By SAJA ALMUSAWI, Guest Writer
Ever since I was little girl, possibly even an infant in my mother’s womb, my parents and relatives all wished I would become a doctor. When I visited my grandparents at five years old, they would ask about my studies in kindergarten and if I was planning on becoming a doctor. When I entered middle school and my aunts came over, they would give me 10 dollars. My mom would make me give it back to them but they insisted that I would pay them back when I became a doctor. Even my grandfather (before he passed away two years ago) who had glaucoma, told me to become an Optometrist so that I could fix his eyes.
My family already had a few doctors in our extended family, but I guess that wasn’t enough! This is not an uncommon thing for Arab Americans. A lot of my other friends, who are also Arab regardless of their sex, have been told countless times by their relatives and families to become doctors. You could say this concept was pretty much engraved in my mind since birth.
This fascination with becoming a doctor is a bit excessive in Dearborn. Of course becoming a doctor is a wonderful occupation where you can save peoples lives constantly. But what about other professions? How come teachers are always put down as being a career with an easy major? In my opinion, I believe that teachers are the ones who should be paid the most. They are the ones teaching the next generation, so that generation will change and impact the world. Then you have engineers, lawyers, business people, psychologists, etc.
There are a million other careers you can do! Pick the career that you are passionate about and love. Don’t worry about success that will follow. If you’ve always wanted to be a doctor, then I wish nothing but success as you go along this long, yet rewarding journey. But if you don’t want to be a doctor yet your parents are pressuring you, you better speak up now and tell them the truth. If not, you might change careers four years and many loans later, or you might somehow manage the perseverance to finish medical school but then hate your job.
There is also the highly glamorized vision of becoming a doctor. One reason why Arab parents might want their kids to become a doctor is because of the title. Like oh you’re a doctor now so we have to call you doctor and that means you are more important than other people. Parents love to brag about their kids and telling other parents that their kids are doctors might make them think they are cooler or better than those parents.
Sure becoming a doctor makes a lot of money and you get to live in a nice house. But you have to do things that you don’t necessarily want to do when you walk into work. You will see and even smell nauseating things that you didn’t want to. There could be emergency calls at night that you have to attend to. It’s a pretty hectic career; that is why doctors are paid the big bucks!
I hope the takeaway from this is to be sure in what you want to pursue and research, instead of just assuming. So if you want to be a doctor, do it because you love to and are passionate about it. Don’t do it just because of the money and to please your parents. Of course money and pleasing your parents are important factors to consider, don’t just make that your only reason. To all the doctors-to-be out there, I commend you on your dedication in pursuing this career and good luck to you. And to all other students, I hope you will excel in your career as well and rise to the top.