The Religion of Medical School

Immigrant parents worship at the altar of Doctor. They pray to the gods of medicine and offer their children as sacrifices so that the gods may bless them with happiness. They believe that if their kid just studies really really hard for a really really long time, then happiness will be theirs. It is that simple to them.  Then you marry a nice girl/ boy from (insert ethnicity) background and your life will be complete. They have no idea that finding happiness is much more complicated. There is no simple recipe to achieve it. The recipe is certainly not spend X amount of years in a graduate school, rack up X amount of debt, lose X amount of years to studying and then you will be happy. This is naive and woefully optimistic.

To these parents, medicine has embodied everything that is good . It is the surest route to earthly happiness. They will never acknowledge that happiness is an extremely individualistic and personal path. It is not found in professing undying loyalty to a particular profession. No immigrant parent can imagine that many people with “high status” jobs are depressed. They will never understand the statistic that doctors have the leading rate of suicide among professionals. They are probably not even aware of that fact. If you show them the articles they  will reject them. It is akin to blasphemy.

It is incomprehensible how you can not love life if you are a doctor. To them the imagined perks of being a physician (prestige, money) are what makes live worth living. Any sacrifice is worth attaining that goal. Sacrificing any semblance of a life in your 20’s and early thirties is worth it.  Immigrants feel this burning desire to prove to the world that they made it. Their child making a lot of money in the medical field is the ultimate sign of making it. It is heaven to them. They are more than willing to sacrifice you on the altar of medicine to achieve that ticket to heaven.

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