why do you want to become a physician
Every budding medical student prepares for this inevitable question. Interview training advises against parroting the clichös of Áan equal interest in people and scienceÁ or following in Á footsteps, and especially against confessing to a desire for the social status and financial rewards offered by a
in medicine. Ofá course, the latter is almost always important, a fact known to both parties, despite remaining unspoken at interviews. Perhaps there are other, more profound and less acknowledged, reasons for going into medicine: reasons that are closer to the truth, but that are present to varying degrees in the candidate's conscious awareness. One possibility is epitomized by Alice MillerÁs concept of the 'parentified child'. Miller described children who were preoccupied with looking after their parents, rather than themselves, as they grew up. This may lead those children to instinctively choose to carry on this role by caring for their patients. Whilst this process can produce dedicated doctors, the individual involved may harbour resentment towards their needy parent for denying them a full degree of freedom in life. á The deeper reasons for choosing medicine often involve processes predominantly in the unconscious mind, a concept famously explored by. In Freud's so-called structural model, the mind is divided into the id, ego, and superego. á The role of the mostly conscious ego is to reconcile the demands of the unconscious id (which seeks out immediate gratification of our instinctive drives), the mostly unconscious superego (which acts as a sort of moral ), and the external world. This balancing act can be challenging. To avoid anxiety, the ego employs defense mechanisms to manage unacceptable impulses from the id.
One such defense is sublimation, which involves converting unacceptable impulses into more socially acceptable activities. A possible (controversial) example in medicine is someone with sadistic impulses of others training to be a surgeon. á Another form of sublimation is the defense, in which helping others is a means of pushing our own needs and anxieties into the background. Doctors employing this defense avoid their personal difficulties by expending energy on investigating and treating the problems experienced by their patients. á á A further example of sublimation involves the more complex psychological idea of reparation. Described by Melanie Klein, reparation is the wish to heal the damage caused to a loved person. The archetypal example of this process occurs in the infant, who, before realising that good and bad can exist in the same person, idealizes the parent who feeds, and hates the (same) parent who does not respond instantly to his needs. When the infant later realises that he has wished harm on his loving parent, he feels guilt (or depressive anxiety), and from this is born a desire to reparate. á Thus, a doctor may harbour about destructive impulses, or supposed harm caused to loved ones, and unconsciously relieve this anxiety through repairing, or healing, his patients. Reparation is a natural impulse but can be contrasted with the less mature 'manic reparation'. A person who uses manic reparation is unable to tolerate the ambivalence of a flawed (that is, both good and bad) loved one. This person feels, according to Hanna Segal, 'a triad of feelings - control, triumph and contempt' towards the loved one.
This renders the damage that he feels that he caused irrelevant, and he thereby avoids uncomfortable feelings of guilt. The damage, though, is never repaired, and there is endless repetition of this processÁwhence the term 'manic'. It is worth reflecting on this theory when recovering from an encounter with a difficult, defensive, and authoritarian hospital doctor. Another possible reason for pursuing medicine is encapsulated in a biblical proverb, ÁPhysician heal thyselfÁ (Luke 4:23). and empathizing with the difficulties of others offers an opportunity for profound personal growth. Carl Jung thought that the goal of life is the integration of the unconscious and conscious in order to become a whole, differentiated person, a task that he termed individuation. He saw the old idea of alchemy as symbolic of the transformation seen in individuation. The processes involved in turning base metals into noble metals he saw as metaphors for processes occurring in the psyche. Alchemy could also represent the joint healing of the doctor and patient through a combined therapeutic journey. Just as a base metal may be heated, crystallized, sublimated, distilled, and refined, so the doctor and patient may metaphorically come together as clothed strangers, become naked, join in union, reach the depths of their unconscious, and, finally, emerge together more noble, truthful, and divine. Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, ; who looks inside, awakes. The medical fieldá incorporates the most stringent selection procedures. Why? Because the risks are exceptionally high; in many cases it is a matter of life and death.
Be aware that the interviewer leavesá no stone unturned á before selecting the right candidate. The question why you want to be a doctor is frequently asked whether you are preparing for an interview for medical school or for a medical doctor. After reading this article, continue reading the following articles, both of which are located in theá ÁWhy do you want to become a doctor? Á is a typical question. The primary reason that an interviewer asks this question is to gauge an applicantÁs motivational level. Needless to say, no employer will risk selecting an individual who lacks the motivation required. Thus, it is essential for you to improve the way you communicate your motivational levels to an interviewer. If you are able to put forward the right message across in the right way, the job can be yours. Having discussed the requirement of stringent selection procedures, let us grasp what happens in the mind of an interviewer while he/she checks the applicantÁs motivational levels. An interviewer is able to check the motivational level of an applicant using a three-tier approach: Let us understand these three points with the help of an example. Question: á ÁWhy did you choose a medical doctor career? Why do you want to be a doctor? Á Áá Applicant 1: á ÁEver since I was a child, I wanted to be a medical doctor. I like helping and making people feel better. I feel that my personal mission is to help humanity defeat diseases and overcome suffering. Á Áá Applicant 2: á ÁI have always waned to work in this noble profession because I have the right concern and skill sets to address human health problems with utmost gravity; á I possess a unique combination of high emotional quotient and a sound scientific approach.
Becoming a doctor has always been a dream of mine and I worked hard to make it happen. Á Both answers communicate the motivational level quite well. By looking at the two answers you can tell which answer is better; obviously the latter. Thus, the second applicant has a higher chance of getting selected. But what is it that makes the second applicantá stand out? Statement of Purpose: The second applicant validates a strong statement of purpose. ÁHigh emotional quotientÁ and Áscientific approachÁ are the two most important attributes of a good doctor. By mentioning these two attributes, the applicant gains the interest of the interviewer. Hopefully, the interviewer understands that the applicant is clear about the prerequisites of the job and has the abilities to be a successful doctor. The first applicant tells about his/her general career aspiration, which is fine, but forgets to outline why s/he thinks s/he can be a good doctor. The second applicant seems to be more mature in communicating the intensity of his motivation. The applicant is not ambiguous; rather, he is forthright in mentioning that he possesses the appropriate skill sets for the job. Body Language: The second applicant appears to be more enthusiastic in answering the question. He elaborates more about the skills he has and how he fits in the professional field. Now that you have understood how to answer the question, you need to elaborate on what we have mentioned. If you can enumerate a few instances where you have utilized the skills, then the job is almost definitely yours!
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