Why Study Medicine? Pre-meds not in it for the money, survey says

by Charles Daniel and Michael O’Brien
SDN Staff Writers

For some, the answer to the question, “Why do you want to study medicine?” is a simple one: to make money.  These individuals, however, are in a shrinking minority, a recent survey has found.  Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions examined the responses of 914 students in its medical and law school preparatory courses to examine their motivations for professional study.  It seems that even as the traditional financial windfalls associated with medicine continue to wane, students’ passion for medical study is as fiery as ever.  In fact, less than half of pre-med respondents indicated their future earning potential “very much” or “somewhat” influenced their decision to study medicine.  But what does this mean?  Pre-professional students are notorious for their exaggerated claims of altruism while the true and ulterior motivation remains the big salary.  …or at least that was the belief. 

So, what’s the primary reason pre-meds gave for wanting to pursue medicine? “We wanted to get a better understanding of why our students chose medicine. We wanted to know what makes them tick,” said Matt Fidler, Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions’ Pre-Health director, “The biggest reason was the desire to help others and make a difference.”  As verboten a response as it is during medical school interviews, Fidler’s survey suggests there may just be a hint of truth in it.  Skeptics have long maintained that “helping others” and “making a difference” are merely lip service made by pre-professional students to get into school so they can earn the big bucks.

The survey by Kaplan found that while only 49% of pre-meds reported being primarily motivated by money, 71% of pre-law students indicated as much (based upon survey results of 453 Kaplan LSAT students in February 2008).  Since law and medicine are both potentially lucrative fields, what could account for the difference?  Of the over 400 pre-medical students surveyed, 89% listed either a desire to help others, a genuine interest in the sciences, or personal exposure to medicine as the impetus for their decision.  “We think it’s great for them to pursue medicine with such passion,” Fidler said.

And passion they must have!  While many individuals may report feeling squeamish at the mere mention of blood, these pre-meds are aware of and feel prepared for what they will face: a mere 12% say that the sight of blood makes them feel dizzy or faint, and only 11% are concerned about working with cadavers.  The survey results further indicate that these iron-stomached students decided to pursue medicine as their career path in large part during adolescence, giving them ample time to prepare academically and emotionally for the road ahead.  While the ability to earn a decent wage is a concern for students in all fields, perhaps it is not the critical factor for pre-meds it was believed to be.

These statistics are based on the responses of 461 Kaplan MCAT students in January 2008.  To what extent these results are generalizable to pre-medical students as a group remains to be seen.  This is the first time Kaplan has asked its students questions of this type, though it does survey its students on other important topics on a regular basis). Fidler indicates they plan to continue to do so in the future.  “We just think students are interested in learning about their peers’ motivations to go to medical school,” he says.  It will be very interesting indeed to see if this trend is observed in future Kaplan courses as well as outside the classroom!

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76 Responses to “Why Study Medicine? Pre-meds not in it for the money, survey says”

  1. Anonymous says:

    “Pre-professional students are notorious for their exaggerated claims of altruism while the true and ulterior motivation remains the big salary. …or at least that was the belief.”

    This survey does nothing to confirm altruism. What is the point of the article other than to confirm that medical students like to think they don’t need to earn a living?

    • anon says:

      I am currently applying to medicine. I think anyone applying to study medicine simply in order to get lots of money is very foolish and I find it hard to believe there are many applicants (successful ones at least) that are applying for the money. Most people who can get into medical school could make just as much money and probably much more through another proffesion. People apply to medicine because they have a passion for science and they want to apply it in an amazing way which is making a massive difference to real people. Furthermore anyone that does go in with the wrong attitude is very unlikely to get into medicine through the stringent application process/

  2. M. O'Brien says:

    This is certainly one of the weaknesses of surveys as a research instrument — everything is self-reported.

    The article attempts to highlight the difference between the large percentage of pre-meds who self-reported altruistic motivations and the large percentage pre-law students who did not.

    Both of these professions have the ability to yield staggering salaries so, all things being equal, why is there such a disparity? Are pre-law students just more honest?

    • Cara says:

      The disparity might have a simple explanation: law is not a profession with a reputation of involving altruistic work; medicine is. So if you wanted to go into an altruistic profession, you would be more likely to go into medicine than law.

      This survey hardly shows that med students are on the whole motivated by altriusm – 49% is hardly a minority!
      And to anon your reply is staggeringly naive. University entrance systems (no matter how stringent) are not that good at sorting out which students have the ‘correct’ motivations – it is very easy to lie and not so easy to figure out when someone is lieing (much harder than it is, at least, to figure out that someone is bad at X subject). And just because ‘people who can get into medical school could make as much or more money through other vocations’ does not mean they won’t pick medicine for the money. Equally, ppl who can get into law school could make as much or more in other professions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick law school for the money.

  3. Liz says:

    Nowadays there are just so many more options out there for students who want to earn a high income and enjoy a better lifestyle. Let’s face it, becoming a physician is just about the hardest path in every way. It involves more time, more intense material, more debt and more of a lifestyle compromise than law, business, engineering, finance, etc. So I would think that many bright young students whose primary motivation is income/lifestyle would be attracted by, in this case, law than medicine. Leaving people who may not necessarily be altruistic but are at least motivated by other factors than money to pursue medicine.

    If I were just looking for a higher paycheck, I could have gone to law school part time at night while still working full-time and be earning that high salary, with less debt, right around the time I can actually start med school (after finishing pre-reqs and applying).

  4. Wylde says:

    So:

    If 49% of the students are motivated by money, that actually probably means MOST students are! Assuming those 49% did not lie about going into medicine for the money (why would you lie and say you wanted the money instead of something else?). You can also assume part of the portion who said they are going into medicine to “help people” ARE lying! Adding up the 49% that admitted it and the xx% that lied, that is probably well over 60-70% of the students going into the profession for money.

    Epic fail Kaplan

    • anon says:

      Although you have a point here and the arguement in the article is flawed I think the vast majority of the XX% who did say they were in it for the money would not get into University as you have to be so passionate about medicine to get in and to continue through with it, not becoming wealthy until very late in your career.

  5. M. O'Brien says:

    Wylde, I think your argument is specious. 49% is not a majority and thus not “most”. Sure, there may be people who falsely reported altruistic motives (see my comment above about the limitations of survey research), but there is nothing that automatically makes the 49% any more honest.

    You say that “…probably well over 60-70%” of the surveyed students were in fact motivated by money. Your assumption that 21-31% of students lied has no statistical basis; to wit, neither of us is in a position to make that determination.

  6. D. Smith says:

    Lets be honest now. 100% of us took into consideration the aspect of financial gain and to say otherwise you are either a liar or completely ignorant and probably dont belong in medicine. I will say however, that many of us found medicine to be an altruistic career and that is what attracted us but there are plenty of careers that allow for altruistic motives to be achieved. The real issue behind this is that doctors are percieved as altruistic and lawyers are seen as “money hungry sue whatever breathes or moves” types. Thus, it only makes sense for medical students to state their altruistic motives because they believe thats what interviewers want them to say. Lets be honest, we’re not lawyers but then again we’re not ignorant either about the financial possibilities of medicine

  7. KHE says:

    To say that the financial renumeration never enters into the equation is almost universally a lie. Considering the amount of time, money, and suffering spent to become a doctor, I think it’s an incredibly rare person who is going to be willing to do that for $40, $50, $60, or even $100k.

  8. M. O'Brien says:

    D. Smith, you’re absolutely right. Even a cursory glance of the article reveals that nowhere does it say that money is not a factor whatsoever. The results show that it is not a *primary*, deciding factor. As Liz eloquently put it, medicine is an extremely long and difficult path to choose, especially in today’s climate of escalating debt and diminishing financial reward.

    As for what interviewers want medical students to say, I don’t believe you are correct. Pre-meds are advised again and again *not* to discuss “wanting to help people” as their motivation for becoming a physician. Are you implying that pre-law students are encouraged to put “I want to be money-hungry and sue whatever moves or breathes”? I don’t think so.

    The important thing to take away from this article is that it revealed an interesting trend among a limited number of students. That trend deserves further investigation.

  9. M. O'Brien says:

    KHE, see my comment to D. Smith. :-)

  10. Anonymous says:

    yeah and I guess if they did a follow on on ppl applying for residency, ppl don’t want Derm just cuz of the money and lifestyle :)

  11. M. O'Brien says:

    Anon, that’s a valid question. Maybe someone should do that research and try to see how attitudes change through medical school.

  12. Matt_C says:

    This is a good article. Why are people so negative?

  13. Anonymous says:

    There should be a study to see how people who report money as their top reason for going into medicine do in patient care. It would be hilariously ironic if those who go into medicine for the money get sued more often because patients aren’t their primary concern.

  14. anonymous says:

    Or maybe those who desire money due a much better job because there is something that keeps them going after the new hat feeling of “helping people” has worn off. That would be funny. Don’t you think?

  15. Anonymous says:

    49% “said” they went into it for primarily money concerns? Just think about how many just didn’t admit it. I think the title of this article is terrible–it’s really misleading. When I read the title…I was expecting a number like 25% or less.

  16. Anonymous says:

    “This is a good article. Why are people so negative?”

    It isn’t a good article. It reports survey results and implies pre-med students are more altruistic than others based upon those results. There is a statement calling a “desire to help others and make a difference” “verboten”, which is not backed up with evidence, and likely bad advice. Furthermore, it directly reports that there is a “shrinking minority” of medical students concerned about money, but fails to back that claim up with any evidence. Finally it claims that medical students are “iron-stomached” since only 11-12% are squeemish about blood or cadavers, which is not contrasted with data on the general population. This is more like a blog posting than an article.

  17. Anonymous says:

    “Let’s face it, becoming a physician is just about the hardest path in every way. It involves more time, more intense material, more debt and more of a lifestyle compromise than law, business, engineering, finance, etc”

    News to the ignorent:

    Med school isn’t more academically intense than engineering….Medicine is much easier by a long shot….My engineering degree is the hardest thing I’ve ever done!

    John Doe, PhD,PE,MD

  18. lola says:

    I’d also wonder how how personal and intellectual challenge, and social approval fit into the mix. medicine isn’t the only career that has the potential to earn a good amount and help people, but it has some of the highest respect and social cache of the health professions.

    And what about personal challenge, too? Not to say that doctors aren’t in it for the helping others, but especially when you break it down into specialties, many have a certain personality type, certain kinds of intellectual and physical stimulation they enjoy, and medicine is exciting and interesting in a way that other fields may be not.

    Ultimately, it’s just a survey and it’s hard to see how factors that clearly covary have been acknowledged or teased apart. Does the social approval, financial $, and make it easier to say you’re going into it to help people? Likely!

  19. M. O'Brien says:

    Anonymous (4/25): You make some wonderful points, and we appreciate your feedback. That said, however, the some of the claims with which you take issue stem from popular beliefs about pre-meds. This survey — and that’s all it is: a survey — has found that at over 50% of a sample of pre-meds were not primarily swayed by the prospect of money. Was it a true scientific experiment? No, but very few surveys can be. Implying that some premeds are more altruistic that others does not a bad article make — this assertion is likely empirically true.

    No one called a “desire to help others” verboten. Replying during a medical school interviewer’s question, “Why do you want to become a doctor?” is verboten because it is cliché and lacks depth and appropriate reflection, even if it *is* true.

    Your criticism of the “iron-stomached” pre-meds is well-received. At the time of publication, no data was available for inclusion. We’ll consider this for future articles.

    John Doe: Congratulations on your dual degrees! It must have taken a lot of blood, sweat, & tears. But “ignorant” is spelled with an “a”. :-)

    lola: Thank you for your comments. Indeed it is difficult to make a generalization about a short survey such as this one, and there are indeed likely many other factors at play. It would also be interesting to see what percentage of those reporting altruistic motives are paying entirely for their medical education on their own!

  20. Snee says:

    I think this article has some truth to it. Lets face it: just like every other person in the world, medical students have to earn a living. Yes becoming a physician can be highly lucrative. However, like the article says many start to consider this carrer as adolescents, a time when money is not as much a concern.

    I think there is a time in almost everyone’s life that they start to beleive that they should be doing more in society. Whether it comes by way of volunteering, teaching, or treating patients is up to the individual. The field of medicine just so happens to be one of a few fields that people can fulfill their personal interests in medicine along with making contributions to their surrounding communities.

    The article has a point. All of us need some amount of money in order too survive. But we just don’t want to go into medicine for the money. It’s just too bad that Kaplan was involved. (Their focus is definitely on money, in my opinion.)

  21. Anonymus says:

    I love this blogs. You are looking in a mirror.
    If money was so importatn for us why are people doing peds, family, infectious disease, etc.

    Goverment employees get more than them.

    Yes, money is importan. I have never heard anyone say, God I want to be poor when I grow-up or flip burguers.

    But doing all those years to earn minimum wage, I don’t think so either.

  22. NB says:

    Let’s also consider that this survey only includes students who took the Kaplan MCAT course, meaning that the sample consists entirely of students who are willing and able to pay a couple grand for a prep class. My assumption would be that this sub-group of all pre-med students is probably coming from a higher-income background than their counterparts who don’t take the Kaplan course. I would think that this would make a difference in their views of the importance of money (although I could see the difference being in either direction).

  23. Anonymous says:

    good point nb. Probably a more money-conscious group. Wonder if the non-Kaplan people are as interested in money…I would assume there would be a small difference, at least. Anyway…it’s interesting in a way because the information you get out of a study is only as good as what you put in. And this is a broad generalization, at best.

  24. sadsa says:

    i got a thought, maybe pre-meds are lying to themselves? Mommy and daddy has supported them for most of their lives, they don’t have to pay back debt yet, buy a house, pay their own bills. Its easy to be altruistic when one doesnt have to face the realities of the real world. As to the person who asked why people go into FP, IM or Peds, the answer is simple, the # of derm spots is quite limited.

  25. Anonymous says:

    i got a thought, maybe pre-meds are lying to themselves? Mommy and daddy has supported them for most of their lives, they don’t have to pay back debt yet, buy a house, pay their own bills. Its easy to be altruistic when one doesnt have to face the realities of the real world. As to the person who asked why people go into FP, IM or Peds, the answer is simple, the # of derm spots is quite limited.

  26. nate says:

    My “primary” motivation for going into medicine was simple: I thought I could be really good at it. There are FAR easier ways to help people and make a difference, and there are much more lucrative ways to make big bucks, as evidenced by all my college peers who are now driving european cars while I continue to put the miles on my Saturn.

    Fact is, I do want to help people, I do want to live comfortably, and I do like science. Medicine is a great fit.

    Also, for the record, I always wanted to do peds, and I never ever ever wanted a dermatology spot. Hardly anybody goes into FP or IM or Peds after failing to get a Derm spot; that was a ridiculous comment.

  27. Epi says:

    For me, joining the medical school was a relatively parent-influenced decision, to an extent of say 30%.

    For the part (70%) that made it my decision, my reasons were (in order):
    I thought I’d make a good doctor
    I’d help the sick
    Make some money & enjoy my title.

  28. Gary says:

    Pre-meds don’t count. I think all med school applicants should have to do 1-2 months of residency like experience.

    No one understands medicine until they are residents. Residents should be asked the same questions. Debt and disrespect from failures a.k.a a lot of patients these days change people’s motives. Radiology, anesthesiology anyone?

    Also, engineers don’t count. I can’t stand when people even try to compare other degrees to medicine. FYI: engineers and others can test and reset. That doesn’t really apply to people.

  29. Liz says:

    Dr. Doe: Uh, not “ignorent” at all. My undergrad was a double-major in mathematics and chemical engineering. Med school is kicking my ass in comparison.

  30. stephen lutoti says:

    Am 2ND year medical student makerere university, uganda.The views have been an eye opener.I want to be a doctor because i want to help my people and make adifferece in someone,s life not necessarily because of money. It is patient first then money later.

  31. Winnie says:

    that 49% should try working at a PCP’s office for a while, in fact lets throw in a PCP office that works for an HMO. Then lets see if they still want to go into medicine for the money.

  32. MD/MBA says:

    Asking a pre-med (who is already extremely paraonoid about any thing that can negatively affect there chances of getting in), his/her motivation is silly. I agree with the above posters who point out if 49% admitted money as the motivating factor, you can throw in at least half of the dishonest 51%.
    How do I know? As a hospital administrator who interview applicants for jobs as a hospital employee the top 3 questions: 1)Money 2)Easy lifestyle 3) Money
    Never, not once, have I been asked about charity care, customer excellence, how my hospital compare to others in terms of pt care. Having said that, the physician shortage in ALL medical fields have drastically increased starting salaries so maybe those going into medicine for the money will be happy!

  33. md says:

    Why can’t one go into medicine equally for personal benefit and another legitimate reason (interest in the profession). It can easily be a a 50:50 thing… if either one of those wasn’t there then there might be about an equal chance the person would pick a different profession.

  34. Eric says:

    Cut Medicare professional fee’s by 80%, make the stark law apply to equipment, and let’s see how many doctors stop practicing medicine. Btw, those two changes will basically have the effect of lowering doctor pay while keeping everyone else (techs, PA’s, etc) at the same level.

  35. S Garg says:

    Regarding other professions that provide a high income, such as engineering or finance, none of them involve helping individuals when they really need help, and all of them are subject to business ups and downs that cause layoffs and outsourcing etc. Medicine as a rule is not subject to these cycles. It also pays better: the average salary of a primary care doctor is double that of engineers.

  36. Duodenum says:

    Talk about skewing the results of a survey. “49% of pre-meds reported being primarily motivated by money” 49%!!!! thats 1% less than half. So 51% of pre-meds reported not being primarily motivated by money = pre-meds in general are not motivated by money? Thats even assuming non of the respondents were lieing to themselves, and even so, only varied by a margin of 2%?? Give me a break. This survey is a joke

  37. steve says:

    its all lies. If you live in the united states your primary motive is to make money. Med students arent immune to that. Moreover, medicine is a business; if med students arent motivated by money, they better wake up and smell the cofee because thats what makes the health care industry go ’round. Insurance companies are sure motivated by money and so are the trial lawyers of america.

    Why cant you be a great doctor and motivated by money at the same time. There is sooo much brainwashing being done at the medical education institutions.

  38. Joseph Kim, MD, MPH says:

    It can be very dangerous to be motivated by money. I believe that there are some out there who truly feel rewarded when they help someone. Their income may be comfortable compared to others, but isn’t extravagant.

  39. Diana says:

    It is definitely dangerous to have the motivation of money. As far as financial professions not being able to help people, this is a little off the topic, but some of them, like accounting and actuarial science go a lot towards helping people, but in a much different way. I believe the founder of the Casuality Actuarial Society was a physician who was one of the founders of the actuarial profession, he saw that he could help people by relieving their economic woes. If you’re wondering how we got into this financial calamity, it’s risk taking. The actuaries and accountants knew there was a high risk. If i become an actuary, i would not go into the more lucrative areas of the profession where you get paid $750 an hour to be ignored because people are greedy and willing to gamble. Do you want a book baking accountant?

  40. Jupti says:

    I don’t know what the motive is for the entire populaton of pre-med students to study medicine. But I know my reason is for the interest and exploration of new facts, applications, and innovative ways of dealing with care. The understanding and purpose medical implication and how it effects our society and people as a whole….”Fascinating…”Eh?””

  41. Anonymous2 says:

    I’ll admit it, I was in it for the money from the start, and lied through my teeth during the interview process. Medicine unlike other professions (including law) has signficant job security, and the salary doesn’t hurt either. If you’re interested in the sciences and you want to make a good living then medicine is where you want to be.

  42. samuel says:

    Am a second year med student at the university of zambia. surprisingly here engeneers get more money than Doctors. Economists and accountants get a lot more! Our primarly motivation for some us who have decided to take up this noble profession is wanting to help people! here medicine is not rewarding financiary but very rewarding personally and emotionaly when you at the positive impact that doctors make in people’s lives. Perhaps in the USA people go into it for money but here its for the love of the profession and service to the people money is very secondary!

  43. Joseph says:

    I,m second year medical student. I prefer medicine in order to
    help my neighbor who suffer all the day b,cse in our country we
    has few number of medical doctor .I wish my colleague having the same idea .
    Otherwise they will….

  44. Rishi says:

    It’s one of the few professions which everyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, etc., will always be in need of.

  45. B' Sam says:

    Medicine is a course that is envied by the lot. I believe it is rewarding to Docs since they spend quit a couple of years persuing it. In this case a patients life is the most important thing and to be allowed to handle someone life on must be well trained and dilegent since we still need the engineers, the pilots, the lawyers and so on to keep the world moving. I’m going in for it.

  46. Edrine says:

    It is really absard that such a survey still exists and it hopes that it has sibstatial arguments.A physician struggles for four years in order to cater for what may be seen as most improtant and that is the patients life.
    He who has an interest of money will not definately serve his/her clients to the required stardards and in the end his reputation as a Doctor will go down and face challeges maiontaining his/her carrer.He will definately in a long run become a loser.
    He who becomes a Physician from the heart to serve others will unintetionally gain more reputation and a successfull career inturn
    We got to face the reality 49% is a big number and it is alarming or ot is a wrong survey

  47. Sam says:

    I’m a second year medical student now, when I was in premed going to medschool is not about the money BUT now reality is creeping in and as early as now I’m thinking of a way I can earn big with less hassles. It’s true that you will spend big while studying medicine, or I should say, my family spends big for my medical education. I get guilty lot of times and a lot of times I think if this is a career I would standby for the rest of my life specially when I think of all the malpractice cases, patients who are not all willing to be healed or taken care of…all I could say is continuing medicine is an everyday decision I have to make.

  48. Marc says:

    Hi all,

    After reading this article it din’t take long to think of why I want to study medicine. First and foremost, I think my senses are elevated with medicine because of my father. At the age of 4, my father was diagnosed with type 1 Schizophrenia. Since then I have devoted my time to volunteering with Neurology in the local hospital, and other medical professions. All in an effort to learn more to drive my passions even further. I also started a state nonprofit dedicated to funding more money to further research initiatives with mental health research, especially with the NARSAD Institute. I think as far back as I can remember I wanted to study Neurology/Neurobiology- it never really was a serious passion of mine until about a year ago. At the age of 18, I joined the US Navy to get out of my box, so to speak. Though it got me out and see the world, one thing that it kept me from was the intellectual rewards of an education, due to time constraints. Now out of the Navy, and half way through with my premed prereqs, I look back and I can see the true value of this article. The true doctor values education, the sciences, and feeling passionate towards personal well-being. Find your passions, and ride with it until the end. In doing so be the very best at everything you find passion in.

    Cheers,

    Marc

  49. geronamo says:

    If you want to help people, become an STNA or a PT or nurse! Those are the people that actually spend the most time with patients. Not just 10 or 15 minuets per patient and NOT just during a surgery…I think certain doctors are way overpaid! Money has EVERYthing to do with going into medicine! There are many other professions such as PT and OT and the like that require near or the same amount of schooling…in fact, the DPT degree is a very expensive undertaking and paying back loans would take a long time. Doctors could easily pay their loans a lot faster because of the high salary. As for the people in family medicine…THOSE are the people who couldn’t cut it and were not able to match. Cut the pay 50% and see how many people decided to go into medicine!!! Radiology 100,000 a year…Derm 90,000 a year! Yeah, I didn’t think so!

  50. Second Year Medic says:

    Assessing medics as a whole can not be a justified judgment from this survey. In the UK, a teacher gets a starting wage of £26 000 in London. Starting wage of a Doctor is around £22 000. If a Teacher climbs to the top of their field they can be earning £100 000 as the Head of a school – easily within the realms of a consultant at the top of his/her field.

    When you factor in that a teacher spends half at long at university and so leaves with half the debt, can it really be said that medics are in it for the money? I think, in the UK at least, this is definitely not the case.

    Take into account that teachers get longer holidays and 9-5 contracted hours and it definitely seems like any arguement is blown out of the water.

    Yet, out of the love of caring for people and wanting to alleviate the suffering of others, many of us still line up for the hard life of being a Doctor

  51. Abisola says:

    it is true that some people study medicine because of money,most of us are just studying medicine and we don’t knw why we are studying medicine except from money.let remove money issue and let know why we are studying medicine.i need some one to please give me 5 reasons why we are studying medicine?

  52. blather says:

    ABISOLA!
    1. fascinated with human body, absolutly loved human biology in school and want to know whats going on in there.. ;)
    2. a bit of a hypocondriac-wanna no everything there is ta no so i no im not sik…sounds silly but i love life and i want a fucking long one!!
    2.5… mother has health problems that arent being solved… id love to one day help her… i genuinly wish i could!
    3. satisfaction of helping someone out in a time of need
    4. liked sciences in school and hated the arts except for drawing…which i love… but english teachers sucked all the fun out of creative writing and now i despise it! so hadta do a science based course
    5. many job prospects…so many directions you can take
    6. secure enough job with decent money of a comfortable life…even if it does come after very hard work
    7. over-coming a challenge is really rewarding…would havta do that a lot through out the course….selfish but still one of my reasons!

    so there you go… you ask 4 5 i can give you 7 without even thinking about it …could probably add to the list if I gave it some thought! why is that so hard?…………….just added a 2.5….probably my FIRST reason 4 considering it wen i was younger

  53. Yassin says:

    i see you are interested in medicine but will you tell me the dozens of negatives it has
    the frontload of education, the long hours involved, worying about malpractice….. having money but no time to spend. fasing life and death decisions daily?

  54. Richmore says:

    It’s a passion. You feel excited to be a part of a profession that makes a huge contribution in the health and wellbeing of members of society. The feeling continues to cascade into your future as hope resuscitates in patients lives.

  55. Langa mastance says:

    Grew up in a very disadvantaged family,where my mum was mentaly disabled evr since i was born unfortunately she didnt gt help til nw,my grandpa was blind after experiencing a car excident,all these made me realize that there is a desperate need for medical assistance,i wnt 2c myself going 2work and at the end of the day b proud that i made a difference in 1s lyf

  56. I wanna study medicine because I can’t really see myself becoming anything else than a doctor.The science of the human body is just so fascinating.I relly want to help people and in research,possibly find the cure for AIDS.

  57. sipho says:

    the human body is so much interesting and i wud lov to know more about it and help others when there sick…pepe mwandi, people ae suffering.i know God will help me on this on.DOCTER SIPHO!!

  58. theoz says:

    i want to sudy medicine mainly because of most of the reasons mentioned by all the rest that have written before me but also because i am the only idiot in a family of doctors and lawyers and i wanna prove that i can not only be a good doctor but i can also be an actor too since everyone is convinced i am wasting my time with that.

  59. Kushal says:

    I want to study Medical because i hate at experts and i am desperately want to study medical as this is my goal and to reach my goal i am asking for your favour and it is my dream carrier…

  60. yewande awoniyi says:

    i still need more sensible reasons why i would want to study medicine?

  61. Pissed says:

    You all have your reasons for pursuing medicine and I’m not taking anything from u but, i just wonder, how you’ll feel after say 10 years of practicing. I am a patient. I have multiple issues (arthritic knnes and fibroids and dental issues. I’ve been to multiple drs. regarding each of my issues with treatments issued only to have these issues worsen. The only success,i’ve had dealing with drs. is to successsfully file for bankruptcy. I had a myomectomy for fibroids…only to gain weight due to steroid injections prior to my surgery …oh, and the fibroids returned. I’ve had multiple tooth exrtactions and a partialmade on insistence from my dentist…now the partial hurts like hell and it’s making my breath reek ( i did’nt have this problem b4). It took me 6mths and 3 different hospitals for someone to figure out that my knee needed to be given a mri…only to discover, i had a partial tear in my cartilage…the other hosp. thought i was lying. Well, not lying enough to repeatedly bill my insurance. Now, i’m undergoing therapy at 200/mth for the knee. I went to the knee doc today…he wanted to see how the therapy was goin. I told him i was still in pain. I guess, i gave the wrong answer because he bore his hand so hard into my kneecap to produce tears from my eyes! What an assshole! I wanted to kick him in the crotch and ask him…how does it feel? So as far as drs, are concerned…i hate them. They turn paitients in and out of the hospital like meat on a spic! The only thing u can be sure of is payin for their “service”! I’m mulling my options right now, go back and deal with more torture or take my problems with me to the grave!

  62. JT says:

    It’s interesting that you all have some sort of connection with the study or practice of medicine, when it appears that none of you can actually spell or construct a proper sentence. Good luck to your patients!

  63. jelly says:

    Well, some of them are studying medicine to wear a white coat, carry a stethoscope, and to be called doctor ——.

  64. Tamer abuasad says:

    simply becuase I want to help people , I’ve been in a situation where I had watch someone close to me dying for months , no years , without doing anything , I just don’t want anyone to go through that again , you wanted five reasons , it’s not the number that counts it’s that we really want to make a differnce .

  65. Tamer abuasad says:

    because * sorry have to correct it .

  66. Georgia says:

    JT – I totally agree… What’s with the spelling here guys?

    But “Pissed” – it’s unfortunate that you’ve had so many bad experiences, I can’t begin to imagine how difficult and painful your life is… but I think it’s totally unfair to blanket group all doctors into this category.

    My father is a GP and works tirelessly (and has done so for the past 35 years) to take care of his patients, with mostly chronic, complex illness. I’m often up at 5am only to see him at the computer reading the latest articles on medical research to keep himself up-to-date. He spends his weekends at seminars, bends over backwards to help his patients (often outside of hours and for FREE). He foregoes his own health to ensure that his patients are receiving the best possible advice and treatment.

    He is one of the most brilliant people you’ll ever meet in your life. But guess what mate? He drives a $26,000 car, we live in a modest house in the outer suburbs and we’ve never taken an overseas holiday in our lives. We aren’t living the high life; he isn’t remunerated as such in the slightest. I know tradies who studied for 6 weeks who make more than he (after 8 years of study and 35 years of practice). Working with him as his PA has inspired me to go back to university and become a doctor – if I could be half the person he is, and have half the positive impact he has on his patients, I would be ecstatic.

    He works his ass off to do the RIGHT THING by his patients.

    So how dare you suggest that all doctors are greedy, careless “assholes”.

    There are so many doctors out there who do such much good in the world, why lump them into the same group as those inevitable bad doctors. Every profession has them.

  67. maria says:

    I think doctors are incredible and it’s an unbelievable talent they have. I see a lot of doctors and my positive experience with one of them in particular led me to be so impresses that i came to desire a career in medicine for myself . In highschool however, I was always awarded and praised for my abilities in the liberal arts, particularly my academic writing and my penchant for politics and modern history. This and the fact that mathematics was a subject i never put enough effort into led me to sub-consciously rule out medicine as a career and focus more on the arts
    ( where i believed my talents lay.) Having said that, i should also note that I always loved -and did very well in- biology and chemistry. But like i said, never planned my highschool studies around the goal of a career in medicine. I am 23 now and I have a B. ARTS in international relations and history and I am a graduate journalism student . I love my studies in the arts; they are super interesting and have allowed me to gain some world class skills, however i cant seem to shake this strong desire to do medicine. It bothers me that a) i never planned for medical sooner e.g tried harder in math and b) I constantly doubt I have that talent and ability that doctors are seemingly born with . I think medicine is such a beautiful and noble profession and I doubt anyone would enter the highly demanding field unless they had a serious interest in people and helping them. kudos to all those medical students out there, you are living my dream! haha

  68. John says:

    My experience is that pre-meds stab each other in the back for an A, and most of the extracurricular activities are superficial garbage they do for the soul purpose of impressing the admissions committee. There are exceptions, and I’ve met them, but most meet the above description. I was an engineer before going into medicine and I can tell you that you can’t compare the difficulty of the two. Medical School is more work, no doubt. Engineering is more difficult to comprehend. Almost everyone in my engineering classes had the aptitude to become a physician. Very few students in medical school could have been engineers; most didn’t have the quantitative or analytical ability.

  69. Tshepo says:

    since my matric in 2008, i have never thought of any other profession as my career. Health sciences is where i wanted. currently i am pursuing my 4th (final) level in Bsc Medical Sciences, but still Medicine is ringing in my head every now and then. finally i have applied to study Medicine. Now i know it is my calling to save live and i am in to it no matter how long it will take me to study!

  70. benny says:

    ‘James Bedu Kodjo graham’ we are discussing ‘why study medicine’ here not sourcing 4 funds for some person in need. Besides u xplained nothing in ur story. You’d have rather shared where u got the story from & let the intersted parties visit the website & help if they wish, don’t make us think u’re fraud.
    This research helps medical students yearly, don’t take peoples’ attention out of the topic.
    Whatever your interest is in medicine, be true 2 your fact & use it as a driving force.

    • nakasule halima says:

      Its all about the passion for science and fascinating the human body because in uganda the payment to doctors id maximumly 500000 which is very little money compared to other jobs like lawyers

  71. nakasule halima says:

    Its all about the passion for science and fascinating the human body because in uganda the payment to doctors id maximumly 500000 which is very little money compared to other jobs like lawyers