“I don’t know” would be the classic answer for me. Usually, I avoid the question for fear of being judged, most of the time unfairly. Sometimes too, by the mere fact that I’m thinking of being misjudged makes me the one who judges myself unfairly. Quite simply, it’s the “hidden zombie” within me that’s the greatest enemy.
There’s nothing wrong with the dream of becoming a doctor, all for reasons private to us. Sometimes we do feel that our reasons may be nobler than most who want it simply for the fame attached to the name. M.D., however, is no easy suffix to attain, and to do it well one has to love it all by itself and with the perks and follies that comes with the journey.
When I chose to become a doctor, I wasn’t sure myself whether my intentions are noble. Is it nobler to say that it is the only way I could reconcile my love for science and my desire for its practical application for the direct benefit of society? Is it noble to say that I want my family to have a stable life in the future, to help my parents fulfill their simple dreams? Is it noble to say that being a doctor is something that came naturally for me, without any childhood motivation, something which, in just a snap of a finger, just… felt right?
For those who have experienced the rigors of healthcare, and still want to stay, and to improve so that you may be able to help others more, I salute you, for my reasons are neither here nor there with yours.
Sometimes I do feel the naivety of my statements, and I can’t help but curl up in terror with the very fear of me knowing absolutely nothing about the thing I’m entering to.
But I guess there’s no reason for me to sulk in the corner and be sad about what I do not know. For the knowledge is there, parading itself in front of me in a tangled shape of arrows that tells the story of a molecule, or perhaps the story of the blood cell that seeks to be enriched before it is ready to be pumped out into the system.
Just like that, from the sweetness of existence, we will be degraded and recreated to serve a higher purpose that we might not know as of the moment. The remaining three years of medical school is the rite-of-passage where our greatest opponent is not our professors, nor our subjects, and definitely not our own classmates – for all of them are there to help us and nurture us.
The worst conceivable enemy I could think of is ourselves, subject to illusory standards of greatness that may prevent us from enjoying the experience. When stressors force us to shut ourselves up and make the whole odyssey a shackle that hinders our growth. And, above all, is coloring ourselves with expectations that others placed upon us… and making them our own.
Why do you want to become a doctor? I guess it’s something that should drive us forward into excelling. Whatever your reason is, keep it close to your heart, so that amid all the distractions, depressions, knowledge, information, whispers, and expectations, one thing is kept true within you: your humanity.
And if you’re still confused. There’s no need to worry. From the words of Doc Decs in one memorable anatomy class: “Everything happens for a reason.”