Becoming a medical doctor is challenging BUT possible. There are plenty of road blocks along the way which are strategically placed in attempt to weed you out. Some of us successfully navigate the tortuous road and become doctors. Some of us do not. If you are among the group that does not…here are my thoughts as to why you will never become a medical doctor.
Lack of Passion! This is by far most important. Many of you will not become medical doctors simply because you do not want to be medical doctors. I have been mentoring premedical students long enough to know that some students really want this whereas others are caught up in the hype. The 18 year old college freshman has to have a major. Premed sounds good doesn’t it? Rolls right off the tongue. But with time, it becomes evident that many who self-designate this route do not have the passion for it. The evidence lies in the effort they put forth. Passion gives birth to hard work. Those who do not work hard to become medical doctors don’t have the passion for it. I do not want to be misunderstood and have readers conclude that lack of passion for medicine is a bad thing. On the contrary it is a great thing. If you do not want to be a medical doctor, then you should not chase this career path. The time and effort necessary to reach that goal is not worth it unless the passion is there.
Fear! This is the second reason that some of you will never become medical doctors. It is possible to have passion and still not succeed in the medical field. As a matter fact, within the minority community, I would contend that there are plenty of premedical students who have passion and do not achieve their goal. Fear plagues our premedical students. We are afraid to speak in class, afraid to sit in the front, afraid to go to office hours, afraid of the MCAT, afraid to apply to medical school, etc. etc. etc. The list goes on and on. Fear is crippling, and I have seen it in action. One by one it knocks out our legitimate premedical candidates. I don’t know how many students “failed” the MCAT before ever stepping into the exam room. Fear did that to them! Why are we so afraid to fail? With failure comes growth! If you tell me that you have never failed, I will tell you that you have failed to try challenging things in life. It is okay to fail sometimes, BUT, do not let fear cripple you, or you will fail every time.
Lack of Mentorship! This is perhaps the single most important modifiable reason that there are so few minorities in the medical field. How can you become a medical doctor if nobody shows you how to be one? The heartache and time that is circumvented simply by someone more knowledgeable than you are serving as your informant is tremendous. There was a time that lack of mentorship in the minority community could be blamed on a broken system, but that time has since passed. Nowadays, institutions such as DiverseMedicine Inc provide mentorship and information at the click of a button. Excuses are a thing of the past. If a student lacks guidance, it is his or her own doing. You cannot expect people to volunteer their time and resources to your success. But if you do ask for mentorship, it is likely that you will be given mentorship. Remember the wise words, “you have not because you ask not.”
You will never become a Medical Doctor if these 3 things hold you back. Lack of passion is actually a good thing because it will save you from years of what would seem to be torture if you do not love medicine. Fear and Lack of Mentorship on the other hand can be modified. If the minority community wants to increase the number of underrepresented medical professionals, these must be overcome. We can do it! In retrospect, the title of this blog is flawed. The words “would have” should replace the word “will”. I can’t wait to see that white coat on you!!!
Image From: http://mentalfloss.com/article/22855/friday-happy-hour-i-have-recurring-dream