Culture

Fulfilling Asian Expectations

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Our college years are undoubtedly one of our most formative and definitive years, as we learn to embrace the trouble of doing laundry, avoid the Freshmen 15, and put ourselves out there, as the saying goes. However, more importantly, we burden the responsibility of discovering what we wish to do for the rest of our lives. In the United States (and probably everywhere else), Asians are typically stereotyped into someone who wants to being a doctor, lawyer, or architect. Moreover, this assumption is not unfounded: in a report by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Asian physicians compose 5.7% or 53,799 of the total number of physicians in the United States in 2004. Certainly, compared to the White physician population who make up 36.7% of the physician population, such a figure is minute but the number has been steadily increasing over the years.

The rise in Asians interested in the healthcare field not only creates a more competitive field, but also contributes to the existing Asian stereotypes. More often than not, our genuine passion for the subject itself may be trivialized into nothing more than fulfilling Asian expectations. With the growing number of Asians who wish to be physicians, it become ever the more difficult to prove yourself to be a distinct individual who can do the job better than the next person.

Yet, despite the stereotypes that may be imposed on us, what is more important is that we cultivate the interest, and see ourselves as doing something more than merely meeting expectations.

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