Medicine as a Calling

In high school, I did pretty well in school, but I always found the subjects of English and Social Studies much easier and therefore I enjoyed them more.  I never considered myself to be a “math and science” person, but here I am, majoring in Biology .

I definitely think that majoring in a science is a more difficult major than others, mostly because it is so credit-heavy and each class comes with a lab.  Also, for the Biology, Chemistry, and Physics majors each has to take a class from the other two, which are similar in some ways but also very different (so just because one is good at Bio doesn’t necessarily mean one will be good at Chemistry and Physics).  Also, since I am pre-med I have to take all of those science classes anyway, regardless of my major.  

I know that undergrad is basically a “weeding out” of those who want to be doctors, and at first I didn’t understand why.  I thought it was unfair that they make the undergrad years so hard when (from what I’ve heard) a lot of the things I learn will not really be applicable in medical school.  Now I realize that undergrad needs to be challenging because the coursework in medical school is so challenging, and applicants need to show that they are able to get through the rigor and have the ability to get through medical school.  Also, becoming a doctor is a lot of responsibility because you are in charge of a person’s life, therefore it wouldn’t be right if anyone could simply sign up and become a doctor.

I recently read this article from a Philadelphia newspaper that talked about the fact that doctors want to provide the best care, and are unsatisfied when they are unable to, especially when it is because they have to deal with paperwork and administration tasks that take away time with the patient.  I thought this quotation by Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven, AMA president, was an adept explanation of what I believe medicine to be:

“Medicine isn’t a job. It’s not even just a career. Medicine is a calling.”

Once my grandma told her doctor friend that I wanted to be a doctor, and he replied to me “My condolences.” I definitely feel called towards medicine and I think it would be hard to get through the training if one didn’t feel it was his or her’s calling.  I think Dr. Mau also echoed these sentiment when she visited our class.   Sometimes I question why I am even doing pre-med, considering I have to work 10x harder to get an okay grade because science doesn’t come naturally to me. Then I remember the long term goal and that I can’t picture myself having any other career.  

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One thought on “Medicine as a Calling

  1. Thoughtful reflections on what draws you into medicine, and what will keep you there.
    And astute observations about the rigor of science classes. I think this is in part because science classes (except for some gen ed targeting non-science majors) are designed for majors and professions, and are tracked in a sequence, whereas humanities classes have few if any prereqs and allow majors and non majors in the same classes. Upper division humanities classes restricted to majors or filling mostly with majors tend to be more rigorous than you might expect given the more open nature of lower division humanities courses that meet the needs of a diverse group of students.

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