Before You Choose Medicine
We all have been to the doctor, that’s for sure. They are the people who give us lollies if we behave, who give us the the coolest bandaids but always betray us with a vaccine. All of us can in some way or another be grateful to a doctor. They are the ones that so many times brought hope into our worst situations, giving their best so that we could be at our best.
Even though, in most cases, your only encounter with doctors might have been at the hospital, I had the honour of living with two of them. Both, my mom and dad worked in the medicine field. To be specific, they both dedicated their lives to physiotherapy and traumatology.
Just to give you a bit of perspective, I must say that they both worked at home. My house growing up was a Clinic.
I remember everyday, how my parents would wake up at 5 am for a 6 am start. People would be lining up at the white front gates of my house and once in, the flow of patients would be constant until 9 in the afternoon.
You need to understand this was not in any country either. We lived in Paraguay south America, and my parents’ profession was not and still isn’t as common in the country.
Because of this, people would come from all over the country, from different cities and sometimes even from overseas to be able to be treated.
I was always surprised by how many names my parents could remember; “Here comes Mr. Rodriguez!” or “How is that knee going Mrs. Angela?” They would never forget a face and they would never forget a story.
So for all you who are thinking of entering the Medical field, studying to be a nurse, or graduating from Med School, I thought I would share some thoughts of what you should consider before entering this rewarding world of sacrifice and service.
1. Know that your pay will never seem enough but you will always be satisfied.
The hours doctors spend in helping others is really not equivalent to the money they earn. Listening to people complain, cry, talk and simply tell you how much of their body did NOT get better with the treatment is something that will probably take you out of your nerves.
If you are only considering this pathway because of the amount of money you will earn, make sure you do not fill out that enrolment paper, because it will not be a wise decision.
Whatever you choose to dedicate your life to, should be something you are passionate about and something you are willing to invest your time/ energy/ effort in.
I can surely tell you that no matter how tired you are, there is no greater satisfaction than being a part of someone’s recovery/healing.
2. Consider that apart from a Doctor, you will have to play the role of a psychologist, friend, and support.
Medicine is not all about having an answer for every disease, doctors also help their patients emotionally to overcome their health challenges, and this is a weight that if you want to follow this path, you should be willing to carry.
One of the best stories my mom used to tell me was when a paralysed man came home for treatment. He had a fight with another person and got shot in a way that he could not walk anymore.
“Your case is extremely delicate, and we will do our best to help you recover but we will also have to place our faith in God and there is one thing I want you to work on as we start with the physiotherapy” my mom told him.
“What is this?” He asked, puzzled.
“You need to let go of all the anger you have against the person who shot you, it will be hard, and it is a process but I want you to recover not only on the outside but also on the inside. I want you to be free and forgive the shooter” she said.
Days, weeks and almost a month passed by ,when in every single session, the guy and his family will work for his recovery. Until finally the day came when he forgave the person, when he started to give his first steps and when he could finally walk again.
Remember they are not only clients, because you are not selling a product, but providing a service.
3.Understand that your life will be a constant sacrifice.
Doctors are known for earning good money, sure it has crossed your mind that you would grow older owning at least two cars and living in a glass minimalist mansion. Well, it might happen, but never let this be the motivation why you choose the career.
In reality, at some point in life you will spend more hours at the hospital than at home, you will see more of you colleagues than your own family and you will have more trips to health conferences than holidays.
You will definitely spend most of your time and energy on your patients.
You will sacrifice nights of sleep because of that night shift that you need to cover, you will sacrifice your privacy if you decide to work from home, you will sacrifice dressing up stylish because white will be your new colour, all in all you will constantly sacrifice for others.
4. If you really want it, go for it.
Give your 100% to it. If you are in, give it your best.
This world really needs people who would be willing to help others no matter the price.
Study hard, work hard, be the best doctor you can be and when you encounter challenges ,remember why you chose Medicine in the first place and allow your strength to recover.
“Medicine is not only a science; it is also an art. It does not consist of compounding pills and plasters; it deals with the very processes of life, which must be understood before they may be guided”.
Good luck! And hope you make the best decision.