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

By Kevin Pezzi, MD


Should she apply to medical school?

apply to medical school

Q: I am a model who is thinking of applying to medical school, but I don't know if I have what it takes to become a doctor. This uncertainty makes me reluctant to apply, so I might apply to nursing school, which is much easier to get into——and pass. Or perhaps I should do something I know I can do with 100% certainty, such as continuing to model. Am I doing the right thing?

Answer by , MD: Psst! May I let you in on a little secret? Before applying to medical school, deciding to run for President of the United States, or otherwise aiming high, no one knows if he or she has what it takes to succeed.

A wise but anonymous person once said, “It is better to shoot for the stars and miss than aim at the gutter and hit it.”

I wish I could think of another quotation that would not mislead some into thinking that I am trying to denigrate nurses or models (which I am not), but I don't know of another way to succinctly convey the message that aiming low is not what you want to do.

I've met many people who thought they had The Right Stuff to become doctors, and they were wrong. I also know many people who are now doctors—myself included—who once seriously doubted if they should apply to medical school.

Barack Obama is a stellar example of how one's track record need not limit one's achievements. In college, Obama spent an inordinate amount of time smoking dope instead of studying. His grades are so lackluster that he is too embarrassed to release them. Did he flunk Economics 101? Did he even take it?

Academically speaking, Obama swung and missed many times. Academically speaking, he was a third-rate student who seemed destined for a minor-league life, yet he was bold enough to apply to Harvard Law School—and, with help from some rich and powerful “friends” with ties to a Saudi prince who is one of the wealthiest men in the world, he was accepted while students with much better grades and LSAT scores received rejection letters. (Incidentally, once you understand that connection, you know why Obama supported the bailout and does other things that exasperate liberals and conservatives. Like other politicians, Obama is serving his special interests, not us. Surprised? I'm not.)

If you put your feet up and ponder this disconnect between ability and success, you will realize that the most qualified people are not always, or even usually, the ones who rise to the top. This is definitely a problem in politics and even business, which explains in part how the United States—a country that once seemed destined to be a perennial economic superpower—is now being sustained by money that is literally being created out of thin air and why current and former leaders of Congress are warning that we may become a banana republic or even totally collapse. Read my free book From Bailout to Bliss to understand our grave prognosis and what our leaders could (but won't) do to revive our economy.

Before anyone accuses me of encouraging everyone to apply to medical school whether or not they are qualified, I will point out that intelligence, memory, and other facets of brainpower can be dramatically improved when the mind is given the right stimuli and nutrients. I discuss this in my ER sites (this one and and in the following book:

Want this free book? Contact me.

If everyone followed my recipe for enhancing brainpower, just about anyone who is willing to work hard could become a doctor. However, most people are not willing to work that hard, or even half that hard, nor are they willing to pay for a book that would help them earn millions more during their careers and have an easier time in college and medical school. Instead, most people choose the easy path and spend their money on designer jeans or an iPod. If you or your parents aren't rich, or you don't have connections that can help you rise to the top, you must decide what is more important: those jeans or my book.

By the way, Alexis, you look great in jeans. Thanks for the picture!

just a stock model, not the one who submitted this question!

She responded: And they weren't even designer jeans! :-)   Thanks to your clever way of motivating people, I am now determined to become a doctor! I want to be not just another doctor, but one of the best. I read your blog posting in which you criticized Dr. Jennifer Ashton for apparently using her beauty to displace other, more knowledgeable doctors from appearing on FOX. I agree with you, but I aspire to appear as she did on the air, yet be like you, who graduated at the top of your class in medical school. I'm getting your book!

Reply from Dr. Pezzi: I have not seen Dr. Ashton on TV after I wrote to her 15 months ago. I think that she was ethical enough to realize that I was correct: She may very well be the most gorgeous female physician in the world, but probably not even her mother would claim that she is the smartest or most knowledgeable.

PS: Congratulations for having the foresight to consider career options that will likely extend your career. You appear to be attractive enough to work for many years as a model, but I am amazed by the number of hot young women who've lost their looks twenty—or even ten—years later. People pay a high price for their ignorance of health.

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