I often ask my friend and medical professional Margaret Salmon MD whether or not it is really worth it to become a doctor. Numbers of students who wish to be a doctor have decreased in recent years and much of this has no doubt come from the complaints which many have about the hours they work and the pay they receive. Something which Margaret often talks about is the misconception that doctors are rich, as it is only the experienced doctors who are well paid. So the big question is whether or not this is a rewarding career, something which Margaret often tells me that it most certainly is.
At the heart of being a doctor, no matter which healthcare field you are in, is saving and improving lives, a truly remarkable ability and a key factor in what makes this job such a rewarding one. Many will point to the fact that patients die when discussing whether or not being a doctor is worth it, but there are far more patients who survive and who are able to have their lives improved based on the skills and knowledge that a doctor possesses. Margaret tells me often about stories where diagnoses have been made and treatment has worked and this in itself is the most rewarding part of being a doctor.
Many people who dislike their jobs often moan about the fact that they are doing the same thing each and everyday and this can lead to awful monotony. There us no danger of this happening for a doctor as they face a whole range of issues and problems each and every day. Even though doctors will specialize in a certain field of medicine, they still have a massive variety of illnesses, complaints and diseases to deal with. This not only keeps the job fresh and exciting but it puts the onus on doctors to be on top of their game in all aspects of their particular branch of medicine.
Another rewarding aspect of the job that Margaret has discussed with me in the past is the ability work with a group of highly intellectual and skilled medical team individuals. There is a healthy competition between many doctors and that only serves to make the individual better and work harder to be the best that they can be. We don’t have to get on with our colleagues but it does help a great deal if we have huge amounts of respect for them and that is what doctors can expect in their career.
Doctors are not underpaid but it is not until they get into the latter stages of their career that they can command the large salaries which we often see talked about. There is no doctor in the world who is in this game for the financial benefits but it should still be mentioned that this is a well deserved reward for many years of hard work.