Should you consider a Career in Medicine?

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
May 8, 2020

May 8, 2020 • by Rebecca Smith

The career path that you pick is one of the most significant decisions that you will make in your lifetime. When most doctors are asked about why they picked medicine as their profession there is a common answer. A majority of doctors will cite helping people and making a difference via healthcare. There are other doctors that went into medicine due to the financial security it can create; but far more say it’s for the purpose of helping others. In today’s world, healthcare workers are on the front lines battling against the Coronavirus. This is selfless and should be recognized as those in the medical community are the best and brightest society has to offer.

Important Questions You Should Ask When Deciding on a Career in Medicine

The first question should be what types of physicians are in demand? The last thing that you want to do is to invest immense amounts of money in medical school to specialize in an area that is saturated with talent. There is also a chance that technology has decreased the need for a specific specialty in the last few years. Areas, where a specialist is in demand, will make the job search far easier especially for a new doctor.

A healthcare law that many have heard of called The Affordable Care Act stresses the importance of primary care physicians. The actions that have been taken help improve access to insurance coverage for people of all backgrounds. Preventative care is stressed as well is the health of a patient currently. Physicians for families care for more people than any other specialty throughout the US. The need for these medical professionals is only growing so this could be a great option if picking a career path.

Is Medicine a Good Career Fit for Me?

There are characteristics of people that are a far better fit than others when it comes to a career in medicine. The person has to be service-oriented as their job will entail helping others and putting the needs of others as a primary focus. The knowledge that a physician of any type has to possess in order to follow the best practices for quality of care is immense. Medicine is always changing so the ability to adapt is very important as a specialist could see immense changes in their area of expertise. The flexible individuals that can thrive whether they are in a position at a hospital, research facility, or private practice are seen as perfect hires. The beauty of working in healthcare is that of the job security that you possess especially in these times. Being able to know that your skills will be in demand for years to come can be extremely comforting. You will have to take a good look at your skills and the demands that come along with a medical career. There are plenty of benefits to a medical career as well.

Understand Yourself at a Higher Level

There are a few areas to examine about yourself that you might not have considered. Your goals should be a focus as having a rewarding career in medicine can provide satisfaction in your professional life. Your personality is also going to be important as a surgeon will need to be calm even in the most stressful of situations. Bedside manner is something that plenty of medical professionals have to work on. Telling people potentially devastating news will not become easier but it is a part of the job. If you can compartmentalize this is perfect for a medical professional as there will be extremely difficult days personally. Taking the Myers Briggs Personality Test can let you know more about yourself.

Understand the Challenges Versus the Vast Rewards

College medical classes are going to be tough as this is where most students separate themselves from others. You will have to be in school for the better part of a decade or more depending on if you decide on a difficult specialty. Residency is going to be unbelievably tough as you will be put through stress and compensated a fraction of what your work is worth.

Do the Appropriate Research

Doing thorough research about what it is like to live life as a physician can help provide clarity to your decision. Asking to talk with current physicians on a personal level is important as they understand what they love and do not like about their career choice. Take the time to look at what is in demand in terms of specialties and take into consideration the extra training needed for specialists or surgeons. You should also be well-versed on requirements and med schools throughout the world.

Think About the Cost of Education

Education is immensely expensive especially when you have over a decade of school to complete. The amount of debt you’ll acquire during this time is somewhat staggering if you just look at the short term student debt burden. However the truth is that being a physician can allow you to pay back necessary student debts of over 6 figures in just a matter of years. There are government forgiveness options for those going into certain specialties like that of primary care. The best thing that you can do during this time is to try to save money whenever possible.

Understand You will be Challenged

Even for some of the most academically talented students, medical school and prerequisite classes can be a huge challenge. You will be challenged during the first two years of medical school unlike at any other time of your academic career. The long hours you will have to spend studying after long shifts during residency will take both mental and physical toughness.

Unsure About a Medical Career?

There is a chance that you have doubts about a career in medicine or have the wrong motivations. You have time if you are just starting your college career as you can see if you can handle the coursework. You might find that organic chemistry simply is too difficult as this is often a class that separates students. Take time to really think about this and research all avenues as you might find the perfect career for you.