Showing posts with label A Doctor's Sacrifice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A Doctor's Sacrifice. Show all posts

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Why It's Better To Be A Doctor Than A Rock Star


Remember the days when you were in high school and you were spending your nights and weekends at home cramming for the SAT's? Meanwhile the cool kids were living it up playing in garage bands and getting all the girls. Then you got into a prestigious university and medical school through hard work and diligence. In the meantime your former rock band classmates were playing gigs as cover bands at the local bars and getting phone numbers and underwear from the floozies in the front row. Was all that stress and intensity worth it?

You bet your Top 1% income bracket it is! While we all envy the riches and lifestyle of megabands like U2 or Aerosmith, they represent the absolute cream of the crop of rock bands. Reaching that peak is like winning the lottery. Probably 99.9999% of all groups will never amount to more than a weekend part time bar mitzvah band. Even if an act makes it big, it is extremely unlikely it will have the longevity like The Rolling Stones with their 50th anniversary tour. Most will be a one hit wonder, if they're lucky.

Take for instance, the 1980's new wave band A Flock Of Seagulls. I bet you didn't know they were still playing did you? I know I didn't. I thought that hairtastic group flew off into the sunset when Nirvana arrived on the scene and pretty much took over rock. But lo and behold, they are still around and making news. Unfortunately it is not news that will land you in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band, whose lead singer's do was so iconic it was even parodied in an episode of "Friends", had just played a gig in Bellflower, CA last weekend. They went back to their Comfort Inn luxury suites afterwards to crash when their equipment van was stolen overnight. They lost $70,000 worth of instruments, clothes, and even the band's demo for a new album.

A Flock Of Seagulls
Not to make light of other people's misfortunes, but I find it rather sad that there are so many musical acts out there still playing for dollars and faded glory as nothing more than a cover band of their former selves. Their rock star dreams have devolved into a zombie like existence as they drive in their rented vans from one small town to the next. Now I have nothing against Bellflower, a middle to lower class suburb of Los Angeles. But playing there certainly doesn't have the glamor of headlining the Staples Center.

In the end, all your hopes and dreams have come true. You worked your ass off your whole life and now you're in medical school or a practicing physician, ready to cash in on some the rewards you have coming to you. Those garage band kids, on the other hand, can only show up at the next school reunion and thumb wistfully through the yearbook, reminiscing about how they were once awesome but now have nothing to show but a beer belly gut and a receding hairline. The girls won't be screaming for them anymore. All eyes will be on you, the responsible hardworking high achiever of your class. Rock On!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Doctor's Sacrifice

I admit that I'm a newbie to this whole social networking phenomenon. I skipped the whole MySpace fad but couldn't resist signing up for FaceBook. I heard so much about people catching up with long lost friends on FB, and for the most part that is true. I've reconnected with friends from decades ago that I thought I'd never hear from again. It's fun to see how our lives have all taken different unexpected turns. In general, everybody's gotten a little heavier and a little balder (at least the men).

What struck me though was how different my physician friends are from my high school friends, specifically how we doctors delay our lives until much later to further our education and careers. Nearly all my medical school classmates have very young children like mine. We are all in our early forties but very few have children older than ten. Meanwhile, many of my high school friends have children that have graduated from high school and are now starting college. They have albums full of pictures of prom nights, high school field trips, first dates, first cars, first sports trophies. I'm still changing diapers at two in the morning and watching Elmo on Sesame Street.

By the time my youngest one finishes college and (if I'm lucky) graduate or professional school, I'll be eligible for Social Security. If they follow the same path as me, I won't see any grandchildren for another thirty years. My old high school friends by then will be posting pictures of their great grandchildren. Why do we do this to ourselves? Is it for prestige? Is it for the money? The way the political climate is blowing, we'll have neither in the near future. Can we really say we have more satisfaction treating sick patients rather than starting a loving family of our own? These are all points to consider if my children ask me whether they should follow my footsteps and go into medicine.