What a question! Let me share with you some of the insights that I have gained over my years of medical training and working as a doctor ...
~ Worthwhile Aspects
Being a doctor is certainly one of the most satisfying jobs in existence. Your job is there to help - someone is sick, and you do your best to help them feel better. This is something I believe that is incredibly worthwhile - making someone feel better. Seeing someone being able to breath again after an asthma attack, seeing someone able to walk again after surviving a motor vehicle accident, seeing the birth of a new life into this world ... They are all experiences that you don't get to see in any other profession. You are placed in a unique position to be able to experience life from it's beginnings, to it's end. Worthwhile? Most certainly.
~ Interesting Aspects
Is medicine interesting?? Almost certainly! Let's compare medicine to T. V. shows, cause I'm sure we all find them interesting. What is your favourite show? Do you like mystery shows like CSI? Well, medicine is for you! When a patient comes in to see you, this is a person who is coming to you with a series of symptoms, which are akin to the clues that you get in a crime scene. You know have to piece all these clues together to form your diagnosis, and find the culprit. But what of all the cool tools that you get to use in CSI? You have your own high tech tools are your disposal too! With CT scans, MRIs, echocardiograms ... You have cutting edge technology to help you find out what that disease is. What about action shows like 24? Medicine is full of non stop action - just walk into your emergency department for a good dose of high octane action. With cardiac arrests flying through your doors, broken arms and legs waiting to be plastered, and lacerations waiting to be sutured ... there is more than enough action in here to satisfy even the most energetic person. Or what about your typical dramas like Neighbours? You need to look no further than your maternity ward in the hospital for that. There is tension as a mother cries and does her best to deliver her baby, joy as another life is born into the world, and grief when a mother is told that she has had a miscarriage. With tears of joy, sadness and relief all mixed into the one place, this is drama in real life.
~ Fun Aspects
Fun fun fun ... There certainly is much fun to be had being a doctor!! Do you like talking?? Then this is certainly the place for you. Your work is centered around people and talking! It's something we do all day long - talk. Or perhaps you're the strong silent type - you like to get the job done and get your hands dirty. Surgery is for you - there are many who need operations, and they're all practically done whilst they are asleep. Like stitching? Suture those deep wounds and create a healing area that won't scar. Enjoy remodeling? Plastic surgery! Enjoy microscopes? Pathology! Enjoy computer screens? Radiology! Even if you just plain enjoy the company of weird and wacky things ... There's always psychiatry!!
~ People You Work With ... And Work For!
You work with everyone. Everyone? Yes, everyone. From astronauts to zoologists, you will work with them all. There is not a person in this world who does not need to see a doctor, and you will come across a very many people in your work. It is an eye opening experience meeting a drug addicts, drunks, chain smokers ... and find that they are all treated equally in a hospital where CEOs, lawyers and popstars come when they are sick. And the best part is that you don't do this alone - you do it with a team. Your team will consist of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nutritionists, educators, social workers ... and the list goes on. You are not alone in your job - you are certainly well supported and cared for as well.
~ Travel Travel Travel
Do you like to stay in one place, and perhaps settle down? Being a doctor means that you can open up a clinic virtually anywhere, allowing you do work close to home. Do you enjoy travel? Well, being a doctor is an open ticket to work anywhere in the world. You name it, you got it. Not a single nation in the world can do without you. You will always have a job. Do you enjoy working in rural localities? Fantastic! High pay, plenty of incentives ... It's almost too good to be true. Do you enjoy working in bustling cities? There is not a day that goes by when you will not be occupied with your work. Perhaps tropical Hawaii suits you better? The sky really is the limit here - there's always going to be a need for doctors in a plane!
~ Physical Labour?
Well, medicine can be just about as physically demanding as you want it to be. Are exercising your jaw muscles about as much activity you want to do? Being a psychiatrists is almost all about talking to patients, and finding out the best way to manage their mental condition. Do you like hacking and sawing? Orthopaedics (or bone surgery) is the way for you to go. With jigsaws, circular saws, and even hammers and drills ... this is one area well you will require plenty of muscle. You can pick your area which you specialise in depending on your interests ... and your want of physical activity too!
~ Perks ... And Fame!
Certainly there are plenty of perks to being a doctor ... Can I perhaps name a nice big one ... Money. You won't be poor, that's almost for sure. Your base salary as a first year doctor is around $45000 per year, excluding overtime. You will earn on average $8000 in overtime, thus resulting in a net pay of $53000 in your first year out. It's a tidy sum, for sure. You will be given a membership with the Australian Medical Association of Australia (AMA), which in itself gives you some very nice perks. Such as? Well, all AMA get 10?ff Volkswagen and Audi cars. Nice? I think so. And that's just to name a few of the perks! But what of fame, you may ask ... Well, the fame is not something necessarily that everyone knows. But you will be famous to the people you treat. You will be famous in the eyes of a family of whom you saved a life. You will be famous to the parents of the child you delivered. You will be famous in the eyes of the family whose elderly grandfather you made comfortable in his last moments. This is the fame you will have.
~ The reality after work?
Right, so you finish work ... what then? Some days I feel absolutely busted. On some of the weekends I work from 8 AM till 10 PM - a 14 hour shift! My parents and girlfriend think its nuts, but it's a job that has to be done, unfortunately. Those days I come home and ... well, sleep. Ha ha. Nothing much to say about that. But I also work normal 8 hour days - and those ones I get to come home and relax, spend time with my family and loved ones. Other times I don't get to see them at all - I get those when I work night shift. I start work at 8 PM, and finish work at 9 AM. I get back, and everyone has gone off to work / school. Then I sleep. I wake up, have dinner, and go back to work. Sure is stressful to do that after awhile, though. But your schedule rotates, so you're never stuck doing any one thing for too long. Let's face it - there will be tough times, and good times.
~ Emo, or emotional? Str, or stresses?
Let's face it - dealing with peoples lives is stressful. There will be times when you feel like crying from the burden of having peoples lives in your hands. There will be times when you have no idea what to do, and someone will lie there in a bed, slowly fading away. It sucks - you can't save everyones life. And you will sit there and cry. I know I've felt that way. I've come close to breaking down in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the emergency department, but I've had to stop because I still had patients to see. But if there's one thing that helped me, was the fact that I could come home and just talk it out with my girlfriend. And yes, that's when I cried. Emo? I'd hope not. You'll have to find someone you can support you, and you have to be willing to not pent up your feelings. Cause that's what will be the end of you.
~ So the honest to goodness answer?
I love my job. I wouldn't trade it for anything else. Sure, I've had many a moment where I wish my job was less ... responsible. After all, I deal with people's lives on a daily basis. But the best reward is when you know that you've helped yet another person. And remember - there's many a perk here and there!! Medicine can be as much and as little as you want it to be - it's a field where you can call the shots. I hope this helps ... and I hope this motivates you to work even harder to pursue your dream of becoming a doctor!
Stay cool - Dr 10
Answered By: Dr 10 - 5/20/2008