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Passion: The Only Piece of Advice for Success in the Health Professions

I’m frequently asked by pre-health applicants what my advice for applying to the medical professions. If your goal is to be truly extraordinary in the health professions, this is the unspoken truth.

Only do this if you thrive on hard work, challenges, and problem solving . That the the hustle is constantly a part of your patients welfare, and your success. You will give up more than you can imagine, and for that, you are granted the privilege to care for your fellow man.


If you can accept that you will be sacrificing extensively. That you need to be able to handle long days, sleepless nights, and countless hours pouring over details, finessing technique, and striving to learn and develop every single day. Your friends and family will see less of you than they expect, and become a necessary support system. Your circadian rhythms, lifestyle, and schedule will change, and frequently not be in your control.


If you understand that shit happens. That it takes untold passion and heart, that you will be constantly tested on this, and expected to come out unscathed, and do it again the next day.


If you accept that this is not about you as much as it as about everyone else. That every day you hold another human beings physical well being and life in your hands, and anything less than your best is not good enough.


If you have a burning desire to heal, and can’t imagine yourself doing anything else. That you will be placed in a position of almost unwavering trust, and usually without having the fortune of developing that relationship extensively first.


Because ultimately, that’s what medicine is about.


Those applying need to show that they understand all of this in order to survive. Those already in it live this every single day, and we’re looking for others that will thrive in this environment. While this all may sound contrived, it’s the honest, raw truth – It takes a certain type of person to match with this reality. I, and all of us, want to see our colleagues succeed. If this is something you can honestly, and fully, accept – all other things will fall into place somehow to make it so. I really do honestly believe that.