Should I Talk About Being Respected as a Physician?

Session 20

There are many reasons to want to be a physician, but should “being respected” be one of those reasons that you talk about in your interviews or applications.

I talked with a student earlier and asked her why medicine? It’s a standard question in a medical school interview. Why do you want to be a doctor?

I wasn’t convinced with his initial answer. And he said his mentor and friend became a physician and when he came back to their small town. He was immediately well-respected because of being a physician.

I am now going to question why you want to be a physician and your motives.

[01:20] Your Job is Not to Be Respected

Going into medicine to be respected is a terrible decision. As a physician and and somebody who’s married as a physician, patients don’t always respect you, more often than not.

And that’s okay.

As somebody who went through medical school to be a respected member of the community, and you go to work day in and day out and aren’t respected, are you gong to be happy? Are you going to be satisfied? Are you going to lead the next generation of physicians? No, because you’re going to say medicine is terrible.

[02:30] Going Into Medicine for the Wrong Reasons

We have plenty of physicians right now who went into medicine for the wrong reasons. They are telling premeds not to go into medicine because the pay is not good. Or that insurance is changing and they’re arguing with insurance companies all day long. They say it’s because they’re not respected.

If I hear during the interview that you want to be respected, I am probably not going to recommend that you be admitted.

I want to hear you’re going into medicine for the right reasons. You want to take care of patients. You want to make a difference in a patient’s life, not to change the community or have an impact on the community. It’s not because you want to give back to the community. Since you can do that in other professions.

Don’t talk about respect in your personal statement or your secondary essays. Don’t talk about respect in your interviews.

[04:10] Want to Make an Impact?

This student I was working with talked further about the clout being a physician gives you to have an impact on the community. That sort of respect is a little bit different. But if you’re leaning on becoming a physician to give you that clout to make that impact, you really don’t need that title. Go do it yourself without the title. Make that impact to yourself. The title doesn’t do anything to you.

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