Choosing a career path is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. The medical field can be rewarding, but it also has its downsides. Whether you’re considering the long-term implications of your choice or just looking for more information about what it’s like to work in medicine, this article will provide you with the most important things to know before choosing a career in medicine.
1. Your motivations can affect your satisfaction in the field
The first thing you should do before starting your medical career is to honestly and thoroughly ask yourself what you want out of it. Some people go into the medical profession with a passion for helping people in need, but oftentimes, these motivations fade with time as doctors face burnout from long hours and stressful procedures. In order to be satisfied with your medical career, you must know what you want from it on a personal level.
2. The field of medicine is vast and competitive
One of the most important things to realize about careers in the medical field is that there are a lot of them! Some people work in clinics, others work in known hospitals, and others in specialized facilities like the Causenta Wellness & Cancer Care Center. There are many different types of doctors who perform unique jobs, and some disciplines require years of school and residency. Also, many medical professions are highly competitive — if your heart is set on becoming a doctor but you don’t have the grades for it, you should instead consider focusing on other areas of medicine such as nursing or physical therapy.
3. Many medical programs require extensive periods of training
In order to become a doctor or another type of medical practitioner, you will often need to complete more than six years of training and education. This is not a decision that should be made lightly, and the amount of schooling required is one of the worst parts of being in the medical field. In many cases, students must defer their acceptance into medical school until they’ve completed college or even graduate-level degrees.
4. Medical school is even more stressful than you think
Medical school is not for the faint of heart, and it is one of the most grueling educational programs available. The amount of studying required to pass exams and complete your degree will often result in heavy amounts of stress for students who are already drowning in coursework. If you are considering attending medical school but do not have a strong background in science, you may want to reconsider your plans.
5. There is no “typical” day for doctors
It’s true that many types of doctors perform similar tasks on a daily basis; however, no two days are ever the same for any physician or nurse. Doctors can be called out at any time to assist with different procedures, and their schedules can be hectic. If you are considering becoming a doctor, you must remember that these positions require long hours of work, even for doctors who do not work in surgery or other types of rotational positions.
6. Doctors face risks every day
Doctors take on risks every time they go to work. Perhaps one of the most difficult things about being a doctor is knowing that you aren’t completely safe at your job. Medical mistakes are common, and doctors must be able to accept these risks in order to do their jobs well. If you’re considering becoming a doctor yourself, this risk should not deter you — but it’s a thing to keep in mind.
7. The field is not as altruistic as you think
In order to become a doctor, most students have been inspired by the idea that their lives will be dedicated to helping others. While this may be true for many doctors, there are definitely some who become physicians purely for financial gain or prestige. If the idea of working hard every day for years doesn’t sound appealing, you should consider other careers that may be less stressful and more altruistic.
8. Doctors are undervalued in many ways
There are definitely some perks of being a doctor — after all, they make good money! However, it’s important to remember that doctors can often be overworked and undervalued in many ways. They face stress every day, and often only go home to sleep before starting the entire thing all over again. On top of that, doctors’ decisions are scrutinized at every turn. If you want a career where you can do good and be well-respected for your efforts, consider other medical professionals who may not face as many challenges.
So, if you’re still considering a career in medicine after reading these eight things to know, remember that it’s not always easy. However, the rewards of being a doctor — both personal and professional — can be great. If you’re passionate about helping others and have what it takes to withstand the stress of medical school and residency, don’t let anything stop you from achieving your goals.