Whilst there are many good reasons to go to medical school and become a doctor, a career in medicine isn’t for everyone. The demands of becoming a doctor are intense, both in terms of the amount of learning in medical school that is required and the long hours once you are actually practicing. If you’re not motivated and enthusiastic, it can be easy to become unhappy in your job.
Top 5 reasons to not become a doctor.
1. If you have the wrong personality type
Being a rigid thinker, being unable to handle stressful situations, being impatient or being very low in empathy are all traits that are not ideal in this line of work since you’ll be dealing with a range of different people and situations.
Empathy and patience are especially important when caring for and treating patients in the hospital, good communication skills are a must, especially for elderly patients.
If you’re not a determined and hard-working person, getting through medical school might be a challenge, and even after medical school, the role of a doctor can be challenging at times.
Emergency medicine can be especially stressful and might be suited more towards people that can cope well under pressure.
2. Student debt
Before you commit to a career in medicine, you should be aware of the significant financial investment involved. Medical school is notoriously expensive, and the average graduate leaves school with nearly $200,000 in debt. If you’re not prepared to shoulder that kind of burden, becoming a doctor may not be the right choice for you.
Of course, there are some ways to offset the cost of medical school. You can apply for scholarships or take out federal loans, but even with assistance, you’re likely to end up owing a substantial amount of money. So, if you’re considering a career in medicine, make sure you’re prepared to take on a sizable debt load. Otherwise, you may find yourself struggling financially for years to come.
3. If you prefer to leave work at work.
In most cases, physicians are expected to be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That means they have to be available to see patients at all hours of the day and night. Even when they’re not working, many doctors may be on call in case of an emergency. As a result, most doctors have very little time for leisure activities or even for their families.
Unfortunately, there’s no getting around the fact that having a work-life balance is not easy as a doctor. If you’re looking for a job that will give you a lot of free time, becoming a doctor is probably not the best choice.
4. If you’re only in it for the money
Becoming a doctor is a huge commitment. It requires years of schooling, long hours, and a significant financial investment. For all of these reasons, it’s important to make sure that the motivating factor that drives you to become a doctor is something that will sustain you through the challenges of medical school and beyond.
For some people, the primary motivator is patient care and the desire to help others. If you’re driven by a passion to make a difference in the lives of your patients, then becoming a doctor is probably the right choice for you. However, if your sole motivator is simply making money, becoming a doctor might not be the best career choice.
People assume that a doctor’s salary makes it worth it to become a doctor. While many doctors do earn a good salary, there are other professions that offer comparable earnings with less demanding work schedules. So, if you’re motivated primarily by money, becoming a doctor might not be the best fit for you.
Related Article: Reasons to be a doctor
5. Becoming a doctor is not easy
Step 1: Studying for the MCAT
Starting medical school and becoming a physician begins with the Medical College Admissions Test or MCAT. Med students often find the MCAT to be one of the most difficult and stressful tests of the premed process. However, with proper preparation and a positive attitude, the MCAT can be a manageable challenge.
Step 2: 4+ years of studying at medical school
Medical school is one of the most challenging academic programs out there. Not only do students have to contend with a rigorous curriculum, but they also have to deal with the pressures of working in a highly competitive field. Don’t go to medical school if all you want to do is party and have fun.
Step 3: Training after medical school
After four years of med school, there are still more steps that need to be taken before you can hang your shingle and start seeing patients. First, you have to complete a residency, which is a period of hands-on training in a particular specialty. Residencies can last anywhere from three to seven years, depending on the field you’re going into.
After that, some physicians choose to do a fellowship, which is an additional period of medical training in a specific area. Fellowships can last from one to three years. So all told, it can take up to 14 years of education and training before you’re ready to start practicing medicine! But it’s all worth it in the end when you get to help people every day.
6. Excess of administrative work
Many people overlook the enormous amount of work that goes into the medical field, not to mention the continuous learning and development that is required whilst working. If you’re looking for an easy 9-to-5 job this field is definitely not suited for you.
7. Problematic insurance companies
It’s no secret that our healthcare system is far from perfect. One of the major problems is the way insurance companies dictate the care that patients receive. More and more, insurance companies are refusing to pay for certain treatments or procedures, regardless of whether or not they are medically necessary. As a result, doctors are increasingly forced to make decisions based on what the insurance company is willing to pay for, rather than what is best for the patient. This is clearly a broken system that needs to be fixed. Patients should be able to receive the care they need, without insurance companies dictating the terms.
Many doctors feel like they are not making enough money because they are still paying off debt and spending a lot on malpractice insurance. And, malpractice insurance can cost upwards of $100,000 per year. As a result, many doctors feel like they are just treading water financially. They are not able to save for retirement or make other long-term financial plans. However, there are some steps that doctors can take to improve their financial situation. For example, they can negotiate their malpractice insurance rates or look for ways to pay off their debt more quickly. By taking these steps, doctors can start to gain control of their finances and build a solid financial future.
Every day, doctors save lives and help people get better. It takes a special kind of person to become a doctor. They need to have the strength to work consistently for years, the ability to deal with success and failure alike, and the single-minded focus on becoming great in their chosen field. After students have completed college and medical school, they should consider the type of role that is best suited to their strengths. For example family medicine is an extremely challenging field, and may not be suitable for everyone. Potential medical students should carefully consider if they can make it through medical school without being in too much debt.
Doctors and healthcare professionals spend years studying the human body, doing clinical research, and implementing new procedures. Given the enormous amount of work, sacrifice and perseverance required, it’s no wonder that the medical field is often considered the most challenging career. However, those who are really passionate about helping others should consider pursuing medicine because the rewards of the medical career path far outweigh the challenges.