Saturday, June 14, 2008


Why did you become a doctor?

The question was asked, answered, asked again, answered again. I doubt if I'll ever stop coming across this question.
Other versions would be the question in the vernacular and the question in the future tense (which I encountered in pre-med and in med school), and frankly, I don't remember what answer I gave each time the question was fielded to me. I don't remember because I know I haven't been truthful in answering that question.

The root of my untruthfulness in this matter is this: my reason for choosing to be a doctor is really so trivial. Or maybe I should say TV-ial. Probably for the first time ever, I'm going to come out and say what really pushed me to be a doctor:

Not the emergency room, no life changing experiences in some emergency room, but the award-winning series ER, starring Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Noah Wiley and Eriq LaSalle. I was at a very impressionable age when ER was at the height of its popularity. The drama, the action, the challenges, the characters...I don't know what it was with this show that propelled me to make one of the most important decisions in my life based on a TV show. I didn't know it then, but now I can honestly say I became a doctor because of ER.

I'd like to think of myself as a critical viewer, and even then I knew how deceptive TV and movies are. So to base my career choice on a TV show is really ludicrous. But I know in heart that the show
was responsible for my being a doctor.

Back then I have no idea how close to or far from reality ER was. I can't even pinpoint what it was in ER that made it so influential to me...after all, the show portrayed over-worked and underpaid doctors, dealing with self-destructing patients, health catastrophes and disdainful hospital politics. Doctors are not intellectual gods (like House and associates) nor glamorous beings (like Chicago Hope docs and Nip/Tuck surgeons). As I think about it now, I do believe ER probably is as close as medical movies and TV shows get to the real thing.

Or maybe I'm being biased. I most probably am. After all, I had my epiphany during the golden years of ER, and amazingly, I do not regret this decision. Maybe in my darkest hours I have had second thoughts about it, but eventually, I'll come back to the same conclusion. This is my calling, and I'll have to thank ER for God's vehicle of getting this message to me.

This entry is a contribution to the Blog Rounds 14th Ed., hosted by Em Dy.


Bone MD said...

The Blog Rounds 13th edition is up too, in my newly "uncluttered" site, The Orthopedic Logbook. Read the some sort of survey, here.

And please don't forget to vote ( yep, the poll beside my tag board widget, on the second column of my sidebar) about TBR's round up frequency.

The Blog Rounds 12.75 Edition is also up at Meloink's Blog, The Philippine Daily Idiot. Lets get the nosebleed out of PMA!

Lastly, Em Dy's deadline for the 14th edition for TBR (paging Doc Hollywood) is fast approaching. Don't forget to submit your post s for this TBR edition.

Em Dy said...

Thanks for joining, ER fan!

MegaMom said...

You're not the only one who was influenced by ER. All around the world there was an 'epidemic' surge in med school enrollments and ER residency trainees. See my comments in Merry Cherry's blog. ;)

Bone MD said...

Cool talaga ang dating ng ER. Its good the series (and the starts I hope) sway people to our profession. But to become a full fledge doctor at that, I think you have more than just "er".