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Why I become a doc?
[00:00:00] Morning everybody. It's Monday morning. I'm starting with this. It's apropo today of all days cuz. Dark outside. It's almost 7:00 AM And a few people have been asking, actually a few people every week are asking like, tell us again about how you became a doctor, because you must have always wanted to be a doctor.
And I'd referenced yesterday, so someone told me to talk about my origin story, which is such a cute way of putting it. So for several reasons, today's the day, it's Monday, I'm gonna talk about it. So if you don't wanna know about why I'm a doctor again, move on. So it's. That would make you think, oh, Sheva must love getting up early in the morning because she's here early in the morning, even though she's not in the operating room.
And the answer is no. There's nowhere I would rather be than in my bed right now, but alas, I have chosen a career where you have to wake up early every morning, either because you're at the hospital operating, delivering, or now I'm kind of catching up on charts. So I'm here early. . The other reason it's really out proposed last night I was sitting next to my dad on the couch.
A lot of you guys [00:01:00] might have heard me say that they live next door, so I get to see my parents a lot and dad was reminiscing as one does when you get to 82 about like, do you remember when I used to take you guys to the hospital to do rounds? Because both my parents are retired doctors, general surgeon, pediatrician, and of course I.
Um, because guess what came with rounds was dad would take us to the doctors to the um, to the cafeteria and we would get chocolate pudding. And as anyone who knows, me knows, all of my memories surround food. So yes, I remember going to the hospital, one would think, oh, that shaped Yeshiva. That is why you became a doctor.
And if you see this, it's hard to. But it says, dear mom, thank you for coming to our room. When I grow up, I'm going to be a doctor. I think you're such a nice mother. I love you. My penmanship was very good back then, by the way. It's terrible now, uh, I hope you come to our class again, your daughter, Shima.
And ironically it's dated 44 78, which means I was eight years old. 44 happens to be one of my children's [00:02:00] birthdays. By the way. I love all these weird connections. Um, and back then of course, I wanted to be a doctor. Doesn't everybody wanna be like what their mom is? And I was like the only person who had a mom who worked.
So she came to career day and I saw that my patient's parents, my parents, patients really love them. I would walk around and people would say, are you Dr. Goran? He's still out here. Oh my God, we love. So it was nice. When did I stop wanting to be a doctor? Was like, as soon as I was cognizant that being a doctor meant a hell of a lot of work, and I did not want that.
And I wasn't lazy exactly, but I was lazy, meaning I was bright enough to do well enough, but I didn't wanna work my butt off. And that's what it seemed to take. So I kind of proceeded, I'm assuming from age like 10 or 11 until age 20. , that's a decade of saying when someone would say, what do you wanna do with your life?
Oh, I think I wanna go into business or fashion. I always liked fashion. I always thought it was fun. I loved jewelry and I said I wanted to be a jewelry designer, but I quickly realized that like, unless you're really amazing at jewelry designer or maybe lucky, you probably won't support yourself. And I was [00:03:00] certainly not.
Um, passionate enough or good enough to be a starving artist. So I just kept saying business, business, business. Now anyone who knows me now knows, I don't know what the hell business means. Like I think anyone who's like deals with money is like in finance and I don't even know what finance is, right? So my dad, ironically last night while we were sitting on the couch talking about the doctor's lounge, said, when do you think you decided you wanted to be a doctor?
Which is like an easy answer for me cause it's not. When do I think I decided it was, uh, I was. 2, 21, 22 because I turned 22, April of 92. This was senior year. So sometime in the second half of senior year when I quickly realized like, I have zero idea what I wanna do, what kind of job, and it's different than now young people, you guys can like get a job, work for a year or two, learn and then move on.
Back then it was like kind of more like you did graduate school, you got a job, which was your career. You were an accountant or a doctor or a nurse or, so I kind of was like, all right, I guess I should take. Did I do pre-meds as an undergrad? No, I actually [00:04:00] switched majors four times at Georgetown. I started as a French major and then I switched to be an Italian major and then I switched out of the language school to the Arts and sciences school and became a government, no, an English major.
And then I finished as an American government major. Ironically, I really don't love or know a ton about the American government outside of the politics that I tend to kind of frequently discuss. Um, so what was I gonna do with those majors? I don't know. And frankly, nowadays I realize, and I know for all you young people, I don't think your major matters.
I think it's actually great that I did liberal arts because I did learn a breadth of information that was fascinating and interesting and had nothing to do with my life or major, but still helped. And actually, while I don't remember any Italian, cause I only took it for a. My French is working knowledge.
I am able to speak to my mother-in-law in French. She and I both speak very bad French. Um, but that's how we communicate because I don't speak Arabic or Hebrew and she does not speak Farsi. So fast forward, I [00:05:00] started, like I graduated in May and I think like the third week of May, I started taking pre-med classes.
First at Yale because I lived in New Haven, so I took a summer class in general chemistry, an entire year of general chemistry with the, with the lab. Anyone who knows that it's like grueling at Yale. Intense in eight weeks, and I came home crying the first day. Came home to my parents' house where I was living that summer, crying because I'd never been through such an intense class.
Undergrad was not like that for me at Georgetown. And my dad said when he saw me at the end of the driveway checking the mail, well, you can quit if you want. I'm pretty sure at this point, my parents were like, what the heck is this girl gonna do? She's like a burnout compared to her sister who like always wanted to be a lawyer and was already in law school.
And anyway, I, of course was, um, wayward, didn't know what I wanted. But I was tenacious and I was like, I am not gonna quit. Meanwhile, I had already change four majors, right? So I went on and then I switched to a post baccalaureate pre-med program, which means after graduation you take pre-med classes.
[00:06:00] Columbia had a great program. I went to Columbia. It wasn't like getting into Columbia undergrad, it's a post-back program. It's not as lofty, trust me. But it was a great program. I started, I moved to the city. My parents did not believe that I was committed. Don't blame them. I didn't have a great track record, so I ended up living with my sister for one semester in her bed, um, on the Upper West Side.
Thank you Nunu. Um, and so. Then I started and then once they believed that I was okay, I lived with my high school best friends. So I had three years in New York City from 92 to 95, 2 of which I took pre-med classes, all the pre-meds in this program. And then I worked at a lab, which was dreadful for me cuz I did not like bench science.
But I did it just cuz I was applying. And I was lucky enough to get a position, um, in this cell biology lab. So I applied to medical school and guess what? It was really hard and I did not get into the schools that I'd wanted to get into stateside. I got wait listed at a few places. I didn't get into any great schools in America or any schools in America.
She was any great, no [00:07:00] schools in America on American soil. Um, I got into a few of the foreign schools that are, um, in the islands, which are all very good. A lot of people from my program applied to become DOS Doctors of osteopathic medicine, which in fact, two of my partners are now dos and they're excellent.
And it's essentially similar training, but a little bit more holistic, believe it or not, with regard to the body. But they do the same residency, so it's the same equivalent. Like the doctors who are dos are the same as MDs, really. Um, I just chose not to do that. I grew up as daughters of md, so I thought, Ugh, the rest of my life, I have to explain what a do is.
I don't really want to even. I know it's the same. So instead, I chose to go where I got in, which was an American medical school in Tel Aviv, and it was the only American medical school off off soil that was kind of sanctioned. Um, so it, it had a little bit of a better reputation and I thought, what if I wanna do something surgical?
Lo and behold, that's how I did it. And guess what was it? The path I thought it would be? Did I think I wanted to be a doctor when I was eight? No 10, no 20, no. 21 or 22 is when I thought I [00:08:00] wanted to do it. Did I get into the medical schools that I. No, and I haven't even told you about some of the things that happened like a D in constitutional law at Georgetown or not doing the best in my pre-med.
So being worried about finishing the program, and I say all that, not to detract from how good I think I am as a doctor, but more so to say to all of you guys, especially the young people out here, or even the people who are 40 or 50, who haven't done their best. . It doesn't matter what your grades are or where you go, you can work your butt off and do well wherever you go.
Or you can go to Harvard and totally fail. And we all know that every single one of us has examples of people who fit into that bill. So for all you parents who are worried about what your kids are gonna do, Please raise them to be independent and resilient. Don't worry about their, their grades exactly.
Or what they're doing as far as what college they're gonna get into. Cuz you can get them into a great college and they'll still fail. Or you can teach them how to be independent and resilient. And then even if, when they, when they don't necessarily get into the best college or follow the, the traditional path, they can still do well as long as they.
Keep themselves up on [00:09:00] their feet. It's more of a long game, but I think that's important. So that's how I became a doctor. I didn't know, I kind of just did it. I did not have a passion for medicine. I had a passion for, uh, hell, I need a career that supports me because this is what my parents have always told me.
Like, support yourself cuz we're not gonna support you. Um, and it was something that I felt like I had to feel value in this worked out. And guess what? What did I learn through the years that my love for medicine. The medicine, it's not doing pap smears or even surgery, which I love. My passion for medicine lies in the fact that, as you know, I like engaging in people, and this was a beautiful medium in which I could engage.
There were many other mediums. I could have done a lot of other things. I just didn't know those things, so this is what I picked. I would never pick medicine just because you like sciences, because it actually has a. Not to do with science. It has a lot more to do with the personal connection, I think, in order to be a genuinely, authentically, um, helpful physician.
So that's it. God, if any of [00:10:00] you have finished listening to this, that's 10 minutes of me, so thank you. Bye.