“Why do you want to be a doctor?” is a tough question to answer. It sounds simple and easy. But before an admission interview or job application, this might really be tricky. So many students either jump into this question without a clue on how they’re going to answer during the pre-admission. If they come up with a poor answer, they will risk rejection. But the most effective answers to the question may take ages to develop. Although it will allow you to give some thought to the whole curve of your medical journey so far and where you’d prefer to land up.
This article, you should find useful as a guide to answering the question “why do you want to be a doctor”. Hope it helps to set yourself apart from the others. So, read on and understand what are the best and worse answers to this tricky question.
What answers to “why do you want to become a doctor” interviewers are looking for?
One of the toughest steps in your application process is providing an answer to the question “why do you want to be a doctor?”. Your passion to become a doctor should clearly identified by the interviewers. Good grades may come secondary.
This question is not to interrupt the ice within the conversation, or to assist you’re feeling relaxed with the entire application process. It’s the way school measures your dedication to the sphere of medicine.
It may be a big life-long commitment to studying medicine. Veteran physicians may make it look easy, but being a licensed doctor is no walk in the park. It involves long hours, years of study, and a lot of time away from your loved ones.
No matter how diligent or intelligent you may be, you will be faced with challenges along your way. You will have those tough times when you would simply want to give up. Doctors don’t have that privilege to take it easy, so medical schools want to make sure you are strongly motivated.
Why is your answer to the question “why do you want to become a doctor” is important?
If you think this is just an easy question to answer, you are wrong. If you set aside its importance and would rather focus on other parts of the admission process, then you may be at risk of not getting admitted.
Your answer to this question can either make or break your application. Schools are looking for determined and dedicated students. They want students who in the future, do great things in the healthcare world.
Interviewers want to hear your personal strong motivations for wanting to become a doctor. Your answer should tell your personal drive and good reasons to study medicine. It is your opportunity to be selected among the thousands of applicants who are vying for the same spot, so give your best.
Best Commonly-Used Answers to “Why Do You Want To Be A Doctor?
Every applicant will have their own reason for pursuing medicine. Thus, there is no single right answer for “why do you want to become a doctor”. But do your best to formulate an answer that schools want to hear.
Here are some of the best commonly-used answers that you may refer to get inspiration from. And then come up with your own answer to the question.
1. Personal Stories
Surely, there was some event from the past that tapped your interest to pursue medicine. You can share that personal story to the interviewer. But don’t use a situation or character and drama just to appear interesting or engaging.
If you must, keep it short but has substance. Interviewers heard about this type of answer all the time so don’t let them lose interest. Tell your personal story in a way that connects with your interviewers. And then give them insights into why this event in your life spark an interest for you to pursue medicine.
2. Tell Them How You Arrived To Your Decision.
Now, talk about how you come to your final decision to pursue medicine. This could be a past experience you had at work. It could be learning more about medicine from school. Or an immersion you’ve joined that exposed you to healthcare.
Whatever the reasons that solidify your decision to pursue medicine, tell the interviewer. Give concrete reasons that helped you decide that pursuing medicine was the right path for you.
3. Talk About Challenges You Expect About Medicine
Take this opportunity to let your interviewers know that you understand the challenges of being a doctor. Interviewers are looking for students who know what they are pursuing. It is important to know that you are strong enough to face hurdles that lie ahead.
You can talk about how your personal motivations will drive you through all the difficulties. This makes your answer more authentic and shows that you’re serious about your future in healthcare.
4. Emphasize Your Strengths
You don’t need to recite your abilities because the interviewers have your resume already. Briefly, touch on your abilities and then tell them how it helped you arrive at your decision to become a doctor.
Tell the interviewer how your abilities made you realize that studying medicine was a workable option that you can pursue. For example, you have an ability to absorb lessons easily and you excel in memorizing definitions of terms.
Take this opportunity to highlight your strengths that relates to your reasons for wanting to pursue medicine. It’ll help your interviewers connect the dots of why you want to be a doctor.
5. Give Your Patient-Focused Answer
Medicine is supposed to be a self-less career path. It’s about rendering a service that will benefit others without an expectation of return. Talk about how you see yourself passionately helping patients.
Avoid giving the standard answer everyone usually provides. Focus on what motivates you to help people as a doctor and not as any other profession. Do not give a plain answer “I want to help people” to the question “why do you want to be a doctor?”. Interviewers hear them all the time. Make your answer patient-focused because it’s was really all about them, not you.
Spend Time To Come Up With Your Own Answer
You can follow the above examples as inspiration. Hopefully, they’ll guide you thru the proper answer. However, you must come up together with your own answer.
Remember, there are thousands of students that apply to the school of medicine yearly. The last thing you want is to sound like everybody. Similarly, avoid generic answers and cliché Your ultimate goal should be is to give an answer that stands out among the rest.
Find some time to actually give some thoughts on why is pursuing medicine important to you. Moreover, understand why becoming a doctor is vital and what drives you to reach in such a challenging profession.
Then, seek help from friends to do a mock interview with you. Consider every angle and respond to each. Interviewers can easily throw you a curveball. If you’ve got a decent understanding of your personal motivations, you must not have any problem responding to questions the interviewer might throw your way.
Avoid These Answers for “Why Do You Want to Become a Doctor”:
There are several answers you want to avoid such as cliches. Interviewers in most cases have follow-up questions that could challenge your answer. A poor answer will only hurt your chances of admission. To avoid this, we listed here overused answers that will not help you stand out.
1. Money, Power, or Respect
Remember, being a doctor is a selfless profession. Providing answers like money, power, and respect are indicators that you can be a selfish person. Therefore, not fit to become a doctor.
Yes, it’s true that physicians usually have good financial status and are respected. But you can gain it also from another profession, so why from being a doctor?
Again, healthcare is a challenging career. Motivations such as money and respect do not fit in this sphere.
2. Following your doctor parents’ steps
Being exposed to medicine at an early age because your parents are doctors are awesome. But it should not be a compelling reason why you should also want to be a doctor yourself. Your decision to become a doctor should be on your own. It should not because of wanting to continue a lineage of doctors or please a family member.
3. To be a doctor is a rewarding career
Saving a life can be very rewarding. However, please understand that there will be lots of bad days and challenging situations. If a “rewarding career” is your only definition of becoming a doctor, then you are wrong. It will look like you don’t truly understand what you are getting yourself into.
4. You want to be a well-known name
Again, there are other professions or career options somewhere else if you want to be a well-known name. Never use medicine as your gateway to fame or to build your personal brand. If you are only seeking self-worth, pursuing a career as a physician is not an option
5. You want to help people
It may be one of the best answers because it’s patient-focused but expound your answer. Do not deliver the generic answer, “I want to help people”. If you only want to help people, you can also be a social worker. Your answer should be specific and personal. Let the interviewer understand that being a doctor is the only way you know that you can be of help.
6. You like the challenge
This is one example of a cliché answer. If you are only after a challenging job, then you should see other career options. Medicine is not the only field that challenges your mental capabilities. In short, if you only want to challenge your mental capacity you can try other options. Being a doctor is more than just a challenging career.
7. A career change
Again, your motivation to become a doctor should stem from a strong desire to serve in healthcare. Therefore, if your current career failed you, and switching to becoming a doctor sounds like a good idea, think twice. Your reasons should be solid and positive, not a way to replace an unsuccessful career.
Now that we have gone thru a list of best answers and what not to answer, it’s time for you to find the time and think of your own answer. Let the question “why do you want to be a doctor” be an opportunity for you to shine among the rest of the applicants. Do your homework and prepare your answers. In other words, take it really seriously.
As there is really no right answer to this question, dig right into the bottom of your hearts of heart and ask yourself why you really want to pursue medicine. With a genuine and passionate heart to help and serve, you will surely come up with a good answer.
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