I want to be a doctor

Kevin Potoczny in a white lab coat

 Author, in an undergraduate lab

“Who wants to become a doctor”? I remember sitting in my first year “get to know your program” seminar, and the professor asked that question to the thousand or so students. With hundreds of hands confirming the statement, she shattered everyone’s dream by saying “congratulations, only three of you will make it.” “I’ll be one of those three,” I said to myself. Considering many people in first year chemistry think the same thing, I want to explain that I definitely won’t be one of those three and why you most likely won’t either.

Now this has nothing to do with your academic ability, in fact, I have a perfectly good GPA and personality to become a doctor. However, because university has so many different avenues of learning, you quickly learn that there are other aspirations that become the center of your focus. For example, in my first year I didn’t realize that I was taking one class less than required. In a panic I had to take the only class that could fit my schedule — as a first year student I didn’t really know how to change my schedule around very well — and that class turned out to be Biomedical Ethics. Long story short, that course changed my perspective completely and now I minor in Philosophy. I quickly went from hardcore science to exploring different faculties. All of this branching out has made me realize my love for teaching, and I now want to become a professor and teach at the university level.

So keep that in mind as you sit in your chemistry class; being one of three may sound cool, but you might find that you would rather be one of something else: yourself.