Is a Career in Medicine Right for You?
Choosing your career is one of the most important decisions that you will ever make. When asked why they chose to pursue medicine, most physicians respond that they wanted to make a difference by helping people and positively impacting their lives through health care.
Serving others as a physician is a noble and challenging way to invest your intellect, skills, and passion in a demanding and rewarding profession.
Questions to Ask When Considering a Career in Medicine
What types of physicians are needed?
While all types of physicians are needed to care for the health of the public, primary care physicians are crucial, especially in underserved areas. A health care system built upon an adequate supply of primary care physicians is shown to improve health outcomes and reduce costs.
The Affordable Care Act, now health care law in the United States, reinforces the need for primary care physicians through the implementation of measures that:
- Increase patient access to health care insurance coverage
- Incentivize preventive health care and align health care provider payments with patient health outcomes
Family physicians provide more primary care than any other medical specialty in the United States, and the need for family physicians continues to grow.
Is a career in medicine right for me?
A career in medicine is a career of:
- Service — The profession of medicine requires a unique commitment to put the service of others first.
- Knowledge — Physicians are lifelong learners, always acquiring new skills and learning new information.
- Teamwork — Physicians must be effective communicators and collaborative problem solvers.
- Contribution — A physician impacts the lives of individuals, families, and communities.
- Flexibility — There are many career options for physicians, ranging from primary care to research.
- Security — Physicians are in high demand, as health care needs continue to rise and evolve.
As you weigh your career options, take time to reflect upon how the opportunities, preferences, and talents you possess compare with the demands and benefits of a medical career. Here are some suggestions to help you get started.
Get to Know Yourself
Getting to know yourself — your goals, aptitudes, personality, interests, and values — is the best place to begin to answer this important question. Consider using personal insight tools such as these to gain clarity and persepective on yourself as a person, as well as potential careers.