I don't WANT to be a doctor - page 2

I just want to vent a little. My family seems to have this thing about doctors. When I called my folks to tell them I was getting a divorce, the very first thing my Dad said was "Oh good, now you... Read More

  1. by   DBlack1
    I think being a male makes this even worse. Almost every night I went to work I had a patient ask if I was working towards becoming a MD. I got tired of explaining myself so I just told them I didn't even graduate from high school until I was 20 (which is true), and my 2.8 college GPA wouldn't get me into any med school I know of. I hate school.

    My parents never gave me any grief about it, but they did want me to further my education.
  2. by   subee
    Quote from sunnyjohn
    Even though they are annoying as heck, your family means well.

    I told my daddy and mum in fifth grade I wanted to be a doctor. They haven't let up since. I might become a doctor some day, but I am going into nursing to be a nurse, not as a stepping stone.

    These days, I just smile and nod. Ya gotta love living 2000 miles away! My mum has gottten the hint and elbows dad when he starts in on the 'Dr. Sunny' bit.
    I like that smile and nod thing. I got the same thing from my parents but now that I have such a useful store of knowledge (over 30 yrs exp.), the point has been taken. They're just ignorant but in time, I sure your knowledge will enlighten them too!
  3. by   bethin
    Quote from clee1
    Let's face it: most of us alive today have families that were reared to believe that being a Doctor or Lawyer was the absolute pinacle of professional and/or social achievement. They just cannot see that there are many more paths to professional and personal achievement than there were 2-3 generations ago.

    I recently told my brother, an attorney BTW, that he needed to step back from his "Ozzie and Harriet" or "Leave it to Beaver" mentality. The was NO WAY I was, at my age, going to medical school - and I wouldn't practice as a doctor if the proverbial "genie in the lamp" showed up and made me into one instantly. He was astounded by my response.

    I know several doctors well; a few very well. 95% have told me that if they had to do it all over again (considering the educational years and expense, the cost of malpractice insurance, and the hassles of dealing with the managed care era we are in) they'd have rather become NPs.
    I agree. Luckily my parents believe that no matter what you do, as long as you do it well it's an achievement. You could be a really really crappy, cheating lawyer and where's the professionalism in that? But you could be a happy, honest, respectable gas station attendent.

    My grandmother does not feel the same way. To her happiness is achieved through going to school for 10 years, never seeing your family, and money.

    I work with many doctors who say if they had to do it over they wouldn't go to med school. Out of our maybe, 15 GP dr's, we've had 5 leave for elementary teaching, chef, day care worker, etc. NOTHING to do with their degrees. So maybe happiness isn't in going to school for 10 years, never seeing your family, and money. Maybe happiness is doing what YOU want.

    Do what makes you happy because in the end it's you you have to live with.
  4. by   JBudd
    My sister the lawyer asked me the other night if the Masters in Nursing Education I'm working on would get me into med school as a "shortcut". Umm, I don't know, because I don't want to go to Med school, so I've never looked into it! I looked at her and said "good God! why would I want to be a doctor?"

    She said someone she knew was going the NP route in order to get into Med School as a shortcut......

    It doesn't take fewer brains to go to nursing school than med school, just a lot less time. When people ask me about not being a doctor, whatever, I ask them if they really want stupid people that couldn't get into med school taking care of them, or smart people who chose nursing to begin with.
  5. by   bethin
    Who would watch the dr's butts if everyone was a dr?
  6. by   anouk
    I agree with the OP nurses, are "professionals", just like teachers. You just can't walk into a hospital or clinic and magically become a nurse. In addition to being a physically demanding job nursing involves years of formal training (i.e. school) and critical thinking skills.

    Likewise I admire and respect people who spend eight-ten years out of their lives to become doctors. It is a very difficult career to get into (med school is extremely competitive) and can heavily infringe on ones family life. It is a sacrifice that if given the choice is not one that I am sure I would make.
    Last edit by anouk on Nov 29, '06
  7. by   clemmm78
    Yeah, I've been told "you seem to smart to be just a nurse." Sigh.
  8. by   augigi
    I should add, personally i don't take too much offense when I hear the old "you're too smart to be just a nurse" thing. I think it's an opportunity to educate people about what nurses actually do and the depth of their knowledge.

    I'm really lucky in that my family of 6 includes a biochemist, 3 nurses, a vet tech and a lawyer. Everyone has a clear understanding of the value of nursing as a career. Having a nurse mum has been so helpful to my career, schooling and life! Just having someone around to talk about work to who gets it!
  9. by   Megsd
    When I was a kid I got a lot of pressure about being a doctor, too, because I was so smart. I don't know if it was subconscious or not, but my initials happen to be MD. I thought briefly about med school because I wanted to be involved in health care, but never went so far as to take premed classes. Several of my friends in nursing school started college as premed, a few took the MCAT and one actually took a semester of med school and absolutely hated it. She has since said that nursing school is just as difficult as what she endured in med school, without such a competitive, cutthroat attitude (she said if one asked classmates a question some would purposefully provide wrong answers so they would get higher grades on exams).

    That said, I am lucky to have 2 grandmas who were nurses, and my dad actually started as a nursing major in college in the 70's. But other people I have interacted with do say the same thing. "Why nursing? You're so smart, you could be a doctor!" I explain to them much of what the OP has said: I like that the nurse looks at the person, not the disease, and treats the whole person, not just the physical ailments, and has more interaction with patients than just 5 minutes a day on rounds in the hospital. Then they seem to smile, say "Aww, that's nice" and we move on with our day.
  10. by   CrazyHands
    It seems that family and friends really do have a misconception on what it takes to get throught nursing school. I was telling one woman at my job (corporate america) about a fellow student who needs to withdraw this semester due to medical issue and hopes to apply for re-admit, but prof's were giving student a hard time already. She made a remark "what's the big deal, like they have so many people applying?" And I said, "actually yes, they only take about 25% of applicants any given semester." What do people think, you just show and up and register or like corporate America, get your buddy to get you a job with no qualifications or education?
    CrazyHands
  11. by   HealthyRN
    Quote from DBlack1
    I think being a male makes this even worse. Almost every night I went to work I had a patient ask if I was working towards becoming a MD. I got tired of explaining myself so I just told them I didn't even graduate from high school until I was 20 (which is true), and my 2.8 college GPA wouldn't get me into any med school I know of. I hate school.

    My parents never gave me any grief about it, but they did want me to further my education.
    I understand that it becomes old trying to explain this to patients. However, I would really encourage you to come up with a different response. IMHO, this response just contributes even more to the stereotype of nurses being less intelligent and less capable than physicians. I don't believe that a low GPA or dislike of schooling means that you aren't intelligent. The general public probably does though. Perhaps saying something like, "I enjoy the lifestyle of being a nurse better than that of a physician" would be better. Just a suggestion.

close