Devil's Advocate

Hey Everyone!

Hope everyone is getting lots of good news this application season!

Quick background: 32 years old next month, pharmacist since 2008, not married, no children.

I have applications in process at LSU New Orleans and Tulane Medical Schools and would REALLY love interviews. I only applied to these school locally because my mom is here in a nursing home in New Orleans and in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease. After discussion with peers and mentors, I have decided to expand my application area next year if needed.

As I talk about applying to med school to friends or coworkers, people sometimes inquire if I’d like to marry or have children and how that will all pan out with a demanding training and career in medicine especially in my 30s. Sometimes people ask how I could want to pursue medicine when there seems to be so much wrong with healthcare. My response is that nothing in life is guaranteed – marriage, kids, medicine – and I can not spend my life waiting for things to happen and rather act towards med school that can ultimately bring me fulfilling career options. I feel like it’s a calling. I’ve seen friends marry and have kids as much as I have broken piece in healthcare systems become more broken. Regardless, I still want to go to med school. My question – what do y’all say to folks who ask why do it? Why switch careers when the current one is ‘ok’ or why sacrifice very important years of your life for overwhelming and hectic training? How do you answer the devil’s advocate?

Welcome, RxQueen!

I’d love to give you a serious answer but it is already past my “bedtime” due to my early schedule tomorrow, although “buzz-off!” was my first thought for a response

Back to you tomorrow.


First of all, as Kate says, it’s none of their damn business. For a more serious answer, see below.

This is going to get a bit introspective, but here goes.

I know that I’m not satisfied in my current work. I’m making a sacrifice every day to go in and do something I don’t want to do in order to keep my family fed. That’s fine in the short term, but in the long term (like for the next 30 years), I know this will result in me being stressed, grumpy and depressed and I won’t be able to be the father and husband I want to be (and that my kids and wife deserve) if I continue down my current path. I’ve seen that person before, and that’s part of what prompted this change. I know that some people can separate their work and external life, and just go put in their 40 a week and come home, but I know I’m not wired that way.

However, if I choose to go do something I’m truly interested in, that rewards, intrigues and challenges me, I know I’ll be a better person for it. I’ll be able to give more of myself to my work, family and studies. I know it will require long hours, and stressful days and nights. I know from a financial standpoint, it’s a really stupid move. But, at the end of it all, I’d rather my kids have a father that is happy, engaged and interested in their lives that spends 20 hours a week with them, versus a father that’s irritable, stressed out, and disengaged that spends 40 hours a week with them. I’d rather give my kids the example of taking risks and pursuing their passions, versus seeing their father complain about his situation without attempting to make it better. Ultimately, while this is my dream, I think that it’s a positive step for my family as well.

Best of luck as you continue down your path. Also, enjoy New Orleans. We used to live there and I miss it every day.

I love the “none of their business” comment - but everyone has a different answer - a different why. That’s the most fun part of reading personal statements. It’s amazing at how many different experiences all lead to becoming a physician.

The answer it looks like you are leaning towards is “anything can happen” or “I’m up for any challenge.”

I just interviewed a non-traditional who had 3 kids during her premed and medical school track. People questioned her and she pushed on.

Do what you think is right for you, answer people honestly and if they think you’re crazy - who cares!

There is a good quote I like “what other people think of your business, is none of your business.”