"The medical student is likely to be the one son of the family too weak to labor on the farm, too indolent to do any exercise, too stupid for the bar and too immoral for the pulpit."
- Johns Hopkins University President Daniel Coit Gilman
And then, to confirm, in more concise language, the essence of my last post, we have the British Journal of Medical Psychology, saying the desire to become a physician goes from "helping the needy" to "needing the helpless." Later, in the same article:
Knowing that one is a physician allows people with a very shaky self-esteem to find a niche...it becomes a crutch to their self-esteem....Being needed by their patients may reinforce a sense of grandiosity, but it is [an extremely fragile mechanism,] a process which has to be endlessly repeated, and being so dependent on one's patients to maintain a sense of self may generate feelings of anger and resentment towards them.*
And I am six and twenty, and oh tis true, tis true. (apologies to Housman)
*Johnson, WDK British Journal of Medical Psychology 64(1991):317-329.