10 Thought-Provoking Medical School Quotes (Thinking More Philosophically About Med)

Med school shouldn’t all be rote memorization and hard graft. We should also try to be thinking more critically about the roles we will eventually play in our patients lives. And the importance of healthcare to society too.

Maybe the following quotes can help raise some interesting questions.

Thought Provoking Medical School Quotes

The following could look great as Instagram captions, on med school bios or even as something to make light relief of a class presentation.

#1 “I went to medical school because I wanted to ask the big questions. Do we have a soul? Does God exist? What happens after death?”

This is a quote from the author and alternative medicine personality Deepak Chopra. I’m sure we’ve all asked ourselves this at one point or another. Especially in the anatomy labs with the cadavers etc.

#2 No one teaches you how to think about money in medical school or residency. Yet, from the moment you start practicing, you must think about it. You must consider what is covered for a patient and what is not”

Atul Gawande, US surgeon and author of the famous Checklist Manifesto, gives some serious food for thought here. Something I also recommend all medical students think about at some point; especially as they can starting earning money during medical school.

Meme] We're in trouble : medicalschool

#3 “One goes through school, college, medical school and one’s internship learning little or nothing about goodness but a good deal about success”

This is from British-American anthropologist Ashley Montagu but serves as a good reminder on what our studies are about beyond medicine.

#4 “You can’t get through medical school if you don’t have a strong will and a strong constitution”

It’s all about not giving up and continuing to push forward. As this quote by physician-turned-comedian Ken Jeong says.

Med school - Meme by LuoInTheNorth :) Memedroid

#5 “Qualities you need to get through medical school and residency: Discipline. Patience. Perseverance. A willingness to forgo sleep. A penchant for sadomasochism. Ability to weather crises of faith and self-confidence. Accept exhaustion as fact of life. Addiction to caffeine a definite plus. Unfailing optimism that the end is in sight”

Maybe you didn’t know the author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini, was a long-standing California-based physician in a previous life.

Related: How To Study In Medical School: Reddit’s 26 Best Tips

#6 “Medical school education and post graduate education emphasize thoroughness”

Attention to detail is very important if you want to make it through medical school exams. This quote, from American oncologist Ezekiel Emanuel, says exactly that.

med school memes | Tumblr

#7 “My best friend in medical school was a magician. And we were shown an X-ray of a sword-swallower, and I tried it and failed. Then I got a sword-swallower as a patient, and he taught me”

Swedish physician Hans Gosling met some strange people in med school. Can’t say I’ve met any sword swallowers myself yet. And I’m not quite ready to try.

#8 “Nobody had ever told me junk food was bad for me. Four years of medical school, and four years of internship and residency, and I never thought anything was wrong with eating sweet rolls and doughnuts, and potatoes, and bread, and sweets”

Robert Atkins, of Atkins Diet fame, clearly didn’t take his hygiene and nutrition classes seriously enough.

#9 “I never had a conscious fear of death, but I did have a conscious fear of sickness. By the time I completed medical school, that fear was gone”

Can’t say this is working for me (not that I’m finished yet). Probably why you need Sherwin B. Nuland, author of this quote, as your surgeon (and not me).

Waiting Skeleton Meme - Imgflip

#10 “Students undergo a conversion in the third year of medical school – not pre-clinical to clinical, but pre-cynical to cynical”

Not sure if American doctor Abraham Verghese, who this is attributed to, still feels this way.

Final Thoughts: Thought Provoking Medical School Quotes

If you want more medicine related memes, quotes and motivation check out a whole bunch of other posts here.

The idea with all these is to help deliver quick takeways that can get us thinking about medicine and healthcare careers more broadly.

I found some of the above interesting, hopefully so can you!

Image Credit: @shootbyteo at Unsplash