Friday, 9 December 2011

"You want to be a what?!" - Reactions when telling strangers you want to become a physician

When people ask you what you want to become in life, what do you say? Here's a reproduction of a conversation I recently had with someone I recently met. A slightly older person.

Me: "Hi, nice to meet you!"

New person: "Nice to meet you too! So, what are you doing right now? Are you a student?"

Me (smiling): "Oh no, I'm not studying. I'm taking a break right now"

New person (obviously confused): "Oh, so what is it that you are doing?"

Me (still smiling): "I work as a research assistant."

New person: "Oh, good heavens. Is that what you want to do in life?"

Me (consolingly): "Hm, well I really enjoy learning about health and medicine. So I want to go farther in that field."

New person (eyebrow raised): "Meaning... you want to be a nurse?"

Me: "No, sorry. I explored that field and it's just not for me."

New person (persistent): "You know, they make quite good money."

Me: "Yes, I know. But I like my current research more."

New person (confused): "Oh... so that's what you'll be doing for the rest of your life?"

Me: "I'd love to do research throughout my life. I'm applying to medical school and want to continue doing research."

New person: "Wait, medicine?! That's a tough one!"

Me (sigh): "... Yup."


  1. Haha!

    I've gotten a few "you're too old to start med school", but besides that everyone told me they were sure I'd make it in and that I'd be a great doc (still have to see about that!). My dad did warn me that had better be my last career change ;)

  2. You are definitely not to old! Med schools already told you that when the accepted you!

    Sometimes I think others think I'm too small, or look too young, actually.

    Hmm, I feel like this blog is therapy for me. :P

  3. Haha why not? It's your blog :)

    I know I'm not too old, but sometimes I realize the huge age gap there is between me (and my fellow older students) and the majority of my class. When you think about it, I was almost in high school where they were born! I didn't grew up with internet and all the technology, I remember different music, different shows... It's just different ;) I haven't found one single person that thought I was older than 24 yet though, that's hilarious!


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