I cannot begin to tell you how often I have been asked if I wanted to be a doctor solely because of how much money I would be making. Because obviously, I want to spend my entire 20’s going to school, being in debt, living on ramen and not having a social life all because of the nice paycheck I will get when I am finally done with medical school, residency, and have established a job.
UMM no, that’s not why I am doing this.
Don’t get me wrong, the paycheck will be nice, but I wouldn’t put myself through all of this stress and emotional turmoil just because of the money. I wouldn’t spend countless hours studying for one test just to continue going to school for another four years.
I wouldn’t up and move to another city or state because it is the only medical school I got into. I wouldn’t spend four years of my life in undergrad, then another four years in medical school, and then another 3-5 years being a resident before I am actually practicing on my own as a doctor.
I wouldn’t be okay with not having a life if this was not what I wanted for my future.
I am one of many who has been asked the same question. But honestly, we wouldn’t go through all the trouble if we were only doing this for the paycheck.
I know for me personally, that I want to be a doctor because I want to save lives. It has been my dream since I was six-years-old when I would be putting band-aids on everyone and making people feel better. I have seen the difference having an amazing doctor makes in a hospital stay and in the care you receive.
I have worked in an emergency room and have learned more than I could have ever learned in a classroom. I have worked in a nursing home and have seen the difference in how the care they receive makes a difference in one’s health.
I have watched someone code and come back to life. I have seen doctors break the news to a family about their loved one’s condition. I have seen blood, broken bones, pulsing arteries, and yet, I still want to be a doctor more than anything. I have seen how many hours doctors put in, how they deal with patients, the charting, etc. I have been told by many doctors
that if I was even considering something else, that I should do that instead.
Despite it all, I still want to be a doctor. I still want to have the adrenaline rush of the incoming trauma or the sense of relief when my patient is “out of the woods” and is doing better than they were when they came in. I want to be able to look at someone’s family and tell them that their loved one is going to be okay.
That’s why doctors put themselves through the countless years of education, the shitty hours, and the sleep-deprived days of being on call. Because at the end of the day, they made the difference in someone’s life. That, to me, means way more than a paycheck ever will.