The questions people ask medical students

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Wow, you’re in medical school? So you are going to be a doctor? What year are you? When are you going to finish? What are you going to go into?

You should become a skin doctor, what do they call them again? It doesn’t matter, but they do good. But they are not real doctors, so maybe it’s not worth it.

You should become a doctor that gives vaccines. Are vaccines real? I mean, listen, I’m not crazy, so I vaccinate. It is the flu shot that I am worried about — last year, I took it and got the flu two days later.

What about a cancer doctor? I know someone who has cancer, and he has a doctor who is phenomenal. But you’d be crazy to hang around dying people all day.

Also, I think Elon Musk, the guy who does Tesla, is inventing a pill that’s going to fix cancer.

You take it once, and it’s gone. Listen, if you become a cancer guy, I’m sure they’ll find something else for you to do. Those skills must be transferable to something else, you know, like the PAs.

Hey, why didn’t you become a PA? Are you becoming the full thing or a PA, which is the same thing but less stress, and basically the same money — maybe more! I know this guy who is a PA, and everyone calls him “doctor.” The real doctor there is a mess, always stuck doing paperwork.

There is no more money in medicine these days. The loans are crazy — are you getting loans, or are your parents giving you a ride? PAs have all the benefits of doctors without the headache. Oh, so you are doing the full thing? Smart. You don’t want to spend all your life working for someone else.

One piece of advice I want to give you is not to become a psychiatrist. They are usually nutty — most of them should have been patients themselves. There is this one guy I know who is solid — he wears a bowtie. But most of them are a bit off and get depressed quickly. You just become crazy when you hang around the crazies.

So, you didn’t decide what type of doctor you are going to be yet? When do you get to pick?

You want to be a sleep doctor? Are they even real doctors? That’s great; I can use one. Everyone is tired these days, you know, with the current job market and stress. But are you sure they are the real thing? What about the money — do they get the same thing?

So, doctor, when can I start calling you “doctor”? Are you in the hospital already? Have you seen a live birth? Which hospital are you at — it’s great to know someone on the inside.

By the way, I totally forgot to ask you: Why do you want to be a doctor? Is this a new thing, or is this something that you always wanted to do? It’s a hard life, but I’m sure it’s worth it. You get to have a room full of people waiting for you — I would have done everything for that feeling. But is that really the case these days, you know with the urgent care stuff and all? I think there is no waiting at the urgent care. But I would never go into those places. They seem to be pill-pushing drug dealers staffed by foreigners. I think shady stuff goes on there — this must be the case.

There is a reason we haven’t seen them until Obamacare came around.

A guy I knew from high school also went to medical school. He never studied or anything — partied all the way through — and went straight to Harvard. Now he is some fancy doctor; I’m not sure exactly what type — I think he is at the Mayo or NIH — no, no, it’s Johns Hopkins.

So you are going to be a DO? What is a DO? It’s not a PA — right? Aha, it’s the same thing as an MD, but extra so it’s more, but it’s less, but it’s the same, and different, but no one knows the difference — the patient for sure doesn’t know. Let me ask you this: Can you still do the vaccines? Oh, so that’s a doctor — simple. Can you even do surgery? But why would you want to do that? Surgeons have no life, they never see their family, and the kids end up rotten with all that money.

How old are you now? Are you married? When are you going to get married? When are you going to have kids? Did you freeze your eggs? Wow, and how do you support yourself now?

Wait, is that Coke that are you drinking there? A doctor drinking Coke! Ah, that’s true, doctors don’t know anything about nutrition. Besides, you only have one life to live, so you might as well enjoy it.

I actually have this thing going on right here in my arm — don’t tell anyone — but what do you think of it — it’s not cancer, right? I was taking this red pill for it that cost $2,000 a dose, but I would only pay $20 because I had good insurance. I switched plans, and now it’s not covered anymore, so I stopped taking it, but I feel great. What do you think?

You know, I never really believed in doctors. My father smoked until he was 98, and he never needed a doctor. There is a vitamin that I take, which makes me feel great — fresh like new — I think that’s all you need.

Anyway, it was so nice talking to you. I have not had such an insightful conversation for a long time, which is expected, doctor, given how smart you are. You’re probably going to be some big guy next time I see you — don’t forget the folks who helped you along the way.

Mendel Gurevitz is a medical student.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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