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Sep 3, 2010


Patrick and I went to a wedding last weekend and during the cocktail hour, and after several cocktails, a bunch of us were sitting around trying not to melt. Everyone in the group was a doctor (except me – close, though) and so the question came up: What would you do with your life instead of medicine?

This seems like a floofy, behavioral interviewing kind of a question, but I must say that I was snorting over the responses for days.

One guy, a future cardiologist, said that he would be a construction worker. Not a manager or the engineer. He wanted to be the one to nail the boards together and drive the forklift.

A future internal medicine hospitalist said that he would be a kindergarten teacher. Maybe first grade. No older than that, though, because those kids don’t enjoy their recess as much. Also, he wasn’t sure he could handle the math past the first grade.

Patrick’s choice has not changed in more than five years. If he couldn’t be in medicine, he would be a meteorologist. Not the kind on air, mind you, he has no interest in that. But he could be the tornado or hurricane specialist that chases the storms and then the camera cuts to him being blown around out in the thick of it. He would put together the graphics and do the calculations. Yep, that’s what he would do.

My favorite admission came from a female friend of ours. She just finished her internal medicine residency, is considering a women’s health fellowship, and has a one year old little girl. She Her alternate job would be NFL referee. Wouldn’t have guessed that one, but I love it.

It’s hard for me to answer this question, since medicine actually is my alternate career choice, but I think that if I were to make a major switch, I would want Design Mom’s job. Working online, immersed in social media, contributing to books, and looking at interesting, pretty things all day, all while being a great mom and loving wife. Not to mention running one of Time’s 50 Best Websites of 2010. Sounds good to me.

What would you do if you had to pick a totally different career? I love things like this, imagining something new. I can't wait to hear what you'll be in our alternate reality!

6 Readers rock!:

Anonymous said...

I joke that I would be a wedding planner or the fashion police.

But I think I'd like to be a writer. I could sit and write all day long. I could do it from anywhere. And I could work when I wanted. That sounds like a good gig.

alanaransley said...

I'm in nursing school, which I decided to do after 8 miserable years of teaching public school. What I've always said that I would do if I could find the right job was to be paid to read books all day. Right now, my alternate career would be an internet researcher. I think it would be fun to be paid to look things up all day, kind of like a scavenger hunt. I love learning new facts!

XE said...

Ballerina for the national ballet. Hands down. Doctor should be pretty awesome too though.

Anonymous said...

I would go out west somewhere. Open a fine restaurant. I'd be the maitre d'. Greet all the swells. Go to work every day in a bow tie and tuxedo. And all the staff would say Yassir and Nawsir and In a Jiffy. And get all my meals for free.

Liana said...

I would be a potter. Or maybe I'd try to become a climbing/ski guide... the process is almost as involved as becoming a doctor though!

mary martha said...

I would be an archeologist or a forensic anthropologist.... maybe be a profiler for the FBI.
OR I would just stay home and color in coloring books if I were independently wealthy!!!