I Want to Be a Lawyer, Not a Doctor, Thank You

Let me just set the record straight.

I had a 3.67 GPA in college.  I graduated 3rd in my class of 72 from high school.  I never got a C on my report card from kindergarten through the first semester of law school.  I have only received two C’s ever – both in law school – one in Criminal Law and one in Antitrust.  Both were expected.  In the 5th grade, my SRA test (precursor to the ACT-TAPP of today) score showed that I tested on the level of an 11th grade student.  I made mostly A’s in math and science.  I am not stupid, and I’m not bad at math.  Amazingly, however, I chose law over medicine.

I say amazingly, because apparently when someone chooses law over medicine, the urban legend thought is that it’s because the person was bad at math.  I’ve been in law school for two years now, and I’ve heard this more times that I can remember.  For me, though, it’s simply not true.  The reason I decided to become a lawyer over a doctor is simply because I wanted to be a lawyer, not a doctor.

I never, ever wanted to be a doctor.  Not even as a little kid did I aspire to stick my hand up someone’s butt, down someone’s throat, or use my hand to touch a scabby finger or stitch up a wound.  Never did I think that watching someone puke was fun, cleaning up blood off my labcoat was fun, or wondering when the last time someone had a bowel movement was intriguing.  Never did I believe that getting paid $36,000 to work as a resident for three years was a great idea, and never did I want to watch someone die.  These, and many more reasons, are why I did not choose medicine.

I chose law because I find it fascinating.  I have watched lawyer shows and read lawyer books for as long as I can remember.  I remember a girl I knew in college, Holly, who got a psych degree like me.  When I saw her a year later, she said that she was in law school.  I was insanely envious, as I could not afford to go to law school because I had to support a family.  I wanted to go then, and I still want to go today, even after going for two years and studying all the time when school is in session.

Someone on the tour last week asked me about my work and educational background, since I have what a lot of folks characterize as an “interesting” job.  I was telling her, when another tourist interrupted us and said he was a “recovering member of the legal profession.”  He also told me to get out while I could and go to medical school instead.  I didn’t want to be a smart aleck, so I just said I didn’t want to be a doctor.  I then turned back to the first tourist and finished my formerly-interrupted conversation. 

After the tourists left, I went into my boss’s office.  He’s a cool guy, and after 6 years of being around me, he’s used to me, thankfully.  I said I had something to say, and he looked up.  I said, “I want to be a lawyer.  I don’t want to be a doctor.  I’ve never wanted to be a doctor.  I don’t want to be a doctor because frankly I don’t want to stick my hand up somebody’s ass.”

He just looked at me and said he understood.

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