Just Curious - why medicine?

I was reflecting today on what piqued my interest in medicine. I’ve always been interested in medicine, followed its research, and considered it as important in my life, but I can pinpoint when that little voice starting yelling in my head (the one I’ve been avoiding all these years) to sophomore biology, watching Lorenzo’s Oil. I’ve been following the development of the Myelin Project ever since.

This is why medicine for me , even though I don’t want to do research.

So, I want to know why medicine became an obsession for you all. Hope that’s not too personal :slight_smile:

My dad took me to hear Dr. Ben Carson speak. He is/was amazing. He started my LOVE of the brain (thus neuroscience research all these years later) and also made me want to impact people’s lives both through research and clinical application of it. He has an amazing story and is an absolutely amazing neurosurgeon. I won’t even be an MD by the same age he became the head of neurosurgery at John Hopkins, but I still give him all the credit for being the starting point of my obsession of medicine.

I worked as a primary care provider as a “medic” with the marines for a couple of tours. It was a rather arbitrary job decision to be honest, but I came to love the practice and ideologies of medicine a couple of years in. Working under the license of a doctor gave me very pertinent experience, and the inspiration came from some well versed words from those same doctors, one who, upon seeing potential in me, said: “I’m not that smart of a guy; if they let someone like me into medical school, surely someone like you has a good shot.”

And so, here I am.

Born with a heart defect, had open-heart surgery in high school, completed a marathon many years later. Medicine has enabled me to live a life without boundaries and I want to devote my life giving that gift to others. That’s also basically a very abridged version of my personal statement.

Shawn… I totally want to read your PS now. The abridged version is a great story, and a great reason to go into medicine.

Like desert_shawn, I, too, had birth defects (I was premature), and had surgery at 2 weeks of age. Over the next few years, I was in and out of hospitals and doctors’ offices, always getting poked and prodded. These experiences only made me dislike medical care and I had no interest in medicine as a career. It was not until I started running free health projects geared towards the medically underserved, that I came around: I could see the positive side of health care and the unintended necessities and discomforts that come with the field. Also, one of the problems in doing free health care is getting health professionals to help out or act as medical director; I realized that if I become a physician, then I could do the work myself.

I am just embarking on my own transition into medicine from the film industry. But what inspired me to start taking steps down this path was first a dissatisfaction with my experience working in film (just didn’t feel like all the work I was/still am putting in was building towards something meaningful).

Around the time I started feeling like this, I had some serious medical issues of my own arise that had me in and out of the hospital for about a year. After a final surgery resolved that issue once and for all, I began evaluating what I might do with my life outside of the film industry that I would find meaningful and stimulating as a career. And medicine felt like the only answer. I started volunteering in an ER a few months ago to feel out my interest and commitment to this path, and am now applying for post bacc programs.

I suppose it’s still possible my path will take some other major turns, but I feel such a great sense of calm is this decision, something I never felt while working in film.

For me, medicine was not a childhood dream I lost and then subsequently found again later.

It has been a steady, tumultuous incline to this point, a culmination of life philosophy, principles and a serious look at my own potential.

I want to help people.

Sounds pretty straightforward, but it very much encapsulates the chasm of difference between theory and practice.

Help people? What’s the best way to do that?

I already enjoyed and practiced art, from a very young age, so when I made the decision to ‘help people’ I automatically leaned on the skills I already had.

After a very convoluted and amazing set of life experiences, I heard it on the wind.


Teaching Art is a great way to ‘help people’ and I feel that I do help people every day.

But medicine is the most direct, most personal and holistic way to aid your fellow man.

It is the sum total of all we know about preserving the human race, and keeping it safe. I can think of mo other reason that means more to me than that. That’s ‘why medicine?’…!

Since you guys won’t buy a because for an answer, I will try to elaborate further than that.

Firstly, medicine has since forever been knocking at my door. After High School I was admitted to a prestigious medicine program in my home country and passed that opportunity. I was in love, still am, with Physics. I guess it is not a crime to be in love with different endeavours at a time, right? Later in life, just out of curiosity, I competed nationally for a coveted spot in the best medicine school in my country of origin. Got the first place, but still went with Physics.

Just when I thought my path was very much established in research, a series of circumstances led my way to practicing Medical Physics. That’s when that door from the past opened again, this time, the facts met a more mature and above all, experienced, science-trained individual who finally took real appreciation for the medical sciences and their significance to our society.

That happened some eight years ago, yet another series of circumstances has prevented me from finally been able to start this path. Perhaps so many times, I denied Medicine its place in my life, that now “she” is (justly) playing hard to get.

Last but not least, the main reason I want to pursue medicine is because at this point in my life and maybe as a result of many and varied experiences, I feel the compelling need to help others, especially those less fortunate. Something that, in a way, I have already been doing from research science but at a very global scale. I want to get personal, I want to see the faces, and hopefully their smiles, of people I am helping to have a better quality of life as a result of my efforts.