Hopefully my previous post hasn’t scared off any great future doctors out there. And if you’re already in medical school–cheers to living the dream! Here are my reasons for staying:
- I love helping hurting people.
If you’re like me, your heart breaks at the sight of a stubbed toe… ok, more like a congenital tracheoesophageal fistula. But you want to hug it all away, mentally/emotionally, for the less demonstrative types. Crying alongside patients who have lost physical functions, family members, or their dreams = comforting sick people = medicine.
- I can’t picture life outside of a clinical setting.
And you don’t remember a time when you weren’t sporting a plastic doctor kit. My CRNA mom gave us the birds and the bees talk when I was six and Jon was four–Netter style. Emergency intubation? I’ma come along. Gummy bears? I’ma perform brain surgery.
- The above criteria is satisfied and…
Some inner aspiration or undigested bit of broccoli within me says,”Learn all life long! Delay gratification for a couple six more years! Become creative, caring, independent leader in local community!”
(Inner voices may be proof one can OD on vegetables.)
- I hope that my today doesn’t look much different than my tomorrow.
What counts is community, faith, family and friends, and health, so I try to work medicine around that. A rising second year gave the best advice last summer to treat medical school as an eight to five job.
Much of the whining around a physician’s hours concerns life choices. Before medical school, did you truly put family and friends before that research abstract? In medical school, did you skip breakfasts during a week-long cram session? I liken getting to the gym or church or soup kitchen to climbing Mt. Everest. Backwards. On a good day. During some pseudo holiday break of sorts.
Becoming a doctor can’t be any less scary to a 20 something year old than trying to figure out what to do with the rest of life. And who knows? I might just have fun.