Why I wish to follow a Certain Trade or Profession
Before I went up for my Higher Secondary Science Examination (which, I am glad to say, I have now passed), my father asked me what I wanted to be when I left the school; and I said promptly, “A doctor, father”. He looked rather surprised because he was thinking of putting me into business. So he said, “Why do you want to be a doctor?” Well, I was a bit confused, and did not say much at the time; but this question made me think. And later, when I had thought it all out, I gave him my reasons. They seemed to satisfy him; for he sent me to the Medical College.
Now the reasons I gave him were these. First, I have always wanted to do something that would not merely earn a living, but that would also be of real service to my fellowmen. I always knew I should have to work for my living, for my father is not rich; but I did not want to spend my life in business, simply making money. I wanted my work to be a real service as well as a means of getting my bread and butter. And what finer life of service to humanity is there than the life of a doctor, who gives his special knowledge and skill and time to curing the sick, soothing pain, preventing disease, and keeping people well and happy? When I become a doctor, I shall look on my work, not as a money-making business, but as social service. When I explained this to my father, I do not think he thought much of it. In fact, he said that young men always had such great ideas, but that they soon grew out of them.
So I went on to say that a doctor’s profession was very much respected and gave him a very good social position. People rather look down on shopkeepers, and they do not think much of schoolmasters, but doctors and lawyers are looked on as gentlemen and are respected in good society. This seemed to please him better and he said I was quite right.
Then I told him I was really interested in science, and I felt sure that I should really like a doctor’s work. I loved to study and looked forward eagerly to a course of studies at the Medical College. My father rather scoffed at this, and said that study and books were all right as a hobby, but there was no money in them.
So then I wound up by pointing to some well-known doctors, whom he knew, who had made lots of money and were rich men, and I was sure I could do the same. At this, he cheered up, and said, “Very well my boy! You shall be a doctor.”
But really, I do not much care about the money nor about the good social position; my real reasons for wanting to be a doctor are my interest in science and my desire to serve my fellowmen.