Becoming a moral doctor

I am an honest person, well mostly…LOL BUT I have found that ever since I decided to become a doctor I have been faced with tougher decisions and more “opportunities” to display integrity. I make tougher calls, as well as, face tough decisions head on.

So here is my question, How important is moral development in this “road to doctorhood?”

What can we do to grow, with the goal of becoming an honest doctor?



I think one of the most important things as you move through premed and later med school, residency, and practice, is to remember who you are . . . meaning what makes ‘you’ you. Stay true to yourself and your beliefs. Don’t compromise those qualities and ideals just to make a situation easier.

Do learn as you go which battles are important to fight at the moment, and which are better left alone. The ones you leave alone you can always revisit later and try to improve in a calm and orderly fashion that can be accepted by all.

As Shakespeare said, “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

WOW! That was GREAT advice. Thank you!


Hi Gwen!

I think it is great you are considering the moral aspect of being a physician. I read your other post that you are Catholic and that it is important to you. I am Muslim but was raised Catholic so I can give some advice I hope. No matter what faith you are, if it is important to you then make the time for it. Including time at your center of worship, community fellowship, one on one fellowship, etc. Also make sure to make time for yourself and reflect on who you are and what goals you have. I enjoy my community and get support from them but I enjoy my alone times with my 4 cats too! I am single and do not have any children and I know you are married and have 10 children so our situations ae different in that aspect, but our committment to our faith is similar. I’m babbling now because it is late, lol and I need sleep. I hope that I have helped in some way. Take care, Meg

Morals are something we are taught and brought up with during our formation years, IMHO its like having good habits.

If you lie a lot then you tend not to break this “habit” If money is more important then anything else then what does it take to change this focus?

If Arrogance is your personality then how do you become humble?

What you are discussing has been the biggest dilemma in Medicine since the beginning.

It takes great effort for change and this is more of personal change.

So… The process of premed and screening of applicants for medical school ( the interview ) is supposed to accept those of “Good Moral Character”

In the 21st century we have presidents and other public officials who lie, a portion of society who break laws and expect it to be “No big deal” (ie: Drinking and driving, speeding, cheating on college exams, taking illegal drugs to name a few)

During Premed you are expected to

Volunteer ( give your time to others)

Shadow ( spend your valuable time learning what a Doctor really does)

Get good Letters of Recommendation ( others who say you have good character)

personal statement

These along with the personal interview do weed out some with marginal morals.

Why do you think “Money” is not to be a reason told to ADCOM members? It is an indication that the person interviewed is not focus on people but money as motivation. A possible red flag to character.

I think the process does not catch enough of those with poor morals and character, but what else can be done?

I do not know? Character can be “Adjusted” through a long commitment to volunteering, through this one can change but the problem is most premeds think that premed is a CHECK OFF LIST, I will argue that it is not till I die. If I interview a premed for Medical school and I get the “check off list” feel then I will reject them .

If you now have good Character and Morals then to really have them when faced with doing something that is of not that character, you do not do it, that is the big test, that is being of good character and morals.

As good character humans with morals we should give to others freely, wanting to be a Doctor is being someone who cares for others and cares about others for a life time.

This is how I feel.