CHOOSING A CAREER / OCT. 27, 2016
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7 Signs that a Career in Medicine Could Be For You

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Deciding what your career will be is an important choice for everyone. There are a hundred occupations you can devote your time to. Some want to enrich people’s lives by producing art in the form of music, paintings, and literature. But, others choose to help people directly by becoming physicians and doctors.

And there are more good incentives to choosing a career in medicine. Compared with most other professions, medical careers offer great stability, growth, and excitement. And since nurses, therapists, and doctors handle the well-being of others, they are some of the most respected and sought after professionals in the world.

But before you charge headlong into a pre-med program, you need to ask yourself: Is this challenging but fulfilling career for you? Here are seven signs that it could suit you very well:

1 You Don’t Mind Commitments and Investments

A career in medicine requires considerable sacrifices and effort on your part. For starters, you have to finish a four-year pre-med course. This is then followed by another four years in medical school. And in the final year of medical school, students can select a field of specialisation which will determine the length of their residency or internship. For most specialisations, residency takes about three years. In total, that’s about a decade you have to dedicate to prepare for your career!

Aside from the long years spent studying, you’ll need to invest a good bit of money as the cost of healthcare education is quite high. In short, you might be studying for ten years without earning much unless you have a part-time job. You should be ready to sacrifice a lot of time and money if you want to study to become a doctor.

2 You Seek Variety and Growth in Your Career

The human body is a complex system of organs, tissues, and bones that undergo various processes every second. And there are medical fields dedicated to each component of the human body. Today, there are more than forty specialities and this number may grow due to advancements in medical science.

If you seek variety, then the world of medicine has everything you need. Love working with children? Go for paediatrics. Interested in the workings of the brain? Then neuroscience might suit you. You can ask physicians near you for career advice, or you can make use of medical career resources online if you need a quick reference.

3 You Love Learning

Medicine is a science, and science never stands still. Discovery of new diseases, cures, and breakthroughs occur almost every day. What is medicine today could be dangerous in the future, and medical procedures can change over the years.

Take mercury, for example. It used to be a popular medicine in the past, but today, we know it to be a toxic substance. And so, any practitioner of medicine needs to keep up to speed with the latest literature, findings, and news for the betterment of their career and for the sake of their patients.

4 You Are Attentive and Empathic

Patients trust doctors with their lives, so the smallest mistake can be fatal. You need to be patient, attentive, and thorough with questions and examinations. Aside from physical care, patients also need emotional support to help them fight their diseases. An uncaring physician may instil a feeling of hopelessness in a person. Empathy is a vital trait that doctors should have.

5 You Can Cope With Stressful and Difficult Situations

It’s no secret that medical practitioners are some of the most stressed people in the world. In fact, according to one study, depression rates are higher among medical students and resident physicians than the general public. This is likely because doctors, nurses, paramedics, and even medical researchers don’t just make difficult decisions. They also endure long, tiring hours and can be the difference between someone living or dying. You need to be able to fight stress and be able to maintain a good work-life balance to avoid burning out.

6 You Aren’t Squeamish

Physicians see a lot of stomach-turning things in their lifetime, especially surgeons and researchers. The human body can produce the strangest liquids and excretions, so desensitisation to the sight of blood, guts, and such is essential. There’s even a course in medical school to help students get used to these sights called gross anatomy. It involves dissecting a human cadaver to study its insides. 

7 You Have a Desire to Help People

Being a physician is a noble profession that comes with a lot of responsibility. Doctors can save someone’s life, and they have the ability to make others happy by helping them. Even the research conducted and data analysed by fields that have near zero-patient interaction can contribute to the treatment of people. Examples include fields like pathology and radiology. This is why medical practitioners push on with their stressful jobs, despite the challenges that they may face. There will always be people who need help, and there is always someone who will be thankful for your effort.

Taking the plunge into a medical career can be scary. You need patience, determination, and passion to succeed. It can be a challenging choice that will take a lot out of you. But you can guarantee that it will be a choice that you’ll be proud of.

Have you ever considered a medical career? How has this article affected your decision? Let us know in the comments section below...

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