anon-y-mouse

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Does this question annoy / piss off anyone else?? I'm getting this all the time whenever people find out about my med school status, and it's getting quite old hat. How do you people (who are fairly undecided and unexposed to the various branches of medicine) deal with this question?
 

UCSFnerd

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Haha. I remember the first couple of times I was asked that question, it made me all excited. Now...I try to avoid it. I hate constantly explaining why I want to be this kind of doctor, what made me interested in it, blah blah. I think what ruined it for me was all those med school interviews asking that very question. Most MDs I talk to end up switching to a completely different specialty after med school anyways. Probably what I will end up doing.
 

godawgs39

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I hear that question about, oh, I don't know, at least 10 times a week, sometimes from the same people, but I don't let it bother me. I actually enjoy talking about it. It definitely does become old hat, but I like the fact that people are interested in what I'm going to be doing, and more often than not they seem excited to learn about my future plans. I have my little "well, I probably won't know until after 3rd year, but I'm leaning towards x,y,z,a-h" speech down, so as long as the person doesn't just ask to ask and seems to really want to know, then I enjoy talking about it.
 

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I am so glad to hear that other people are annoyed with that question as well. For me, I always say "I don't really no, other than I know what I don't want to be. I have to see patients so I won't do pathology or radiology." That seems to suffice for alot of people and then we move on to the proverbial question of why malpractice insurance is so high, and why medicine costs so much. (Seriously, this line of questioning, in that very order, as happened to me 7 times in the past 4 days.)
 

want2beadoc

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I've had this conversation so many times -

Me - "I'm starting med school this fall."
Them - "Oh really? What kind of doctor do you want to be?"
Me - "Umm... I haven't quite decided yet..."
Them - "You can do that? How long is medical school?"
Me - "Well it's 4 years, but then you go into residency."
Them - Eyes glaze over.

Lately I've been like this
Me - "I'm starting med school this fall."
Them - "Oh really? What kind of doctor do you want to be?"
Me - "A [random specialty that I have a passing interest in]"
 

dbzgohan

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Heres how i have been responding to that question lately
Person: "So what type of doctor do you want to be?"
Me: "Oh a great one" :D
 

Doctor Bagel

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Yes, I hate this question. I usually just say one of the things that interests me but then mention that I have four years to decide. I feel like it's sort of like how you dealt with adults in junior high who asked you what you wanted to do when you grew up. You just say something to please them and move on. :)
 

Callogician

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Someone on SDN came up with "pediatric gynecology" as a great joke response.
 

Sondra

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dbzgohan said:
Heres how i have been responding to that question lately
Person: "So what type of doctor do you want to be?"
Me: "Oh a great one" :D
I am going to have to use this one.

I usually say, "I have 4 years to decide." If it is familiy or someone special, I usually give more explanation, but I dread doing it.
 

getunconcsious

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anon-y-mouse said:
Does this question annoy / piss off anyone else?? I'm getting this all the time whenever people find out about my med school status, and it's getting quite old hat. How do you people (who are fairly undecided and unexposed to the various branches of medicine) deal with this question?

This is an easy one, just feed them a line of BS.

If you don't particularly like the person and want to stop the conversation dead in its tracks, "Forensic Pathology" will usually work.

If you want to scare them, "Psychiatry" will convince many that you can read minds.

If you really want to win them over "Pediatrics" or better yet, "Neonatology" will make anyone's heart melt.

And I'm not kidding, I always, *always* tailor my response to this question to my audience. I guess I should have gone into public relations. I've used all 4 of these responses at various times.

For those of you that have a harder time lying, well, that sucks for yall. The whole "I don't know" thing will cause indifference at best and disdain at worst.
 

JohnUC33

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I'm sure glad that I'm not the only one frustrated with that question. Here's how it usually goes with me:

Them: So what are you doing?
Me: Oh, starting med school in the fall.
Them: What kind of doctor you want to be?
Me: I have no idea (although I do, but don't want to go into it)
Them: You should be a [insert specialty here]
Me: Oh, I hadn't thought about that (as I laugh inwardly as they continue to tell me the benefits of such speciality...cause they really have no idea)
 

dfk

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i have worked with many DO's.. and have never questioned why the choice. i have looked into that path, and for me, it seems a better fit.. no difference in tx or whatever.. all the same in the end, for the pt, no?
 

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Hahaha! This thread is pretty funny. :) Here is my usual conversation with someone asking the same questions.

Person: "So, what kind of doctor do you want to be?"
Me: "Not really sure. I like a lot of the different specialties. I probably won't decide until my last year of med school."

Person: "You can do that?! And go through all of med school without even picking a type of doc you want to be?"
Me: "Yep. You don't do your specialty training until residency. Then, there's also subspecialty training, fellowships, clinical research and stuff like that depending on the field you go into."

Person: - no response. confused look.

Moral of the story: Usually, people get confused once you start mentioning residency, fellowships, etc. So now, I just tell people that you just become a doctor when you graduate and then your post-graduate training will determine what type of doctor you eventually become. Simplify. That's the key. :)
 

Sean2tall

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BlondeCookie said:
Moral of the story: Usually, people get confused once you start mentioning residency, fellowships, etc. So now, I just tell people that you just become a doctor when you graduate and then your post-graduate training will determine what type of doctor you eventually become. Simplify. That's the key. :)
Good call. I am finding that most people consider everything "residency" if they know that you are not a real doctor yet. This is probably further complicated by the fact that I moved from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to do my rotations, leading everyone to assume that I am done with school.

My face-reading techniques get the most exercise when I try to determine whether someone knows what "Radiology" is - It was probably easier to go with the ol' "I haven't decided yet," but I figure I'm gonna tell the truth and just throw out "You know, reading the X-rays and MRI's and all that." At least I get a nod or two sometimes. :D
 

Jedix123

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I'm going to try out that pediatric gyno thing next time I get a chance.
 

OSUdoc08

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anon-y-mouse said:
Does this question annoy / piss off anyone else?? I'm getting this all the time whenever people find out about my med school status, and it's getting quite old hat. How do you people (who are fairly undecided and unexposed to the various branches of medicine) deal with this question?
Just tell them you are undecided instead of being an ass about it.
 

tulane06

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want2beadoc said:
I've had this conversation so many times -

Me - "I'm starting med school this fall."
Them - "Oh really? What kind of doctor do you want to be?"
Me - "Umm... I haven't quite decided yet..."
Them - "You can do that? How long is medical school?"
Me - "Well it's 4 years, but then you go into residency."
Them - Eyes glaze over.

Lately I've been like this
Me - "I'm starting med school this fall."
Them - "Oh really? What kind of doctor do you want to be?"
Me - "A [random specialty that I have a passing interest in]"
Sadly I've had these same conversations word for word more than once.
 

angietron3000

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someone in another thread suggested using pediatric urology/gynecology/proctology
i tried it a few times with friends, they're pretty quick to change the subject ;)
 

Blake

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OSUdoc08 said:
Just tell them you are undecided instead of being an ass about it.
Seriously, it's not like they really care that much what kind of doc you're going to be. I guess most of them are trying to do some chit-chat and small-talk with you. Geez, just say you've got no idea and that's it. They aren't going to lose sleep over this.

BTW, med school status ? :laugh:
 

Thievery Corp.

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RaaMD said:
Happy and knowledgeable


Exactly.
I dont think I could have put it any better.

If you are a medical student, you be asked that question hundreds of times in the next four years. Especially from fellow med students! No sense in getting cranky about it, there are far more important things to get cranky about. Exams mostly :mad:

I usally just say "I'm not sure, there are a lot of options to explore" End of conversation. Then I just change the topic to something more interesting for everyone around.
 

lorelei

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Everybody who has a job that sounds at least superficially interesting gets askes a standard set of questions. (And trust me, some of them are a lot more annoying than this.) You just have to take it as an expression of the person's interest and not let it bring up your insecurities about not knowing what you want to do yet.

Give an honest but not overly detailed answer (me: "I'm not really sure yet - I'm thinking about internal medicine or OB/GYN, but I want to wait and see what I'm good at"), and then ask the person something to carry on the conversation.

If the person seems genuinely interested in your career path - and lots of people are - ask what s/he thinks is the most important thing for you to do as a physician. Many people will answer "listen to your patients" but you can never hear that too much, and many other people will have really interesting suggestions or experiences to share with you.
 

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haha, my conversations usually go like this....
them: so your going back to school in the fall? (I've been out a few years)
me: (excited to talk about it) yup, I'm going to KU Med :)
them: what field are you going into
me: (thinking they mean what kind of doctor I want to be) probably primary care, maybe internal medicine
them: oh, your going to be a doctor!!! I t hought you were going into nursing school. :oops:
I'm a mom with two kids and for whatever reason, everyone assumes I'm going to become a nurse and not a doctor. It doesn't really bother me, because all of the people I've had this conversation with recently are substantially older relatives that just don't know better.
 

SanDiegoSOD

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I used to be annoyed by this question, but since I can't stop it from coming, I decided to embrace it.

If I'm talking with a physician, I tell the truth - that I'm not really sure, that I have interests in X, Y, and Z, and that I'll figure it out as I go. So far, physicians have always responded positively to this, and they sometimes offer suggestions. At least half of the time, they suggest Radiology (turns out patient contact isnt all its cracked up to be :)).

If I'm talking to a non-physician, I always go with Emergency Medicine. Everyone knows what it is, so you don't have to do any explaining, and everyone thinks its important, so you dont take any sh!t about the choice (no pimple-popper MD responses to EM). With non-physicians, you can't take the ambigious approach, as it rarely is understood. I mean, seriously, why would you apply to med school without knowing what kind of doctor you want to be? ;)
 

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Blake said:
Seriously, it's not like they really care that much what kind of doc you're going to be. I guess most of them are trying to do some chit-chat and small-talk with you. Geez, just say you've got no idea and that's it. They aren't going to lose sleep over this.

BTW, med school status ? :laugh:
There are some people who actually want to know. In fact, that is a typical greeting among medical students and physicians.

P.S. I'm an MS-III
 

dnslay

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Quickly and enthusiastically reply Urology - they usually shut up
 

Blake

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OSUdoc08 said:
There are some people who actually want to know. In fact, that is a typical greeting among medical students and physicians.

P.S. I'm an MS-III
Although I quoted you, my post wasn't directed at you. I was basically agreeing with your original post, and adding my 2 cents. That's it.
 

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SanDiegoSOD said:
Add Pediatric to that, and you're golden!
I get more of a reaction with geriatric gynecology / proctology, etc. I've been using that for the past few months...well, at least, with people my own age.
 

anum

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I think it seems bad coz people who ask directly what kinda doc do you wanna be are actually unaware themselves of the journey that ane student has to travel in order to reach ane med school.Plus yeh they are not a part of the subject the feild so they hardly kno how to take the news.

My ans is that i am livin in the present and plan to take things as they come.

But yeh these questions do fire you up at times .....
 

OSUdoc08

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anum said:
I think it seems bad coz people who ask directly what kinda doc do you wanna be are actually unaware themselves of the journey that ane student has to travel in order to reach ane med school.Plus yeh they are not a part of the subject the feild so they hardly kno how to take the news.

My ans is that i am livin in the present and plan to take things as they come.

But yeh these questions do fire you up at times .....
I ask people what specialty they are going into all the time. I know exactly what I'm going into: emergency medicine.

It's just like asking people you meet in undergrad what their major is. It's a benign question, and not worth getting your "panties in a twist" over.
 

anum

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Most people are undecided.....you are the lucky one to be not one of 'em so enjoy!

but its an early question for a joiner!
 

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I've been asked this question many times every time I tell people I'm attending med school this fall. I usually just say I'm not sure because there's so many options out there. However, it seems some people have this idea that since I'm female, I would/should go into peds or OB-GYN. I think I will try to the pediatrics gynecology answer next time. ;)
 

browniegirl86

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I always just tell them:

"Well, I'm waiting to get into rotations to decide, but i know what I DON'T want to be."
"What?"
"OB-GYN. I'm really not into babies or vaginas."

Then they laugh and the conversation is over.

:)
 

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Army_Doc said:
I get more of a reaction with geriatric gynecology / proctology, etc. I've been using that for the past few months...well, at least, with people my own age.
Clearly that's the funniest one so far! And I will be using Geriatric Proctology from now on. I'm even going to try it on some of the professors just for the reaction! :laugh: I'll be laughing at this one for a long time. :laugh: