– Their parents would rather they be in med school….
I’m taking a (two-part) break from my soapboxing on lifestyle design (but I will definitely complete my three-part series afterwards) to do something I have never done so far: put up a guest post on CultureMutt. This post comes from a friend of mine, Vishnu. He’s a highly entertaining blogger who can be found at VishnusVirtues.com – a great blog with a fresh twist on spirituality/inspiration/enlightenment. I feel particularly honored that Vishnu wrote this post specifically for the CultureMutt community. I am sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did:) Over to Vishnu:
Every Indian parent wants their child to be a doctor.
As a matter of fact, I could probably expand this group to all Asian parents. (Yes, everyone,India is in fact in Asia!) So, all Indian, and most likely all Asian parents want their children to be doctors.
Sure, dentists, optometrists, pharmacists and chiropractors (a far stretch) will do as fall back options but nothing makes an Indian parent prouder than a child who’s a certified, licensed, lab coat-wearing stethoscope-donning medical doctor!
(If you’re in the astrology business (which Indians enjoy frequenting as much or more than a cricket match) tell a new set of Indian parents that their child will be a doctor and be prepared to
be garlanded with majestic red roses and be tipped a king’s ransom for your insight.)
Why does every Indian parents’ fantasy end with their child receiving a medical diploma?
1) Your child will achieve his highest potential. A medical degree is hard work. Your child will have to muster up all their academic and personal potential to reach this high academic feat. Your child receiving a medical degree means they’ve reached their highest achievement in life. Which parent couldn’t be proud of that?
2) Your child will not have a social life growing up. Related to #1, your child will always be focused on academics growing up which means there’s NO ROOM for a social life or even ‘enjoying life’. People who ‘enjoy life’ get into tattoos, gangs, drugs, the rave scene, drop out of high school, travel the world for no reason, go to law school, etc.
3) Your child gets a high paying well-respected job in society. Six-figure income – check. Respect in the community – check. Indian parents value financial stability as much as they value a well-balanced stock portfolio. A career in medicine allows you to be financially well-off so you can spoil your Mom with gold and diamonds for her 60th birthday! Or gift your Dad with a BMW as a retirement present. Respect in the community means your parents get more respect for themselves in the community and more importantly – discounts at stores and restaurants that know their kid’s a doctor!
4) You get free medical care when you get old. How much better does this get? Parents assume that they won’t have to pay for medical care because their child is a doctor after all. Who would dare charge a doctor’s parent? Also, wouldn’t it be great to show your throat or a particularly nasty rash the next time the kids come over to visit? You won’t only be getting on-the-whim ‘free’ medical advice, you’ll also help keep your kids’ medical skills sharp every time you pose a personal medical questions to them.
5) You get free samples of prescription drugs. Doctors receive so many free sample drugs from drug companies, they don’t know what to do with them. If you’re a doctor, who else would you give your extra medication to than to your adoring prescription-drug-addicted Indian parents? The more samples you get, the less your parents will have to pay for drugs they might need.
6) You get to brag about your child to others. In the bragging wars of who’s child is better, just the fact that your child is earning 6 figures while saving lives as a physician is enough to put your parents ahead of the game. (If you’re comparing your child with other Indian children who are doctors, then we have to start looking at which medical specialty is better than the other. For example, a surgery specialty would trump internal medicine and radiology might trump orthopedics, etc etc).
7) Grandchildren. This one’s a no-brainer and probably the most important reason why Indian parents salivate over their children doing medicine. When your children are doctors, your grandchildren will most likely be doctors! When your children are doctors, they can afford to pay the escalating medical school costs for your future grandchildren doctors-to-be.
Remember that Indian children do have choices in this process and the system isn’t one of manipulation, domination and coercion into a field the child has no interest in. As I’ve heard many Indian parents tell their children, “We don’t care what you do with your life, we just want you to be happy. You can chose to practice in ANY medical specialty you’d like when you finish medical school.”
Now that I’ve told you why every Indian parent wants their child to be a doctor, I’d like to tell you in Part 2 of this article why every doctor out there runs away from Indian parents and Indian
people in general. Stay tuned!
This is a guest post by Vishnu of Vishnu’s Virtues. He’s not a doctor but has 2 brothers who are
which practically makes him a doctor. He blogs about spirituality and overcoming challenges at