WHY I WANT TO BE A DOCTOR
Haven't been asked this question since getting into medical school, but was asked it repeatedly before and during interviews. Not surprising, but worth noting.
- 1.ScienceI was raised by two plant science professors (aka my parents) so I had a natural interest in science. I developed an aversion to plants in my preteen years, which I never fully grew out of. I was a super rebellious teenage.
- 2.Humans and altruismI love making people feel happy, better, special, loved etc. and becoming a doctor seemed like one of the most direct and easy ways to accomplish this (although I think I simplified the equation a wee bit) Side note: Truthfully, I often wonder if it's altruism if I emotionally benefit so much from making others happy. In an ethics lecture, we had a discussion about altruism and I'd like to believe it exists in its purest form, although I'm not always fully convinced.
- 3.Mental healthMy aunt is a psychiatrist. She spoke about how she helped people in prison with their mental health issues. She was with me when I first learned to ride a bike. She was cool and I wanted to be just like her. I wanted to specialize in psychiatry prior to medical school. I have since changed my mind, but I am a firm believer that every doctor should incorporate and promote mental health awareness/treatment into their practice. The stigma is too real and I think that's beyond absurd.
- 4.Now that I'm in medical school...it's hard to tease out how I how felt then vs now (having a much deeper exposure to patient care). What I know now is that I cannot imagine doing a single other profession. I love patients. I love solving their problems-It's so much easier than solving your own. I like learning how to do things the right way. I don't like it, but I also observe how not to do things. I like being a person who may not know the answer but who will know how to point a person in the right direction->next bullet...
- 5.(character limit is limiting)or have the ability to effectively use the Internet to research information that maybe only a handful of people know about. There is so much knowledge in the world and one thing I have learned in medical school is that accessing accurate and understandable information is a both a privilege and a skill. I don't take that for granted.
- 6.TeachingBeing a doctor isn't just about telling a patient what to do to feel better. It's about teaching people to know how and why things happen and how they can be fixed or prevented. I see the patient-doctor relationship as an investment. You give knowledge and the patient takes it with them into the future using it and passing it on to others. Empowering others in this way is so rewarding and beneficial for all earthlings.
- 7.LearningOlder doctors always say becoming a doctor is a commitment to a life of learning. What they mean is that keeping up with the evergrowing/changing body of information will never end. What I think it also means is that you never stop learning from your patients. I've learned what makes people feel heard, cared for, and appreciated. I've learned what makes people feel isolated, embarrassed, and ignored. I've learned about the invasion of Normandy, farming, and football. Patients are teachers too.
- 8.SidetrackedFor anyone applying to medical school or in pre-clinical years: it gets soo much better. I remember volunteering at the hospital glaring at the medical students wishing so badly I was in their shoes. My bitterness was slightly dramatic, but if medicine is what you want, be patient (pun intended)! Also, the first two years of book work were not my jam. I felt burnt out and nervous about clinical rotations...kindly move to the next bullet, as I have issues with being concise.
- 9.Sidetracked cont.Not everyone feels this way, but if you do, I promise it gets so much better. Like a million times better. And if you doesn't get better, a doctor once told me-There are so many types of jobs you can do as a doctor, you're an idiot if you can't find one you like-Aka try not to feel discouraged, you will find something!
- 10.I hope list app lasts for my lifetimeSo that when I feel doubt or fatigued, I can read this list. Being a doctor has its pros and cons, like every job. For me the pros very clearly outweigh the cons, and I hope I've showed you why. :)