Raerfani10

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Hey guys, why do you all become a doctor? Currently, I have no profound reason to become a doctor, other than pure interest and financial security(arguable, I know.). Is this a valid reason for a freshman, and, through the course of my undergraduate career, will a better motive emerge? Do you all feel that this is an adequate reason for becoming a doctor? Thanks in advance...
 

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how about I give you a million dollars a year to eat my feces.

is this a good reason to eat my feces? unless you really enjoy eating my feces day in and day out, then your answer is no.
 
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Raerfani10

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how about I give you a million dollars a year to eat my feces.

is this a good reason to eat my feces? unless you really enjoy eating my feces day in and day out, then your answer is no.

Could you elaborate on this analogy? Is this what it is like as a doctor?
 

Trance Ninja

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what Im saying is that no matter how much you get payed, it is important that you love what you do for a living, since you will be doing it almost every day.
 

NickRiviera

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Freshman, perfect time to start thinking. Write down an essay for yourself on why you want to honestly be a doctor. Do a bunch of ECs and run down the pre-med path. In a couple years, write the essay again and compare.

Really though, some people don't have great reasons and they get in like anyone else. It's good that you're thinking about it now as opposed to when you're in med school.
 

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There are so many easier ways to make $$$! It's crazy to go to med school for this reason.
 

Trance Ninja

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Could you elaborate on this analogy? Is this what it is like as a doctor?

and your question "Is this what it is like as a doctor?"- if you don't know yet, then you might want to get some experience.

I see youve already volunteered, maybe shadow a doctor. that is how you will know what its like. hope that helps:thumbup:
 

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Could you elaborate on this analogy? Is this what it is like as a doctor?

The best reason to become a physician is because you want to practice medicine. You need to explore, by shadowing, or through clinical exposure whether this is the case. Because if it isn't, then you would be better off doing something else. It's a difficult road wrought with many challenges. If you don't have the heart for it, you might end up bitter, unhappy, and with debt up to your eyeballs.
 

Auron

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Could you elaborate on this analogy? Is this what it is like as a doctor?

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

The primary reason you want to go into medicine should be because you want to practice medicine. There are other jobs out there that will pay more with far less training (though physician salaries are preety much at the top).
Think of money etc as secondary - otherwise you'll find it hard to pull through med school and residency etc.

Money is definitely important though, we have to support our familes despite our love of helping people.
 
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johnnydrama

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If you want $$$, become an i-banker. You will make more money in less time, probably earning a million dollars or more in the time it would take your colleagues to get through med school + residency.
 

kayteebeehive

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how about I give you a million dollars a year to eat my feces.

is this a good reason to eat my feces? unless you really enjoy eating my feces day in and day out, then your answer is no.

mmmm feces, breakfast of champions:smuggrin:
 

gotmeds?

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Money is not a good reason to go into medicine. I don't just mean morally -- I mean there are are flat-out easier ways if you just want to get rich. Like what, you ask? Well, let's see, I have a friend who's going to law school. That's only 3 years instead of 4 for MD. The thing is, she's got a job waiting for her after she finishes that will pay her about as much as I will make as a doctor (9 years from now). Of course, by the time I'm making MD money, she will have gotten promoted once or twice and will be making even more. So to answer your question, even by your own standards, it's a lousy reason.
 

byong_soo

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how about I give you a million dollars a year to eat my feces.

is this a good reason to eat my feces? unless you really enjoy eating my feces day in and day out, then your answer is no.

you need to chill out

OP, financial stability is perfectly reasonable. Of course, it can't be your primary reason because there are many other jobs that can get you more money. And by its nature, practicing medicine shouldn't be driven by financial motives anyway.
To me, being a doctor is most fulfilling and most satisfying. I do hope to make a lot of money and live comfortably. But at the same time, I hope I can help others with what I make. I am Korean, and I really care about people who are starving to death in North Korea. I mean 5% of population(of my own blood) died in the 90s just from starvation. Without my personal success, I can't help those people. Financial stability definitely helps you to achieve something greater beyond your career. If you have a nobel reason for wanting to make a lot of money, you can definitely bring it upto your interviewer. I definitely have before and got very good responses from my interviewers.
 

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I am wary of judging other peoples' reasons for wanting to become MD's.

All I am going to say is that the money as an MD won't start "rolling in" until 7-8 years you start med school. Add your undergrad years, and you'll be 30 before you make any real money.

Make sure you're willing to wait 12 years before the money starts coming in.
 

Hurricane95

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hmm...I'm confused...if it really is THAT easy to make millions as an i-banker...then why the hell aren't more people going down that road? All of a sudden, it seems that there are tons of easy careers that make ten times the money doctors make.

And for the record, not all attorneys make it big. LOTS of attorneys don't fare that well. I know several who peaked at around $70k after about 10 years practicing. I know, it's not poor, but my point is that lawyers are not all millionaires.
 

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I think everyone has made very good points... I think what you have to realize first is that no matter what field you want to go into to make big money you are going to have to work really hard and be good at what you do... lawyers will make good money coming out at the top of their class or out of a great school... i banking you will also have the chance to make a lot of money but you also have to realize that both of these professions work really really hard... my cousin is a lawyer making very good money coming out of a great law school but he works crazy hours or he did when he first came out of school.... the difference is that coming out of med school you wont make crazy money and will be working even crazier hours.... so what you have to realize is that you will be doing this every working day of your entire career and you want to enjoy what you're doing for whatever reasons it may be but just note that if it's mainly for money the road to making it is a doctor is much longer much more difficult than some other fields.... I think that you are a freshman and you have many years of experience ahead of you... as a freshman I "knew" I wanted to be a doctor but the true reasons for why I want to be a doctor now have been formed based on my experiences over the past three years and I think you have to start out on the premed track academically and more importantly with extracurriculars because that is the only way you will see how the actual field of medicine is practiced... shadow doctors, go on medical relief trips, do research, join your school's premedical society... however you want to be exposed there are options for you, but you want to make sure you gain this exposure because the last thing you want is to be a 3rd year medical student finally seeing what clinical medicine is like and not wanting to do it (and trust me I've heard and know people it has happened to)... but just know that I think you have the opportunity to find out whether you like what I believe to be the most noble and rewarding profession possible and if you discover your true desire to enter the field nothing will stop you no matter how hard it gets along the way
 

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I have the same problem, I'm going to be a freshman in college after summer. I've wanted to be a doctor for a while and it's the only thing I am interested in. I find it all fascinating, especially surgery, but I don't know any better reasons to show why I want to be a doctor. I'm hoping that when I shadow and volunteer I will be able to come up with better reasons.
 

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If financial security and cash are what you want, there are easier ways to make decent money while still having the chance to make a physicians salary or more.

As a more realistic alternative to the classic i-banker argument; I present Civil Engineering.

You finish four years of undergrad alongside your pre-med peers. They start shelling out $20k to 40k a year for Med School, you start making $40k to 60k a as an EIT. You take some night classes (most likely footed by your employer) and work toward a Masters.

Four years later: Your Med School peers are graduating and entering residencies making what you made four years ago. You've finished your MS, have four years of experience and get your PE Licensure.

While the med school people finish up Residency, you finish up an evening MBA program.

Your peers in Medicine are finally becoming BE/BC and begining to recieve their six figure salaries and get rid of their debt.

You now have a Master's in Engineering, an MBA, and are a licensed PE. You have the income you made for the passed 8 years, plenty of job experience, and a solid salary. Get more into the management of a firm and you can reach the salary Doctor's make.

Neither of these jobs is likely to be exported or experience a job market saturation.

Now this isn't a everyone should bea Civil Engineer argument. I chose CE, because it's one of the first things to pop in my head. I'm just trying to say, people with the drive to make it into med school have numerous other avenues open to them to make a decent, reliable living and many of these other paths offer some combination of a more comfortable ride there and/or the oppurtunity to make more money than a physician...
 
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Mayday

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I really wish that "because I want to" was considered a valid reason :laugh:

I know what my answer is, but I have yet to figure out how to put it into words.
 

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I think there should be a basic desire to help people, and I think you need to have a true interest in science. Without those two things you will hate your life and you won't succeed at anything. However, you can't completely forget about money. Although most people in the pre-allo forum don't know it yet (you lose most of your idealism during your first year and it keeps diminishing during every test cycle), money is a very, very important factor in this equation. That's one of the reason doctors make very good money. It takes a lot of reimbursement to get people to work as hard as med students/residents/physicians are required to work. Just look at how many people are willing to become FPs. To many students the pay for an FP, while still well over $100,000, might not be worth the hastle and hours you'll work in practice.

These comments about there being easy ways to make money are bogus. If there were an easy way then everyone would be doing it. There are very, very, very few I-bankers. Most lawyers won't make what physicians make, and the ones that do are either the scum of the earth (mass tort lawyers like John Edwards...of which there ar every few) or >10 years into their career. There are A LOT of lawyers out there making resident salaries due to the overabundance of law schools, so unless you graduate from a top law school you're going to have a tough go at it. MBAs are the same way. There are now so many MBA programs out there you have to graduate from a top 20 program just to have a chance at starting out in the six figure range.

If you can make it through 4 years of med school and 3-7 years of residency (which is very tough, but most do it) then you're set. As far as average salaries, give me a surgeon over a lawyer or MBA any day. The job stability and options of a physician are unparalleled, and they will earn a salary that easily ranks them in the top 2% or 3% of all workers.
 

OB1

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I can't believe I'm reading all this non-sense about workers' salaries. Have you all forgotten about the money professional athletes and famous entertainers make?? That's where the money is if that's what you're after. Sure you might say those folks belong to a unique breed, but they all have one thing in common with doctors and that is perseverance. The difference, however, is this: for the same amount of perseverance it would otherwise take to finish med school you could probably be more than the accomplished whatever it is you decide to go into. If music is what you choose, you would only need a hit single to make it big and be set for life (given you don't spend it all in one place and invest the proceeds wisely). If you make it as a professional athlete, just one season's worth of pay is more than what most so-called "workers" make in their lifetimes. If you choose acting, well, the sky's the limit; the cast of hit show "Friends" were paid something like $1million each, per episode towards the later part of their run. You can also go into politics, start a business, or own a franchise. The key in all this is doing what you enjoy because although you may not have to eat feces as a physician, you will more than likely conduct physical exams that entail probing every known orifice in the body--including the anus.
 

IceMan0824

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Love the signature quote Panda Bear. :thumbup:
 

sirus_virus

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Hey guys, why do you all become a doctor? Currently, I have no profound reason to become a doctor, other than pure interest and financial security(arguable, I know.). Is this a valid reason for a freshman, and, through the course of my undergraduate career, will a better motive emerge? Do you all feel that this is an adequate reason for becoming a doctor? Thanks in advance...

Good thing you said arguable, since there are ten threads hightlighting the financial insecurity in medicine.
 

Raerfani10

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Thank you all for your responses - though I did find some more enlightening than others, *cough* panda bear *cough*.
 

gsmithers68

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I want to go into medicine because my daddy was a doctor and his daddy and his daddy... all the way back to cavemen!

Ok, but seriously. I would recommend keeping an open mind. Saying you want to be a physician is a HUGE commitment. Take some time exploring the field. Shadow a physician, look into research (both clinical and basic), read some books, volunteer at a clinic. There is a lot to being a physician that people don't realize besides just 'helping people' and don't take those details for granted. I think when you get asked why you want to go into medicine in an interview it will your response much more grounded and stronger if you are aware of these things.

The best thing you can do for yourself though is keep an open mind. Enjoy being an undergrad and messing around for a term or two... get good grades mind you... but do find time to go out and make bad decisions (well that don't put you in jail or in the drunk tank). This is quite necessary if you are going to devote another eight years of school and avoid burn out IMHO.
 
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I think if you are only looking for a wealthy and secure profession, without much interest in medicine or science, you're only going to make yourself miserable.

Sure, doctors get paid a lot of money, but it's completely commiserate with the amount of work they (and hopefully we'll) put in. The doctors I've shadowed have told me it's not uncommon to work 60-80 hours weeks, not including the multitude of other responsibilities you have to the community (attending confererences, writing journal articles, etc).

If you're just looking for an easy lifestyle, I'd say go pharmacy. 40 hour weeks, starting salaries are at 80K-90K. I went down that path, and it's much much easier both applying and working (I got into both UCSF and UCSD pharm schools but struggling with getting into any med schools right now... much less top ones). The only thing that made me turn to medicine is an honest interest in medicine and helping patients, though I know it's going to be much more difficult both now and later.
 

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I don't think having money/ financial stability is necessarily a bad reason for becoming a doctor. Yet I still think that you should also have some strong passion and motivation for the field that you are doing.

Regarding people talking about i-banking, and sports stars, musicians, etc. there is one key point that they are all forgetting. The lowest paid doctor probably earns much better than the lowest paid musician, actor, i-banker etc. With an MD at least you are guarenteed a base salary greater than $60,000. Most other careers in the world don't offer that luxury.

Much else when the economy falls, and stock market crashes, I-bankers won't even be employeed. Luckily people with MD's will always be needed regardless of the economy.

Thats just my .02 cents. Whether you agree or disagree is up to you.
 

OB1

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I don't think having money/ financial stability is necessarily a bad reason for becoming a doctor. Yet I still think that you should also have some strong passion and motivation for the field that you are doing.

Regarding people talking about i-banking, and sports stars, musicians, etc. there is one key point that they are all forgetting. The lowest paid doctor probably earns much better than the lowest paid musician, actor, i-banker etc. With an MD at least you are guarenteed a base salary greater than $60,000. Most other careers in the world don't offer that luxury...

True, but unlike the least-paid doctor the least-paid musician, actor, i-banker, etc. didn't have to spend some 8+ years of schooling just to get to where they are. So let's say your target is to be making $100k+ a year. There's a multitude of ways to achieve that besides going to medical school. For starters, you could either play golf professionally, be in the NFL, or even be the next Ruben Studdard and not have to work for the next 10 years of your life. In fact, if you place a close second (like Clay Aiken did) you'd still hit it bigger than what most MD's would make in their first year of employment. Now, for the same $100k which would you prefer? Would you rather do something you already like doing and improve upon that, or would you rather try something foreign to you that you may/may not like?

Whatever you decide, remember that you're more likely to keep doing something you enjoy, which will pretty much guarantee you a steady income stream for a very long time. On the other hand, choose something you don't like and you're more apt to quit real soon. If you spent almost a decade going to med school and find out later that you hated your job as a doctor then that would just flat-out suck. Just think of all the other things you could have been doing in that same amount of time!
 

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True, but unlike the least-paid doctor the least-paid musician, actor, i-banker, etc. didn't have to spend some 8+ years of schooling just to get to where they are. So let's say your target is to be making $100k+ a year. There's a multitude of ways to achieve that besides going to medical school. For starters, you could either play golf professionally, be in the NFL, or even be the next Ruben Studdard and not have to work for the next 10 years of your life. In fact, if you place a close second (like Clay Aiken did) you'd still hit it bigger than what most MD's would make in their first year of employment. Now, for the same $100k which would you prefer? Would you rather do something you already like doing and improve upon that, or would you rather try something foreign to you that you may/may not like?

This is crap. There are no other jobs in the US that guarantee you 100,000+ if you graduate from a formal training program. Engineering won't do it, law won't do it, business won't do it. Dentistry and pharm come close, but its still not guaranteed like medicine.

Trying to say that the regular college student has the chance to be a rock star or professional athlete is ridiculous. How many bands do you see playing in local bars, wishing they could sign a record deal? How many guys play softball after work wishing they could be in the majors? There are only a handful of new stars each year, and only a few hundred new pro athletes. There are 30,000 new docs and each will make 100,000. Most will make quite a bit more.
 

Trepp

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how about I give you a million dollars a year to eat my feces.

is this a good reason to eat my feces? unless you really enjoy eating my feces day in and day out, then your answer is no.

This is a bad comparison. You are comparing something that may be hard and some people won't like (being a doctor) with something totally disgusting (eating feces). Something more realistic would be- 12 hours shifts stocking heavy boxes in a dusty 100+ degree warehouse for 100,000 a year. It would suck, but I bet a lot of people would do it.

Another example: I spent 6 years in the Army. It sucked hard and I got out. If it had paid 100k I would have stayed in.
 

searun

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This is crap. There are no other jobs in the US that guarantee you 100,000+ if you graduate from a formal training program. Engineering won't do it, law won't do it, business won't do it. Dentistry and pharm come close, but its still not guaranteed like medicine.

Trying to say that the regular college student has the chance to be a rock star or professional athlete is ridiculous. How many bands do you see playing in local bars, wishing they could sign a record deal? How many guys play softball after work wishing they could be in the majors? There are only a handful of new stars each year, and only a few hundred new pro athletes. There are 30,000 new docs and each will make 100,000. Most will make quite a bit more.

Pharmacy will make 90,000 - 100,000. Top law grads from Ivy schools will make $150,000 and much more soon after being in the job market. The top business grads at investment firms on Wall Street, over a million in 3-5 years if they are good. Medicine is not the road to riches, unless you are a good long term investor who keeps your personal expenses low and knows how to invest in mutual funds. Most docs are pretty ignorant financially.
 

vmc303

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Hey guys, why do you all become a doctor? Currently, I have no profound reason to become a doctor, other than pure interest and financial security(arguable, I know.). Is this a valid reason for a freshman, and, through the course of my undergraduate career, will a better motive emerge? Do you all feel that this is an adequate reason for becoming a doctor? Thanks in advance...

Your reasons are fine. Why does anyone do anything for a living, outside of "pure interest" and "financial security"? Seriously, entering medicine isn't like becoming a monk, in that the reasons for doing it need not transcend any kind of rational consideration of practical concerns. It's a career with its own unique set of plusses and minuses, which may or may not be to your liking, depending on your personality and what you value. In that sense, it's not qualitatively different from law, business, academia, or most other careers that smart, ambitious people tend to gravitate toward. Of course, the good news is that you're a freshman and still have plenty of time to get in volunteering, shadowing, research, etc., so while it's frankly unlikely that a better reason will somehow "emerge" over the years, you'll at least have the time and background to cook one up for interview and essay purposes.
 

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how about I give you a million dollars a year to eat my feces.

is this a good reason to eat my feces? unless you really enjoy eating my feces day in and day out, then your answer is no.

ouuuuuuuuuch!!!!!!! THE CHAMP IS HERE and RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE has not even started!!!

DAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMNNNN!!!! YOU GOT KNOCKED THE FCK OUT!!!:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 

dutchman

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Hey guys, why do you all become a doctor? Currently, I have no profound reason to become a doctor, other than pure interest and financial security(arguable, I know.). Is this a valid reason for a freshman, and, through the course of my undergraduate career, will a better motive emerge? Do you all feel that this is an adequate reason for becoming a doctor? Thanks in advance...

You might just be the first normal premed I to post on this board. Everyone else seems to have drifted to "lala land".
 

Trepp

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Pharmacy will make 90,000 - 100,000. Top law grads from Ivy schools will make $150,000 and much more soon after being in the job market. The top business grads at investment firms on Wall Street, over a million in 3-5 years if they are good. Medicine is not the road to riches, unless you are a good long term investor who keeps your personal expenses low and knows how to invest in mutual funds. Most docs are pretty ignorant financially.

Sure, "top law grads from Ivy schools" make $150,000. The rest make way less. The same for top business grads at investment firms. The very top will make lots, but the average will not. The bottom doc form his state school will make 100k+. (I did mention that pharm was pretty close) I'm not arguing that its the road to riches, but it is a road to a dependably large salary.

I do agree that most physicians are pretty ignorant financially.
 

Trepp

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Great, now you've invited all the ****** bio-majors to chime in with, "But I reeeeeaaaaalllly want to help people!!!!!"

"Help people". Just once I'd like a premed to explain to me what the f*ck they think that means, and what the f*ck they think that has to do with the practice of medicine.

I once helped an old lady across the street.
 

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Hey guys, why do you all become a doctor? Currently, I have no profound reason to become a doctor, other than pure interest and financial security(arguable, I know.). Is this a valid reason for a freshman, and, through the course of my undergraduate career, will a better motive emerge? Do you all feel that this is an adequate reason for becoming a doctor? Thanks in advance...

Do good in your classes, volunteer, and have fun. Thinking about answers to this question in your freshman year is ******ed.
 

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If you're just looking for an easy lifestyle, I'd say go pharmacy. 40 hour weeks, starting salaries are at 80K-90K. I went down that path, and it's much much easier both applying and working (I got into both UCSF and UCSD pharm schools but struggling with getting into any med schools right now... much less top ones).

Dentistry is also right up there in both income and lifestyle (probably higher on the income ladder than pharmacy and several type of docs).
 

Trepp

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Then she got hit by a car, and all I could think to myself was, "If only I was a doctor, then I could save her!"

And that, Mr. and Mrs. Adcom, is the reason that I want to go to medical school.

Accepted! We will see you in the fall. :thumbup:
 

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how about I give you a million dollars a year to eat my feces.

is this a good reason to eat my feces? unless you really enjoy eating my feces day in and day out, then your answer is no.

[Cartman voice] God, I hate you guys so much [/voice]

God forbid anyone take a job for a good salary and security. Don't be pissed because your med school spot was taken by someone that YOU don't think is worthy.
 
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