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Do you think the reason you wanted to become a doctor was a good one?

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    • Thread Starter

    Hi everyone,

    I am a PhD student in Molecular Biology hoping to apply to medicine in 2017. I have been wondering a lot about what a good reason is for wanting to become a doctor. What were your reasons for wanting to become one? And now that you are a doctor, do you think your reasons for wanting to become one the 'right' reasons?


    Oh dear... this question being asked on the day that the new JD contract was published in full...
    I will try to remember why I chose this as a career and post a reply when I've calmed down a bit tomorrow !!
    • Thread Starter

    It makes me feel so sad and scared that doctors and the NHS are going through this nightmare! working for the NHS right now is not for the faint hearted but the patients need you now more than ever. I know this because my partner is currently in the process of being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The future looks bleak and scary- especially when you see everywhere that the NHS may be no more and the doctors so angry, stressed and tired.
    I am definitely on your side and whatever reason it was for wanting to become a doctor, thank you for being one.

    The first thing I will say is that lots of applicants are intimidated by the perception that you should be guided by one great "reason" for wanting to be a doctor. This clearly isn't true for the vast majority of applicants and I would start out by thinking in terms of reasons rather than a single moment when you were called to the profession.... When I applied, the main reasons were that I enjoyed:

    1. learning - and every day is a school day in medicine...
    2. lots of intellectual disciplines - and medicine is the ultimate cross-disciplinary course/profession with some biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, pathology, law, ethics, statistics, sociology, and psychology (I've since learned that it's steeped in politics as well).
    3. working hard - but would prefer to invest that effort in a valuable enterprise rather than feeling as if I am working to increase someone else's profit [this is a genuine motivation but clearly struck a cord with one of my two interviewers who started nodding vigorously when this came up].
    4. helping people solve problems that they aren't able to manage themselves - this is 50% "helping others" and 50% "being the expert/hero".

    Since then, I would probably add that I enjoy:

    5. being a participant at the extremes of human experience (you really do see everything... fear, anger, joy, despair...).
    6. gratitude from patients and colleagues (not necessarily for big things - "thanks for explaining that clearly", "that's such a relief - I was really worried it might be X", etc).
    7. teaching students, colleagues, and patients (lots of patients know very little about how their bodies work and are actually really interested in why disease X causes Y symptoms, and how it is treated with Z).
    8. the flexibility of a career that spans surgery to psychiatry and can include almost any combination of clinics, critically unwell patients, procedures, operating, research, quality improvement, management, teaching, etc. Medicine is the ultimate portfolio career.
    9. and latterly the fact that UK-trained doctors are welcomed by (almost) every country in the world.

    I think those are all good reasons (there are doubtless many more possibilities!) and I haven't once mentioned money (lucky really as there is now much less of it...).

    (Original post by mba09nr)
    The future looks bleak and scary- especially when you see everywhere that the NHS may be no more and the doctors so angry, stressed and tired.
    Thanks for this post. It has certainly been hard to be on the receiving end of attacks from journalists and politicians that are so far removed from the realities of delivering healthcare in the UK. The service is also suffering and the doctor role is much less rewarding when so much time is spent apologising for system :dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin: ups, delays, miscommunications, cancelled procedures, etc. I hope your sister gets all the care that she needs.

    originally, in year 9 was the first time I heard about the Palestinian crisis. I couldn't do anything to help, the only want I could help was to become a doctor XD

    although, I am probably not gonna go to Palestine after I become a doctor bc it's too dangerous, it was my initial motivation. Also, I really look forward to night shifts.
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