“This is the question you will have to answer for yourself and probably in several medical school interviews. ‘Why a physician? Why not a nurse? Why not a P.A. (physician’s assistant)?’”
I have mentored several students who are in the process of applying or have successfully been accepted to medical school. I inform them that the answer they give to the question above is critical to understanding their true motives for pursuing a medical degree. What about me?
Before I applied to medical school, I pondered this question. Compassion for patients? Physicians do not have the monopoly for empathy. I know of many nurses whose compassion for their patients helped them to pull through their disease. Need to be able to make independent decisions? P.A.’s and nurses have considerable autonomy and may have to make a split second decision at the bedside of an ill patient that may mean the difference between life and death. Financial reward? Prestige? Job Security? All of these can be found at an equal level with many other health care professionals.
My answer focuses upon the thousands of hours of classes leading to matriculation from medical school. The courses I took in preparation prepared me, not only to become a physician, but to be a problem solver. It gave me knowledge and the tools to innovate new solutions to problems and diseases that go beyond simply diagnosing a disease and prescribing a treatment. The training for the other professionals does not go into the same detail that a physician must master. It allows me to understand the mechanisms and anticipate potential side effects for the novel RNA vaccines for COVID-19. It allows me to set up research protocols to investigate additional uses for medications that are currently being used to treat diseases. It allows me to intelligently address ethical concerns that new technologies such as CRISPR bring.
There is one more reason. The precision of the cellular process organizing to form organs resulting in a living person is staggering. My medical training has enabled me to appreciate the complexity of the human body in ways that few other healthcare professionals can approach. Each day I practice medicine further impresses upon me that man is not a random series of evolutionary events but a purposeful design.
By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.
Hebrews 11:3 (CSB)
Why a physician?
As a physician, God has enabled me to see with greater depth and understanding the masterpiece of our living bodies.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.