Working hours, aspiring to be like a senior medical practitioner, or potential earnings are some of the reasons why most medical students choose a specialty. On the surface, these seem like valid considerations to give your attention to when you’re charting your career path. But in reality, if these are your only reasons to choose a specialty, you’ll likely regret your decisions down the road.
The main reason so many medical students make bad specialty choices is that they make this decision in their twenties. At such a young age, medical students still don’t have the full picture of what it means to be in the medical field. A twenty-something-year-old might think they’re so wise when in reality, they’re acting out of shortsightedness. There’s no denying that students are well-informed, but sometimes, one might lack the knowledge they need to make a prudent choice.
What’s more, young adults who are just getting a feel of what it means to be responsible is not yet mature enough and have not gained enough world perspective to make future proof decisions. While they understand that a career is something you’re supposed to pursue the remainder of your life, they might not fully comprehend what that entails. So as you find out, “who will do my homework for me?” put some thought into the specialty you want to spend the rest of your life perfecting. Meanwhile, you can continue reading this article to learn the mistakes to avoid when choosing a specialty.
Going for the Money and Status
Since many students take themselves through medical school with student loans, it’s natural for a student to go for a specialty because of the money. And truth be told, most people love the idea of being revered in society, so it’s not surprising that even medical students want a career that gives them status.
Both money and status are practical reasons for choosing a career because everyone strives to earn a good living. However, as you’ve already heard people say, money is not the key to happiness. It might buy you the luxuries you need to make your life much more comfortable, but you won’t be happy because of the material things you can access.
Think for a second, what it means to pursue the same career for the rest of your life. Don’t you agree that it has got to be something you’re passionate about and love doing? So if you decide to be a plastic surgeon because of the big bucks, what happens when the money in your bank account no longer fulfills you? If you don’t pay attention to patients’ needs because your heart is no longer in the specialty you chose, you put their lives at risk.
Instead of looking at your career as the opportunity to get a big home and a fancy car, approach it as an opportunity to make a difference in the world. When your heart is in the right place, the money and the vacations will come.
Focusing on the Working Hours
Some students aspire to earn easy money once they graduate. So they look for a specialty with the least number of working hours per week. Well, if you want to be fulfilled by life, you’ve got to strive for challenges because when something is easy, you don’t get the opportunity to explore your strengths and sharpen your weaknesses.
In the beginning, landing a job with few working hours will feel like you’ve hit the jackpot. But over time, the idleness and non-activity will make you feel numb and useless. You’re better off in a field that requires you to use the knowledge you gained in college to solve problems and save people’s lives.
Another thing to remember if easy working hours is your focus is, there’s no such thing as short working hours in the medical field. Regardless of where you end up, you’ll be required to put patients’ needs first, so that means being there when a patient needs you.
This, however, is not to say that medical practitioners are overworked. Like any other professionals, they need their rest. Otherwise, they’ll burn out and won’t be able to do their job. So, in essence, working hours is a trivial factor that you shouldn’t even be considering as you choose your specialty.
You Want to be in the Same Field as Your Mentor
On face level, aspiring to be like senior medical practitioners you look up to looks like such a noble idea. In reality, it’s actually a very bad idea because it means you’ll be completely ignoring what you truly want. And, you’re only of service to patients when you’re in a field that allows you to come alive.
While it’s a great idea to look up to physicians who are doing well in their field, the last thing it should inspire is the need to be their carbon copy. Instead, you should be inspired by them to run your own race and be as good as them in a field that suits you.
As a medical student, working hours or how much money you’re likely to make in a given career path should have very little to do with why you choose to study this course in the first place. I’m sure if you think back to when you decided to do the course you’re now almost completing, your outlook on your career path was totally different. So focus on your strengths and passions to guide you into the right career path.
Hope this article proves to be helpful to you.
Best of luck!
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