• Question: I wish to be a Doctor in a public hospital. What do I need to know about what you study to help better in my dream career?

    Asked by Madilyn Zingre to Stephanie, Melissa, Kevin, Kellie, Jonathan on 25 Apr 2016.
    • Photo: Kevin Baker

      Kevin Baker answered on 25 Apr 2016:

      Kellie would definitely be the best to answer this!

    • Photo: Jonathan Jackson

      Jonathan Jackson answered on 25 Apr 2016:

      Hi Madilyn,

      I agree that Kellie could answer this, but keep in mind that there’s more than one way to be a Doctor! I work in a large public hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital (Kellie’s coming here too!), but I have a PhD, which is a research degree. I don’t see patients and give them medicine or anything like that, but I still am a doctor working in a hospital environment. I focus on research, and the results of my findings are often translated to the hospital after we make sure the data are telling us the right things.

    • Photo: Kellie Jaremko

      Kellie Jaremko answered on 25 Apr 2016:

      Hi Madilyn,

      Thanks for your question and thanks for your votes of confidence Kevin and Jonathan! First of all it is great that you’re interested in becoming a doctor. Its a long path but let me know if you have more questions about it.

      I think the most important thing to get out of this “I’m a scientist USA” experience is to get excited about research in science. Medical school prepares you very well for learning about the body and treating patients so there’s nothing specific here that you need to memorize. Medical science is always changing and growing so being aware of that fact and staying excited about learning are crucial to becoming a great doctor. I definitely recommend trying out some research during college. That way you will be able to understand new medical research better.

      Regardless of the type of doctor you become, unfortunately you will see patients in pain. The key points of my research are that pain is complex and needs to be addressed patient to patient. I’m hoping that my research will help future doctors, like yourself, know which medications will reduce pain the best in certain types of patients while decreasing their addiction risk.

    • Photo: Stephanie Moon

      Stephanie Moon answered on 25 Apr 2016:

      I agree with Kellie, it seems like it would be important to have a foundation in the scientific method & having some experience in research if you go on to become a medical doctor. But I would also say that you shouldn’t focus too early- it’s really important that you develop your own unique interests and experiences and enjoy school too.

    • Photo: Melissa Wilson Sayres

      Melissa Wilson Sayres answered on 26 Apr 2016:

      I am part of a new Center for Evolution and Medicine, that illustrates how important for medicine it is to understand evolution: https://evmed.asu.edu. There are many explanations for a disease. The one clinicians most commonly focus on is the proximate cause (why is this happening now??), or the developmental cause (what occurred over an individual’s lifetime to lead them to being susceptible to this condition), but understanding the evolutionary explanation is especially important for making meaningful advances in medical research and in the clinic.

      For example, understanding how evolution works can help us with understanding infectious disease outbreaks and progression.