Train in Vein

Why I Love Being a Doctor

Around this time of year, I get a little emo about how much I love what I do. I start feeling pretty thankful. Must be the holidays. I also volunteered with the Step Up Women’s Network the other weekend to talk to high school aged girls about  careers in medicine. It is always great to think about why you love what you do.  Here is a little rundown of why I think it’s pretty awesome to be a physician, or in the healthcare field in general.

 1. I get to look awful every day. Seriously, the thought of keeping people alive is FAR less stressful to me than the idea of PICKING OUT OUTFITS! Doing my hair and make up??? I am getting chest pain thinking of it. I have to get up early, but if I had to look “good” every day, I would be getting up at 3 am! Ugh. Give me my scrubs (basically PJs), ugly orthotic clogs and scrub cap (nope, don’t even have to brush my hair) any day. Bonus point: When I clean up, it’s like WOAH! Set the bar low and you look amazing when you put on eyeliner or something.

 2. I don’t get too upset or stressed out anymore. If no one is bleeding/coding/dying, things are pretty great. And I am always thankful for my health and the health of those that I love.

 3. Going out in public to, say, The Grove or something is a parade of beautiful healthy people. It’s lovely. I enjoy staring more than just about anyone. I just marvel at how peoples bodies work well and they can go about their business and have conversations and buy things. I love it.

 4. I am fluent in medical language, which, as has been proven to me by those blessed medical dramas, sounds pretty BADASS. I also get to use a lot of abbreviations. Did you know LOL was originally Little Old Lady- As in, LOL in NAD (No Apparent Distress)? It always will be to me. Sigh.

5. I got to make CRAAAAZY charts and diagrams with all sorts of pens and notecards. I was a school supply note-taking maven and loved every minute of it. Plus, there is something very monk-like about medical school – you sort of take 4 years of silence, cooped up and studying. That’s a whole lot of getting to know yourself time, ya’ll. Me and me? We’re like THAT (fingers crossed).

6. I have really, really crazy stories. We all do. Things I can’t even tell people, because they would be afraid of me or think I’m a creep or be horrified by medicine in general. But let me tell you, I get my fix as an adrenaline junky. I also satisfy my OCD and my need to take care of people, big time.

7. I have met just about every type of person, because health is the great equalizer and unifier. We all look after and manage our heath (or will have to, at some point). My patients and the people I work with never cease to fascinate me. Hearing about peoples hobbies and talents and careers and families… Awesome! As much as I complain, roll my eyes and say I hate people when they stop their carts in the midde of the aisle at Trader Joes… I really love people. That is why I do this.

8. I can try to help my friends with the black box that is medicine. Hospitals, doctors, whatever… It can be overwhelming. I know it’s crazy when I am on the patient side, even now. I love being able to help my friends a bit here and there. I sobbed straight through the movie 50/50, I never want people to feel confused and alone.

9. I am a fantastic secret keeper. I seriously can’t even remember people’s private medical issues. It’s like my brain has an autodestruct button once I no longer need private information. The brainwashing is that good.

10. A long week in a hospital makes tipsy gossipy brunches, shopping, sleeping, vacation and movie watching THAT MUCH MORE FUN.

Well, Happy Holidays, HelloGiggles!!! I wish you love, health and happiness. Thanks for reading.

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  • Dahines Gonzales

    Beautifully inspiring (at least from where I am, as a medical student)! Thanks Alexandra

    • Alexandra Anderson Conrad

      I’m so glad you’re in med school! I know it’s rough, and residency is rough too… Always take time to remember why you are doing it. It’s worth it!

  • Liz Haebe

    Oh my goodness, I missed you last week! I often wondered how doctors handle life outside of work because, honestly, I don’t know how you deal with that kind of stress. I work for OBGYN’s, and sometimes, I just can’t understand how calm some of them are. I think one of the reasons why I love your column so much is that it shows me an even more REAL side to medicine. I get the uppity docs who can never remember to send me vacation forms, so their schedules get upset and then they get mad at me. You make me see them in an even more human light, which I do appreciate. Well that, and you’re freakin’ hilarious and rad.

    Happy Holidays Alexandra!

    • Alexandra Anderson Conrad

      Happy Holidays to you Liz! Great to hear your supportive comments, as always! I think you touch on a really important thing for ALL of us- it’s important to remember that everyone has a human side they may not show in public/ at work. I think it’s a lot easier to be genuinely good to people keeping that in mind. xo

  • Maria Kjærgaard Christensen

    Awww, this makes me want to become a doctor even more! Love it :) I hope this will be me sometime in the future, when I manage to get into medical school and fulfill my dream :) Wish me luck! Happy holidays from Denmark :)

    • Alexandra Anderson Conrad

      You will do it! You don’t even need luck. If you want it, you will make it happen. I am 1/4 Danish, but I’ve never been to Denmark!

  • Abbie Anderson

    I’m pretty jelly over the whole PJ thing.

    • Alexandra Anderson Conrad

      I’m jelly that you are in Colorado right now.

  • Elisabeth Miller

    I love this. I had always wanted to be a doctor but, for many reasons, it never happened. I like getting to read your columns!

    • Alexandra Anderson Conrad

      Thanks! It’s never really too late to be one… Hehehe. But I bet you just found something else you are amazing at :)

  • MJ Rojas

    I loved this! I did know LOL was little old lady because of ER (my fave medical drama EVER) and I totally get what you mean by using a different jargon and thanks to drama series, makes one look pretty badass. I’m studying physical anthropology, so my friends say all the time I talk like Bones, lol! I love your columns,and these are definitely GREAT things to be thankful for!
    Happy holidays :)

    • Alexandra Anderson Conrad

      Happy Holidays to you! Bones is SO good. Yeah, my sister is in law school and my brother is in biomedical engineering. I can hardly understand what either of them says anymore. It’s pretty funny. So glad you knew about LOL!

  • Summer Shelton

    I want you to be my doctor!

    • Alexandra Anderson Conrad

      NO! That means you would need surgery! I don’t wish surgery on anyone :)

  • Alexandra

    This article is meant to be fun and lighthearted. I love what I do, and I am excited to do it every day. That is the truth. It’s also true that is is extremely difficult and I take my career very seriously. I have sacrificed a lot, I have tons of student loan debt, it’s extremely stressful, I have tons of anxiety, I work long hours, I get really frustrated, I put work before everything, and sometimes it’s extraordinarily heartbreaking. But it’s worth it, and I love it.

    Again, this article is meant to be fun. For those on Twitter saying this made me seem like a “teeny bopper” or a bad example for a doctor, I assure you if you were to meet me you would see I am as serious as a heart attack. Literally. That said, there is nothing wrong with having a little fun, and showing your more human side. Even if you are a doctor. I have devoted my life to this career, and I trained at one of the most prestigious programs in the world in anesthesia. I deserve to enjoy and have fun with what I do along with shouldering the grave responsibility.

    Anyone would be lucky to have me take care of them, and that is a fact.

  • Annie Bakopoulos

    As a nurse at a children’s hospital. I can definitely relate! I find even when the days are long and tiring, I alwasys want to go back to work the next day.

  • Megan Padilla

    People are saying you seem like a “teeny bopper!?” I don’t understand why, I think it’s amazing that you are able to look at the bright side of your job. You provide further insight about being a doctor and I think it is nice to see!

  • Cathy Cepeda

    Alex you are amazing and this is so true. I’m working my way up to medical school working as a scribe in the ED we get to see so many things and medical jargon is my trade. Ignore those negative comments because you are shining the positive light onto the medical field obviously there are negatives but we must be positive :) Love your posts from Miami!

  • Emily Johnson

    This is a fantastic and fun article! I’m not a Dr. But I am a RRT and I feel the same way about most of these things! There are a lot of sacrifices when working in 24/7 land of health and emergencies that is a Hospital but focusing on the fun little things that make it worth it is really what I needed to see! Sometimes you get so burned out and I’m so glad you pointed out some of the little good things about it! Thanks for the article.

  • Léna Murray

    If I could study anything in college, I would study medicine. Ive always wanted to be a dr. However, disruptions in school mean I have no chance of med school anytime soon =( Makes me sad.

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