13 Things to Expect When You Become a Doctor

Your name has been announced. You begin your stroll – shaking hands with both the Prez and Provost as your excessively long dissertation title flashes across the Jumbotron. Then the unthinkable happens…your Chairman hoods you. Surreal, right? But now what? What should you expect after you’ve turned your tassel?

Thankfully I’ve been a doctor for around 1.5 years now, so I’m pretty much an expert on all things P-H-and D. That being said, keep reading to find out the 13 things to expect when you become a doctor!

1. Everyone Believes You

…and I mean EVERYONE! Saying something ridiculous never sounded so credulous until folks know you’re a doctor! For instance, I’ve told plenty of white lies about the economy, elaborated a tad on business practices, and even cited a few alternative facts when referencing all things fiscal. Has anyone ever noticed, however? Heck no! They take what I say as valid and skip along their merry little way! 😉

2. R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Aretha wins the Spelling Bee, but I reap the benefits!

Remember exchanging business cards with those big whigs in positions you vied to acquire? Remember how you’d reach out to them because they seemed so darn friendly and practically pinky swore they’d assist with all of your concerns? Remember finally getting the courage to make that call or backspacing dozens of times in that drafted email, making sure your eloquence shined through? Remember never hearing from them again?

Well, now YOU get approached! People take YOUR business cards to later send YOU emails with their most inquisitive inquiries!!! Basically, you receive respect…much needed and quite overdue, I might add – but respect nonetheless!

3. You Get Questioned…LOTS

Maybe it’s because of all of those white lies I’ve littered during small talk, or maybe it’s because people simply like to make sure you are, in fact, smarter than the average bear. Either way, you get questioned out the wa-zoo once you toss that tam!

How many times have I been questioned about my undergrad or MBA degrees? Zilch. Simply zilch. But the digits reach around 275,000 as far as getting bombarded with questions from folks either acting like they know more about my degree than I do or making sure I know my degree since I have a sheet of paper that says I do.

Now don’t get me wrong, for the most part, I really don’t mind, but when it’s to the point of them growing Alex Trebeck’s mustache in efforts to give me the 3rd degree about my 3rd degree, feelings of angst arise within! In other words…be prepared!

4. To Whom Much is Given, Much is Expected

One of my engineering buddies once told me, “Jaz, we are gonna expect a whole lot out of you now that you’re becoming a doctor, so don’t expletive up!” I laughed in response, not realizing his words would ring truer than those white lies I sometimes tell! 😉

People’s expectations of how you portray yourself in and out of the classroom, within the workplace, and even out-n-about, are oftentimes raised once you cross that ‘hooded’ threshold. And honestly, they should be! Not everyone has your title (only around 1.77% of the population does), so giving your all in the most reputable way possible kinda comes with the territory.

5. …but you’re a DOCTOR!

I’m telling you now, from this day forward, your concentration doesn’t matter. My family, friends, subscribers, and even YOU know I’m an Economic Developer, yet whenever someone has a rash, needs advice, or can’t figure out why the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain, they expect ME to know the answer!

And the outcries you’ll receive when you kindly guide them to Google…just smh! They begin with “…but you’re a doctor…” and they end with an unsatisfied grunt! You just can’t win! 😉

6. You’re Broke

Okay, so I’m not broke per se, but I’m not DJ Khaled rich either! I’m somewhere in the middle where Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo reside – lurking and waiting on their cut!

Most doctors graduate expecting their 6-Figure ration, and most of them will receive their portion. But for those who don’t, your friends will continue to think otherwise regardless! You’ll receive taunts about how much they THINK you make and what all you can and are supposed to purchase with all of this parmesan you’re making. Don’t go around showing them your pay stub and certainly don’t cave in. Just hold your pockets strong and continue making reasonable and cost-effective decisions!

7. What Struggle Bus?

Those sleepless nights filled with hours of derivatives; the indescribable stresses of having to take two 4-hour Comprehensive Exams; the anxiety of realizing that rho, chi, and xi mean much more than probates and frat parties. Yeah, I can’t recall! 😛

They seem vague to me, but for some odd reason, my mother happens to have some pretty vivid memories of me sobbing about considering quitting my program and complaining about the aforementioned above.

Don’t believe this will happen to you? Think again! Every now and then, you are going to be reminiscing on your academic matriculation and you’re going to make it seem as though it was the easiest yet! …that’s until someone comes to steal your 3-striped thunder and reminds you of the hurdles you jumped and mountains you had to climb in order to be the awesome person you are today!

8. Never Stop Learning

I’ve heard this quip time and time again, but never did I think I’d apply it to my life after my doctorate – especially after all those readings! 😛 As a matter of fact, I used to tell people that the only thing I ever wanted to read after graduation was a fashion magazine article with typically 450 words or less!

Most of you will express the same sentiments once you’ve strutted the stage, degree in hand, but the truth of the matter is, you won’t EVER stop learning! Whether it’s insight from your colleagues or a few takeaways from that NY Times Bestseller, you will never stop cultivating your mind as well as the minds of others!

9. Academic Advocate

Getting your doctorate isn’t easy, but you’re going to incessantly convince others that it is! I mean, it makes sense, right? Having them go through 10+ years of schooling, confuse APA with MLA, and survive on stipends is the only logical option when pursuing one’s dreams! Be sure to leave those parts out of the story though! 😉

10. Impress Yourself

Not to be mixed up with ‘express yourself,’ impress yourself is a bit different and in a world all its own!

During speaking engagements and even in casual convo, you’re going to sprout at the mouth and leave everyone, including yourself, speechless. Don’t be alarmed, however! This is typical considering how much you’ve studied. Just simply strap up, sit back, and let your degree do the talking!

11. Modesty is the Best Policy

Contrary to forgetting your struggles but similar to impress yourself, you will be a tad modest at times.

People are ALWAYS reminding me to introduce myself as Dr. Jazmine. Am I forgetful – as in “do I ever forget that I’m a doctor?” Never! On the other hand, do I want to be deemed pretentious? Hmmm, not really! 🙂

The thing you and I must realize, however, is that it doesn’t sounds pretentious at all and should actually be shouted from the rooftops and celebrated NON-STOP!

“I am Dr. Jazmine, hear me ROAR!”

(something to that effect!) 😉

12. Cat-Nap Anyone?

Those days of napping from 10 am to 1 pm and tanning from 2:30 pm till 4 pm just to be ready for class by 6 pm are OVER! You’re a big kid now and the daily 9 to 5 grind beckons! Are you going to answer the call? Well, if you have Sallie Mae on the other line, then you just may! 😉

But seriously, I miss my leisure lifestyle of studying during dusk, brunching during dinner, and belly dancing the night away and I’m sure you will too! In the event you miss it too much, just become a professor so your vay-kay never ends!

13. You Can and Will Change the World

Okay, I admit anyone can change the world. Doctors do it better though! 😉

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So who else is a doctor? What’s your concentration? What other oddities have you encountered since you’ve graduated? Leave your stories below! I can’t wait to indulge!

Remember to Live Life, Beautifully 


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