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Sage Advice

By: Merge magazine's editorial advisory board
Posted: September 1, 2010, from the September 2010 issue of
Three professional women in suits, standing outside and speaking to each other

page 2 of 6

My best advice for anyone, especially if they are considering a career in medicine, is that they need to be passionate about it. They must want to follow that dream and make sacrifices for it, because there are sacrifices of their personal lives and time that people outside the profession don’t fully understand. They need to be able to derive satisfaction from the work that makes them want to get up every morning and go and do it all over again every day.
Miles Graivier, MD, FACS

Just realize that it’s a long road ahead, but go for it.
Joseph M. Gryskiewicz, MD, FACS

Study, and do some research early on in their areas of interest.
Jason Pozner, MD

A recent experience put this question into sharp focus for me. A friend of my daughter’s, who had started out in college undergrad as pre-med, changed his major to business because of health care reform. He wasn’t sure he wanted to continue on as a pre-med student because he didn’t want to have to end up working for the government. Based on answers like this, it is possible that health care reform may be sifting out people who were going into medicine with a poor concept of what actual practice is like.

While I love medicine and continue to encourage it to college students, it isn’t without interference from outside sources, including the government. Additionally, despite the fact that it is a great career and one I love doing, there has to be some element of compassion and desire to serve people in it in order to really be completely satisfied in this career.
Joel Schlessinger, MD