I've written before about the downside of medicine, the limitations, why medicine is a crappy career for a mom, etc. I'm sort of getting the feeling y'all think I'm quite a Debbie Downer, and maybe I deserve that. I guess I just feel like so many people desperately want to go to med school and think of being a doctor as this amazing thing, so I'm just trying to keep it real (yo). I'm trying to honestly present the other side, because I don't think it's something people see a lot. People have thanked me for my honesty and told me that it's refreshing.
That said, there are a lot of great things about being a doctor. I mean, DUH. Still, I feel it needs to be said on this blog. So I'm going to slip from character and write a really positive post about some things I genuinely love about medicine:
1) There are few greater feelings in the world than when a patient profusely thanks you for helping them and changing their life. It happens more than you think.
2) The intellectual challenge of medicine is really fun, such as interpreting a tricky EMG (my fav) or trying to figure out the best way to treat a patient.
3) Being sick is really rough, and I love trying to be the compassionate person who treats my patients the way I hope to be treated in that situation.
4) I do get respect, sometimes more than I feel I deserve!
5) My kids are proud of me. My daughter thinks what I do is so neat. I got to give the doctor talk to her class one day and all the kids wrote me a thank you card.
6) I get to spend much of my day walking around and not crammed behind a desk.
7) This might not be true of everyone, but I love working with my hands, and medicine gives me tons of opportunities to do so.
8) The pay... well, it's pretty great. There, I said it.
9) Lots of job security in this economy.
10) A lot of physician jobs do give you the flexibility to work part-time. And because the compensation is so good, you can afford to work part-time.
11) There are so many options within medicine: you can be a teacher, you can do research, you can work with patients, you can be an administrator... or all of the above.
12) The privilege to get to do and see things that most people never get to do or see. I mean, I've seen an open heart surgery, dissected a dead body, counseled patients at the end of their life, administered life support, and I'm just a rehab doc. Seriously, how amazing is that?
13) The stories. I love a great story, and I love getting to know new patients and hear their stories. I feel like I could practically write a book about every single patient I meet. They're all fascinating in their own way. Especially in my field.
Just because I try to present the other side of a field that sometimes gets over-glorified, that absolutely doesn't mean I don't think being a doctor can be a rewarding career.
Tomorrow: Why having lots of money rocks.