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Reasons to Be a Doctor

When you apply to medical school, you have to coherently and effectively answer the question “why do you want to become a doctor?” in your personal statement. Then, in every interview thereafter, you need to answer the question once again, but this time in front of a panel of interviewers. It is difficult to know which answers admissions committees deem as “good” and which are deemed as “bad”. Obviously it is a matter of opinion and everyone has a different combination of reasons to be a doctor. Nevertheless, there is a reason why some people get into medical school and some don’t (besides the grades and MCAT of course).

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Applicants who effectively demonstrate to admissions committees that they have the proper motivation and skill set to be a good doctor are the ones who are accepted. Thus, here is a list of potential reasons to be a doctor.  If you can only identify with one or two of these reasons, most likely you do not have the right motivation to become a physician.

1. Helping others in an incredibly significant way

Most people value their health above everything else in their lives whether they know it or not. When someone is  sick or injured, his or her normal way of life is disrupted and doctors have the incredible opportunity to restore these people’s lives to normalcy and even save some from death itself. Therefore being a doctor is extremely rewarding.

2. Medicine is fascinating

Becoming a doctor means learning everything there is to know about the human body. The human body itself is an incredible thing to study and medical students and doctors have the opportunity to further examine it with the most innovative technology. From the pumping of the heart to drugs that take away pain to machines that allow you look inside a person, modern medicine remains one of the most fascinating subjects in the world.

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3. Trust and honor

By the virtue of their title, doctors are trusted with sensitive information that most other people would not have access to. Patients share their deepest concerns with their doctors in hopes of being healed. To be trusted to this extent by anybody is a great honor.

4. Influence and respect

Like it or not, by default, doctors are in a position of power. They are considered the leaders in health care and often have the final say on treatment decisions. When doctors talk, people usually listen. Even outside the work setting, doctors are regarded highly (just think how your impression of someone changes when you find out he or she is a doctor).

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5. Never a dull moment

Physicians interact with different kinds of people with various ailments every day. The variety of experiences guarantees that every day will have some sort of excitement.

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6. Other opportunities

Just because you are a doctor does not mean you have to see patients all day every day. There are numerous opportunities available for MD’s and DO’s: clinical research, basic science research, journalism, consulting, business ventures, hospital administration, public health, and public policy.

7. Ability to build meaningful relationships

Doctors who have the opportunity to see the same patients over and over again can build meaningful relationships with them.

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8. Job stability

The medical field is not very influenced by the ups and downs of the economy. Doctors are always needed so you will not have to worry about a fluctuating job market as much as most other jobs.

9. High compensation

One can argue that doctors don’t make enough money but they still do make a lot of money. The national average salary for a general internist, a field that is on the lower end of the salary spectrum, is still close to $200,000.

10. Requires critical thinking and problem solving

Doctors have to use their intelligence and technical skills to treat patients.  Many doctors enjoy the challenge of having to diagnosing a patient and figuring out the best way to treat them. Many surgeons and other procedure-based doctors love to work with their hands to find and fix problems.

Interested in considering a career in medicine? See how the expert advisors at MedSchoolCoach can help guide your medical journey, and can even help you get into medical school.

Edward Chang

Edward Chang is the Co-founder and Director of Operations of He graduated from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and is currently a urology resident at the University of Washington. He also attended UCLA as an undergraduate, graduating with a major in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. If you are interested in contributing to, please contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @EdwardChangMD and Prospective Doctor @ProspectiveDr.

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