Dagrimsta1

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So I come from a poor immigrant family. Growing up in a major city has been difficult but we have managed. We have been through eviction, bankruptcy, and police harassment. I have been employed since I was 15 and have probably been through more than alot of people by the age of 21.
One main reason I want to become a doctor is because of the prestige. Growing up on the lower side of the food chain has not been fun and I'm chasing my degree because it will raise me to a higher caste level. I'm being completely honest. While this isn't the only reason, it is definitely a big one. Yea helping people is all dandy and nice but let's be real, you can help people in a lot of professions, but at the end of the day, doctors get paid the best for it (or one of the best at least). I truly believe that we are all chasing the same things. As a doctor you have job security (for the most part). There is a certain level of power and prestige (again for the most part). Best of all I can provide for my family who provided for me. The reason I want to be a physician specifically is because I believe that they are the most highly trained, selected for, and powerful (when compared to Nurses and whatnot). A not so traditional answer from a not so traditional applicant. I wonder if I can answer my secondary with this response? @Goro what do you think?
 
Aug 23, 2016
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I think your story is powerful.

Maybe, you can talk about your hardship and its effects on you, as well as your aspirations to be a physicians to reduce hardships for your staff, colleagues, patients (family) by being more helpful whenever possible?
 
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tinyantibody

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I would avoid saying that your desire to pursue medicine largely stems from your longing for "prestige". This could come off poorly to adcoms, who may question your motivation to become a physician. I would focus on the hardships you encountered growing up, how they have shaped you, and specifically how you believe a career in medicine would allow you to fulfill your goals related to your story. For example, you could mention that you want to serve underprivileged folk such as immigrants. You could also discuss how being employed from an early age has taught you X and Y skills, thus making you fit for a career in medicine. You must be prepared to answer the question "why doctor, why not another healthcare profession (nurse, chiropractor, counsellor, etc.)?". If your primary reason for choosing a career in medicine over one in nursing is that the latter is a less prestigious or less skilled profession, I think you really have to re-evaluate. Just my two cents, not trying to discourage you in any way! Best of luck with your apps.
 
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I wouldn't worry abt adding prestige. I thought it showed a genuine reply for someone who has fared hardships and odd jobs. As an applicant I can't say it officially but if one day I am an adcom I would certainly relate with that idea entirely and in fact judge the adcom who would waive that notion away.
BUT what I can't relate with is how frankly you state the money aspect. Come on, I have seen engineers and computer ppl making just as much as doctors. Plus having held jobs you'd think that there is just so much money you really need to support you and others. If anything, money is the worst reason to go into medicine. If you are going in medicine for it, it might be best to first look into other careers that are also selective and make up a concrete reason why becoming a physician is the only thing you can imagine becoming. As far as providing for yourself and others, you might not be able to do that for the next decade if you pick medicine.
 
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Med Ed

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Growing up on the lower side of the food chain has not been fun and I'm chasing my degree because it will raise me to a higher caste level.
By definition, you cannot move into a different caste. The one you are born in is the one you will die in. You don't get a shot at moving up until your next incarnation.

You aren't going to get a lot of traction with your story. The simple fact of the matter is that those who chase the pot of power, prestige, and income at the end of the rainbow arrive to find it has morphed into years of debt, exhaustion, and liability. If your compulsion to do medicine does not transcend the illusory, worldly aspects of it, you will spend the rest of your professional life miserable.
 

Horse Apiece

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Yeah nothing more prestigious than getting yelled at for not giving abx to the people with viral infections, performing rectal exams, or being a glorified social worker for quite a few cases a day. The word I would use is admirable, but yeah the day to day really falls short of your envisioned "life in the day of a doc."
 
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Dagrimsta1

Dagrimsta1

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I wouldn't worry abt adding prestige. I thought it showed a genuine reply for someone who has fared hardships and odd jobs. As an applicant I can't say it officially but if one day I am an adcom I would certainly relate with that idea entirely and in fact judge the adcom who would waive that notion away.
BUT what I can't relate with is how frankly you state the money aspect. Come on, I have seen engineers and computer ppl making just as much as doctors. Plus having held jobs you'd think that there is just so much money you really need to support you and others. If anything, money is the worst reason to go into medicine. If you are going in medicine for it, it might be best to first look into other careers that are also selective and make up a concrete reason why becoming a physician is the only thing you can imagine becoming. As far as providing for yourself and others, you might not be able to do that for the next decade if you pick medicine.
It's less about how much I make. I don't know if I poorly worded it but I just want to live comfortably. Growing up we didn't make much so if I have enough to support my family, and a little for myself, I'M HAPPY. I'm not going into this career for millions.

By definition, you cannot move into a different caste. The one you are born in is the one you will die in. You don't get a shot at moving up until your next incarnation.
You aren't going to get a lot of traction with your story. The simple fact of the matter is that those who chase the pot of power, prestige, and income at the end of the rainbow arrive to find it has morphed into years of debt, exhaustion, and liability. If your compulsion to do medicine does not transcend the illusory, worldly aspects of it, you will spend the rest of your professional life miserable.
Medicine is sort of my reincarnation. It's a way for me to start anew, move to a different state, live on my own, be an adult. Sort of a different life in my opinion. I wasn't being literal I guess.
I am truly drawn to the lifestyle of a physician. I love that it's extremely busy, time consuming and stressful. I'm the type of individual who progresses under it. I've worked in a PCP's office for about a year now. We are understaffed, overworked, and yelled at constantly by patients but there are good moments as well. I never leave work disappointed because I know I spent my time productively and someone is better of because of my work. I am a doctor? No. Can I even fathom what the real thing is like? Maybe. I can't wait for the long hours and difficult times because those are the ones who shape who we are.
Not trying to sound philosophical or naive but thats my opinion.
What do you think of my personal statement so far thread ---------------------------------------------->
I already applied and this isn't my personal statement unfortunately. Filling out secondaries and going through some deep thoughts... (should have been my PS Tho)
 
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Dagrimsta1

Dagrimsta1

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Your background story is touching, but your reasons for pursuing a career in medicine seem off to me. There are a million easier (and faster) ways to make lots of money and to earn prestige.
I like this path. I love science and rational thinking and the human body if you think about it crazy as F. I like learning about this stuff.
 

Goro

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I'd reject you outright if I saw it in your essays. This is actually one of the baselines for being a doctor. What else do you got?

Find another career...you'll be miserable as a doctor.

For the amount of training you have to endure, and the debt that accrues, you can do far better in banking, finance, DDS, podiatry or even teaching. Imagine getting a guaranteed for life job after only 2-3 years on the job!

Powerful? Doctors? You obviously have never worked for an HMO. Have you even shadowed? That laughter you hear off in the background is from all the people in the resident's lounge


So I come from a poor immigrant family. Growing up in a major city has been difficult but we have managed. We have been through eviction, bankruptcy, and police harassment. I have been employed since I was 15 and have probably been through more than alot of people by the age of 21.
One main reason I want to become a doctor is because of the prestige. Growing up on the lower side of the food chain has not been fun and I'm chasing my degree because it will raise me to a higher caste level. I'm being completely honest. While this isn't the only reason, it is definitely a big one. Yea helping people is all dandy and nice but let's be real, you can help people in a lot of professions, but at the end of the day, doctors get paid the best for it (or one of the best at least). I truly believe that we are all chasing the same things. As a doctor you have job security (for the most part). There is a certain level of power and prestige (again for the most part). Best of all I can provide for my family who provided for me. The reason I want to be a physician specifically is because I believe that they are the most highly trained, selected for, and powerful (when compared to Nurses and whatnot). A not so traditional answer from a not so traditional applicant. I wonder if I can answer my secondary with this response? @Goro what do you think?
 
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Dagrimsta1

Dagrimsta1

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I'd reject you outright if I saw it in your essays. This is actually one of the baselines for being a doctor. What else do you got?

Find another career...you'll be miserable as a doctor.

For the amount of training you have to endure, and the debt that accrues, you can do far better in banking, finance, DDS, podiatry or even teaching. Imagine getting a guaranteed for life job after only 2-3 years on the job!

Powerful? Doctors? You obviously have never worked for an HMO. Have you even shadowed? That laughter you hear off in the background is from all the people in the resident's lounge
I have never worked for an HMO, so IDK what goes down over there. Where I work, I'm am constantly bombarded with insurance forms from pre certifications to audits and so on. I understand the limitations that being a physician has. Residents have it worst than most I understand but that's the ritual to becoming a doctor. It's hard work, there's no way around it. Wanna be a doctor? Work your ass off. People trust them with their lives for christs sake, I would want to make sure they can handle the pressure. I have shadowed whats your point?

There are obv. more reasons why I want to become a doctor, e.g. I love science, I genuinely enjoy helping people, I feel safe in hospitals (it's weird).

For me anyway the top of the food chain are doctors. You are taught to save lives. Forget about all of the limitations for a second and really think about your trade. You have the training and expertise like no one else in the world. A banker cant do jack, DDS focus on the mouth (I rather learn about everything), podiatry same thing as DDS.
Teaching is the only other option which crossed my mind but I could and rather teach as a doctor. Teach residents, medical students, patients etc. It really combines all of my most valuable interests which is why I pursue it.

@Goro I can't imagine anyone wanting to pursue this field more than myself. What I wrote is the honest truth and I know it's to risky to put in secondaries or even my PS which is why I probably won't. Or should I?
 
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Sardinia

Safe to say, none of this is going on my secondaries.
In your defense, a majority of people come across as being naive when it comes to understanding how medicine plays out in practice. However, using outside reasons to justify a passion inside of medicine is analogous to throwing a salt into a wound. I'm ashamed of all the healthcare experience I collected for a span of five to six years before choosing a viable career outside of the health career field. I'm not criticizing you without bearing any shame myself. I actually get pretty upset at how long I worked sub-payout jobs (overnights, two jobs at the same time, living with two college roommates who were 4 years younger than me) because I couldn't let go of medicine. Maybe I get the itch to log in because I still want to find an excuse to exercise my medical feng shui.

If you want any feedback on shaping your healthcare narrative feel free to PM me. I'm not an ADCOM or a Med Student, but I can point out simple things here and there which may or may not be beneficial for you.
 
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Lost in Translation

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I have never worked for an HMO, so IDK what goes down over there. Where I work, I'm am constantly bombarded with insurance forms from pre certifications to audits and so on. I understand the limitations that being a physician has. Residents have it worst than most I understand but that's the ritual to becoming a doctor. It's hard work, there's no way around it. Wanna be a doctor? Work your ass off. People trust them with their lives for christs sake, I would want to make sure they can handle the pressure. I have shadowed whats your point?

There are obv. more reasons why I want to become a doctor, e.g. I love science, I genuinely enjoy helping people, I feel safe in hospitals (it's weird).

For me anyway the top of the food chain are doctors. You are taught to save lives. Forget about all of the limitations for a second and really think about your trade. You have the training and expertise like no one else in the world. A banker cant do jack, DDS focus on the mouth (I rather learn about everything), podiatry same thing as DDS.
Teaching is the only other option which crossed my mind but I could and rather teach as a doctor. Teach residents, medical students, patients etc. It really combines all of my most valuable interests which is why I pursue it.

@Goro I can't imagine anyone wanting to pursue this field more than myself. What I wrote is the honest truth and I know it's to risky to put in secondaries or even my PS which is why I probably won't. Or should I?
You clearly don't have any idea what it's like to be a doctor. You should really listen to everyone's advice here and shadow. And shadow a lot. If you think medicine is about prestige, it's not (anymore). Be prepared to work your ass off for minimal returns by way of monetary compensation or even public respect. Sure, as soon as people find out you're an "MD", they'll start sucking up or treating you differently. But in the hospital, where you have any sort of influence, you're just another chunk in the meat grinder.
 
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Dagrimsta1

Dagrimsta1

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You clearly don't have any idea what it's like to be a doctor. You should really listen to everyone's advice here and shadow. And shadow a lot. If you think medicine is about prestige, it's not (anymore). Be prepared to work your ass off for minimal returns by way of monetary compensation or even public respect. Sure, as soon as people find out you're an "MD", they'll start sucking up or treating you differently. But in the hospital, where you have any sort of influence, you're just another chunk in the meat grinder.
Interesting, I'm gonna start shadowing soon but i dont think i'm gonna be turned off from medicine anytime soon. Need much more than people telling me its hard and not what I expect. I guess I don't care too much about prestige anymore.
 

The_Bird

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Interesting, I'm gonna start shadowing soon but i dont think i'm gonna be turned off from medicine anytime soon. Need much more than people telling me its hard and not what I expect. I guess I don't care too much about prestige anymore.
Uhm, like a few hours after placing prestige fairly high on your list of priorities?

A big part of being a successful medical school applicant is being consistent in your story. Be honest with yourself. Otherwise the picture you're painting for admissions is going to be very bleary.
 
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DingoPingo

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going to school for prestige is fine

but you have so much more potential than to do something you don't really want to do
 
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Dagrimsta1

Dagrimsta1

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going to school for prestige is fine

but you have so much more potential than to do something you don't really want to do
Luckily this is exactly what I want to do, despite what others think.
 

Med Ed

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Medicine is sort of my reincarnation. It's a way for me to start anew, move to a different state, live on my own, be an adult. Sort of a different life in my opinion. I wasn't being literal I guess. I am truly drawn to the lifestyle of a physician. I love that it's extremely busy, time consuming and stressful. I'm the type of individual who progresses under it. I've worked in a PCP's office for about a year now. We are understaffed, overworked, and yelled at constantly by patients but there are good moments as well. I never leave work disappointed because I know I spent my time productively and someone is better of because of my work. I am a doctor? No. Can I even fathom what the real thing is like? Maybe. I can't wait for the long hours and difficult times because those are the ones who shape who we are. Not trying to sound philosophical or naive but thats my opinion.
You're all over the place in this thread. I think you need a few more years in the oven.
 

DingoPingo

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Finally a vote of support.
Unfortunately, I still don't suggest writing your secondary with the focus on financial reasons and entitlement.

Power and prestige are valuable things, as long as you are using them for the right reasons. If you can spin that in a way to demonstrate your humanity and compassion and your desire to help others through power and prestige, then go for it.
 

Lost In Transcription

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Finally a vote of support.
No one is not supporting you in general. Just not supporting your current understanding of medicine or your pursuit of it currently.

Remember, it's because they have wise perspective, not because they are trying to be meanies.
 

Kurk

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How dare you say you want power and prestige! Don't you know humans are all born completely altruistic to the point where we love being exploited and taken advantage of? That's why you should go into to medicine. Let's all continue to keep acting like what we're not. I'm sure it will benefit humanity in the future.
 
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DingoPingo

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How dare you say you want power and prestige! Don't you know humans are all born completely altruistic to the point where we love being exploited and taken advantage of? That's why you should go into to medicine. Let's all continue to keep acting like what we're not. I'm sure it will benefit humanity in the future.
dang that squidward avatar fits you well
 

Lost in Translation

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How dare you say you want power and prestige! Don't you know humans are all born completely altruistic to the point where we love being exploited and taken advantage of? That's why you should go into to medicine. Let's all continue to keep acting like what we're not. I'm sure it will benefit humanity in the future.
1/10 troll but I'll take the bait because I've got nothing better to do.

Of course one of the reasons many of us go into this field is for that respect that the "MD" commands. But that reason shouldn't be anywhere in your top 5, maybe not even in the top 10, much less at #1 as this OP opened with.
 
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wizzed101

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To play the devil's advocate here, can you name 5 reasons? Let's first toss out prestige, power, money, chicks/roosters.

I have: love of the science, like to help people and ??????
 
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Dagrimsta1

Dagrimsta1

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1/10 troll but I'll take the bait because I've got nothing better to do.

Of course one of the reasons many of us go into this field is for that respect that the "MD" commands. But that reason shouldn't be anywhere in your top 5, maybe not even in the top 10, much less at #1 as this OP opened with.
In my culture becoming a doctor is seen as a extremely high honor. Being able to complete the rigorous training is highly respected and that's where the "prestige" stems from.

No one is not supporting you in general. Just not supporting your current understanding of medicine or your pursuit of it currently.

Remember, it's because they have wise perspective, not because they are trying to be meanies.
I highly respect the opinions of everyone who posts but I take it all with a grain of salt. Some people just like shooting others ideas and ideals down.
 

Gryffindor20

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To play the devil's advocate here, can you name 5 reasons? Let's first toss out prestige, power, money, chicks/roosters.

I have: love of the science, like to help people and ??????
I have: interest in science, love of helping people, desire to give people clarity in difficult situations, passion for problem solving, and satisfaction of repairing things and improving quality of life.
 
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In my culture becoming a doctor is seen as a extremely high honor. Being able to complete the rigorous training is highly respected and that's where the "prestige" stems from.



I highly respect the opinions of everyone who posts but I take it all with a grain of salt. Some people just like shooting others ideas and ideals down.
I am just confused as to what your motivation was for this thread. You asked for advice whether or not you should mention prestige as a primary motivation for pursuing medicine. Then, you refuse to consider the advice/ insight provided. It is as if you just wanted confirmation instead of honest feedback.

If you are skeptical of anonymous SDN users, here are the words of Dr. Capers, an admissions dean at Ohio State: "When you close your eyes and imagine yourself in a long white coat, what aspect of being a physician leaves you feeling good inside? Is it the fulfillment of a deep desire to help your fellow man by curing, treating and preventing illness? Is it the high esteem in which doctors are held, or imagining how proud your family will be? Is it the lucrative pay? Although the years in medical school and residency training can be exhilarating and filled with incredible, life-affirming encounters, these years can also be quite arduous and exhausting. You are making a commitment to years of sacrifice and service; be sure that your motivation will sustain you on this journey."

I believe it is implicit in the passage that he is skeptical of the motivation behind some of the applications he reads (after-all, the passage is found in the re-applicant section of the website). Perhaps users here are being a little less poetic than Dr. Capers, but nonetheless, they are begging you to consider if your motivation is robust enough without having extensive exposure to "a day in the life". That is for you to convince yourself, not us.
 
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Dagrimsta1

Dagrimsta1

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I am just confused as to what your motivation was for this thread. You asked for advice whether or not you should mention prestige as a primary motivation for pursuing medicine. Then, you refuse to consider the advice/ insight provided. It is as if you just wanted confirmation instead of honest feedback.

If you are skeptical of anonymous SDN users, here are the words of Dr. Capers, an admissions dean at Ohio State: "When you close your eyes and imagine yourself in a long white coat, what aspect of being a physician leaves you feeling good inside? Is it the fulfillment of a deep desire to help your fellow man by curing, treating and preventing illness? Is it the high esteem in which doctors are held, or imagining how proud your family will be? Is it the lucrative pay? Although the years in medical school and residency training can be exhilarating and filled with incredible, life-affirming encounters, these years can also be quite arduous and exhausting. You are making a commitment to years of sacrifice and service; be sure that your motivation will sustain you on this journey."

I believe it is implicit in the passage that he is skeptical of the motivation behind some of the applications he reads (after-all, the passage is found in the re-applicant section of the website). Perhaps users here are being a little less poetic than Dr. Capers, but nonetheless, they are begging you to consider if your motivation is robust enough without having extensive exposure to "a day in the life". That is for you to convince yourself, not us.
Not at all, you guys convinced me not to include this in my secondaries. Solid advice. I'm happy I received it.

As for my motivation, I'm not worried. It's not easy for me to just explicitly list the reasons why I am attracted to medicine. It's a bunch of personal reasons that drives me. Am I sure it will sustain me through this journey? Who the hell knows? As much research that I can do about rotations, residency, the boards, etc. nothing is like the real thing. No one knows if they're going to succeed, that's why medical school is a risk. A 250k+ 4year+ life altering risk. There's a saying in my native language "Those who don't take risks, don't drink champagne."
 

Med Ed

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There's a saying in my native language "Those who don't take risks, don't drink champagne."
They clearly have never met a trust fund baby.

There is a saying in my native language: "That which does not kill me may sever my spinal cord, crush my rib cage, cave in my skull and leave me helpless and paralyzed, soaking in a puddle of my own waste."
 

Kgizzle

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They clearly have never met a trust fund baby.

There is a saying in my native language: "That which does not kill me may sever my spinal cord, crush my rib cage, cave in my skull and leave me helpless and paralyzed, soaking in a puddle of my own waste."
Oh I thought I was the only person from Truthhurtskistan on SDN
 
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The problem with writing about prestige on an application is that most people who read your app have a lot of experience with being an MD or at least surrounded by them. Why is this a problem? Because they know just how unprestigious being a doctor actually is. Anybody who joins the profession for "prestige" is a flight risk.
 

Goro

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Yup. As I said, prestige would be the baseline, along with the promise of a nice salary.

Medicine is a service job, so one had better like serving people.

1/10 troll but I'll take the bait because I've got nothing better to do.

Of course one of the reasons many of us go into this field is for that respect that the "MD" commands. But that reason shouldn't be anywhere in your top 5, maybe not even in the top 10, much less at #1 as this OP opened with.
 
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For a second, I thought this was your application essay for med school lol
 
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Dagrimsta1

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Things I've learned so far.

Being a doctor is NOT prestigious.
Kissing ass is a way of life.
Drug dealing is probably more lucrative than medicine.
Tough love is a method of teaching that is highly utilized.
There is such a thing as being too honest.
You probably have enough experience when you DON'T want to enter the medical field anymore.
A Monk will probably make a good doctor. (This one is a joke.)
 
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Crayola227

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Things I've learned so far.

Being a doctor is NOT prestigious.
Kissing ass is a way of life.
Drug dealing is probably more lucrative than medicine.
Tough love is a method of teaching that is highly utilized.
There is such a thing as being too honest.
You probably have enough experience when you DON'T want to enter the medical field anymore.
A Monk will probably make a good doctor. (This one is a joke.)
Excellent. You basically summed it up. Now you're getting it!
 

leagueofDravenMD

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Reading Dagrimsta1’s first few posts were just as humorous to me as it was to the rest of you, but before I started reading on SDN and learning more about the application process, my answers for why medicine were at heart very similar. I learned to craft real answers using relevant shadowing/clinical volunteering experiences, but things like job security, decent income, and overall respect are still big winners.

Putting myself in Dagrimasta1’s shoes and hearing some of the criticisms from distinguished SDNers was a little disheartening. Everyone is trashing the profession talking about poor compensation, minimal prestige, lack of power, etc. Medicine was even referred to as glorified social work on this thread.

@Med Ed @Goro @Lost In Transcription @Lost in Translation what reasons did you get into medicine for? Or do you all regret it at this point? And if by chance your answer in essence summarizes to the often frowned upon short answer of “wanting to help people”, then why can’t applicants answer similarly?

It seems that the only thing that should be relevant to ADCOMS for "why medicine" besides a general desire to help people, is the ability of applicants to endure, as you have endured, the debt accrual, years of rigorous training, and career dedication to service work. Something I have not liked about the admissions process is how much emphasis there is on having a unique path and detailed story into medicine.