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

October 24, 2011

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.

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