Bad reasons to want to be a doctor
As this year’s cohort of medical school applicants works on their secondary applications and gets ready for upcoming interviews, I thought I would post and debunk some undesirable reasons to want to be a doctor, some funny, some serious. I probably don’t need to say this, but it really is important to know why you personally want to be a part of the profession, not just to answer the question but to have real justification for going down this path when it does become difficult.
“I will be able to get it on with my hot colleagues like on Grey’s Anatomy.” In real life, med students study a lot, and there’s, like, work to do in the clinical setting. Plus, the attendings are usually not as attractive as McDreamy or McSteamy.
“I will make a lot of money.” In actuality, it takes 4 years to get through medical school, which requires paying for tuition and living expenses, and then 3 or more years of residency, which is relatively low pay, before you become a full-fledged practicing physician. The average debt for a medical school graduate today is more than $100,000.
“Mom and Dad want me to be a doctor.” Again, you will be the one going through those 4 years of medical school, not them. If you can’t figure out what you want on your own, will you ever figure out what you really want? Becoming a doctor is not just a financial investment; it is also an investment of time and effort. If your heart is not really in it now, it will be very difficult to keep going later when the times really get tough.
“I want to help people.” Well, this reason is a good start, but it really has to be expanded to really pertain to medicine. Helping people is a part of a lot of professions, but it doesn’t pinpoint medicine. Are you really prepared for all the trials and tribulations you will encounter on the road to becoming a physician?
So what is a good reason to want to be a doctor? That would be the one that you discover yourself. Even if you’re not going into medicine, it’s still important to determine your own reasons for doing something before you blindly delve into an undesirable pursuit. Don’t just follow convention; instead, follow your head/heart.