Is superficial idea of a doctor in a white coat, grinning, and ‘promising’ they can do anything stems from the movies for you? Being a doctor has been glamorized so much that people forget the work that goes behind it. Studying medicine for years, sleepless nights, exam stress, years of hard work, and probably student loan debts – this is what eventually makes a doctor.
As a medical student, you would understand since you must be dealing with at least a few of these things already. However, this process of becoming a doctor can be daunting and you might question at times: “Is it even worth being a doctor?” Or why become a doctor? But even in such situations, it is that dream of yours—to one day wear a white coat and tell your patients with a sparkling smile that things are getting better— that will help you keep going.
Fulfilling your dream of becoming a great doctor is that strand of motivation that will always be there for you, but you still deserve to know if being a doctor is worth it after all this hard work. Let’s hear what experienced doctors have to say about “why did you choose to become a doctor?”
“Honestly, I always questioned while studying: ‘Is it worth becoming a doctor?’ I won’t lie but it can get a little demotivating when you have long shifts, especially during training and the pay scale is not up to the mark. But eventually, it all comes down to your passion.
Being a doctor is not a profession, it is a responsibility. So you need to look at things differently and then decide for yourself. In my case, it was absolutely worth it, even after 13 years of working, it never feels enough!” – Dr. Sarita Bana, Gynecologist
“I’d like to start by saying ‘Yes! It is worth it.’ If you have dreamt of it then go for it. Good days and bad days are a part of life but the result both of them give is fruitful in the end. Things like respect, financial stability, and status all come together when you give your best in the field but one thing that makes it all worthwhile is the satisfaction that comes with it.
The satisfaction of ‘helping’ and most importantly the satisfaction of making a difference. Don’t run away from this journey over some minor inconvenience (chuckles) because you’ll miss out on the frolic experiences.” – Dr. S.Bharti, Ophthalmologist
Hope these experiences shared by doctors add some good perspective to help you in finding the answers you are looking for!
Why become a doctor?
Well, you need to ask a few more questions before you can jump to getting a solution to this one. These questions will also help you find reasons for why to become a doctor.
Are you passionate enough?
Is it just the idea of being a doctor that fascinates you or you are really passionate about it? You need to know the answer to this question first because a doctor is never off the clock and when it comes to patient care, work-life balance is always a second priority for them.
When you become a doctor you will be responsible for the healthcare of many people out there and need to be available for them because they will be dependent on you to get better. “It is a responsibility; sometimes it is also overwhelming but this is what I always wanted to do. So, it’s worth it”, says Dr. Sarita Bana.
Your passion is going to fuel you to work for your goal. Lack of passion will only make you question more. So figure out if you see yourself treating people 10 years down the road.
Are you in it just for job security, respect, and money?
Who doesn’t look for all of it? The hardships you face during medical school eventually yield results in the form of a safe job, respect from the community, and a good paycheck. Practically speaking, these are a few important things that one needs in life, and becoming a doctor comes with it all.
However, just chasing job security, respect, and money shouldn’t be the only reason for pursuing a career in medicine. Because medicine is about much more than that. It’s more about healing the suffering, bringing people back to life, and saving lives. If you don’t feel that purpose within, it would be hard to keep going with the ruthless working hours and challenges that the medical profession brings. To keep going as a medical student and as a doctor, you need that power of purpose that goes far beyond any job security, respect, and money.
Do you want to contribute to the world?
The world needs doctors and COVID-19 proved that well. A WHO report clearly states the shortage of doctors, as well as the helping staff. And the difference is only increasing with time. The day might come soon when having access to doctors will become a luxury. If you want to serve a greater purpose then being a doctor is definitely your calling.
Is becoming a doctor worth it?
After having answers to the above-given questions you will have the answer to this one as well. Other than the aforementioned reasons, you might have a personal reason that makes you wanna become a doctor. Medicine is a vast field that offers plenty of opportunities, but to access those opportunities you have to put in a lot of hard work and dedication.
It is a tough decision to study medicine. The pressure is intimidating and the competition is cutting edge. A combination of passion, hard work, dedication, and self-motivation will help you in the long run while pursuing medicine for becoming a good doctor. Once you decide to become a doctor, leave behind the dilemma of ‘why should I become a doctor,’ and work for your dream day and night. You will have incredible life and learning experiences throughout the journey and in the end, it will be worth it!
“This dilemma and self-doubt come when the hard days start showing. Don’t let them fool you. Being a doctor is worth it for all the sentimental as well as practical reasons.” – Dr. Sarita Bana