Why do you want to become a doctor by doing MBBS? If I ask you this question, what would you say?
This is one of the most worrisome questions to answer for most premed students, yet it is also the most important question to answer convincingly. In fact, if you don’t answer this question well, you have to think again and answer before starting to prepare for NEET.
Being a medical doctor is really great. It’s stimulating and interesting. Medical doctors have a significant degree of autonomy over their schedules and time. Medical doctors know that they get to help people solve problems every single day. Medical doctors get to witness humanity at its very best and very worst. It is one of the best professions ever.
We gathered stories from doctors across the India about what drove them to pursue their calling in medicine. Their responses revealed what makes their daily work worth the effort. According to these doctors, the rewards outweigh the obstacles , both on a personal and professional level.
#TO SAVE LIVES IN UNEXPECTED EMERGENCIES
Those words feel incommensurate to the passion and drive that most doctors and physicians have for their work. But, KGMU third-year medical student Adwit Jain, that is the simple truth behind his decision to pursue a career in emergency medicine.
On June 22, 2017, Jain was on a flight to Bangalore, ready to begin clinical rotations . Approximately an hour into his flight, another passenger went into cardiac arrest.
With experience in paramedics, recognized the signs: The passenger was cool, pale, sweating heavily, experiencing agonal respirations and had no pulse. quickly began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and assisted ventilation. He continued this for approximately eight minutes and ultimately brought the passenger back to an alert state with a strong pulse.
“To be able to help is very rewarding.”
Before this experience, he was strongly considering entering family medicine, leaving his days of emergency care behind him.
“I had thought about going into family medicine because you develop closer relationships with patients, but I think I thrive in emergency medicine,” Adwit says. “I do love that type of environment, and this taught me this is maybe where I’m needed most.”
#TO EMPOWER PATIENTS TO TAKE CONTROL OF THEIR HEALTH
With medical information ubiquitous on the internet, it is easy for people to do a symptom check online and attempt to self-diagnose, bypassing professional medical consultations altogether. Medical care professionals will warn patients of the dangers of online self-diagnosis. But some also see it as proof that people are eager to be educated and empowered to take responsibility for their own health.
“There’s so much opportunity now to help patients help themselves,” says Dr. Rahila Khan, a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon based in Assam.
She believes the vast amount of information available to her and her patients simply represents opportunity.
“I use handouts, draw pictures, and use my blog to teach patients about their conditions so that they better understand and can help themselves throughout the long haul of life,” Dr. Khan explains.
Ultimately, her job is not just to diagnose. It is to position people to think about their health in a proactive manner and take control of their decisions so they can live life to the fullest. She knows that it isn’t always easy, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Every day presents a new set of challenges, with each patient like a surprise behind the door to the exam room,” Dr. Khan says. “Try to think of another career like that.”
#TO PLAY A CRITICAL ROLE IN A GROWING FIELD
When discussing the appeal of becoming a doctor, it is easy to focus solely on the passion that drives them. But, the decade-long investment in education, the long hours working nights and weekends and the stress of handling patients during times of duress can leave even passionate doctors wondering if the job itself is worth the investment.
As an attending anaesthesiologist in private practice in Rajasthan, Dr. Manju Pareek spends her career helping patients have safe and successful surgeries in the operating room. While she, too, can cite passion as a driving force in her practice, she also has a sense of pride in her specialized role.
“At the end of the day, I feel I have been a critical member of the health care delivery team in a measurable way,” Dr. Pareek says. She goes on to explain that anaesthesiology is a very technical specialty. She takes part in procedures such as epidurals and spinals, and places invasive monitors, including central lines, pulmonary artery catheters, and arterial lines.
“At the end of the day, I feel I have been a critical member of the health care delivery team in a measurable way.”
Job security may not be one of the primary reasons people pursue a career in medicine, but it does factor into the decision for some. “While there are other ways to earn a living, I feel medicine is a secure career path that can’t easily be automated or outsourced,” Dr. Pareek says. Being focused in a niche area has also given her confidence she’ll enjoy long-term engagement in her field.
The opportunities to innovate keep her learning and advancing every day. “I have used my understanding of anaesthesia and topical anaesthetics to create a beauty product to numb the skin before painful beauty procedures,” she shares. She’s enjoyed the opportunity to leverage her medical expertise to be creative and entrepreneurial as well.
Despite the undeniable challenges, there are distinct rewards to pursuing a career in the field of medicine. Becoming a doctor means surrounding yourself with passionate, talented people who have committed their lives to a greater purpose.
So why do you want to become a doctor? As you’ve seen above, everyone has a different motivation. But as long as you remain persistent and passionate about your goal, you can overcome the obstacles and fulfil your purpose in life.