August 27, 2009

"Towards the end I realized: it would be one thing to have a career that I could be great at..."

"... but it was another thing to have a career that I could be passionate about."

That's what Ra'Mon said about leaving medical school and the study of neurosurgery to become a fashion designer.
Forgive me, but did brother just say he left med school towards the END? To make clothes? If he wins this thing, I guess he'll be using the money to pay off the loans he took out to learn how to save people's lives from debilitating brain disorders.
Yeah, what's the whole story on why Ra'Mon walked away from a career in neurosurgery at the last minute? I'm thinking he must have screwed up somehow, or do you think he's a brilliant artist who simply must follow his passion? And by the way, if you needed brain surgery, would you trust a doctor who said he was passionate about neurosurgery?

So, to review. The questions are:

1. Did Ram'on really leave medical school at the end of the study of neurosurgery?

2. Do you think a background in neurosurgery would help in the design and construction of clothing? Be specific.

3. Should we abandon careers into which we have poured our time, effort, and money when we detect that we lack passion, assuming there is something else about which we do feel passion?

4. When do you want the provider of goods or services to be passionate about what he or she is doing and when do you see passion as a warning sign?

Bonus topic: Is leaving neurosurgery for fashion analogous to being married and having an affair, and does that suggest that Ra'Mon has made a mistake?

49 comments:

Hoosier Daddy said...

I don't want anyone named Ra'Mon sawing my head open.

WTF is with these pussy names? Maurice? Ra'Mon? Doesn't anyone name their male childrens 'Bill' or 'Ted' or 'Mike' anymore?

NKVD said...

I think the rule about names with an apostrophe in them applies to this case.

That rule is - never trust anyone with an etc.

He will make a fine fashion designer, I am certain.

john said...

Did anyone ever check to see if Ramon was just bullshitting? Maybe he once signed up for a biology course at the local JC, but dropped it toward the end of the quarter.

(Another rule is don't trust anyone with an initial for a first name.)

Paul Zrimsek said...

What else could he do? No matter how bold and original a statement you make with your simply fabulous sutures, no one ever sees them once you've closed the patient up and you may as well not have bothered.

VW: spolinis. Can you believe there are still people wearing spolinis?

traditionalguy said...

I very much doubt that a medical doctor with nearing certification in a specialty like his could leave it all behind. It sounds like a big story made up from fantasy inside Hollywood minds. If that is true, then the guy is a dilletant with no future in any field. So yes, it is much like a married person having a passion for affairs that destroy themselves and others. But if by chance he does make it in couture, he may have a greater lifetime income than a doctor in serfdom under National Health Insurance schemes coming down the road from our Marxist rulers.

NKVD said...

Tradguy makes a good point. Soon there will be no money in neurosurgery, no matter how fabulous the doctor is. Better to cater to the beautiful people and make millions.

WV - blent - it was blent, not bloken.

Pogo said...

Project Rungay says
"Graduating high school and attending college at the young age of 15, Ra’mon’s (then a pre-med major) discovered his passion for fashion when he signed up for a performance art class and was tasked with creating costumes. Ra’mon went on to study at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and at SAGA Industries in Denmark. "


1. He wasn't in med school.
2. There is no such thing as a pre-med major; it is a goal pursued through other majors.
3. No one studies neurosurgery or any specialty in med school, that's what residencies are for.

Paul Zrimsek said...

From the memoirs of Hector Berlioz, who gave up medical school for music:

Robert wasted much eloquence in combating my disgust and demonstrating the absurdity of my plans. But he finally induced me to make another effort, and I consented to return to the hospital and face the dread scene once more. How strange! I now merely felt cold disgust at the sight of same things which had before filled me with such horror; I had become as callous to the revolting scene as a veteran soldier. It was all over. I even found some pleasure in rummaging in the gaping breast of an unfortunate corpse for the lungs, with which to feed the winged inhabitants of that charming place.

"Well done!" cried Robert, laughing; "you are growing quite humane! Feeding the little birds."

"And my bounty extends to all nature," I retorted, casting a shoulder-blade to a great rat who was staring at me with famished eyes.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You know I am intrigued by certain specialities in medicine and why people would be drawn to them.

In particular, and maybe Pogo can shed some light on this, is why would someone would go "You know, I think I'll specialize in proctology. I think that would be a neat field."

Hoosier Daddy said...

Although I will confess sometimes I feel like a proctologist when I respond to hdhouse and Alphaliberal.

Although debating garage its more like being a gynecologist.

Ern said...

would you trust a doctor who said he was passionate about neurosurgery?

Absolutely. I want everybody who does work for me to be passionate about what he does. It took me a long time to find something at which I could make a living and about which I was passionate. I'm much happier, and I flatter myself that I'm much better at it than I was at the things that I did for a living before it. I think that passion for one's work is entirely a good thing.

John said...

Neurosurgens save people's lives. Fashion designers make ugly clothes for anorexic a sexual women to parade up and down a catwalk in. The fact that Ra'mon could not be passionate about saving people's lives but could be passionate about designing clothes says very bad things about Ra'Mon.

Yes, the world needs fashion designers. But they ought to be people who either too stupid or to much of a misfit to do anything else productive.

Chris said...

Cf. this Venn diagram.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Yes, the world needs fashion designers.

And janitors.

MayBee said...

There is certainly a dearth of neurosurgery competition reality shows.

former law student said...

1. Did Ram'on really leave medical school at the end of the study of neurosurgery?

I don't believe you learn neurosurgery in medical school, so no.

2. Do you think a background in neurosurgery would help in the design and construction of clothing? Be specific.

Hey, sewing is sewing. If you can stich neurons together you can certainly stich two pieces of cloth together. But surgery does not necessarily call on your three-dimensional design skills.

3. Should we abandon careers into which we have poured our time, effort, and money when we detect that we lack passion, assuming there is something else about which we do feel passion?

Sure. Passion makes the difference between mediocrity and success, because hard work is no longer drudgery when you are passionate about what you are doing. Avoid falling into the sunk cost fallacy -- that time, effort, and money has been expended and you're not getting it back.

4. When do you want the provider of goods or services to be passionate about what he or she is doing and when do you see passion as a warning sign?

If you need the services of the last late-term abortionist in America, you'll appreciate the passion that motivates him to continue at the risk of taking a bullet to his head.

His wife's testimony: Warren is the most passionate man she has ever known, apasionado about everything he does. He is the kind of people that he going up to the mountain and he see the beautiful sunset, he sit down, he don't want to speak, and he cry.

Passion keeps him going:

The patients can be upsetting too. ...And some treat him with contempt and disgust, usually the ones who have been directly involved in antiabortion activities. They hate all abortion except for their special case. One even said they should all be killed. Only fourteen, she came with her mother. What brings you here? he asked. I have to have an abortion. Why? I'm not old enough to have a baby. But you told the counselor we should all be killed? Yes, you should all be killed. Why? Because you do abortions. Me too? Yes, you should be killed too. Do you want me killed before or after I do your abortion? Before.

He told her to leave. Her mother was very upset. But he isn't an abortion-dispensing machine. He's a physician. He's a person.

http://www.esquire.com/features/abortion-doctor-warren-hern-0909

Bonus topic: Is leaving neurosurgery for fashion analogous to being married and having an affair, and does that suggest that Ra'Mon has made a mistake?

Ars longa, vita brevis. Unlike your spouse, neurosurgery does not even know you were together, much less than you left it. Follow your passion.

John said...

"Ars longa, vita brevis. Unlike your spouse, neurosurgery does not even know you were together, much less than you left it. Follow your passion."

That is true. But what the hell kind of person who has the intelligence and skill to save people's lives is passionate about fashion instead?

chickenlittle said...

Should we abandon careers into which we have poured our time, effort, and money when we detect that we lack passion, assuming there is something else about which we do feel passion?

That's an awfully good topic. It's too bad this Ra'Mon is such an obviously fake example. I hate that fucking show.

Pogo said...

Neurosurgeons are some of the smartest folks around. They can think in 3-D and keep their cool under extremes of stress. They live like monks, because very often they are the only neurosurgeon for many, many miles, and as a result get called in for everything.

"According to a 1997 US study, psychiatrists have the highest rate at around 50%; surgeons are next at 33%; the profession as a whole has a divorce rate of 29%."

Neurosurgery residency programs are known to boast of a 100% divorce rate among its residents before graduation.


There's an old joke about how to hide a twenty dollar bill from a neurosurgeon...

...tape it to their kids forehead.

PatCA said...

From my experience with students, I would guess that RaMon screwed up in med school and put the best spin on it that he could.

But that's his choice. Best of luck to him. I think it's nuts if he just left but...that's just me.

Pogo said...

"certain specialities in medicine and why people would be drawn to them."

By your third year in medical school, all the mystery and shame and gross-out reactions have been expunged. The body becomes a thing, and it takes much work not to become entirely callous to patients.

Specialty choice is driven by one's mentors, interest in certain fields, technical prowess, potential income, status, friends, dating, ideals, and social pressures.

The fact of dealing with colons and emanations from that penumbra figures almost not at all.

It's a process of desensitization not unlike in things military.

chuck b. said...

I wonder if general chemistry was his undoing. It undoes the dreams of so many. It's kinda funny, kinda sad how many pre-med wannabes already know (i.e., fantasize about) what specialty they want to practice before they've even made it through the most basic of science classes. (Not that doing so is always funny/sad; I think you only have to take a handful of science classes. You can major in the liberal arts.)


2. I think a background in neurosurgery would prepare you well for any hands-on endeavor that requires paying close attention to detail for long periods of time, and staying calm, focused, and steady in a stressful situation. (So it would certainly prepare you for a stint on Project Runway.) As for the design and construction of clothing itself, yes and no. Designers need visualization skills (I guess neurosurgeons have that right?), but they also need humility and a receptiveness to criticism. Do any doctors have that?


3. You should do what comes naturally to you for work, whether it's something you're passionate about or not. You might be passionate at something you're not very good at. Save that for your hobby. Make money doing the kind of work that comes naturally to you.


4. Trick question! The answer depends more on the customer more than the provider! What does the customer want!


Bonus topic: Marriage is supposed to endure (whether it does so with passion or not), but I'm not aware of any rule that says you must endure in a career. You might be well advised to change your mind, especially if you're a very distracted neurosurgeon.

Joe said...

He's using "Towards the end" in describing his decision making process to make the change.

Crimso said...

Gen chem is easy. P-chem is hard. Fashion design isn't exactly brain surgery.

Beth said...

We have a cousin who left med school mid-way through - no problems, good grades, doing just fine - because he's an artist. He'd always been an artist, and as he progressed through med school he realized he could not paint and become a doctor; the demands of one didn't allow for the other. He supports himself and his family just fine now, doing portraits and abstracts.

chuck b. said...

General chemistry is hard because it's all different and new. P-chem is just the same few ideas over and over again. The secret is to take vector calculus first.

Big Mike said...

But Hoosier, our friend Alpha is a proctologist's dream: a perfect a**hole.

Big Mike said...

@Pogo, thanks for those insights.

David said...

Guy's a narcissistic liar. Might make a good cosmetic surgeon for a TV reality show.

Hoosier Daddy said...

By your third year in medical school, all the mystery and shame and gross-out reactions have been expunged. The body becomes a thing, and it takes much work not to become entirely callous to patients.

You know that's exactly what happened with Mrs. Hoosier after our third anniversary.

What a coincidence.

Chip Ahoy said...

He must have been inspired by Palin.

Crimso said...

"The secret is to take vector calculus first."

No the secret is to take it in the Chem Eng Dept rather than the Chem Dept. ;)

tim maguire said...

1. Not necessarily. "The end" could have referred to the last weeks of his pursuit of a medical degree, regardless of how far down that road he actually got.

2. No

3. Depends on whether happiness and fulfillment is important to you. In other words, yes. The alternative is throwing good years after bad.

4. Passion is important to the person providing the good or service. I'm not so sure it is important to the consumer. Quality is quality whether it was created with passion or a stifled yawn.

Oligonicella said...

former law student --

"Hey, sewing is sewing. If you can stich neurons together you can certainly stich two pieces of cloth together. But surgery does not necessarily call on your three-dimensional design skills."

Bzzt! Don't use a singer sewing machine on a patient, the noise and rapidly jabbing needle will scare the hell out of them. Besides, it hurts when the pressor foot mashes the skin together and the scar's a bitch.

Stitch neurons? Now that's hand control!

wv: cotab - What Althouse and Meade have from no own.

paul a'barge said...

I am so not getting within a country mile of a person with a scalpel in hand and an apostrophe in their name.

Oh wait.

Oh geez. His full name is
Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman

He's got one apostrophe and a hyphen.

Walk the plank, suckah!

John Lynch said...

It's his life, let him live it.

Maybe it's a big lie. I'd say it's a better than even that he's lying about being a neurosurgeon, especially since he says he didn't finish. Most people who claim to have high status occupations do not.

If it isn't a lie, who cares? So the guy decided to go do something else. We don't have castes in this country, let him do it. People change careers all the time, and the medical profession isn't any different.

As for the names, they are obviously self-chosen.

Jenniferwhatnot said...

I love how Althouse can take a stupid entertainment report about something totally insignificant and turn it into a discussion about the deepest human motivations. Now that is one excellent blogger!

Cedarford said...

Tradguy - But if by chance he does make it in couture, he may have a greater lifetime income than a doctor in serfdom under National Health Insurance schemes coming down the road from our Marxist rulers.

8/27/09 9:16 AM
NKVD said...
Tradguy makes a good point. Soon there will be no money in neurosurgery, no matter how fabulous the doctor is. Better to cater to the beautiful people and make millions.


Both gentlemen are pumping up the scare stories of universal healthcare=no doctors.
Unfortunately, it is a lie.
Anyone looking at the global stats will see that the old US system is the one that has the doctor, nurse, and hospital bed shortage with respect to other advanced nations per each 1,000 people.

And the American system's shortages would be even more profound if we did not import up to 1/3rd of our new doctors, 1/4th of our new nurses, heathcare techs from countries that create surpluses of educated people in those fields.

Ralph L said...

Maybe he decided he couldn't bear to wear a plain white coat all day.

There is no such thing as a pre-med major
My college had one, heavy on the sciences. They used the math in Inorganic Analysis (Chem) to weed out the weak students to keep their med school acceptance percentage high. I thought that part was pretty easy, but bombed the flame tests. My brother wanted to be a surgeon, until he hit chemistry.

Since rote memory skills are out of fashion in primary and secondary education, will future doctors be worse than current ones?

Outiesti - The outlier of a group of estimates, or a naval gazing contest.

Ralph L said...

Cedarford, they didn't say there won't be doctors, they said there won't be as much money or choice in it. I suspect many do it for the prestige. Years ago, the female doctors would have been teachers, but that lost prestige as the relative pay went up (bratty kids may also be a factor).

Pogo said...

"There is no such thing as a pre-med major
My college had one, heavy on the sciences.
"

At risk of being corrected, I doubt anyone has a diploma that says "B.S. in Pre-med". Most colleges, like mine did, advise a course load for pre-med majors, but it was never strictly a 'major' itself.

I am hair-splitting, however.

Crimso said...

"At risk of being corrected, I doubt anyone has a diploma that says "B.S. in Pre-med". Most colleges, like mine did, advise a course load for pre-med majors, but it was never strictly a 'major' itself."

I knew one particular individual whose only college degree was M.D. He took the prereq courses and they didn't worry about him not finishing his B.S. They thought that highly of him. I would put my life in his hands without question, but he did play dirty on the basketball court (and as a grad student I couldn't very well complain about the behavior of the director of the cancer center).

TW: surein. The protein that makes sure everything works correctly.

Zach said...

My advice is that if you're going to drop out of a grad program, drop out early. You can be honestly conflicted, but let's face it: if you're that conflicted about a competitive, prestigious job, you really want to drop out and you're just waiting for the other shoe to drop. The longer you stick around, the more committed you're going to be.

Ralph L said...

According to Wiki, they (Davidson College) does not have a pre-med major, but have "Interdisciplinary concentrations" in medical humanities and neuroscience. 27 years ago, things were different, or my memory has gone to shit.

dallywol - the future of fabric.

Ralph L said...

they ... does not
I was not an English major.

JAL said...

Yeaah well, some docs have undergraduate degrees in English, some in psychology. Most tend to be in the "life" sciences -- biology and bio-chemistry, some in chemistry.... But Ra'Mon clearly matured out of his fantasy career into something he might be successful in. As several knowledgable people have pointed out, one doesn't "give up" neurosurgery in med school.

The core requirements can be obtained without the "pre-med" science degree, but the MCAT score and your GPA and science course grades are what matter. (People with strong science studies tend to do better on MCAT.)

In years past New York State had (maybe still has) a system in one or two schools which I think is like British / Indian system. One started (undergraduate) college and transitioned into medical studies resulting in a medical degree without finishing the formal bachelors degree. Think it took about 5 years total. In Britain it's called the MBBS. It means you can end up with as a physician at the age of 23.

Neurosurgery would be a specialty with residency and fellowship adding many more years to the more normal 4 of medical school.

WV undorif - change a jazz performance?

Second WV since I screwed up the first -- sycly = what more people will be with Obamacare. No kidding.

JAL said...

A friend of ours is a gastroenterologist -- (the trademarked name for proctologist?)

I admot, it's one of those speicalties that seems a little -- well -- necessary but weird. So I asked him one day about it -- like why do you like this? Colonospcopies and all that .. and he grinned, got a gleam in his eye and started telling me how cool doing some of the exams were now that they have these fiber optic gizmos -- like playing a video game , is how he described it, with a bit of animation.

Takes all kinds.

jacksonianlawyer said...

1. It absolutely is irrelevant to any aspect of anyone's life other than that of Ram-On.

2. See response to query no. 1.

3. If you have to ask...

4. As long as a service for which I am paying is adequately, competently and/or appropriately completed, I could care less if the person completing it is "passionate." Grow up people.

5. That you even pose such a query is indicative of the fact that you have far too much time on your hands; that you might actually care about this issue is indicative of the fact that you appear to be sadly lacking in the "better things to do" department.

Beatnik Mary said...

Sorry for being late to the party, but I'm re-watching Season 6 of Project Runway and Ra'mon's "med school" claims are once again driving me crazy.

No, he never went to med school. Hell, he didn't even finish his "pre-med" degree. According to his own LinkedIn profile, he had a degree at U of Iowa from 1995-99 in Biology (Pre-Med) AND simultaneously in African Art History. So I'm pretty sure what happened was that he started out in a BSc in Biology, then switched to a BA in Art History.

The fact that he referred to the GIGANTIC pregnancy bellies on the dress forms (or possibly to hugely pregnant Rebecca Romijn) as "probably at the start of her second trimester" should have been an indication that this man was straight up lying about med school.