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Mommas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Doctors


An acquaintance of mine asked me if I want my children to be doctors when they grow up. Without hesitation, I said “no.”

Last week, an acquaintance of mine asked me if I want my children to be doctors when they grow up. Without hesitation, I said “no.” He was surprised, and asked me why.

Let me start by saying that although my parents really wanted me to be a doctor, I don’t feel that I was pressured in any way to do so. It was what I wanted to do all my life, and I can’t imagine anything else I would rather do (I know, hard to believe if you read my blog regularly). I do think, however, that my mother is a little surprised that my life as a doctor is not all she thought it was going to be. She envisioned me making a lot of money with good hours, respect from my patients and the community, and a pleasant quality of life.

While I say that I do not want my children to become doctors when they grow up, I will not deter them if that is what they want. They have seen me collapse into a chair at the end of the day from physical and emotional exhaustion. They know how many weekends I have snuck out before they even wake up, so that I could finish rounds at a decent time so we could still have family time. They know how often I am late for dinner, and how often I come home after they have already gone to bed. And when my nine-year-old asked me the other day, “Do you have any annoying patient stories today?” I realized they also know how frustrated I sometimes get.

So if despite all that, they still have a passion for medicine, then God bless them. I will support them in their decision. But if my son still wants to be a paleontologist even though I told him that means long trips away from home and hours in the hot desert sun, I will support him in that, too.

Now, my daughter’s dream of being an artist who still lives in our house? That’s another story.

Find out more about Melissa Young and our other Practice Notes bloggers.

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