One of the most important medical school interview questions may seem easy, but it can be quite complicated. Why do you want to become a doctor? The answer to this question will reveal your hopes and dreams for your professional future. It might be a question that stumps you because it’s so broad. There may be a hundred reasons you want to be a doctor, but you must put it into words that make sense to your interviewer. We’ve got a few ways you can approach the question of “Why do you want to become a doctor?” 

Why Is The Answer So Tough?

Answering why you want to become a doctor is scary to many pre-med students because they fear answering it wrong gets them rejected from medical school. The truth is that there isn’t a right or wrong answer. It’s all in the way you answer it. 

Most people know being a medical doctor is interesting and unique. It takes a lot of time and effort as one day people will put their lives in your hands. Medical doctors will see life and death almost every day they are on the job. This isn’t a job anyone can take lightly.

This career isn’t one for someone that likes to enjoy their lazy days lounging on the couch. It’s for the person that knows they’re constantly on call and need to always perform at their best. This is a career for someone that knows how to focus and be responsible for their own actions at all times.

So, this is why you need to think long and hard before you sit before that interview panel of people. They’ve listened to countless other people hoping to get into a medical program. They’ve heard all of the answers. They want to hear from your heart why you want to be a medical doctor. 

Gauging Your Dedication

“Why do you want to become a doctor,” is not just a question that sparks simple conversation. The reason you are asked this question isn’t about something fancy, but it is all about a way to gauge your dedication for the field of medicine. The interviewers know that this profession is a life-long commitment. It may seem like a seasoned doctor has an easy life making their own hours and living a nice life, but it’s a tough journey at first. It takes many long hours and long years to find success. 

The interviewers understand that you can work as hard as possible, but you will experience obstacles to your success. They ask you the question behind why you want to be a doctor, so they understand that you have the knowledge of these obstacles based on your reasoning. They want you to have a base for never throwing in the towel even though it can be a tough journey.

Things Not To Say

Why do you want to become a doctor? Don’t ever throw out some of the worst answers possible. 

  • You want to make a lot of money. They are a million ways you could make money in the world. If you’re just becoming a doctor to make money, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.
  • You want to make a name for yourself. This makes it seem like you’re in the profession just to have a title. You don’t care about the people. Don’t build your own brand this way.
  • You want to prove your self-worth. This is just an insane answer because medicine can crush your soul. It’s a tough journey with many obstacles.
  • Your parents are doctors. No one cares that you were born into a family of doctors. This doesn’t mean you will be a good doctor. You have to want to soar on your own. If you’re getting into medicine because the family is pushing you, then you’re in it for the wrong reasons.

Other common answers to this question often include talking about improving people’s health or wanting to help those in need. These are probably honest reasons, but they are heard a million times. Generic and vague answers should be left at the door. You can help people through many different professions. Answer the question of why you want to help people in the world of medicine. 

Process Of Elimination

The interview and personal statements will either explicitly ask you why you want to be a doctor or inadvertently through questions like, “tell me about yourself?” Remember to review medical school personal statement examples to get an understanding of what the admissions committees are expecting to see in your essay.

Your answer can either make or break your future because interviewers want to hear something genuine. You may truly want to go into the profession because you have family members that are doctors, but you need to back up that answer with heart. Explain why your path was influenced by other doctors. There will be a story behind your decision. You didn’t just wake up one day and decide you wanted to go to school many years for your profession. Reviewers want to hear your signature story. This question will separate you from the herd. Preparation is key, so you aren’t thrown off by questions that will set you apart.

Deciding The Answer For Yourself

You probably know the reason at your core why you want to become a doctor. It’s all about knowing your strengths and weaknesses in all areas of your life. If you don’t know the best things about your professional self, enlist the help of a career counselor or a mentor. 

Think about a defining experience in your life that highlighted your strengths. Instead of thinking about the times in life where you felt knocked down by your weaknesses, focus on the positive times in life. You probably have had multiple experiences in life that shaped you into the person you are today. These events and your responses will spotlight your strengths. 

Organizing Your Answer

How do you organize an effective thought when answering, “Why do you want to become a doctor?” Once you figure out your answer, you need to outline it in your mind so it comes out in a genuine and precise way. These are the easiest steps to follow:

1. Speak to the interview about the reasoning you chose to jump into this field in the first place. Was there a specific event? Did you just always love medicine? Did someone inspire your decision?

2. Explain the steps you have taken to reach your desired professional path. What did you do after you realized you wanted to become a doctor to learn more about the profession?

3. Go in-depth about your decision to join the medical field. Talk about your specific reasoning. Tell your narrative. Stand out from the crowd by speaking from your heart. 

Stand Out With Your Choices

Doctors take an oath to serve those in need. This must be one reason why you’re choosing to become a doctor. The kind of medicine you choose to study is another realm of this question. You don’t need to fit into any perfect hole to get into medical school. There are many caregivers that are diving into servicing the rural areas. These areas often desperately need the services of a doctor. The truth is that most doctors didn’t choose medical school because of the financial reward. They chose to join the world of medicine to change the world for the better. Interviewers are often interested to hear the type of medicine you want to study and even where you would love to work one day. They understand that not every pre-med student wants to be the richest doctor on the block. They know that most doctors want to make a difference. If you want to be a doctor that services rural areas, tell them all about this decision. Remember, they aren’t looking for their “perfect” little model student. They want the best for the field.

Best Of The Best

The medical field only takes the best of the best. If you’re going to work hard and study even harder, you’re going to make it. The thing to remember is that your future patients aren’t going to be impressed with your diploma hanging on the wall. Sure, they’ll be excited if it’s their alma mater. Otherwise, they are much more impressed with how good of a physician you are to them. It’s the cherry on top if you graduated from an amazing med school, but people care much more about if you’re good at your job. A physician that helps their patient feel their best mentally and physically is much more important to most people than a physician that is all business without any bedside skills.

In conclusion, it’s always important to avoid cliches and tell your own narrative. It’s a tough question with so many paths. There are no right or wrong answers, but there are wrong ways to answer. If you’re torn, you should look into completing a Pre-Med Internship. This will help you dive deeper into the medical field and understand the reasoning behind why you chose this field. There are many pre-med internships abroad offered by International Medical Aid as well. By doing these, you can learn about different disciplines so you can make decisions for your future in medicine.