• Dr. Francis Yoo

Stop asking "what do you want to be when you grow up?"

#physicianwellness #physicianfinancialsecurity #informationage #leverageandgrowth

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"


It's something we typically ask children but it also pops up as a question for medical students, essentially asking what specialty they are considering, which residency they are going to apply for.


We need to stop asking this question. It is a remnant of the 20th century and rooted in the world-view that everyone would have one job. It was an appropriate question to ask during the industrial age when roles were more clearly defined and people were expected to fit into those roles. It is no longer an appropriate question in the information age.


More doctors are realizing this as they are actively pursuing multiple sources of income besides doing their specialized work that they were trained to do. It is not uncommon to see someone in the US with a MD or DO degree doing real estate, e-commerce, writing, investment managing, and so much more. There is an entire online summit that showcases how 50+ physicians are doing things outside of their prescribed "physician" work. https://bit.ly/3fE8PLN (affiliate link).


Asking "what do you want to be when you grow up?" typically boxes in and places limits on the person being asked. They are "encouraged" to "be" only one thing.


Even when someone asks you "What do you do?" what they're really expecting is a job title or company name. When someone asks me the answer they want from me is "Oh I'm a doctor" but really...


I write and publish books.

I blog.

I make and play music.

I treat patients using multiple modalities.

I do a lot of self-education.


Not only is financial security becoming less certain for physicians, the healthcare system's abuse of physicians is becoming more and more apparent. Fitting the prescribed "doctor" role is not enough to have a fun, fulfilling, and financially secure life. PLUS there are so many opportunities in this information age that it does not make sense to limit yourself to doing one thing.


Stop asking "what do you want to be when you grow up?"

Start asking "what do you want to be doing when you grow up?"


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