Become a Doctor
I know you really want to be a doctor. I also know you'll work your ass off to become one so I'm writing this note to give you some advice.
1. Chill out. Relax. Drop the driven, type-A superhero bullshit and learn to go with the flow. It will all work out, trust me.
You become a very good doctor. You earn awards and graduate from medical school with honors. You match in emergency medicine and become a chief resident. You end up doing everything you thought a doctor should do and a bunch of stuff you didn’t. You’ll also leave your chosen specialty before your career is halfway through. The most important things is that you enjoy the ride. It's your life and you only get one lap around the track.
2. The healthcare system is a jumble of competing special interest groups who leverage complex financial arrangements to exploit disease and convert human suffering into money. I'll dig into this one over the course of several posts.
3. I've said this before. There's no such thing as alternative medicine. Everything is medicine whether it helps you or harms you. Breathing is good medicine. Smoking too much is bad medicine. Running is medicine. Running to the point of exhaustion is bad medicine.
4. The scientific method cannot establish facts. It can only test hypotheses. Dogma is antithetical to the scientific process. Keep an open mind. Challenge the established doctrine. Push the limits.
4b. Pushing the limits will not be tolerated. You will be labelled a disruptive physician and pushed out. When this happens, leave. Don't linger. It's a gift.
5. Special interests control medical education. You are an unwitting participant in a complex financial scheme designed to turn your time and energy into money for someone else. Do your best and help as many people as you can before you leave.
6. Keep your skeptical mind. Never stop asking yourself why things are done the way they are. It will lead you to the truth.
7. You are not in complete control of your life. Forces beyond your comprehension dictate much of what you think and how you act.
8. You will reach a time when your awareness will disrupt your programming. The illusion will fail, you will not. Don't give up.
8. Reality isn't a constant. Learn to adapt to changing circumstances. It will prepare you for the time when you become aware of your true self.
Oh, and don’t worry. My telling you this won’t blow it and it won’t make bad things happen. Remember, this letter will enter your consciousness like a dream. It’s just a seed in your subconscious.
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Matthew H. Evenhouse, MD is a board-certified Emergency Physician, published author, private pilot and international educator.