Some of my: Inventions | Magazine interviews | Sheds | Favorite ER memories

Information for people contemplating
a career in emergency medicine and
other medical specialties

By Kevin Pezzi, MD

“The tragedy is that everyone thinks they already have goals. But what they really have are hopes and wishes.”
— Brian Tracy in The Power of Discipline

You want to become a doctor. I want to help you achieve your goal.

ER doctor Kevin Pezzi, MD
Dr. Kevin Pezzi

I don't think that you will find anyone more qualified than I am to help you become a doctor, because I did it, against all odds. In sixth grade, my teacher said that I was "slow," and I struggled my first two years of high school. I felt lucky to receive Ds in some classes that I should have flunked.

Then everything changed. I earned virtually all As my last two years of high school and throughout college. My college GPA and MCAT scores were so high that I was the one person my medical school accepted per year with only three years of college. I did so well in medical school that I was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha (the med school equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa) after my second year, and graduated in the top 1% of my class.

Studying to become an ER doctor?
Future ER doctor?

I was such a shoo-in for an ER residency position (the most coveted residency at that time) that I was offered an under-the-table deal because they wanted to ensure that no other hospital lured me away. The director of my residency program once commented that I was the smartest resident they ever had, and one of my former bosses told me that I was the smartest doctor he ever met. Aren't these implausible accolades for someone who once was a class dunce?

I was not born with that aptitude. I learned how to expand every facet of brainpower from intelligence to creativity, and I can show you how to do the same thing. You will learn more from me than you could from people who were born on third base, yet act as if they just hit a triple. Being dealt four aces doesn't necessarily make one a great poker player.

I achieved this intellectual metamorphosis from dunce to doctor without any tutors, prep courses, or much help from my family. If I can do it, you can, too, because you're probably brighter than I was. The problem is that 99.99% of teachers succeed only in making their students more knowledgeable, not more intelligent or creative. "Slow" kids like me usually fumble through the system and emerge from it without anyone doing anything to materially augment their brainpower. Hidebound by centuries of antiquated teaching methods, today's teachers cannot transform "slow" kids into ones who ace medical school, like I did. Hence, it frustrates me when I hear politicians and teachers' unions suggesting that the primary way to improve education is to increase funding for it. Hogwash.

Although I was trained as an emergency room doctor, most of my advice is applicable to other medical and surgical specialties as well as other careers requiring superb intelligence or creativity.

In addition to presenting tips to enhance your academic success, I will give you an insider's view of what it is like to be an ER doctor. You will learn the pros and cons of a career in emergency medicine while you are being educated, entertained, and often surprised by a very candid doctor who never pulls a punch.

I spent years developing a similar site, www.ERbook.net, which also focuses on emergency rooms and ER as a career. That site needs an aesthetic makeover, but its extensive question and answer pages provide information that you won't find elsewhere. I will post all new topics on this site in its question and answer section. I am willing to answer questions that I have not previously addressed, but please first check both sites to see if I already discussed that matter.

I firmly believe that since I overcame many obstacles yet succeeded, you can do it, too. If you read some of the difficulties I faced (here and here), it will erase any doubts you may have about whether you can become a doctor or other professional in a challenging career. You can, and with my help, you will.

I helped many people succeed, such as a struggling student depressed about his abysmal grades that seemed to shatter his dreams of becoming a doctor. He is now a brilliant medical student. Another person was trapped in a dead-end job, convinced she didn't have The Right Stuff to become a doctor. With my help, she did; she is now a professor at the medical school I attended (Wayne State), and she is chair of her department at a hospital in the Detroit Medical Center. I gave yet another person the boost she needed. She is now a neuroradiologist, medical school professor, and president of a prestigious medical organization. Note the pattern: not only did I help them, but I helped them become outstanding.

If you want to wear a white coat and earn the right to be called a doctor, the time to start is now. Ready? Let's go.

“Who are we to worry about, or compare ourselves to, others’ dreams when we can't even execute on our own?”
Michael Lazerow

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”
Les Brown

“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”
Farrah Gray

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
Chinese Proverb

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States 1923 – 1929

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
Bill Gates