Why do you want to become a Doctor?

I know what you mean - I’m finding it really hard to write my personal statement and articulate why I want to be a doctor. I’m 52, and a nurse-midwife, and I’m having a lot of difficulty explaining this (I think I feel defensive about my age and feel like it should be a really extraordinary reason). In fact, a few years ago I was asking God for direction where he wanted me to go, and becoming a doctor sort of “dropped” into my head. It seemed a radical idea…crazy even…but I was so delighted. I LOVE interacting with patients, trying to figure out what is wrong, teaching them how to take care of their health. I find everything about biology and medicine fascinating (was a bio major way back when). My postbacc program has been a joy, learning how much more we understand about genetics and biology than we used to to. Guess I’m getting there in articulating why I want to be a doctor It’s like I heard a call, and THEN realized that it matched the deepest desires of my heart, which I hadn’t even recognized because whenever I began to think about being a physician I was stopping myself with the “but of course I can’t because…”. Somehow knowing I was “supposed to” be a doctor took off those internal restrictions and let me say “ok, I guess I can!”


ps - going to the conference in a week+!

I think I’m really glad that I got that “drop in the head” now, before I went the CNM route.

I went into nursing because I wanted to be a midwife. While in nursing, I realized that I am a much better fit in medical/surgical nursing. I like the variety of patients.

I had a hiccup with my nursing education and I’ve been working as a CNA for the past three years while I’ve been dragging my heels about re-entering nursing school (I’d have to do almost my entire degree over again). A doctor friend of mine has been encouraging me to look into med school, and to be honest it’s been occurring to me more and more often in recent months. When I started mentioning it to my friends and family, I got overwhelming support (some skepticism, to be sure, but more support).

I’m terrified. Seriously scared of the next step. everything else I’ve done I’ve been incredibly confident that I would succeed. To be a doctor, I’m sure that I’ll make a great doctor, but my confidence is not 100%. Maybe that’s what I need, a healthy dose of humility.

Anyways, that’s why.

Currently I am a Opticianry student one semester away from earning my AAS degree. During the vision care major I took a course in Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye and a Refraction coarse. I got the chance to learn a little about ocular diseases/disorders and pharmacology. I believe I payed the most attention to these two classes compared to the others in the program. I thought to myself why must I as a future optician learn about ocular disease and pharmacology if we cannot treat them and prescribe medication; after all, opticians are like pharmacist of the optical industry so we only dispense glasses and contacts based on the doctors written prescription. Therefore, to not let knowledge go to waste and provide more patient care I decided to pursue medical school to become a Ophthalmologist. I’m just more interested in the health and medical aspect of the optical industry rather than the business side of it.

This is a fine motivation for pursuing further knowledge, the idea that you will be able to do more. However, do not sell yourself short as an optician (or sell pharmacists short either). When you are given a prescription to fill for a patient, you have a responsibility too - and knowing about eyes, how they work, and eye diseases helps you to be sure that the prescription you are filling is appropriate for your patient.

Pharmacists catch my mistakes fairly regularly - I’ve not made a BAD mistake, but I have made careless errors that could have potentially hurt someone if a pharmacist did not call it to my attention.

You fill orders if you work at McDonald’s or Best Buy. Opticians and pharmacists must engage far more of their brains.


  • Mary Renard Said:
You fill orders if you work at McDonald's or Best Buy. Opticians and pharmacists must engage far more of their brains.


Dayum, that's why my McD's burgers never come with ketchup only!!!


... back to the regularly scheduled thread

Hey now, I use my brain at Mc D’s…and my legs, and my arms, and every last muscle I never thought I had…I just don’t get as many brain sprains as you lol.

I am learning however that all this chemisry/upper math stuff I’ve been doing in school has made me completely incapable of doing simple math any longer.


I see now how big my responsibilities are as a optician, from time to time I do see something not quite right with the RX and I always verify it with the doctor; nevertheless, I feel like a sales person at times when recommending a specific type of lens or lens treatment for that patient. The only time I feel like opticians lean towards getting up close and personal is when fitting contact lenses where it’s a requirement to observe the surface of the eye for infections, edema’s, and foreign bodies. My reasons to be a doctor is still very vague and unclear as I have only put a year of thought into my future plans. However, in the near future I will get my reasons straight.

This article from the AP is the reason why I want to be a doctor!

Promises, Promises…

Wow! Eagleeye, thanks for the article. I knew it was bad, but it’s different when you hear it with the actual names and issues of many of these poor people.

Great article…very interesting insight.

Wild women, parties and fancy cars/homes…LOL!

  • OldManDave Said:
Wild women, parties and fancy cars/homes...LOL!

So you're saying you're 0 for 3 huh???

Geoff, you are bad!!!

BTW,thanks for fixing my ticker…I’ll try not to mess it up again!

Oh don’t think for one moment that Dave won’t be getting me back!! LOL

No prob on the ticker… I still don’t know why it didn’t work the way you had it.

I started out wanting to be a lawyer. My best friend wanted to be the doctor. We use to joke and I would tell her I would do her malpractice cases. She decided being an MD was not for her and pursued a nursing degree. I personally thought that the things that doctors and nurses have to do were disgusting. My mom would always watch those baby delivery shows and I was like “gross, I am never having children”. So, you might be asking yourself, what changed my mind.

Well, life changed my mind, years changed my mind. I am not that old, I am just 23. I just gave in and gave up on myself really early in life. When you are young you make so many mistakes and I was a sheltered child, so it was almost like I did not realize the mistakes I was making were mistakes. I had a dumb boyfriend, which later led to PTSD. Then I got over it. After we broke up I turned into a new person. I discovered new interests and my self esteem went up.

Due to that relationship, I was very much to myself. I avoided social situations like the plague, but I would get along with people at my work really well. They were my friends even though I only hung out with them at work. I used to talk to a guy. He and I would just have really random conversations, but he really brightened up my day. One day he showed me this huge spider bite on his leg. It was nothing like I had ever seen. I told him to go to the doctor; the doctor just said it would go away. Later on that week, he invited me to a party with some work people, just a small get together. I couldn’t because I was going out of town. I honestly don’t know if I would have went anyway, but two days later he was dead. That “spider bite” was a blood clot that traveled to his lung. He died alone and he was dead for hours before anyone found him.

My cousin got pregnant at 19. She has the most beautiful baby boy, but he was born with his legs deformed and not in socket. The baby did not turn like it should have and the proper blood supply did not travel to his legs, which led to the malformation. The doctor did not want to turn him around because it was her first baby and it would hurt her. That baby has gone through more surgeries in most peoples’ lifetimes and still has more to go.

I volunteered in the ICU waiting room at a hospital. I met so many great people there. I loved it and I am going to start again. I work in the customer service industry and meet the worse people. I see people that complain of idiot things, like movie rentals being scratched. Those families in the ICU waiting room do not complain. All they do is hope. It is so beautiful. The people that I have met are amazing people and have such amazing stories.

So, why do I want to be a doctor… First, the human body is so amazing. There are incredible things that the body is capable of. It is so incredibly interesting and I love the science of it all. Second, I know that I could pick many careers that will help people. I know that it does not even have to be my career. I want to be a doctor because I want to preserve people’s lives. I want to help them live well, so that they can have stories. When people go to the doctor, they are at their most vulnerable state. They are truly the most human. I want to be a part of people’s lives through medicine. I want to be a doctor that spends more than five minutes with my patients. I know that it is going to be hard and that there are so many fields that are easier and that I could make good money in with little effort. I just can’t talk myself out of wanting to be a doctor. Trust me I have tried. Anyway, sorry for my rambling and if my story is lame.

  • stacydr Said:
sorry for my rambling and if my story is lame.

No story about one's life, especially one such as yours, is "lame" - so sorry to hear about the little boy... how horrendous.

He is a trooper, the most amazing child. He will be fine. He is a strong kid, really inspirational you know. Kids are amazing because you would think that it would be the parents that are strong for the kids, but sometimes its both and sometimes the kids are strong for their parents.

  • stacydr Said:
... and sometimes the kids are strong for their parents.

True. My son is a shining example of that.

Glad to hear he will be alright. Will be interesting to see what he ends up doing with his life, how his surgeries shape his vision of himself and the world around him.

Wow, Stacy…first no apologies necessary, okay. Also, the final paragraph is why I, too, want to be a doctor. I, myself, had looked into nursing, and had even completed a semester of nursing school. But I realized two things…I wanted more of a continuous relationship with my patients (also spending than spending but 5 minutes with them) than I would get as a nurse. Also, I love the whole picture…caring for the patient and diagnosing the physiological reasons for their ailments.

Because I have so much experience with suffering and an equal amount of empathy for others who suffer.

If God has seen fit to give me the gift of academic and research talent, then I am obligated to become a medical researcher and help to find treatment options with greater efficacy.

I am also most grateful for the opportunity to get back up and get going again!