Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mims with older kids

My three daughters are now just in and out of college. Somewhat to my chagrin, not one of the three has any interest in science or in medicine. I am the child, niece, cousin and sister of physicians, and I wonder what this means. I have certainly loved having a profession, and I don't think my children have suffered from any lack of my involvement in their lives. (If anything, they have benefitted from me not helicoptering over their choices and experiences.) Yet when it comes to choosing a career, they look to their father and their peers. All are aspiring to change the world in some fashion, but medicine no longer seems to promise that, as it did when I was going into the field. Remarkable lack of interest in medicine in the children of female physicians was noted by Diane Shrier in her research on mother daughter physician pairs. I wonder if the children of male physicians, or the male children of female physicians, are any different.


  1. I think fewer and fewer doctors even WANT their kids to go into medicine. Most doctors I've talked to say that they would strongly discourage their kids from becoming doctors. Myself included.

  2. That's interesting. I would be happy if one of my children wanted to be a physician. To me, it's still about choosing to help others, to serve.

    I'd be interested to hear more about Shrier's research. At least anecdotally, at Commencement every year, there is a sizeable proportion of each graduating class whose parent(s) are physicians. I don't know about the breakdown though.


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