Being smart and doing well in the sciences are obviously important components of being a successful physician. However, do not fall into a medical career because you have done well in the sciences. Although this is a necessary requirement, you must also be able to relate well with people.
As a physician you have an opportunity to help others. Wanting to help others and enjoying helping others are necessary attributes of a good physician. This is something that cannot be taught. However, if helping others is important to you, but being a doctor is not the right fit, there are many other physician career options you can consider. And keep in mind that politicians, religious leaders, and social workers all have the opportunity to help others, perhaps in larger numbers.
Medicine is a career filled with choices. In what other career can you choose between delivering babies, taking care of children, handling emergencies, removing someone's cancer, or talking to someone who needs psychiatric help? Better yet, you can teach others your medical specialty, while still practicing your profession. Alternately, you can do research in whatever specialty you choose, with the potential to make a real breakthrough in preventing or treating illness. In addition, being a physician is honorable and is held in high esteem. It allows you to live just about anywhere, and provides job security (unfortunately, illness is something that will be around for the foreseeable future).
However, all of this comes at a price. The many years of preparation, the discipline, the awesome responsibility, the worry about malpractice and the long hours can take their toll. Medicine is a unique field and it demands a unique person. (Bianco)
Articles in this series:
- Steps to Become a Doctor Premed Planning - The timeline and steps to become a doctor, including undergraduate studies, gaining experience in the medical industry and taking the MCAT.
- Applying to Medical School Ready to apply to medical school? Be prepared for the application process and for medical school interviews.
- How to Become a Doctor What to Expect in Medical School - Medical school curriculum, USMLE, and the cost of medical school
- NRMP and Medical Residency What is residency for doctors? Medical Residency, ERAS, NRMP, the Residency Match and the Scramble - The process of getting matched with a medical residency position, and the medical resident's role.
- Being a Doctor What It's Like to be a Doctor
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