Sunday, June 19, 2005

Should I become a doctor ?

I am now a fairly "senior" physician, and lots of youngsters come to me asking for career advise. Since I am a successful doctor, they often ask, " Should I become a doctor ? " This is always a very difficult question to answer. While I am very happy with my career choice and the way my life has evolved, I also understand that a lot of what happened to me is because of luck and external circumstances, over which I had little control. Many of my peers are much more hard working than I am, but they are unhappy and discontented with the medical profession.
I also believe that everyone should make their own choices for themselves - after all, you need to live with the consequences of this decision. This is why I never tell people ( students or patients ! ) what to do - I just try to provide them with guidance so they can make their own decisions. I usually tell them that I am happy, but times are changing, and the practise of medicine is likely to be very different 10 years down the road. While good doctors will always do well, there may be much less autonomy and much more paperwork in the future !
The good news is there are many more options available today than there were a gneration ago. The best advise I can give is that they should explore all of these with an open mind; and to invest in a good book on Career Counselling , such as "What Colour is Your Parachute" by Richard Bolles.


  1. Anonymous11:58 PM

    Dr. Aniruddha,
    I'm currently preparing myself to leave a very successful career in Computer Science and Engineering to go back to school to prepare for med-school. I believe that this is my true calling.

    I want to be a doctor because despite my educational and career choices I can't seem to shake my obsessive curiosity of how the human body works. Wanting to be able to help sick people is also a strong motivation, but of course there are lots of way to satisfy both of these desires without becoming a doctor. With that said, I feel that becoming a doctor will allow all of my true talents and capabilities (intelligence, problem solving, compassion, desire to help people, curiosity of how the body works...) to come together in a way that would both be personally fulfilling as well as maximizing my contribution to others.

    However, I still want to make sure that my motives are properly aligned. What other questions should one ask of him/herself to determine if medicine is the right path for them?


  2. Anonymous11:58 PM

    hi, as I read this comment, I felt that it echoes my sentiments. I am in a similar situation also, having the interest in human biology and has worked for some time in another field. I am also considering medical school.
    So John, are you in medical school now?
    And Dr Aniruddha, can you share with us some advice as to what other things we should consider before we commit to medicine?

  3. Anonymous3:04 AM

    Hello Dr. Aniruddha,
    I'm going to be an undergrad sophomore next year, and during the last semester I have changed and have set my mind on medical school. What I don't know is if I should choose a biological science major or I should choose biochemistry. I don't know which one aids more in taking the MCAT and taking later on classes in med school.
    I would really appreciate it if you can answer my question or give me any insight about majors.Thanks!


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