As my good friend David Crawford often tells me, being a doctor is damn hard, it is in fact one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Despite the sheer volume of hard work and energy which a career like this requires, there are still thousands of people around the country who are signing up for med school with the dream of one day becoming a doctor. These doctors are signing up to make personal sacrifices, to invest massive amounts of time and energy into this career, and the question that I often ask David and some of our other friends who are working as doctors, is whether or not the career is worth it?
There are many aspects of being a doctor that many of us just don’t see. For example the divorce rate amongst doctors is the highest for any profession, a direct result of the amount of hours which they must spend at the hospital and the emotional change which they go through as a result of doing this job. Personal sacrifice is huge and I’ve heard stories of cancelled honeymoons, canceled best man positions and doctors who have all but missed the most important years of their children’s lives. There is also the emotional turmoil which inevitably comes with witnessing death and injury on a daily basis.
Doctors are the best paid profession in the country and it is true that there is huge earning potential in this job role. Something which many don’t realize however is that the big money really comes after the first 10 years in the career, and during those formative years the pay is really the same as teachers and fire officers receive. If you are prepared to stay the course and work your way up the career ladder then of course this is a career which is financially worth it.
The Reason Why It Is All Worthwhile
Every doctor who I have ever spoken to about this has told me that the career is absolutely worth it, regardless of the personal sacrifice and the problems that this job can create. It is not however the financial reward that is the reason behind why this is a job which they all considered to be worthwhile, but the personal reward which comes with knowing that they are providing one of the most important services to the community and the human race on the whole.
Whilst using a patient is of course sad, it is nothing compared with the joy and the pleasure of saving a child’s life, catching a disease early so that it can be cured or giving someone the use of their legs back after a catastrophic injury. The faces of the patients and the families of the patients in these situations are exactly why each and every doctor who I have spoken to, tells me that they wouldn’t swap their job for anything else in the world.