I Want to Be a Doctor
4-How Old Were You?
July 15, 2021
Today's question is from a 1st grader who asks I'm 6 years old and I want to be a doctor. People treat me like I'm cute and suggest that I watch Doc McStuffins. But I'm actually really interested in the human body and in being a doctor. What should I do? How old were you when you started wanting to be a doctor? Well guess what! When I was 6 years old, https://podcasts.bcast.fm/i-want-to-be-a-doctor
Welcome to the I want to be a doctor podcast where insider information about what it takes to become a physician is available for anyone. I'm Dr. Robin Dickinson, a board-certified family physician and I will give honest answers to your questions.

Today's question is from a 1st grader who asks I'm 6 years old and I want to be a doctor. People treat me like I'm cute and suggest that I watch Doc McStuffins. But I'm actually really interested in the human body and in being a doctor. What should I do? How old were you when you started wanting to be a doctor? 

Well guess what! When I was 6 years old, I told my mom that I wanted to be a nurse but I didn't want to be the one to draw blood and collect urine and do throat swabs. And my mom said, we'll you can be a doctor. And that was when I started wanting to be a doctor. I thought about other things. Park ranger and librarian were what I told people I was also considering. But truly, I had very little interest in those. I really just wanted to be a doctor. 

So it's possible that you'll stick with it and become a doctor. And it's also possible that you'll change your mind later. 

But I know it's really annoying when people treat you like you're cute and suggest a cartoon when you're serious about your interest. So as far as what to do... I'm going to split this into two parts. One is what to do for yourself and the other is what to do about how other people respond to your interest. 

So what to do for yourself. I am a huge fan of you exploring more! 

Read biographies and watch movies about doctors in history who really made a difference. Or read books about people who had a medical problem.  It’s fascinating to learn about the individual people.

Ask your doctor what it's like to be a doctor and what they like about it and don't like about it. Some doctors will even let you shadow them for a short time to see what it is they do.

Learn more about human biology. There are some really great books that I'll link to in the show notes.

The Human Body Book: An Illustrated Guide to its Structure, Function, and Disorders
by Richard Walker and Steve Parker (this is my personal favorite that I keep on my shelf)
Atlas of Human Anatomy 
by Frank Netter (the 1st and 2nd edition are usually available used for a few dollars)
The Medicine Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained by DK
Human Body Knowledge Encyclopedia by DK
Human Body Theater by Maris Wicks (a number of my students love this one!)

I created a website with a lot of great lessons about human biology too called Dr. Robin's School

Help other people.  Helping friends, teachers, neighbors, and family members is good practice for when you help people in your job someday.

Learn to do lots of things.  Learning to make and create helps develop both your brain and your hands.  If you can learn to sew or cook or build electronics or dance, it will be easier to keep learning to do new things like examining a patient or doing surgery.  

Now the other part of the answer I promised was what to do about how other people respond to you.  The most important part is to remember that who you are and what you’re interested in doesn’t change just because of how other people respond.  I’ve done so many things in my life that other people thought were a silly idea until I succeeded.  

I’ve found that it’s useful to have something kind to say that lets people know that I’m confident in myself and what I’m actually doing to prepare.  So for example, if someone suggests you watch Doc McStuffins, don’t say anything at all about Doc McStuffins, instead just say, “I’ve been reading this really cool book about a doctor who...” and they may learn something from you!

That's it for today. Subscribe, share with your friends and mentors; and remember to live the life that is right for you with your personality interests and values. 
Please send your questions to me at podcast@docrobinschool.com. That's podcast at d-o-c Robin like the bird school dot com.
Show notes are available on the podcast website linked below. 
This episode was sponsored by Dr. Robin's School, the first pre-medical curriculum for kids, and recorded in beautiful, downtown Englewood, Colorado.