When I ask a patient if they have any questions, sometimes they take this as a license to ask me whatever personal questions they'd like to know about me. The two favorites are how old am I and where am I from.
Yesterday, a patient came up with a new one: "What made you become a doctor?"
I haven't been asked that question in a long time. I quickly stammered my medical school interview answer. "There are so few fields where you can really help somebody…"
The patient seemed pleased with that answer. And even though I felt silly saying it, there is a grain of truth in that. I do like helping people.
But what's the other real reason?
1) my father, who is a doctor, pushed me into it
2) I wanted a career where there would be a stable, good, steady income
3) there was no other career path that I was particularly drawn to
How about you? Why did you decide to go into medicine?
Yep, all three of your reasons were my reasons, except my grandmother pushed me into it (she raised me). And I will be forever greatful to my grandmother that she insisted, because in highschool I was not too excited about becoming a doctor. Thank you grandmother, for not giving me a "freedom" of choice, because my choice would not have landed me a salary these days and would not have been so gratifying. Love medicine and would not change to any other field. I just don't have any special talents.ReplyDelete
Your second and third answers were refreshingly honest and it's hard to argue with them. Your first response though gave me pause. I've seen medical students who were pushed into medicine because of a parent's expectations and they are the most unhappiest human beings on the planet. I don't have to tell you how stressful medical school is and having that combination of guilt and resentment makes life a living hell.ReplyDelete
I wanted to help people maintain or regain health and I loved hearing people's stories. Did not anticipate that 75+% of my time & effort would be spent on administrative B.S., but I still believe there is not a person you could not love if you knew their story.ReplyDelete
nothing else appealed to me. had a job waiting for me straight out of vet school (private practice owned by my father) and i couldn't really imagine working under a boss and not having any freedom.ReplyDelete
Because someone told me I had the grades to get into medical school and I didn't want to go to grad school.ReplyDelete
UK or UofL?Delete
I truly enjoy medicine. Internal med in general makes you act as a detective. I like meeting and helping people. Applied science to the human body as amazing. I do feel we have a privileged profession. Our patients tell us things they never have told their family, spouses, ect. The good income and occasional respect are nice touches too.ReplyDelete
I couldn't decide between research, public health, community service, and teaching. So I went to med school and am doing a little bit of everything. I'll never be a world expert in any of the above, but medicine is the only field that lets me dabble in everything.ReplyDelete
To be honest, right now I have no idea what I was thinking 3 years ago when applying to medical school... but I have no regrets, still loving it!ReplyDelete
I don't come from a background of medics, or qualified professionals of any kind. I went into medicine because I spent a great deal of my childhood on a paeds ward with my sister. My view of medicine was one-dimensional, romanticised.... I thought Casualty on BBC1 was pretty darn awesome and must be what it was really like. None of these reasons hold true but not a day goes by without me realising it is the best job in the world. How many people we meet. How many lives we touch. It is an absolute privilege.ReplyDelete
"There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to [cut] people: psychopaths and [surgeons]. Who am I? I'm the kind that pays better." Castle just about sums it up.ReplyDelete
No, really, surgery is a technically interesting field. I like working with my hands and fixing things. It was this or mechanics...
I used to get my medical care from a clinic that 'trained' family practice residents. It was kind of fun to get a newbie and watch them, over the next ~3 years, develop from being required to have every hiccup approved by a staph doctor to a fully 'grown' doctor.ReplyDelete
When really fresh newbies, they'd often go through the exams as though they'd memorized [or had jotted in a notebook] a script. I remember one doing that, and at the end very carefully asked if I had any questions for her. I asked her, "What's the capital of Montana?"
She stopped, blinked a few times, then said, "I have no idea. I'm *terrible* at geography!"
A month later I went back for a followup and it was amazing to see how much that short time had changed. She was still following the script but it was a bit more natural. When we came to the end of the appointment, she again asked if I had any questions. I said, "What's the capital of Nevada?"
She frowned and said, "I told you, I'm terrible at geography!" (And then we both laughed our heads off.)
(using his Felix Unger voice): I don't believe a word of this. Everyone knows the capital of Nevada is Carson City!Delete
Oh, Anonymous, trust me. People on the east coast can barely find Nevada on a map, let alone know the capital!Delete
Moose, you're a smart gal, but your aol handle doesn't work. Foiled again.Delete