I Don't Just Want To Be A Doctor Because It 'Pays Well'

Medicine is a beautiful thing. New inventions and discoveries have improved the power of medical care immensely over the centuries and the progress is never-ending. Most of us observe these successes from afar, but some of us want to do more than just watch.

How amazing would it be to not only exist during these amazing milestones of medicine but also be a part of it? There are a variety of components of what goes into the creation of a medical miracle so no matter what career you choose, you are a part of something so much bigger! However, I have noticed that many of my peers tend to be interested in the medical field for different reasons.

Unfortunately, a large number of people I have talked to have told me that their main reason to wanting to be a doctor is because it "pays well."

While that is true in some cases, I am always disappointed to hear that. Another reason that I hear often involves the prestige that the job could have, or simply just the title. I estimate that about 90% of the time, nobody's first reason has anything to do with wanting to help people. Yes, eventually they may bring it up in the conversation but not until much later. Or, sometimes I hear the reason that goes something like, "Oh my parents want me to, so that's why I'm doing pre-med." I am aware that people are in a position where they may feel pressured to be a doctor, and that deeply saddens me. Children should never be forced into a career field that they are not interested in. Not only will it make them unhappy, but it may result in a doctor who does not feel passionate about what they do, and that is just as bad.

I believe passion is the driving force and the key to wanting to be involved with any career in medicine. Money, influence, or prestige should never be your reasons for wanting to be a doctor. If you are not willing to treat someone for free, you don't want to be a doctor. Money should be the absolute last reason for wanting to be involved in a career like this. Doctors I have talked to and have been mentored by over the years have told me the same thing. I have been wanting to be a doctor ever since I could remember and the one thing they always remind me is to never let my passion to die, and if it does, you are more in love with the thought of being a doctor. They also remind me that when I receive my white coat, I am no better than the person standing next to me.

I am lucky to know doctors that have given me this advice and who are as humble and selfless as we want all doctors to be. I hope that when I become a doctor I can inspire, teach, and mentor; even if it is one person to want a career in the medical field for the sole purpose of wanting to help people.

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