Views & Reviews The Bigger Picture

Why do you want to be a doctor?

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 07 December 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7976
  1. Mary E Black, global health doctor, London
  1. drmaryblack{at}

Career day at my daughter’s school in London is cheaper than therapy. I recount my life story to teenagers who listen intently—some even take notes. Succumbing to temptation I soup it up a bit (don’t we all?). Hitchhiking across Alaska in the summer while visiting native health services goes down well, as do my Bosnian war exploits, and the bizarre late night cases as a junior doctor in Dublin. Even though I remind them that 80% of any job is routine, even boring, they go away convinced they …

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