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Why Medicine?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by millersvillemed, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. millersvillemed

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    So what is everyones reason or motivation behind entering into medicine? I'm a sophomore undergrad, and honestly I don't think I could give a reasonable answer to that. And yes, I realize that could be a formidable problem down the line. However, at the same time, I am questioning if this is really the road I want to go down.


    Obviously the medical career is full of sacrifices, which I am prepared to make. What I don't know if I'm prepared for is picking one single career right now, and only working towards that.

    Knowing what motivated others may reinvigorate my interest, or may show me that this is not what I actually want to do. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  3. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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  4. jake3787

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    It used to be money and because I deeply enjoyed the subject matter alot. But now, I'm second questioning it.
     
  5. chad5871

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    For me, it's because I enjoy the hard science involved and I like the satisfaction I get from helping people. Cliche? Yes. Honest? Yes. Is this the answer I'm going to give in interviews? Yes, but worded in a way that is much more interesting and creative.
     
  6. 135892

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    the cash :cool:
     
  7. gasdf1234567

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    Mostly money and job security...definitely not the answers I will give in my PS and interviews though
     
  8. Ella Shepherd

    Ella Shepherd Screen. Stage. Studio.
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    I really like helping people who are sick or hurt. :p It makes me feel good to know that someone trusts me and depends on me to make him/her feel better. There are many ups and downs to Medicine and I know that I won't be able to save or help cure someone all the time. But the fact that there is a chance I can do something good makes me really want to pursue it. I can't imagine myself not being a doctor in the future. :luck:
     
  9. millersvillemed

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    Awesome, I was all worried about the fact that, for the most part, I hate people. Agreed, money was one of my biggest motivators, but as I go on, I really do enjoy the science, and think I will enjoy the practice.
     
  10. Bacchus

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    Hold the phone. Your first and second years will be involved with patients. Third and fourth year are your rotations. For most of those rotations you will have to round or come into contact with the patient population. If you "hate" people then you have some serious thinking you need to do now.
     
  11. bigman225

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    I hope you're planning on going into Pathology or some equally isolated field, because being a primary care provider is tough enough without a predisposition towards hating people.

    Here are some common reasons
    + economics: job security, salary (increasingly poor reason)
    + love of learning: attracted to dynamic career that demands life-long learning
    + fascination with science: desire to not only learn but apply interesting and complex scientific knowledge
    + dedication to service of others, using ones intellect for the greater good
    + desire to work hard for a living

    I'd expect most people choose medicine for a combination of the above reasons in addition to other, more personal ones
     
    #10 bigman225, Jun 5, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  12. SurferDocAli

    SurferDocAli FrenchIndianWarrior
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    I SERIOUSLY suggest volunteering or working in a healthcare environment...oder someting. Find something along those lines so you can get a taste (mmmm goood) of what you may be living full-time one day. I felt like you did.... I even gave up the pursuit. Then I accidentally got a job that put me in a healthcare setting with emergencies. I DIG! I THRIVE ON IT! I suggest you do the same.
     
  13. millersvillemed

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    ha, actually I am planning on going into pathology. Maybe I was a little to hasty saying I "hate" people. I don't hate people, I just would never want to be a family physician. The satisfaction from helping people has never really motivated me, but I do think I would enjoy being to save a persons life.

    And I am volunteering at my local hospital to get a feel for it. I am currently transporting patients, which I won't lie, can be a bit boring. I am hoping to move to a more involved and/or fast paced environment.
     
  14. SaveThisLabRat

    SaveThisLabRat $700 Billion Dollar Woman
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    I think, personally, the greatest thing about pathology is I will get to help people - I'll be able to speak for the dead to teach/heal/aide the living. Whether I'm working in academia or criminal aspects (I'm hoping to go into forensics), or in a hospital lab, I will have my place saving lives among ER doctors and family physicians.

    I actually like people a lot.
     
  15. Maxwell Edison

    Maxwell Edison Majoring In Medicine
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    I honestly can't understand the concept of hating people. Are they/we really so intolerable? I'm not going to lecture or bitch, since many physicians treat patients along the "hammer and nail" lines. I'm just amazed whenever I hear people say that they find +6bn individuals annoying.

    Personally, I'm not seeking employment, I want a meaningful life. I think the reasons why medicine follows from that are abundantly clear. And why not social work? I'm fascinated by science.
     
  16. Twiigg

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    Ya know, I think it's quite easy to hate "people" and still go into medicine and do just fine with your patients. I mean, I find most people bothersome and annoying and most of the time prefer keeping to myself. I'm the kind of person who is always yelling at someone in my head in public. (i.e., Oh my gosh! Order whatever the hell you want and get out of the way!) But, whenever I am dealing with someone who needs my help such as tutoring, advice, etc. I'm a completely different person. Anyway, I guess I'm just saying there is a difference between hating the masses and then hating absolutely everyone that you come in contact with on a personal basis. Hope that made even a little sense. :laugh:
     
  17. bigman225

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    I'm not saying that it's impossible; I'm saying you'll be miserable if you hate people and go into PC
    And the first type of hate you described isn't hate, its irritation
     
  18. jake3787

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    Pathology is interesting but reading journal articles all day and sitting in a lab all day bores the hell out of me >.<
     
  19. SaveThisLabRat

    SaveThisLabRat $700 Billion Dollar Woman
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    Yeah, but like, forensic pathology is awesome. Granted, it's not for everyone.
     
  20. Maxwell Edison

    Maxwell Edison Majoring In Medicine
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    Not for everyone? I met a forensic pathologist who described the scent of putrefaction as the "sweet smell of job security."
     
  21. TehDoc

    TehDoc What a pain...
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  22. skee lo

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    People who go into medicine for the money disgust me. If you want money, please go into finance. People who go into medicine because they're more concerned with life outside of work make the worst doctors. Are you not creative and talented enough to make money in a field where a high income is not garunteed just because you managed to get out of school with a professional degree? There are more than enough money-driven types sh!tting up the medical profession already. Go into medicine because you love the work and the money will follow. I'm going into medicine because I want it to be my life, not because I want to have an impressive life outside of work.
     
    #21 skee lo, Jun 6, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2008
  23. UVAbme2009

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    -Chance to have personal relationships with those I'm working to help (biggest reason why I ditched BME, I just couldn't see myself in a lab all day working to help people I would likely never meet)
    -Making a difference in a community
    -Being able to help people who have a hard time helping themselves (I'd like to work inner-city, or at the least, a very urban area)
    -I like science/medical knowledge
    -A chance to be creative
    -Job security, and being able to provide for my family

    The money answer is always interesting to me as somebody who came into college with that being the only concern. I wanted to know what career I was good at that could make me the most money. And surprise, surprise. I found out that was not a very good way to choose a major.
     
  24. LilHouse

    LilHouse Failed Premed
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    :)
     
    #23 LilHouse, Jun 6, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  25. Haemulon

    Haemulon Slippery When Wet
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    Reading biochem journals all day? Wow. You really have the love. lol
     
    #24 Haemulon, Jun 6, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2008
  26. Haemulon

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    For what it's worth, when I was graduating undergrad I switched my goals from medicine to grad study in other fields. I just found that there was so much left out there to learn, so much more that was interesting to me outside of the health sciences that I wanted to explore some more before I made any decisions. That choice has led me down a number of paths I had not thought of before, and I learned a lot in the process. Finally, I came full circle and rediscovered medicine with an even greater enthusiam than I had when I started. Basically what I am trying to say is that it is Ok to be unsure. Entering med school straight out of undergrad is not the only option. You can always explore other things first if you want to. Perhaps it will help to being clarity in what you really want?

    My motivation for medicine now is somewhat complex. Some of it stems from a strong academic interest in the subject matter, learning about what makes us tick and what is happening when things go wrong. On a personal level, I have also always felt a great admiration for physicians in their ability to intervene and to comfort those in crisis, even under the most trying of circumstances. However, for me, it is mostly about hope. It is about knowing that one day I will be the one that people come to when at their most vulnerable, when they are sick and scared, and when they are looking for anyone to give them some hope, some answers, some treatment of any kind ... even if it consists of just listening. All the better if I can actually do something concrete to remedy their ailment.

    I can think of no more important area within which to work then in the border between life and death. Between suffering and dignity. When we are at our most ill, our most vulnerable ... everything comes into play. Science and medicine for sure, but also the whole gamault of human emotion, tradjedy and joy, religion and philosophy, family, and hope. On a larger level of scale there are opporunities to be involved with the shaping of community and global health, to educate our patients and bring knowledge to our communities, and to discover more about ourselves as we are exposed to situations far outside of our common experience and emotional comprehension.

    There is a reason why physicians are among the most respected professionals in the world. Despite all of the negative feelings and experiences people may have or express of doctors, they seek out the knowledge and care that they ... we ..... as a community have invested in. That we as a people depend on. There are other professions equally as noble to be sure, and virtually every role in society is important and necessary. But for me, I can think of no other path I would rather follow.
     
  27. MiraCheskis

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    Ive been thinking about this too.

    1: I love medicine (or at least, so far, anatomy). Ever exposure I've had to it makes my brain tingle in a wonderful way. I absolutely _loved_ learning the parts of the brain in my psych classes -- shiiiiiiny!
    2: Intellectual stimulation. Love it. Can't get enough of it.
    3: Desire to _do_ something with my life.
    4: Bees in my bonnet. I admit I feel like some things need to be done a certain way if possible (eww...voluntary c-sections...)
    5: If I go into emergency medicine: adrenaline. Love the stuff. *g*
    6: My own experiences with false diagnoses of bipolar disorder, depression, and ADD/ADHD. Though this is what started me down the psych path, I think it transferrs. I'm fascinated by neurotransmitters.

    ...aaand that's enough for now. Heh.
     
  28. BlackPower2012

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    1. Because if I have to live at home with my mother one more year, I will turn into Norman from the movie "Psycho"..lol.

    2. Because if I have to sit in front of my computer at my job where the AC is cranked up too darn high, I may actually develop a better operating system than both Mac and Vista, become a millionaire than have to pay you guys large sums of money to replace a heart valve.

    3. Because I really want to be able to place a band-aid on my son's arm after he breaks it and say "there, there now, I am a doctor, although your arm is hanging out of its socket, it will heal on its own. Trust me, I know what I am doing...Im a DOCTOR"!

    4. Oh yea, I forgot, to help people. Isnt that why we all go into medicine?
     
  29. millersvillemed

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    wow, if i didnt know any better, i would think that this was me talking. i agree wholeheartedly
     
  30. Character

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    i honestly, cant see myself doing anything else...except write poetry?? being serious here
     
  31. LilHouse

    LilHouse Failed Premed
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    :)
     
    #30 LilHouse, Jun 6, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  32. Character

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    i like your reasons. good luck!
     
  33. NurWollen

    NurWollen Strong with the Force
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    A few months ago I was debating whether or not I wanted to stay on track to go into medicine. One day during this time I was at the student health center/pharmacy at my college a while back with my own medical problems. As I sat in the waiting room at closing time (I must have been the last scheduled patient) waiting for them to fill my prescription, I saw a young women come in with her visibly ill husband. They were a very young couple and she was pretty scared. It was closing time and she was looking for someone to help. The doctor who had just seen me and was finishing his shift was leaving when the young women got his attention, asking if he could please help her. With sincere compassion he stopped, looked at them ,and said, "Yeah, I'm a doctor. How can I help you?"

    That's why I still want to be a doctor.

    Yeah, the woman was overly concerned for her husband (I overheard the doc reassure them that it looked like it was just a flu,) and that it was probably the kind of thing that irritates some docs, especially at the end of their shift, etc., but for me, the opportunity to provide that reassurance, and to use hard earned skills to make someones life a bit better is worth all the years of sacrifice, the fear of changing health care, lower pay, etc.
     
  34. closer23

    closer23 Liberal
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    .
     
    #33 closer23, Jun 6, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  35. radxbandit

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    because trying to become a rockstar didn't work out. medicine was a close second, though.
     
  36. radxbandit

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    i was wondering when someone was finally going to quote dr cox :thumbup:
     
  37. Character

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    its all up to you buddy
     
  38. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Gotta disagree here. As a doctor (or really any provider of personal services to people), your number one asset is an ability to listen and to genuinely like interacting with people. Your job is going to be to go in and sit and talk to people, allay their fears, help them understand a suggested course of action. You are assuming the role of confidant, trusted advisor, and advocate. Folks will need to tell you about aspects of their life they don't even confide to family members. They will expect you to spend time with them explaining things. And studies show that physicians who don't take the time with patients get sued more frequently.

    But more importantly, if you don't enjoy the people aspects of medicine, you are going to be miserable in medicine. Doesn't mean you couldn't do it, but I'm saying you couldn't do it for long. the good doctors are the ones who genuinely like people, get them chatting, know them as people, not slabs of meat.

    Sure, you could try to shoehorn into one of the less people oriented specialties. But even those are becoming more people oriented (eg radiology is becoming more and more interventional). I'd say if you don't like daily interaction with people, then you are going to hate med school, residency and the profession of medicine. Because it's about the people more than the science.
     
  39. Livingapparatus

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    I want to be the person that people can depend their lives on. I want the responsibility and challenge of medicine.

    FYI- 99% of people get annoyed by people, just talk to your local residents. 80-100 hours a week for 4 years you may gain some resentment. The other 1 % are saints.
     
  40. Law2Doc

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    You have it reversed. They get annoyed sure, and cranky from sleep deprivation. But at their core they (99%) actually do like people. Imagine how nasty they would become if they didn't. That would be the 1% who are truly SOBs.
     
  41. riceman04

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    Give yourself time. I figured out the whole "why medicine?" through my participation in various medically related activities, a reflection on my core values, certain experiences (some good...some bad), and how that all corresponds to the importance of medicine in today's society.

    Best of luck to ya!!!
     
  42. radxbandit

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    what might make it easier is to just sit down and write/type about what you think it takes to pursue/succeed in the medical field, then maybe move into how you fit in with those qualifications. also if you have any experience like shadowing or things you have taken from being in clinics/hospitals etc, write about what you saw and things that stood out. i think eventually you'll start uncovering what you value about medicine and maybe that will be your reason for pursuing it.
     
  43. Twiigg

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    You musn't have read my entire post. :rolleyes:

    I said that it's more of the masses, the crowds, etc. of people that really get on my nerves. When I am interacting with a person one on one, I am different than when I'm in a line or crowd for example and I genuinely enjoy interacting with them.
     
  44. DrPavoreal

    DrPavoreal Full of Optimism
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    You should go for the Ph.D. :thumbup:
     
  45. GeorgianCMV

    GeorgianCMV MCAT Studyaholic
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    i have to be honest, i'm disturbed by how many people on this thread said that they're going into medicine for the money.

    if you want money then go into investment banking. i think to be a great physician you need to be motivated by things other than money.
     
  46. GeorgianCMV

    GeorgianCMV MCAT Studyaholic
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    agreed.
     
  47. Terpskins99

    Terpskins99 Fear... The Stig
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    Why are you disturbed? At least they're honest (though I think they may be acting a little facetious in this thread). Financial security is certainly one factor behind many people's decision to pursue medicine. Recognition is another. That doesn't mean they'll be a bad doctor.

    Anyhow, its a little presumptuous to assume that every physician would have been just as successful in the business sector. Succeeding in business involves mastering a very different skill set than in medicine. Many doctors are absolutely clueless when it comes to managing money.
     
  48. 135892

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    Give me a break... if physicians only made, say 40,000 a year, let's just see how many bright minds would want to go into medicine... Anyone smart enough to have a choice wouldn't get into it (except you of course)
     
  49. w8ting2exhale

    w8ting2exhale what a journey...
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    money, power, respect. lol j/k. i think it would be cool to really make a difference in people's lives and help them in situations that only you can. No matter how great and powerful someone is, they always have to lean back on a doctor at some point in their lives. Being a doctor is a very important job and the money they make should be worthy of this.
     
  50. whoisthedrizzle

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    how i really feel:

    money, job security, science >>> helping people

    how adcoms will think i feel:

    helping people >>> money, job security, science
     
  51. Nilf

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    Two things came up in this thread which raised my eyebrows:

    1. Roughly speaking, 50% of the respondents named money as their primary motivation. I truly hope you're joking or being sarcastic, or else you're in for a big surprise.

    2. I'm not sure why there is perception that pathologists 'hate' people. Pathology residents are some of the most laid back and relaxed folks in the hospital. Granted, most of us don't want to interact with SICK people--you'll come to apprieciate the power of this statement sometime during your third year of medschool.
    Furthermore, we don't 'sit in a lab and read articles', nor do we 'work with dead people to heal the living'. Read up about the specialty before you post.
     

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