Before I get too far into this post, I want to strongly encourage you all to keep your hobbies! Throughout your career, continue to do the things you love! For me, one of those things is writing.
A few of you have asked about my book that was recently released. I decided to drop a short excerpt for you all here and attempted to make the book free for a limited time, but was not allowed to (apparently I can only do that one day in a certain period of time). So I dropped it as low as they’d let me, just for this weekend in case any of you are interested. People usually ask how this idea came about. A few years ago, a young mother reached out to me in desperation. From what I remember, she was young and single. Her question was simple, yet potent. “Dr. Dale” she wrote, “what can I do to help my son become a doctor?” At that moment, I made a promise to myself to answer this question, not just via a short 50 word reply on Facebook, but by providing something of true and lasting value. It wasn’t only for her, but for all the other parents and teachers who are asking this exact question. That is the reason I wrote How to Raise a Doctor.
To answer this mother’s question, I needed some help. Although I spend a great deal of my time helping students get into medical school, my children are young and I haven’t raised a doctor. Fortunately, I know a lot of people whose parents have. I asked a bunch of my doctor buddies to connect me with their parents. I then interviewed and surveyed over 75 of them to learn how they raised physicians. It was quite the journey and I enjoyed every second of it. Now, I don’t necessarily plan to raise doctors myself, but my wife and I certainly do intend on raising leaders. That’s what this book is really about, how to raise a leader. I’ve drawn on lessons from various physician parents, as well as lessons from my own upbringing. The result is a practical yet powerful book that’s an easy read full of stories and gems.
Surprisingly, one of the biggest take home points was; don’t raise a doctor! Below is a short excerpt from chapter 2. As a special PreMed STAR deal, we’re dropping the price to $2.99 for the next 3 days! I hope you grab a copy of the book and share it with any friends who might be interested. If you do, please shoot me a message and let me know.
*I should also mention that PreMed Mondays (my next book) will be out May 1st. This one is a premed mentorship book and will be very applicable to many of you.
Chapter 2: Don’t Raise a Doctor
I know what you’re thinking, I thought this book was about how to raise a doctor, and now this guy is telling me not to raise a doctor! That’s exactly right. I’m telling you to not raise a doctor. Instead, raise a leader, and let that leader become a doctor, lawyer, author, president, or whatever he or she dreams to be. Let that leader change the world for the better! Hone in on your child’s gifts and nurture them to full development. This is what all parents should want for their children.
Would you believe me if I told you most parents I spoke with didn’t set out to raise a doctor? Well, it’s true. Only 22 percent of the doctors’ parents surveyed reported that they intentionally raised their child to become a doctor. This means that the clear majority, 78 percent, did not.
At this juncture, your question is (or should be): Should I intentionally raise my child to become a medical doctor? The fact that you’re reading this book would suggest you might be leaning that way already. I can help you answer the question right now with one finding from my survey. Among the 22 percent of parents who intentionally raised their children to become doctors, 71 percent of the children wanted to be doctors throughout their childhood. So, to answer your question, you should intentionally raise your child to become a doctor if he or she wants to be a doctor.
The Power of Suggestion
Seventy-one percent of the children who were intentionally raised to become doctors wanted to be doctors since childhood. With this finding in mind, the question then arises: Was it the influence of the parents that led these children to dream of careers in medicine, or did the desire truly belong to the child?
It’s true that parents can influence their children to pursue medicine. Mine did. The power of suggestion is a real phenomenon that can change behaviors, beliefs, and desires. To show you just how real it is, I’ll share the work of Dr. Julia Shaw. Dr. Shaw is a psychologist who has done extensive work in the field of memory and suggestion. Her research has shown the world how easy it is to influence the beliefs of other people. In a ground-breaking study, Dr. Shaw interviewed parents of college students to learn about their children’s upbringing. Next, she identified sixty of these students who had never committed a crime, then held a series of three interviews with each of them. The students were under the impression that the study was simply about their childhood memories. The true objective however, was to see whether or not they could be influenced to believe lies about their past.
During interview one, Dr. Shaw initially discussed true events that had happened to the student. Once they felt comfortable, she introduced a lie pertaining to a crime the student had committed. Initially, students tended to deny the crime, but Shaw used social manipulation techniques such as a childhood friend’s name to make the situation seem real. By the third interview a few weeks later, 70 percent of the students had admitted they committed a crime that never happened. Amazing!
If Dr. Shaw could use the power of suggestion to convince 70 percent of her research subjects that they committed a crime that never even happened, then of course a parent can use this same power of suggestion to influence a child to pursue a career in medicine. The real question is whether or not it matters. Is it a bad thing to influence your children to chase dreams that you believe are magnificent? I don’t think so at all. The desire to achieve anything in life has to come from somewhere.
My daughter is an infant and is unable to plant her own tree. If I take her out to our backyard and plant a seed for her, then let her water and nurture it as she grows older, who does that tree belong to? I’d say it’s hers. By the same token, dreams planted by parents, but developed by children, belong to the children. This is the most important aspect to grasp in this book: the dream must belong to the child.
So, should you use the power of suggestion as a parenting tactic? Absolutely! Doing so would be responsible of you. Expose your children to good things and suggest they consider learning more about them. Remember, I said that you should intentionally raise your child to become a doctor only if he or she wants to become a doctor. The challenge then arises in knowing if your child wants to pursue that path. The only way to find out is for someone to suggest it along the way. What better someone than you?
How to Raise a Doctor is Available on Amazon
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