Michigan Medicine Physicians Share why they became doctors


“My decision to become a doctor was driven largely by values instilled in me by my faith and my family. The idea of being a part of a profession focused on helping others regardless of circumstance, focused on facilitating people leading healthier and therefore happier lives … I can’t imagine a more fulfilling job.”

Erica Marsh, MD

“When I decided to be a doctor, I never really quite understood what it meant. I wouldn’t have predicted the amazing highs of directly impacting someone’s life, nor the deep lows when a patient did poorly. Every day, it’s a gift to have the opportunity to care for patients in their most vulnerable times. Despite the stress, long hours away from home and family, I could never imagine a different career.”

Nicholas Osborne, M.D.

"I grew up in Detroit and was aware of the challenging health care situation there, along with the striking prevalence of hypertension in the community and in my own family. These factors motivated me to pursue hypertension research."

Kenneth Jamerson, M.D.

"I have been interested in a career in women's health since college and I began medical school here at the University of Michigan with plans to become a OBGYN. I decided to become a minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon as I believe that, as surgeons, we have the duty and responsibility to offer the safest and least invasive options to our patients with the goal of improving patient outcomes with shortened recovery times."

Courtney Lim, M.D.

“It certainly wasn’t always easy growing up as the son of a highly successful physician and scientist. My father was raised in Korea during the Japanese occupation of World War II. He was a strict disciplinarian and perfectionist with a ‘right way’ and ‘wrong way’ to do everything — from my homework to cutting the lawn. If I didn’t get it right the first time, I did it again until I got it right. Though it was often hard, I have no doubt that my upbringing formed the foundation of my own work ethic, attention to detail and ability to prioritize and sacrifice to achieve an important goal.

“As a young man, I wasn’t introspective enough to articulate the precise factors which drew me to a career in medicine. I remember being convinced that I was my own man, making my own decisions based upon my own life experiences. While the ability to integrate caring for those in need, a love of science and need for ongoing intellectual stimulation were durable themes which guided my career choice, it is only in retrospect that I realize how much my father provided the education and opportunities which helped me to choose a career in medicine.

“As the old saying goes, ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.’ It took a while, but I eventually figured out the virtues of taking that drink.

“My father inspired me to pursue a career as a gastroenterologist in direct and indirect ways. Indirect ways included the passion and enthusiasm that was apparent whenever he spoke about being a physician and a scientist. Direct ways included shadowing him at work and incorporating me into his research laboratory as a preteen and adolescent. As a young boy, I often spent Saturdays rounding or working in my father’s animal laboratory. I don’t know of many 12- to 14-year-olds who were assisting in animal surgery and studying the effects of ethanol on the migrating motor complex (to clarify — in the animals).