at times. The teaching style of some of them is also strange at times; ex. they will start to say something, but then stop all of a sudden for 5-6 sec, then finish the sentence.
 

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It's all about aptitudes confusion. There needs a lot to be done in that field. Even the students who choose their fields of study and career independently are not all the times rooting their choices into their abilities and aptitudes, many times they choose it out of the glitter or glamour- real or understood- of the said fields

Parent pressure and peer pressure does exist, and it's all a person to person variant how much you are moulded to it-

I know a person who's a painting artist of exceptional abilities, whose family and peers wanted him to follow fine arts as profession due to his inherent abilities, but he chose medicine, for his own reasons, and did Excel in medicine as well- never losing interest or class in his art

I also know another person who left Medicine in the 2nd year of MBBS here in India for joining the NDA (National Defence Academy) and went on to become an army officer

And we all sure know some people who chose medicine without any pressure- by their own free will- but still fell head down in the medical studies.

So aptitudes I think decide your Job satisfaction part, but not necessarily the Competence part, for which the only clauses are Ability and Sincerety.
 
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Premedtomed

Northerner said:
"Non-Indian friends don't want to flat out accept them"?

Accept the fact that Indian Americans are "more intelligent" than other Americans? You two are so adorably naive that I almost want to hug both of you, pat both of you on the head and send you to bed. Whoever said such contentions are laughable is right on.



You're hilarious!

You idiot, I never said that I agree that Indian Americans are the most intelligent. I said MD rapper is making some good points maybe not presenting them well.
 
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Premedtomed

Northerner said:
"Non-Indian friends don't want to flat out accept them"?

Accept the fact that Indian Americans are "more intelligent" than other Americans? You two are so adorably naive that I almost want to hug both of you, pat both of you on the head and send you to bed. Whoever said such contentions are laughable is right on.



You're hilarious!
The economic reason behind it is true. India has a large population of educated people looking for better opportunities. they migrate here and can see the difference in the system here and India, a developing country.
Hence the drive to work hard.
 

Northerner

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Yeah, over here in the U.S. no one's getting a good education. We look to the Indian elite for that.
 
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Premedtomed

http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=3340


Steve Raymer
YaleGlobal, 16 February 2004




Rahul Sharma, a resident physician of Indian origin, examines a patient at New York's Bellevue Hospital: The opportunities for his fellow countrymen to join his profession in the US may be shrinking. (Photo (c) Steve Raymer 2004)

NEW YORK: Around 600 B.C., more than a century before the Greek physician Hippocrates became the greatest healer of his era, the Indians Atreya and Susrata established medical schools in separate parts of the subcontinent. About the same time, Indian doctors developed a code of ethics that required healers to maintain patient confidentiality and lead a life dedicated to caring for the sick.

Today Indian doctors have become a powerful influence in medicine across the world - from North America and Great Britain to East Africa, Malaysia, and Singapore. Nowhere is their authority more keenly felt than in the United States, where Indians make up the largest non-Caucasian segment of the American medical community. Indian doctors have found a home in the medical marketplace, where they are a mainstay in primary patient care in urban and rural areas. Numbering over 38,000, physicians of Indian origin account for one in every 20 doctors practicing medicine in the US. Another 12,000 Indians and Indian-Americans are medical students and residents - doctors in specialty training - in teaching hospitals across the country. And Indians make up roughly 20 percent of the "International Medical Graduates" - or foreign-trained doctors - operating in the U.S.





But new challenges may slow the influx of Indian doctors. Many say they are having difficulty getting US visas after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. And a professional backlash has challenged new immigrants looking to join the lucrative American medical establishment.

"It's never been easy to come to the United States, but it is even more difficult now," says Sharad Lakhanpal, president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and a clinical professor of medicine at University of Texas-Southwestern in Dallas. "Moreover, there are many subtle forms of discrimination. Even second-generation Indians feel discrimination in application for residencies and fellowships at teaching hospitals. Some just don't get applications sent to them."

Ironically, these challenges come at a time when the US medical establishment, led by the powerful American Medical Association (AMA), says the country now faces a physician shortage in some regions and specialties. For the past two decades, the AMA and the government-appointed Council on Graduate Medical Education have recommended that US medical schools maintain a near-steady supply of 16,000 new doctors a year, despite a population increase of 24 percent between 1980 and 2000. Now worried about a potential shortfall of physicians, the AMA says international medical graduates (IMGs) can help meet the needs of a growing and aging population, and has pledged to help speed up visas for foreign doctors.





But young doctors who obtain their medical degrees in India find it increasingly difficult to travel to the United States for advanced medical education unless they or a spouse already hold a green card that entitles them to permanent residence, or unless they agree to work in areas defined by the government as medically underserved.

Getting a visa for a two-to-five-year-long residency at a university or teaching hospital is only the first of several challenges facing Indian doctors seeking to work in the United States. In the 1960s and 70s, IMGs were heavily recruited to fulfill the Medicare program's promise of free medical care for every American over the age of 65. Today, Indian doctors must return to India after completing their advanced training unless they agree to set up practice in rural or low-income areas.

"IMG's play a vital role in areas with shortages," Ahmed Faheem, a Beckley, West Virginia psychiatrist originally from India, told a recent high-level AMA meeting. "If you don't ease off the visa requirements, then it's going to get worse."

For the Indian doctors who are allowed by US authorities to fill these less glamorous primary care jobs, there is still no guarantee they can make a livable income in an era of sky-high medical malpractice insurance and managed care schemes. And rural areas typically need more generalists than specialists, which makes it difficult for a heart surgeon or radiologist to earn a living outside of major cities.





Today, Indian doctors seeking admission to US residency training programs must first fly to either Singapore or Bangkok to take qualifying examinations not given in India. Next they must obtain a US visa to travel to Atlanta for a "clinical skills assessment" test before applying to any American university or teaching hospital's specialty course. Once accepted into a program, they can only receive a US visa back in India - a process that can cost upwards of $5,000 and take a year or more to complete.

"It was definitely much easier to come to the USA in the 60's, 70's, and 80's - before the cutback in visas," says Parag Mehta, an internist and attending physician, or teacher, at New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn. Mehta practiced medicine for seven years in his native state of Gujarat in India before coming to the New York with his wife, a green card holder and obstetrician. "Having a green card is now the most common ticket into the US medical system. I see it with my students every year."

Another challenge facing Indian doctors and others who are primary care, or family practice "generalists", is their lack of bargaining power with the big insurance companies and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) that cover more than 160 million Americans. Indian doctors, lead by the AAPI, say that reductions in doctorsfederal and state funds for health care have forced HMOs to hire fewer and cheaper doctors - and that HMOs are dumping competent foreign-born and foreign-educated doctors. .
"The quality of health care goes down when HMOs start to hire the cheapest people around," says Doctor Lakhanpal of AAPI. "That's why we need collective bargaining power at the state level."





After years of sitting on the political sidelines, Indian-Americans - affluent, educated and doubling in number every 10 years - are starting to flex their muscles in Washington. Indian physicians are lobbying at the state and federal level, quizzing presidential candidates, and working with the 167-member Indian Caucus - a group of US congresspeople friendly to India and Indian-Americans. The AAPI has a full-time legislative office in Washington that is pushing a nationwide limit on malpractice insurance premiums, collective bargaining with HMOs, a Patients' Bill of Rights law, and uniform medical licensing for all 50 states. The organization also fields complaints about professional discrimination, and was a driving forcing in passing the 1992 Anti-Discrimination in Medicine bill.

Despite the hurdles Indian doctors in the US may face, many remain committed to their calling. Organized by the AAPI, doctors and nurses of Indian origin have established free walk-in clinics across the US to treat senior citizens and patients who are indigent, lacking health insurance, or unable to see a physician during normal clinic hours.

"This country has been very nice to us," says the AAPI's Lakhanpal. "The weekend clinics are sort of our way of giving back to community."

Yet although Indian doctors have carved a comfortable niche in the American medical community, red tape and discrimination may slow their success and exacerbate a looming national health care crisis
 

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Premedtomed said:
You idiot, I never said that I agree that Indian Americans are the most intelligent. I said MD rapper is making some good points maybe not presenting them well.
"MDrapper (although I don't like rapper has made some good comments, although not presented them clearly enough (perhaps) or our non Indian friends don't want to flat out accept them."

Fine, I am willing to admit that your english was perhaps too confusing and I misinterpreted. But it looks as though you're saying MDrapper is making good points, although poorly articulated, and perhaps your non-Indian friends don't want to accept the "good points", though you believe them (the "good points") to be nonetheless true?
 

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Premedtomed said:
http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=3340


Steve Raymer
YaleGlobal, 16 February 2004




Rahul Sharma, a resident physician of Indian origin, examines a patient at New York's Bellevue Hospital: The opportunities for his fellow countrymen to join his profession in the US may be shrinking. (Photo (c) Steve Raymer 2004)

NEW YORK: Around 600 B.C., more than a century before the Greek physician Hippocrates became the greatest healer of his era, the Indians Atreya and Susrata established medical schools in separate parts of the subcontinent. About the same time, Indian doctors developed a code of ethics that required healers to maintain patient confidentiality and lead a life dedicated to caring for the sick.

Today Indian doctors have become a powerful influence in medicine across the world - from North America and Great Britain to East Africa, Malaysia, and Singapore. Nowhere is their authority more keenly felt than in the United States, where Indians make up the largest non-Caucasian segment of the American medical community. Indian doctors have found a home in the medical marketplace, where they are a mainstay in primary patient care in urban and rural areas. Numbering over 38,000, physicians of Indian origin account for one in every 20 doctors practicing medicine in the US. Another 12,000 Indians and Indian-Americans are medical students and residents - doctors in specialty training - in teaching hospitals across the country. And Indians make up roughly 20 percent of the "International Medical Graduates" - or foreign-trained doctors - operating in the U.S.





But new challenges may slow the influx of Indian doctors. Many say they are having difficulty getting US visas after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. And a professional backlash has challenged new immigrants looking to join the lucrative American medical establishment.

"It's never been easy to come to the United States, but it is even more difficult now," says Sharad Lakhanpal, president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and a clinical professor of medicine at University of Texas-Southwestern in Dallas. "Moreover, there are many subtle forms of discrimination. Even second-generation Indians feel discrimination in application for residencies and fellowships at teaching hospitals. Some just don't get applications sent to them."

Ironically, these challenges come at a time when the US medical establishment, led by the powerful American Medical Association (AMA), says the country now faces a physician shortage in some regions and specialties. For the past two decades, the AMA and the government-appointed Council on Graduate Medical Education have recommended that US medical schools maintain a near-steady supply of 16,000 new doctors a year, despite a population increase of 24 percent between 1980 and 2000. Now worried about a potential shortfall of physicians, the AMA says international medical graduates (IMGs) can help meet the needs of a growing and aging population, and has pledged to help speed up visas for foreign doctors.





But young doctors who obtain their medical degrees in India find it increasingly difficult to travel to the United States for advanced medical education unless they or a spouse already hold a green card that entitles them to permanent residence, or unless they agree to work in areas defined by the government as medically underserved.

Getting a visa for a two-to-five-year-long residency at a university or teaching hospital is only the first of several challenges facing Indian doctors seeking to work in the United States. In the 1960s and 70s, IMGs were heavily recruited to fulfill the Medicare program's promise of free medical care for every American over the age of 65. Today, Indian doctors must return to India after completing their advanced training unless they agree to set up practice in rural or low-income areas.

"IMG's play a vital role in areas with shortages," Ahmed Faheem, a Beckley, West Virginia psychiatrist originally from India, told a recent high-level AMA meeting. "If you don't ease off the visa requirements, then it's going to get worse."

For the Indian doctors who are allowed by US authorities to fill these less glamorous primary care jobs, there is still no guarantee they can make a livable income in an era of sky-high medical malpractice insurance and managed care schemes. And rural areas typically need more generalists than specialists, which makes it difficult for a heart surgeon or radiologist to earn a living outside of major cities.





Today, Indian doctors seeking admission to US residency training programs must first fly to either Singapore or Bangkok to take qualifying examinations not given in India. Next they must obtain a US visa to travel to Atlanta for a "clinical skills assessment" test before applying to any American university or teaching hospital's specialty course. Once accepted into a program, they can only receive a US visa back in India - a process that can cost upwards of $5,000 and take a year or more to complete.

"It was definitely much easier to come to the USA in the 60's, 70's, and 80's - before the cutback in visas," says Parag Mehta, an internist and attending physician, or teacher, at New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn. Mehta practiced medicine for seven years in his native state of Gujarat in India before coming to the New York with his wife, a green card holder and obstetrician. "Having a green card is now the most common ticket into the US medical system. I see it with my students every year."

Another challenge facing Indian doctors and others who are primary care, or family practice "generalists", is their lack of bargaining power with the big insurance companies and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) that cover more than 160 million Americans. Indian doctors, lead by the AAPI, say that reductions in doctorsfederal and state funds for health care have forced HMOs to hire fewer and cheaper doctors - and that HMOs are dumping competent foreign-born and foreign-educated doctors. .
"The quality of health care goes down when HMOs start to hire the cheapest people around," says Doctor Lakhanpal of AAPI. "That's why we need collective bargaining power at the state level."





After years of sitting on the political sidelines, Indian-Americans - affluent, educated and doubling in number every 10 years - are starting to flex their muscles in Washington. Indian physicians are lobbying at the state and federal level, quizzing presidential candidates, and working with the 167-member Indian Caucus - a group of US congresspeople friendly to India and Indian-Americans. The AAPI has a full-time legislative office in Washington that is pushing a nationwide limit on malpractice insurance premiums, collective bargaining with HMOs, a Patients' Bill of Rights law, and uniform medical licensing for all 50 states. The organization also fields complaints about professional discrimination, and was a driving forcing in passing the 1992 Anti-Discrimination in Medicine bill.

Despite the hurdles Indian doctors in the US may face, many remain committed to their calling. Organized by the AAPI, doctors and nurses of Indian origin have established free walk-in clinics across the US to treat senior citizens and patients who are indigent, lacking health insurance, or unable to see a physician during normal clinic hours.

"This country has been very nice to us," says the AAPI's Lakhanpal. "The weekend clinics are sort of our way of giving back to community."

Yet although Indian doctors have carved a comfortable niche in the American medical community, red tape and discrimination may slow their success and exacerbate a looming national health care crisis
Interesting article. Blatantly biased, but it portrays one perspective in the debate.
 
P

Premedtomed

Northerner said:
Yeah, over here in the U.S. no one's getting a good education. We look to the Indian elite for that.

Where are you going with this argument? When did this become an issue of immigration??
 
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Premedtomed

Northerner said:
"MDrapper (although I don't like rapper has made some good comments, although not presented them clearly enough (perhaps) or our non Indian friends don't want to flat out accept them."

Fine, I am willing to admit that your english was perhaps too confusing and I misinterpreted. But it looks as though you're saying MDrapper is making good points, although poorly articulated, and perhaps your non-Indian friends don't want to accept the "good points", though you believe them (the "good points") to be nonetheless true?
Yeah I was at work and typed rather quickly

I guess that's because I am very familiar with this issue

he talked about hard work ethic and I agree with that and the fact that second generation Indian Americans respect that and are willing to work hard and become a part of the American society.

Saying that Indians are naturally intelligent is absolutely false.
The upbringing - strong emphasis on hard work, diligence that the first generation bring is true. That's a cultural thing.

Other than that Indians don't have much of an opportunity to make money and lead a successful life besides studying and earning good grades.

Entrepreneurship as in here, is just beginning to expand in India as it is moving away from the ideals of socialism, which gripped the country in poverty for a long time.
 

Northerner

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Premedtomed said:
Where are you going with this argument? When did this become an issue of immigration??
Where am I going with it? To explain the "intelligence" advantage of indians, you suggested that the reason Indians in America are more intelligent is due in part to economic reasons:
Premedtomed said:
India is rising due to the service sector - lot of Indians with good degrees looking for better opportunities.
As though we have poorer educations over here. Not your contention? Then you may explain further.
 

Northerner

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Premedtomed said:
Yeah I was at work and typed rather quickly
So what did you mean?

If what I interpreted your statement to mean:
Northerner said:
But it looks as though you're saying MDrapper is making good points, although poorly articulated, and perhaps your non-Indian friends don't want to accept the "good points", though you believe them (the "good points") to be nonetheless true?
was true, then I reacted appropriately. No, no one "accepts" your suggestion that race predicts any sort of generalizable intelligence disparity, because we believe people are equally capable across superficial differences such as race in the workplace and in other arenas. If you would like to say "immigrants in general are probably harder working", that's probably a safe thing to say, although clearly doesn't apply to individuals.
 
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Premedtomed

Northerner said:
So what did you mean?
Economic reason - for India service sector has so far been the only way for Indians to progress, hence the drive.

I assumed that we already agree that Medical Institutions here are world class. ( again not all of them, but many)
 
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Premedtomed

Northerner said:
Yeah, over here in the U.S. no one's getting a good education. We look to the Indian elite for that.
Again this is what I don't understand. Why are you saying this?

This thread was about parental pressure that second Generation Indian Americans succumb to. We are trying to discuss the source of that.

Again MDrapper, a second generation American, tried to make certain points (don't know if he had the right idea but was closer than other posts)

I am trying to keep it within the "cultural" framework that the parents of second gen. Americans were raised in/come from and take inspiration from.
 
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Premedtomed

Indian people also seem to love stability and a job setting with certain prospects for advancement. My point is that for a lot of us, medicine is an ideal profession. A lot of Indians may not be able to explicate it the way I do, but I'm sure they can at least partially agree with the things I'm saying. I also believe that to a certain degree, we should be happy that our parents (and community) take such an active interest in guiding us to pursue such amazing careers.



This is what I agree with.
Job stability - yes (may be everyone does.) Coming from India - where you never know when the economy nosedives - stability and security is a great thing.

Unlike here in the US, where the entrepreneurial spirit is so highly cherished. ( it is a great thing)
 
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Premedtomed

Northerner said:
Interesting article. Blatantly biased, but it portrays one perspective in the debate.
Can you expound on it ?

Seriously I am not aware of this issue.
 
P

Premedtomed

MD Rapper said:
I am proud of my culture and the traditions associated with it in a manner that is not destructive or harmful to others QUOTE]


Hard to find among second gen. Americans.
j/k
 

avenirv

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"Here's why: Indian people are an extremely intelligent bunch. ...which we should be somewhat entitled to down the line for being such an intelligent, hardworking, and disciplined community. "

this is the typical racist attitude.
if "bad" does not exists then "good" does not exist.
if "dark" does not exist then "light" does not exists.
so, an intelligent guy realizes that saying, as a hole, that an ethnic group is intelligent, it means there are ethnic groups that are less intelligent.
this was all the time the main line for racists.
i do not think your religion likes you, with your racist attitude.
 

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MD Rapper said:
But I never said other communities are NOT entitled to the same thing if they are also intelligent, hardworking or disciplined. In other words, my view is that any community that has these characteristics deserves a good career. Again, it would be racist if I said that ONLY Indians are deserving of good jobs. I also pointed out later (and not in my original post because I thought it was implicit given the theme of the thread) that I was talking about 2nd generation Indo-Americans... a select group... I wasn't even talking about Indians as a whole... and finally, again, I'm basing this intelligence level purely on environmental reasons arising from having such a relatively small community, not genetic factors.

Conclusion: Indian people are not superior to other races. Indian people in the United States tend to exhibit certain characteristics arising from all types of environmental situations. Indians in the Unites States, as a general trend, tend to be an intelligent group because of high education levels. Furthermore, in all fairness, Indians in the United States also exhibit negative characteristics.

This isn't racist ideology, it's your run-of-the-mill sociological anaylsis. Pick up any sociology textbooks on race and see how they read! Statistics are collected, analysis is done, general trends are noted, and there is always lots of room for exceptions.

Just be careful what you imply about deficiencies in other races when you exalt your own.

We do not tolerate racism, or anything that smells like it. Especially based on anyone's anecdotal support or ulterior motives.
 

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1st indians are hardworking. not everyone is intelligent. talk to alot of them half of them are morons, just like everywhere. a friend of mine told me "oh, i thought all the indians in america are doctors"

2nd from what i have observed. in my culture, there is a pressure to become a doctor.


If you are from North India, theres not as much pressure as if you are from south india. Because most south indians are in business or are doctors.(maybe my opnion...) ever realize how 90% of the indians in america are IT? mostly south indians? My father is a software engineer and let me tell you it is far from stable. ive moved 4 times in 5 years.. and let me tell you IT people, most of them hate thier jobs because they are unstable, and theres ALOT of job tension. My father "suggests" that i become a doctor. because it is a stable job with high income. i have like 10 friends, south indians, whose parents also suggest them to become doctors. I guess they want their children to have the kind of life they will never have.

b/w more than 60% of the people in the world dont like the job they are doing. but it must be done... thats how 3 indian doctors ive talked to felt. they dont hate being a doctor, neither do they like it. they should just do it. but it dosent mean they arent happy with their life.
 
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dockdock

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Maradona said:
b/w more than 60% of the people in the world dont like the job they are doing. but it must be done... thats how 3 indian doctors ive talked to felt. they dont hate being a doctor, neither do they like it. they should just do it.
For many people, working at a job that you neither hate nor love is just fine--as long as you do the work properly.

For some people, like me, no amount of money makes doing a job you don't love worthwhile. I seem to be in the minority among my Indian peers. I can genuinely tell you that the majority of my Indian med school classmates did NOT love medicine, nor did they hate it. But they will be excellent doctors, and I'd gladly be their patient.

It all comes down to what you value. I don't give a damn about what the Indian groups think about me; I hope I never own a car worth more than $25,000.

But my point with this thread was to reach out to the one or two other Indian pre-meds who are like me: pressured to enter medicine, yet desiring strongly to do something else.
 

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Mars!!
to DockDock

Let me amass the facts................

Dockdock is the one who HATES medicine, had been Pushed into it by parents

This forum is Named Student Doctors Network Forum

Then Why In the Scritty Fritty chuckkky truckkky hell does he keep coming here sooooooooo often to rant?

DockDock's mom, if you are reading this, Please Please Please stop forcing him to keep posting in this forum, It is not healthy for his mental status and may deteriorate his abilities in his newly found occupation and studies in physics (was it???)

Dockdock, if you are really searching for some like minded, like fated unfortunate to be forced into medicine and brave enough to find and get something better, this is a wrong address- sue Google for this. Try at www.ihatemedicine.com instead


Wish you luck!!

Adios,
Chao,
Bye!!
 
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dockdock

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DrGarfield said:
to DockDock

Let me amass the facts................

Dockdock is the one who HATES medicine, had been Pushed into it by parents

This forum is Named Student Doctors Network Forum

Then Why In the Scritty Fritty chuckkky truckkky hell does he keep coming here sooooooooo often to rant?

DockDock's mom, if you are reading this, Please Please Please stop forcing him to keep posting in this forum, It is not healthy for his mental status and may deteriorate his abilities in his newly found occupation and studies in physics (was it???)

Dockdock, if you are really searching for some like minded, like fated unfortunate to be forced into medicine and brave enough to find and get something better, this is a wrong address- sue Google for this. Try at www.ihatemedicine.com instead


Wish you luck!!

Adios,
Chao,
Bye!!
It's an open forum. I'm a US-trained MD. I think that settles the matter.
 

Northerner

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DrGarfield said:
to DockDock

Let me amass the facts................

Dockdock is the one who HATES medicine, had been Pushed into it by parents

This forum is Named Student Doctors Network Forum

Then Why In the Scritty Fritty chuckkky truckkky hell does he keep coming here sooooooooo often to rant?

DockDock's mom, if you are reading this, Please Please Please stop forcing him to keep posting in this forum, It is not healthy for his mental status and may deteriorate his abilities in his newly found occupation and studies in physics (was it???)

Dockdock, if you are really searching for some like minded, like fated unfortunate to be forced into medicine and brave enough to find and get something better, this is a wrong address- sue Google for this. Try at www.ihatemedicine.com instead


Wish you luck!!

Adios,
Chao,
Bye!!
This is a forum and an open exchange of ideas from people within or with experience with the field of medicine.

He never said he HATES medicine as you say, he said after introspection and experienced realized it wasn't how he wanted to spend the balance of his life. Parents pressuring their children to go into medicine is a prevalent theme, and even moreso in Indians. Explain how he is so malignant again?

edit: I will concede his last post was a little hostile.