Posts tagged reason

Being a doctor was once a job with great purpose. Now it's just a business

The ‘free market’ approach to healthcare means seeing more patients in less time. We’ve lost the human connection in health reform.

This is a call to begin a spirited discussion centering on such real healthcare reform. I am not naive to the hard economic realities of healthcare delivery or how civil discussions on reforming healthcare payments need to continue. However, meaningful and lasting solutions will not be found in models that commoditize health and continue to be based on a foundation of reward and punishment alone. They will be found in models that bring back the joy of healthcare to professionals who deliver it – physicians such as me and countless others who seem to have lost the single most powerful driving force – purpose.

Hey... I need help. A lot of people have been encouraging me to go and proceed, to study medicine. Even people in my workplace (I'm a nurse, btw. And I'm almost through my first hospital experience post boards). I'm not sure if I want to. When did you really know you wanted to become a doctor? — Asked by Anonymous

I thought about it for a long time but eventually the triggering event that set things in motion for real was when my father was diagnosed with cancer. I felt compelled to pursue medicine because I wanted to help people through the same ordeal I went through and hopefully prevent or treat the illnesses that ailed them. 

You can read a more thorough response here.

Everyone in my class have different motivations and reasons for pursuing medicine. As it turns out there is no right or wrong answer as long as its true to your feelings. Do not feel pressured to study medicine if you do not feel that it is for you. Find something that you are passionate about and resonates with you. Good luck and take care.

The Holstee Manifesto.
Although not specifically about medicine, many of these points are universal. They resonate as the simple truths. They belong within a human condition.
"This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often."

The Holstee Manifesto.

Although not specifically about medicine, many of these points are universal. They resonate as the simple truths. They belong within a human condition.

"This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often."

What qualities did you see in yourself that made you confident that medical school and becoming a doctor was the right career path for you? — Asked by aeroportage

Medicine has a tendency to attract a certain demographic of people that share many qualities. They can be good or bad depending on the circumstances. It is the nature of the beast.

I have always held great respect for this field. Curiosity and interest led me here. I would like to believe I am a hard worker, dedicated to perfecting my craft, and have a hunger for knowledge. Beyond them there are of course other qualities like independence, leadership and compassion etc., qualities that we are all gifted with. It is only when you get into medicine that you realize that there are people who are even more qualified in these areas. I am always amazed by those around me.

To that end, I do not know if the qualities I possess are enough to succeed in this profession but I make do with what I have and do the best I can.

Why is medicine the right career path for me? That is a deeply personal question where the answer is a feeling. I feel it in my bones and in my heart and I cannot explain to you why it feels right. However, what I can tell you is why I continue: I continue in medicine because it is my passion, it is my dream. I continue because I promised my late father I would pursue that which makes me happy. I continue because losing my father to cancer means something to me. 

I continue because I believe in myself.

Jake Bouma meets with his oncologist on June 22, 2012, after four rounds of chemotherapy to treat his Hodgkin Lymphoma.

This clip is part of a documentary Nathan Matta is creating on his journey, “Let’s Do This: Facing Hodgkin Lymphoma.”

When I feel lost on my journey, when the challenges seem insurmountable, moments like these remind me again why I am here and why I have chosen medicine. More than that, it pushes me to continue onward.

A Process of Death

Three years ago today, I personally had an experience with the final days of a man. I can still remember watching this once proud and grown man grow weak and frail as his cancer progressed. I remember this man being healthy only months before lying in a bed, eyes closed and lips pursed, wrestling internally with the rebellious cells of his body and the toxic therapy coursing through his veins. I remember refusing to give into the truth that lay before me.

That this man was my father.

What inspired you to do medicine? — Asked by soft-world

I was inspired to do medicine from a young age. I was always kind of fascinated with the profession growing up. It appealed to my practical and problem solving nature; this grew as I became older. I had a deeper appreciation of patient care when I entered the pharmaceutical sciences. The biggest inspiration or rather driver was my father’s diagnosis of cancer and his passing. This was a significant event in my life and left me determined to pursue medicine both as a matter of personal interest but also as a promise to my father: to pursue the things that mattered to me the most and to live without regret.

What made you decide on becoming a doctor and not a nurse? — Asked by Anonymous

Hm…I have never really looked at it that way before. I am sure everyone has their personal reasons. I think it is important to realize that while doctors and nurses work hand in hand with each other and with other professions in the health care system, everyone’s job is equally important when it comes to the care of the patient. We all must work as a unit.

Through the years, looking at things from a career perspective, one of the things that I really gravitated to is problem solving and looking at the big picture and figuring out the puzzle. In pharmacy, there was a problem solving component when it came to identifying a patient’s needs and figuring out the underlying issues surrounding their drug therapy. When it comes to medicine, there is that whole component of identifying conditions or reasons why a patient becomes ill and finding ways to solve that. Even nursing has a diagnostic and problem solving component to it when it comes to patient care and comfort. 

Growing up, I was interested in medicine and just the whole patient care aspect; a lot of that interest was eventually built in my secondary school years, when I got to speak to a number of doctors. Those experiences influenced my desires to go into medicine. Another moment in time that influenced me to choose medicine was my father’s battle with colon cancer, which he lost a few short months after diagnosis. There are a lot of things I saw in that time that impressed upon me the complexity of the medical profession and reinforced my desires to become a doctor.

How did you study for Physiology in your undergraduate years? I am looking at all of the information I must learn and understand, and I must say that it looks like quite an undertaking. Also, how did you manage all of your medical school prerequisites and other college courses in tandem with the shadowing and volunteering that medical schools would like to see in candidates? Did you ever feel like giving up because of the pressures that a pre-medical student must face? — Asked by worldofthenebulous

For your question about studying physiology, it really is quite a bit. I think it was one of the harder classes I had to take. What I ended up doing was making a lot of cue cards and flow charts. A lot of concepts in physiology work well to break down into smaller boxes of information and just work through independently. Things like fluid compartments and micturition, metabolism can be generally expressed into a flow chart. This not only simplifies things but helps you reorganize and digest the lectures.

I found those helpful but I admit that everyone studies a little differently so it might not work well for you but it is worth a try.

As for the second part of your question, I have sort of answered this in the previous response found here. As an applicant, I put medicine on hold not so much because of pressure but because I felt like I had under-performed in the MCAT and would have a low likelihood of success. This changed when my father passed away, mentioned here.

Why and when did you decide you wanted to become a doctor? — Asked by Anonymous

I have sort of answered the why but not so much the when. My interest in medicine goes back a long way to when I was kid. I grew up watching shows like Life in the E.R. and reading things on biology, physiology, and anatomy that kept me interested. As I got more exposure to it from volunteering in the hospitals and talking to doctors, I found it really appealed to my nature.

I would say that the interest started in my childhood and that solidified in my secondary school years.