General Question

jdubu2two's avatar

Can I become a doctor with essential tremors?

Asked by jdubu2two (16points) September 22nd, 2008

I have been diagnosed with essential tremors since I was about twelve. I have learned to live with it until now. I just recently graduated from college with a bs in biology. I have spent time looking for a job and couldn’t find one. I have been thinking about going to medical school but am worried that with the slight shaking of my hands will unable me to become a doctor.

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13 Answers

Nimis's avatar

Maybe not a surgeon. But I’d imagine that there are a lot of doctors
that have overcome their disabilities to go on to do great things.

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shilolo's avatar

I think you can, for sure. Like nimis said, the hands-on specialties like surgery (and its various subspecialties) and some medical/pediatric subspecialties that require a lot of procedures (cardiology, gasteroenterology, etc.) might not be for you, but you could stll be an internist, pediatrician, radiologist, pathologist, psychiatrist, and many others. Feel free to send me a PM if you have more questions.

Nimis's avatar

Here’s a resource for nurses with essential tremors.

AstroChuck's avatar

Did you have your heart set on being a surgeon or some medical specialty that requires you to have steady hands? There are many varieties of MD. I don’t see this stopping you.

augustlan's avatar

I say go for it, if it’s really what you want, and not just because you can’t find a job in your chosen field.

Bri_L's avatar

Welcome to fluther Bud!!

I was just diagnosed with ET at 39. I am a graphic artist and so far have adapted. I think they are right. You might not be able to venture into some areas but I doubt the field is shut down to you.

DandyDear711's avatar


BCarlyle's avatar

You should look at the specific “technical standards” published by each medical school. I’m a current medical student and I had to certify/verify that I met these standards in this list. It’s a list of requirements that all matriculating students must be able to meet. These include the ability to communicate effectively, palpate various body parts during a physical examination etc… Your answer will be in there- but I would think that essential tremors would not disqualify you.

jdubu2two's avatar

I have set up a meeting with a career development advisor at the school I graduated from to discuss medical school. Maybe with a high enough MCAT score and my grades I will get in.

shilolo's avatar

Good luck with your decision, but one word of warning… don’t do it as a default or because there is nothing else out there. Realize that medical school is the beginning of a roughly 7–15 year process before you are working full time in your chosen field (med school 4–5 years, residency 3–7 years, ?fellowship 3–5 years). So, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.

Bri_L's avatar

Good luck!

tWrex's avatar

You can most def do it, but as shilolo said, do it for the right reasons. Being a surgeon is definitely gonna be out though.

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