Itâ€™s hard to believe (although I definitely do) that those with motivations to pursue medicine resembling what you describe, are driven enough to make it through. I canâ€™t imagine being able to do it in absence of an underlying interest, almost obsession, with physiology and medical topics. I love this stuff, but still have to push myself. Im actually kind of impressed that someone could get into med school, make it through and then conquer residency, without any real interest in it. How does that happen? I have a feeling these kind of docs must come from a position of privilege, they must have no idea how lucky they areâ€¦Someone who grew up with my circumstances would never be caught thinking â€œoh well, maybe Iâ€™ll become a doctor, nothing else really sounds goodâ€. But then again, if they are willing to put in the time and effort and have the capability to make it, whoâ€™s to say their motivation is less pure, or noble, or altruistic. Its strong enough to get them through, so whatâ€™s the difference, as long as they are good at their job. In fact, you could argue that they are more altruistic than someone like me, who is simply following his own purpose and seeking his own fulfillment.
Maybe I have built the whole doctor thing up to be a bigger deal than it is, but for me, it really is a big deal; and I intend to hang on to that attitude as long as I can.
To the above posts. I have a million reasons why I want to become a doctor. But, it’s that same drive of “it’s what I must do!”
Okay, of the post right before mine. I must have had those doctor’s with those reasons and for awhile never thought about Med School. Those doctors are the educated and somehow they come across as ignorant. It hasn’t been until the last few years I have came across amazing, caring, educated doctors. I have a desire to join their ranks and keep that level of care continuing.
One doctor told me that I cannot judge his abilities unless I am a peer. However, I know a good car with a good reputation when I see one. I try and respect that I don’t know what is REALLY going on. However, I know the difference between a Bentley and a Honda. I also know the difference between someone doesn’t care and doesn’t answer a question and a doctor who cares and answers the question in an intelligent fashion.
Hello All I am new to this site and would love some direction. I want to be an M.D. due to my family history and loss of loved ones. Also I am prior military and want to serve the Veterans that are here in Florida and Homeless and give them medical care as well as a Family Practice. I plan on being Board Certified in Internal, Family, and Pedatric Medicine. I also thirst for knowledge and love to learn what a great career to accopmolish all these desires! I am 37 and in the horrible restaurant business. I have twin girls soon to be ten and a lovely and supportive wife. How did some of you do it? I need pointers of how you balanced school with work and family? Thank you in advance for any information possible!
Add to these, for many of us oldies we have an opportunity now that was not available to us in our 20’s, 30’s, that is, the possibility of a medical school accepting us at an 'advanced’age.
I do volunteer work as a lawyer doing social security disability law, a field that has taught me that
-my science background really helps;
-many paralegals w vast experience in this field than I have are able to try cases very well.
Also, a long stint in clinical research has whetted my appetite for all things medical.
I can’t imagine actually telling someone…“well I was done with my bachelors and I just didn’t really want to work so I became a doctor!” I’m sitting here in shock as I read that. I can understand the research aspect but wow…just honestly wow.
I couldn’t make that stuff up. I did get the sense that some of those who made those comments came from a family of privilege (one of which I know for sure because he is a junior resident in my program). Their are lots of med students who have not paid a dime for their undergrad or grad school and their attitude about being in med school sometimes (not always) reflects this as opposed to may of us who pay our way through school.
When you are knee deep in residency, you can tell a lot I think by subtle differences in motivation through work ethic-- those who go the extra mile versus those who are just trying to make it to five o’clock to leave-- and their overall approach to their patients. Many of you will be “shocked” that a physician could approach their work that way, but trust me, it’s true. It’s just one of the many aspects of reality I have learned going through this process.
I cannot believe someone could even imagine using that as their reason for wanting to pursue medicine? That is truly sad.
Maddux, I’m surprised that you’re surprised. . .
My dad is a doctor and it was expected of me -->
This may not be popular, but I sure don’t want my kids to accomplish less than I have. I may not expect them to be doctors, but I also don’t expect them to be retail clerks. I also think it is good to have expectations for your kids. Kids that KNOW they’re expected to do something set their sights higher than those who don’t.
I was graduating college and didn’t want to get a job
(OK, I don't buy this one, med school has gotta be harder than working a job all day.)
I didn't know what else to do--->
I am a believer in the idea that doing something is better than nothing. It's too bad these guys take away a spot from someone who knows for sure, but if you really don't have a passion for anything, what should you do? I think we oldies have to keep in mind that the generation behind us has been told what to do every minute of the day for the past 22 years. They were in before school care, school, afterschool care, sports practices, tutoring, lessons, etc. and a lot of them never had time to entertain themselves and figure out what they liked (a case to this point: my sister).
-- I want to do research (more reasonable I thought)
Agreed - more reasonable than one might think. I think the PhD route is easier, but not everyone wants to teach undergrad class 101 forever.
Although I think these are legit reasons people may go into med school, I don't think that these pepole will end up being the best doctors. . Like tara said, clock watchers. . .But, OTOH, medicine is a broad field, and I think there is a little corner for everyone if you search hard enough.
I can completely buy the “my parents were a doctor and it was expected of me”. I think that happens more often than not. I am with you Ali that I don’t expect my son to be a doctor but I do expect him to do something. He doesn’t have to be anything he doesn’t want to be but he does have to do more with his life than play video games all day and work part time at a fast food restaurant.
When the one med student made the comment about not wanting to get a job, I was FLOORED. It was everything I had for my jaw not to bounce off the table. I was just starting a talk with the med students on on the evaluation and management of stroke when we were doing the “getting to know each other” introductory part. It wasn’t even as if I knew this person when he said it as it was the start of the rotation.
Remember, most people in med school have never had a job in the “real” world and have never been held accountable for things like work performance, punctuality, etc. In medicine, they can continue to not have to worry about those things. (I know, I will get flogged for that comment, but when an attending can stay at home until 1pm every day when staffing the consult team because he wants to spend time with his kids and everyone knows it but no one does anything, it perpetuates)
I was surprised someone would say that in an interview, not that they were doing it for someone other than themselves…Sorry I did not convey that correctly…
As convincing as “I wanna help people” may feel to you, you have to be able to articulate and defend your assertion withouth sounding campy, wrote or as though you are trying to pluck their heartstrings. Even more dangerous, esp for non-trads, is to inadvertently sound as though you have been there & done that…esp if you have not. Frankly, if you ain’t been a doc - by definition, if you’re applying to med school, you haven’t - you can rankle their drawers big-time by trying to sound too convincing.
I always advise people, even if they 300% positive that they will be a surgeon (or what ever), to not state it so firmly. Profess to have an interest in surgery, but confess that you are enthralled with so many aspects of medicine that it would be premature for you to even try to commit to any discipline at this point. That lets the interviewer know that you are serious enough to have thought about the future, but are sufficiently grounded in reality to know that you are not prepared to make that choice yet.
Great Advice Dr. Kelley, The one thing I have been told time and time again by the folks helping me along is to appear “teachable” and excited to learn something new. One of the docs helping me is an ND that returned to school after 10 years in practice. She was accepted on her second time around after receiving the same very frank advice from an admissions director at OHSU during her first application cycle. By trying to impress the interviewers with her knowledge base, she unfortunately “turned them off” because of the way she presented herself. By reapplying the next year and presenting herself in a more humble manner, she was accepted without any further delay. My best mentor so far has been the chief of staff of our local VA, a non-traditional himself, he returned to school at 35 to pursue an MD from U of WA after teaching welding at a community college for 10 years. His advice is to let your sincere passion for medicine outshine any “black marks” on your record. Since beginning this journey, I have been absolutely amazed by the support and assistance I have received from people who barely know me. Thank you to everyone who makes this forum the great resource and sounding board that it is…Jaysin
I’ll second Dave’s advice. I freakin’ love the brain, and I’m very interested in neuro-anything. That passion definitely came through at my interviews, but I also made sure to say “Hey, I haven’t been there yet - who knows what the future will hold?”
- OldManDave Said:
While I can agree that it's always good to keep your options open, I disagree that a person may not be "sufficiently grounded in reality to know that you are not prepared to make that choice yet". Just as it's should come as no suprise that Micheal Jordan's sons play basketball or that Debbie Allen's daughter is a dancer, it seems more than real to me that I have a strong and proven predisposition to be intereted in public health issues, because my mother was a Public Health Nurse. These types of influneces are IMHO more than based on reality they're based on real life role models. Similarily, Ive seen Respiratory Therapist become Anesthesiologists, Pathologist Assistants become Pathologists, and on and on. Of course, I've also seen Bankers become Internists so the point about career choice is well taken.
Someone mentioned humility and I think that's key, but being focused with an eye for being open to new/different possibilities is equally appealing.
I’m pretty grounded and know I want to work in pediatrics. I’ve explored the other venues, but I don’t see my mind changing any time soon. I’m not naive enough to think it wont but I do know myself well enough that when I get an idea in my head, I don’t let it go until I see it through to fruition.
I’d also caution about the “I just know it’s what I’m meant to do” line. Believe me, I DO know what you mean by that - but it is fuzzy thinking, not logical, and doesn’t come across as well-thought-out. You need to be able to demonstrate how your experience as a parent… mechanic… respiratory therapist… nurse… PA… lawyer… investment specialist… daughter of a chronically ill person… etc. etc. etc. --> what was it about your life experiences that left you with the conviction, borne of long and sober thought, that your talents would best be applied to the practice of medicine?
And those of you who can’t believe that Tara heard someone say that going to med school seemed better than getting a job – oh I can believe it. Unfortunately I’ve seen the work ethic that goes along with that line of thinking…
- WillBeADoc1971 Said:
I suggest that you re-post this as its own thread (click on "add topic") because you'll get lots more replies that way.... and be sure to read the many threads on these topics, I think you'll find lots of good information there. Good luck, and welcome to OPM!
- Mary Renard Said:
When you grow up in an inner city disadvantaged area as I did, you quickly learn that the types of Doctors that end up practicing there are often then ones Tara speaks about. In fact, I entered college thinking that type of talk was normal amoung MD's (My Peds was a DO so I also grew up almost worshiping them).
As I've grown older, I lay the blame of those kinds of physicians on 1) Children of Scientists/Physicians admitting the privilidged children of Scientists/Physicians and 2) The age of the matriculats, which I think should be raised to 28 for admissions, and 3) Too many women being admitted to med school.
- pathdr2b Said:
I saw less of (1) than I expected... but yes, there was some of that. I definitely sympathize with the intent of (2); however, I did have great classmates who would've been excluded. I do, however, feel that NO ONE should be able to go to medical school until s/he has had to pay for his or her own insurance and health care. The medical students and residents ordering tests and prescribing expensive medicines made me cringe.
As for (3)... okay, I'll bite. What are you thinking there? You've definitely piqued my curiosity!