Individuals who’ve chosen a career in the medical field always have the respect of the majority. Doctors, nurses, medical assistants, and other healthcare professionals work tirelessly to support individuals’ health and wellness on a daily basis. Their dedication to saving lives was amplified tenfold when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
It’s not at all surprising as choosing a career in the healthcare sector requires strong academic and financial commitment. For instance, it could take up to 16 years to become a physician. Apart from a four-year medical course in an undergraduate school, a doctor-aspirant has to spend an additional four-years in medical school, and from three to eight years for his or her chosen specialty, like pediatrics, neurology, or orthopedics. Add to these all the processes and challenges associated with becoming a doctor which you’ll find in resources like Medical Aid's guide to getting into medical school.
As a noble profession, being a medical doctor not only gives you the opportunity to make patients feel better and extend their lives. The following perks also come with the responsibility of choosing to become a physician:
- Tenured job and a high-paying salary
The chances of medical professionals remaining employed is much greater than for professionals in other fields, especially because there’s a shortage of physicians everywhere. Apart from lack of human resources, the demand for more physicians across the board is driven mainly by an aging population and various advances in medicine.
Doctors are also among the highest paid professionals. Physicians and surgeons earn a median pay of $208,000 as of 2019, based on a survey done by US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Choose your career specialization(s)
Physicians are commonly classified in three broad categories:
- Doctor-Specialists. These doctors are trained to specialize in specific health conditions or diseases as well as body parts, organs, and systems. Cardiologists, dermatologists, neurologists, nephrologists, oncologists, and ophthalmologists are specialty physicians.
- Primary care physicians. They’re medical doctors who treat a wide-range of diseases, as well as dispense preventive care. General internists, pediatricians, geriatric medicine and family practitioners are few examples under this category.
- Surgeons. These medical professionals are relied upon to conduct preoperative diagnosis of the patient, perform the operation, and provide the patient with postoperative surgical care and treatment. Simply put, surgeons perform operations to treat diseases and tend to injuries.
Choosing and later practicing a specialization will allow doctors to choose the right professional fit, making work more exciting. For instance, if an individual loves working with children, he or she may be destined to become a pediatrician. On the other hand, if an individual is meticulous, he or she may opt to become a surgeon.
- Varied working environment
Doctors can choose to work in different settings. For instance, if they want to gain experience, working as an intern in a tertiary-level hospital may be the best move, mainly because these medical facilities provide more complex patient care. Burn treatment, cancer treatment and management, cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, and plastic surgery, among other treatments or procedures, are offered in these hospitals.
After gaining experience in these hospitals, a physician may open his or her own clinic. But, don’t do it without seriously thinking it over and reading this article about the most common mistakes doctors do when starting a medical practice. Outside of hospitals and clinics, a physician can choose to work in other settings such as school-based clinics, insurance companies, public health, or state medical agencies.
Opportunities for continual learning
Hospitals and healthcare facilities typically allow their employees to pursue advanced training and education if they want to develop their careers without losing their current positions. To maintain a medical license, doctors are required to continue taking courses and learning about medical advancements throughout their career.
As medical breakthroughs are regularly unearthed, physicians will have the opportunity for continual learning and skills enhancement.
- Important contribution to society
One of the main responsibilities of a doctor is to manage a patient’s health condition no matter the age and medical and social status. With the help of other healthcare professionals such as nurses, physicians typically maintain medical histories, perform physical examinations, facilitate diagnostic tests, and recommend, as well as provide treatment.
The population is highly dependent on the healthcare sector to address their needs for hospital admissions, consultations, and other routine and emergency care. Doctors and healthcare workers are indispensable for a healthy community. As a doctor who manages the overall health status of a patient, you’re a key contributor to the well-being of the society.
Doctors are sworn to treat the ill to the best of their abilities on a daily basis. They’re a natural at helping people, and prolonging patients’ lives is what gives meaning to their lives. If you're cut out to be a doctor, start your journey by heeding invaluable tips discussed in this article toward starting your career in medicine.