Why do you want to be a doctor?

I am 32 years old, have no debt, lead a good live, my career is starting to take off, and for some reason I just told my boss I was quiting to take a “healthcare” job (I work in commercial finance right now.) When I put it on paper it makes no sense, but when I lie down at night it feels like what I am “supposed” to do…I have spent a good portion of my life ignoring that feeling…just recently I have been able to discern that even if I can’t explain it, I just need to listen to it. Man does that sound lame or what!!! I wonder what the Adcoms will think of that answer!!!

I think it’s great! Sounds like you’ve been doing some personal development or spiritual work on yourself. Listen to your gut and in the beginning be careful who you tell if you are really serious about this. Even the people you think will be supportive will be the first ones to doubt when you start to struggle. Protect your dream.

Hey Johnc, and welcome!

It doesn’t sound lame at all. What better way to demonstrate to Adcoms your total committment to becoming a physician than leaving a career that is successful and lucrative? Sounds to me like you have a calling, in every sense of the word.

At my own interview, the “why do you want to be a doc” question came and I gave the committee my honest answer-- it was never a choice, i’ve known it since I was little, and, at the risk of sounding “hokey”-- this was something that I was “supposed” to do. Go with your instincts, Johnc. They are right on target. You’ll find help and hope along the way. You may even be an inspiration to all those folks who haven’t yet worked up the courage to say, wholeheartedly, “yes!”. ljg

UAB Class of 2012 (!!!)


I am in a nearly identical position as you. I just turned 30 and have a very lucrative career in finance (investment banking, consulting, Fortune 10 M&A) and am absolutely miserable. I have an MBA from a top school with no debt and it makes absolutely no sense for me to go to medical school, but I don’t care b/c that’s the only thing I truly want to do in this world. Not sure of your undergrad, but I’m lucky in that I went to undergrad planning on going to medical school so all I had to do recently was volunteer and take the MCAT a couple of weeks ago (hopefully went pretty well).

In short, I completely understand where you are coming from and say you must go for it or you’ll never be happy. Even if you don’t get in, at least you will know you tried. It was a very tough decision for me, but I felt an immense sense of personal gratification when I finally said “I’m going back to medical school” out loud. Good luck!

I am in a slightly different position, but I feel the same way. I had a previous career that made me miserable, and wasn’t particularly lucrative. As a parent and a wife, it would make so much more sense to go the mid-level route (NP or PA), but I often feel like if I don’t pursue this to the fullest, I will always wonder “what if?” But, I am also lucky in that my husband is not only supportive, but believes that this is my calling as well.

So, for the last year or so, I’ve been taking my prereqs and I am so much happier than I was in my career. I feel like I’m learning the very basic mechanics of life, and I love the challenge.

I think that the best way to articulate your desire to be a doctor is just like you wrote. It is personal and you’ll be able to say it with passion. I think that passion and the willingness to go out on a limb like that will work really well in an interview. Good luck!

There is a great thread already going on this…Check it out! It’s right here: