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What Is Your Top Selfish Reason for Going to Professional School?

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What Is Your Top Selfish Reason for Going to Professional School?

  • Financial Security

    Votes: 57 22.0%
  • Love Biomedical Science

    Votes: 14 5.4%
  • Respect

    Votes: 26 10.0%
  • The Challenge of It

    Votes: 52 20.1%
  • Make Family/Friends Proud

    Votes: 2 0.8%
  • Power

    Votes: 6 2.3%
  • Prestige

    Votes: 26 10.0%
  • No Other Good Career Options

    Votes: 12 4.6%
  • Multiple Selfish Reasons

    Votes: 53 20.5%
  • Other (post below)

    Votes: 11 4.2%

  • Total voters
    259

n3xa

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All women are looking for is self confidence. Be happy with who you are and what you do and you'll find one.


So sad to look back and remember all the boys that talked about their occupations (without being asked on my end because I learned early on that it's a sensitive topic, particularly if you're into school) in shame.
 

LegendaryPunk

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Ok, I’ll bite and try to dig deep for a couple answers.

I like the thought of being needed. For somebody to think, “Man, I have this problem and I don’t know what to do. I need LegendaryPunk for help.” Not just any problem though; figure out how to fix that leaky faucet by yourself. But a problem dealing with life and death, in which the person has no clue what to do – that is when somebody really needs help. Why do I need this feeling? I’m not exactly sure, but right now I think it has something to do with fending off loneliness. It’s not a required input, I can function day-to-day without it…but I don’t feel whole.

The second reason is that I want to be exposed to extreme situations. I want to have experiences with people when emotions are raw and unfiltered; when they are completely naked. I am of the mindset that whether conscious or sub-conscious, we all make the decisions we do based on our emotions related to past experiences. I long for these situations in the hopes that they will better help me understand why I make the decisions I make.

As mentioned before, please don’t mistake this response as the only reasons as to why I want to be a doctor. I have additional reasons for that. Nor do I think these conditions can only be fulfilled by being a physician. I’m just trying to give an honest answer that is a little different from “I want to help people and I like science.”
 

kevinnbass

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Don't get me wrong. I just don't consider my socially productive predispositions to be selfish. As classical philosophy has it, entering an occupation that matches them most appropriately is the best possible thing one can do for society. The distinction between what is self-serving and what serves others is erased. Given that I take this point of view, I don't mention these other motivations here.

I don't believe that the opposite sex plays no significant role in many people's motivations. Status, money, power all play important roles in attraction for many people of both sexes. And one's romantic life is a central aspect of life, whether it is active or not.

I for one cannot count the number of times after breakups that I have felt more motivated, that I have changed many things in my life. My own entanglements with medical students reinforce the suspicion that I am not alone, that medicine is probably peculiarly libidinally driven.
 
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MedWonk

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I feel a little guilty to admit it, but I do find the financial security provided to be attractive. Also, I just like to learn new things, and I find all the different diseases that affect us to be fascinating to learn about.
 

Ivory12

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I feel a little guilty to admit it, but I do find the financial security provided to be attractive.

Why feel guilty?
People look for security in all things - relationships, dependable vehicles, movies with happy endings, a nice cup of tea in the evening, etc. Having enough money so you don't have to worry about paying for a proper education for your child, or taking your wife to a nice dinner on your anniversary is a lot different than going into medicine so you can drive a Ferrari.
 
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tele turnin

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I tried, without any luck, getting jobs with Fish and Game, US Forestry Service, etc. with my useless degree in Bio for a while. Once I realized I would have to go back to school for about 3 yrs. to have a decent shot at that I said screw it I'll be a doc. It was easier to get into med school.
 

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aside from the fact they my daughter will be starting her own journey in life in ~4.5 years (going to college) and would finally like to finish what i've started (doing what i'm convinced i will love, a career in medicine)... i'd have to say financial stability, prestige, and making my parents proud... :)
 

ShoTyme

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The white lab coats are cooler than those of chefs. I didn't see this option, but Q, if you add that, I'm sure it will get the most pings. (Though my chef wife disagrees)
 

avaAdore

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The white lab coats are cooler than those of chefs. I didn't see this option, but Q, if you add that, I'm sure it will get the most pings. (Though my chef wife disagrees)

i have a white lab coat that i use to keep chemicals and liters of bacteria off of me. oh yeah. i think the white coat as a doctor is waaaaayyyy better. :cool:
 

MedWonk

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Why feel guilty?
People look for security in all things - relationships, dependable vehicles, movies with happy endings, a nice cup of tea in the evening, etc. Having enough money so you don't have to worry about paying for a proper education for your child, or taking your wife to a nice dinner on your anniversary is a lot different than going into medicine so you can drive a Ferrari.

I think it's that after talking to med students, I came away with the impression that money was a dirty word. My impression only started to change after talking with my own doctor, who basically pointed out that even though it shouldn't be the main motivation for going into any occupation (except maybe finance), it's hard to deny that it isn't important, that almost no one can live without it, and just generally tends to make life easier. I still feel some pangs of guilt over it, though. Maybe it's my catholic upbringing?:laugh:
 

FrkyBgStok

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There are a number of smaller reasons. Financial security, job security, responsibility, being able to tell cool stories, knowing that I am among the top academic performers, the challenge of it all, etc. But if I am going to be fully honest, I don't know any doctors. Most of my friends didn't even go to college, and in my entire extended family (talking about aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, that level), out of about 50-60 people, we have 2 lawyers. Nobody else has any kind of professional school. I gotta go with prestige.
 
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mafunk

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I want to be called Dr. X (X is code for my super cool last name) :D
 

QofQuimica

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I want to be called Dr. X (X is code for my super cool last name) :D
It sounds better in theory than it is in reality. Kind of like when people are all excited about carrying pagers....until they actually have to carry one. Or carry a few. :rolleyes:
 

Chip N Sawbones

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It sounds better in theory than it is in reality. Kind of like when people are all excited about carrying pagers....until they actually have to carry one. Or carry a few. :rolleyes:

You have to carry a few pagers? Ugh! One pager was bad enough for me; I came close to throwing the stupid thing over the side every time it buzzed. You should start a new poll on the selfish reasons that make us not want to go into medicine.
 

mafunk

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It sounds better in theory than it is in reality. Kind of like when people are all excited about carrying pagers....until they actually have to carry one. Or carry a few. :rolleyes:

Was just joking... BUT I have a super weird/funny last name. Trust me.... anyone calling me Dr. X (my last name) would not be able to say it without at least a little chuckle
 

ShoTyme

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Was just joking... BUT I have a super weird/funny last name. Trust me.... anyone calling me Dr. X (my last name) would not be able to say it without at least a little chuckle

Xerotic?
 

QofQuimica

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Was just joking... BUT I have a super weird/funny last name. Trust me.... anyone calling me Dr. X (my last name) would not be able to say it without at least a little chuckle
I know you were joking. I'm just 7 days of the way through a 10-day string with no days off, and I'm starting to hate the sound of my last name following the word "Doctor" a little. :hungover:

Yes, I sometimes have to carry multiple pagers. Major ugh. Next month's poll topic duly noted. It's about time you folks did some of the heavy lifting around here!
 

ShyRem

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Yeah, carrying around 2 or 3 pagers and one goes off - you can't tell which one it is. You start picking up each pager at a time after hitting all the buttons to shut the stinkin' thing up. And then there are the pages that come every 5 seconds. One after another after another after another.

I particularly hate the days my pager fills up 3 or 4 times in a 12 hour shift. Those days suck.

And finally, I sympathize Q. I'm in yet another 12 day stretch of 12 hour days. Truly tiring (but the ICU call is oh so fun!!!!!!!!!!!) :D
 

QofQuimica

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Yeah, carrying around 2 or 3 pagers and one goes off - you can't tell which one it is. You start picking up each pager at a time after hitting all the buttons to shut the stinkin' thing up. And then there are the pages that come every 5 seconds. One after another after another after another.

I particularly hate the days my pager fills up 3 or 4 times in a 12 hour shift. Those days suck.

And finally, I sympathize Q. I'm in yet another 12 day stretch of 12 hour days. Truly tiring (but the ICU call is oh so fun!!!!!!!!!!!) :D
Haha, all so true. I call it the pager chorea. The best is being in the resident room with each of us having a pager or three and trying to figure out whose it is that is going off. Especially when they all start going off.

What I do is change the ring sounds to be different on each of my pagers, and I always wear the same one in the same place. But all I can say is that "pleasant noise" or whatever the heck it's called isn't very pleasant after you've been listening to it for hours. :hungover:
 

mauberley

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If only you could do something like this:

[YOUTUBE]-LKbCGV8aH4[/YOUTUBE]
 
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QofQuimica

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Haha, cute. Where was that done? Looks like some kind of library?

Today is my seventh SDN anniversary. Seven years ago to this day, I had just received my MCAT score. One of my chemistry students had told me about SDN, and I joined that night because I was a grad student at the time and had no one to talk to about all things MCAT. At first, the regulars thought I was a troll because I was claiming to have gotten such a high score and I was a noob. My, how so many things have changed over the past seven years. :p
 

mauberley

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Haha, cute. Where was that done? Looks like some kind of library?

Sort of. Strand Books in NYC.

Today is my seventh SDN anniversary. Seven years ago to this day, I had just received my MCAT score. One of my chemistry students had told me about SDN, and I joined that night because I was a grad student at the time and had no one to talk to about all things MCAT. At first, the regulars thought I was a troll because I was claiming to have gotten such a high score and I was a noob. My, how so many things have changed over the past seven years. :p

Happy anniversary!
 

StephanieZ

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My top selfish reason is pretty much financial security. Not just financial security, but an excess of financial security. I have pinched pennies, had to delay paying rent because my financial aid refund check was late, worn clothes with holes in them for months (years?) because I didn't have money to buy more. I have worked and saved all summer only to hemorrhage everything in my bank account in a matter of days on books and tuition when fall comes, not to mention if my car breaks down, etc. Living paycheck to paycheck and just barely having enough to make ends meet is a sucky way to live. One day I will go to a nice restaurant and tell my kids to order anything on the menu they want, and never once look at the prices or feel bad about doing it. One day my kid will sprain something riding her bike and I won't have to weigh the decision to take her to the emergency room based on whether or not we can afford the copay. THAT is what I have in the back of my mind whenever things get hard.

Top selfish reason number two is because my college freshman roommate was premed but she switched to design because it was too hard. We had a huge falling out and she really screwed me over by turning alot of our friends against me. I would love to achieve what she couldn't :laugh:
 

mcdtheta

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For me I would say the prestige that comes from saying "I'm a doctor". I work in a hospital as the unit secretary for Labor & Delivery, and the people I work with are always asking me "why doctor? why not just be a nurse?". Answer - its not the same!
 

ThreadStalker

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"You say, 'Isn't it sad that a diamond, when seen to it's essence, is nothing but common carbon?' I say, 'Isn't it wonderful that common carbon, in its most developed form, is the finest of diamonds?' You say, 'Isn't it sad that altruism, when seen in its basic structure, is nothing but base selfishness?' I say, 'Isn't it marvelous that base selfishness, in its most enlightened form, is the purest of altruism?'"
- Pierre Ceresole

After chicks, money, power, and chicks, I'd say my selfish attraction to medicine is that the training will force me to become an expert in a field. Sort of a "black belt in biology", to put it in as corny a manner as possible. I have too many different interests and I want to choose a path that will force me to focus narrowly on one and excel at it. I don't want to spend my whole life as a dilettante.
 

wagmanager

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The chief of my village promised me a monument built in the village square in my honor as I'd be the first doctor from the village. It will be bigger than the monument built to honor the first nurse. So that's my selfish reason. probably be bigger than the statue of liberty.
 
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MD Odyssey

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I want to be a doctor so that people will accept my cane with flames on it as legit.
 

Tenacity84

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I agree. The feeling you get when saving someone's life is the ultimate adrenaline high!!
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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I selected "multiple selfish reasons" because:

1) I like the challenges in medicine, and what I like more is that no one other than doctors can overcome them.

2) Prestige. No further explanation needed.

3) Job security. Until vaccines are developed for every disease, people stop doing stupid things, kids being grown on petri dishes, and robots put their warm confident hands on patient's shoulders, doctors will remain in demand.

4) Financial security. Mainly due to #3.

5) To make my family proud. When my son will be asked in school "what does your dad do for living?" he could answer "he's a doctor; he improves and saves lives."

6) Flexibility. Most doctors can practice in many different settings. They are not bound to time or place to do their job.

7) Variety. Aside from clinical work, doctors can teach, conduct research, and be involved in politics.
 
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Calad

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It's a tough call, I want a career that is interesting and continuously engaging (I get bored pretty easily), but I also want the financial stability and job security.
 

Gfliptastic

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My reason is what I've called the "anti-automechanic" metaphor.

There are two things in life where people usually go by the "expert". Medical and (auto) mechanical needs.

One of the main reason I am sitting pretty at MS3 is because I wanted to make sure when any of my relatives (or me) was sick/hospitalized, I would know how best to deal w/ the "expert". I myself will have an excellent idea of what the problem is, and how to properly approach it as an MD myself.

That goes w/o saying, that one of my hobbies before med school was fixing/wrenching cars. I've fixed most of my cars myself at this point.

So...if my car breaks down OR one of my FAMILY MEMBERS DOES lol, I know what's going on!!! :)
 

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For me, I am too ADD to enjoy anything else. I've worked in myriad fields, holding a variety of positions, and, to date, nothing has been as consistently enjoyable to me as nearly every aspect of the medical field I have experienced (from volunteering and shadowing, to sitting at the feet of doctors, listening to and learning from them).

I need the constant stimulation of being around people, with, simultaneously, the role of critical thinker and problem solver. I am so gratified by the puzzle of clinical care (pathophysiology, etc.), and am insatiably intrigued by and interested in the human narrative we each have. I want to hear people's stories, and be an integral part of adding value to their lives.

Ultimately, nothing else even remotely interests me. I've become bored far too easily and quickly with everything else I've ever put my hands to, until now.
 

Chimichica

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.
 
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rohirette

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Equal parts financial security and prestige.

My brother and I were the kids whose snow boots were duck taped together (and they were the cheapest of the cheap in the first place.) The phone was shut off as often as not, sometimes the electricity too, and the only reason we had water was that we lived in the back of beyond on a well that dad rigged up to alternative power sources. My daughters will not live that sort of life.

I am the first in my mother's line to graduate from high school, much less even seriously consider professional school. They aren't stupid; just living on an entirely different plane. Constantly robbing Peter to pay Paul, never able to really credit that it is possible to be financially secure... certainly never planning out what it will take and following through, no matter what.

There are times that I give thanks to the universe that my genetic Yahtzee came up brainy. I would be in a singlewide in East Texas, chain smoking and mistaking snark for intellect, otherwise.
 
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Quik

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I think foremost, my unselfish reasons are to gain the wisdom to be able to administer the most compassion.

Otherwise, it is the challenge. I already have a master's degree and my own environmental consulting business, but since completing school and getting this business to a point where it's running and I feel well qualified, I've been bored. A little example about me... I once climbed (hiked) Mt. Whitney, the tallest peak in the continental US, twice in the same day. While I was in camp after the first summit, it was a beautiful evening with a clear sky and full moon... Everyone else was asleep, so I took off for my second summit, hoping to beat the time of my first attempt and see the view under a full moon. I keep little memories like this one as a reminder of both my abilities to persevere (in extreme pain) as well as my need for adventure and challenges that I think would break the average person. I suppose you could say my greatest fear is mediocrity, or just being average.
 

WaterCLurker

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I have realized for some time now, that ever since I was a child, power has been my main motivator. And now, my lack of power is what is driving me to medical school.
 

Amygdarya

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I chose "multiple reasons".
First of all, I love biomedical science (duh! - I'm a biomedical scientist :p) and I want to learn as much of it as possible, which medical school will force me to do. As a scientist, I'm confined to a small area of knowledge, but I want to know it all! Plus, I like the whole life long learning aspect of medicine; hopefully it will keep me sharp as long as possible.
Second, I'm looking forward to the challenges of medicine - intellectual (I thrive on it!), emotional, physical, any other kind. I simply can't do easy - I become bored and restless, and nothing good can come out of that. On the other hand, I'm most "on", most enthusiastic and efficient, when I have a full load of work.
Third, not as much financial security as job security, which are not exactly the same thing. Making a lot of money is not my priority, but I certainly want to be sure I can make a living, and with the current research funding situation I can't be sure of that. I'm planning to do some research in my future medical career (consistent with loving biomedical science and intellectual challenge), so I will still be competing for grants etc., but at least my livelihood will not depend on them.
Last but not least, just as wholeheartedly mentioned, that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you help someone is pretty darn pleasant :) Not to mention, I hope I'll feel like I'm doing something more useful than satisfying my narrow scientific curiosity at the expense of taxpayers (this last one is kind of tongue in cheek, but there is a kernel of truth in it anyway).
 
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Amygdarya

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I want to be in a position where I am the farthest in expertise and training available, yet never run out of new things to learn.
Well put. I feel like this, too.
 
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Amygdarya

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Oh, and as far as learning is concerned, another reason for me to go into medicine is to learn not only about biomedical science, but about people and life in general. Medical professionals see the kind of things most of the people don't.
 

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My father is a doctor in a rather high paying subspecialty and makes >600k. This is going to sound messed up but growing up I really felt like my fathers job was superior to nearly every other profession. Between the degrees from fancy schools, the high income, and generally the fact that my father is an extremely intelligent, hard working, and ethical person, I've had this idea implanted in my head that i cant get rid of that doctors are somehow the societal ubermensch. I've volunteered in the hospital and worked in a clinic, and I really do love the work, but a part of me thinks what if my dad was the exact same person with the same income but worked at a bank or something, would I still really be as drawn to medicine as I am now? I'm not sure.

I enjoy that I can have that direct positive impact on someone else's well-being and that in medicine I feel like I don't have to sell anybody anything that isn't what I genuinely believe is in their best interest. As a doctor your goal is health for your patients, not making money for yourself, but at the same time you get to make a lot of money which is pretty nice. My reason for wanting to be a doctor isn't only because my father is a doctor but it is definitely a large part of it. I'm not entirely sure if this is an impure or selfish reason or not.
 

sindadel

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I wanted to quit the family business in engineering and trading up in careers was the easiest way to do so; doctor was really my only option that way. Also, doctors are skinnier than average, and I thought I'd like to be skinnier without having to make myself exercise. (note to self, why doesn't being on your feet for 26 hours or so qualify as "exercise"??)

So far, they've both worked out pretty well.
 

Darth Doc

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Oh, and as far as learning is concerned, another reason for me to go into medicine is to learn not only about biomedical science, but about people and life in general. Medical professionals see the kind of things most of the people don't.
Try working as a medical provider in a prison for a while. You'll learn all kinds of interesting things about humanity :wideyed:. Seriously. I worked here before and came back (for a number of reasons), but I can guarantee I'm never bored.
 

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I can just imagine what it's like actually working in the prison. We get a lot of inmates at the ED I work at, both state and FCI feed to us and it's always interesting.
 
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