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Why Do Doctors Discourage Others From Pursuing Medicine?

Discussion in 'Doctors Cafe' started by Nada El Garhy, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. Nada El Garhy

    Nada El Garhy Golden Member

    May 23, 2016
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    Practicing medicine in:

    Why do disgruntled doctors discourage others from pursuing medicine despite the fact that they were like any other pre-med who had the desire to become a doctor? Why the self-backlash and subconscious hypocrisy?

    This question was originally posted on Quora and was answered by: Kunwar bir Singh, Doctor

    Act 1

    We had a group of High school students attached to our clinic. These students were interested in becoming doctors & wanted to look good on their applications to the medical schools by boasting of the observership they had done in a primary care setting.

    I was having an informal discussion with one of them.

    Me- So why do you want to do Medicine.

    S-The answer to this should be .. Medicine is a very nobel profession. I am very passionate about doing good for the people & I want to help them…..

    Me- Ya, I know, that is what you write on the application, but why do you really want to become doctor, this is not your medical school interview board.

    S- Well… mmmm, i think that is the reason I want to become a doctor.

    Me- So your parents want you to become doctors

    S- No, its not just my parents but I also want to become a doctor.

    Me - OK


    Act 2

    in the clinic pharmacy, the retail counter staff approaches me.

    R- Hi Doc, This is G, our new part time staff, just given A levls, he wants to be a doctor.

    Me- That is nice. Hi G, So why you want to be a doctor

    G- I heard it is goo money & doctors are cool.

    Me- So what else do you know about doctors.

    G- Well, nothing much.

    Me- Ok.


    The scenarios above are not exhaustive, but is a good indication of what happens usually.

    In short most of them are not ready for the harsh realities which face them. So i feel morally obligated to show them the true picture.

    I have never actively discouraged anybody from entering medicine.

    By the time, somebody informs me they have already made a decision that they want to be doctors. any discouragement on my part is not going to change the decision which they have made.

    So I just want to make them aware of the following

    It is not a glamorous job as shown in movies & TV. Many doctors do not have any friends outside of the profession as they do not have any time to meet & catch up friends & relatives.

    Working on sundays & weekends is a concept which is alien to half the world especially if they have never worked in Sales or hospitality.

    I have had more than a few relatives who were surprised when they came to know that Doctors also need to work on Sundays & public holidays.

    “ Matlab 15 August ki Bhi chhutti nahin hai?”

    Meaning- Even 15th August ( Indian Independence Day) is also working day?

    It is no surprise, doctors end up marrying doctors.

    Herculean effort is needed just be an average Doctor- Amount of effort put by an average doctor to pass the exam can only be compared to the toughest MBA courses. Just need to know the fact that instead of 3 years, the effort needed may be extended to 10 years & most likely you would end up being an average doctor in a average hospital.

    If you want to earn money, be an investment banker, or a stock trader or even a Lawyer. Doctors Salaries have stagnated in many parts of the world & sliding down as compared to many other professions.

    You want to serve Humanity- When you become a doctor, you are treated like a service provider, & the only people you serve are patients, that too one at a time.

    It is a Nobel profession—- Rather it was a Nobel profession. Now you are just a service provider who is supposed to adhere to the principles of customer is always right & keeping them happy, although you know that happiness & medical management do not always go hand in hand.

    Now a bit about the Mental health of Doctors (Source Physician and Medical Student Suicide Prevention )

    • The suicide rate among male physicians is 1.41 times higher in males & 2.27 times higher in females.
    • Physicians who commit suicide are less likely to have received mental health as compared to general population.
    • 28% ( around 1- 3.5) doctors will have a major depressive episode during residency training as compared to 7–8% ( less than 1 in 10 ) in general population.
    • Reasons for Burnout & depression workload, work inefficiency, lack of autonomy and meaning in work, and work-home conflict.
    It is a thankless profession, yes you feel satisfied when a pt improves and thanks you, but it is overshadowed by plethora of darkness all around.

    Globally Doctors are being targeted by politicians as easy scapegoats to hide the faults of the system. whether it is the US, UK or India. They are being blamed for the ills of the system when they were not the ones who created the monster. Yes they accepted to be a part of it & work in it, but the reasons were initially nobel. Now they are being labelled as greedy bloodhounds.


    I entered Medicine by default.

    I India, after you finish the Class X exam, if you are good in studies, you choose Sciences & then start preparing for Medical or engineering entrance.

    I belong to a middle class family & becoming a doctor was considered a ticket to prosperity. Yes , the dream came true, but what cost.

    Were we prepared for it? Most likely not.

    It was a shocker after I finished my MBBS & then I realised that most of my school friends were earning decent salaries & I was still studying for the PG entrance exams to secure an MD seat.

    Yes I knew it would happen but none of family was ready for it. My brother 3 year younger to me, a chemical engineer was doing Phd In USA, full scholarship & I was still dependent on my parents as I was still studying to prepare for more studies to come.

    And I was not alone.

    Many of batch mates realised that Medicine was not what they wanted to do & one of them was from a family of Doctors( his both parents were doctors). He joined Civil Services.

    Of the 180 batch mates who entered the college with me, more than 20 are now working in either Non Medical fields, ( there is a guy who is financial analyst in a some big brokerage firm & comes regularly on TV to give stock tips of the day ). A significant number is working in pharmaceutical companies, not in research or development but in other fields like marketing, strategy, training, etc.


    Yes there are moments of satisfaction & bliss when you are working with the patients,

    Yes, sometimes you feel you took the right decision.

    Yes, sometimes you feel you are on the right path.

    But then I wish, if somebody would have prepared me for all this when i was still young.

    May be I would have made the same choice again, but I would have been well prepared.

    So when I tell a budding doctor about all these things, I am not discouraging them, I am just preparing them for the long fight ahead. Just getting them ready for the real life.

    Welcome to the world of Doctors

    This question was also answered by Olivia Newan, pre-med

    My mom (ICU RN) and Dad (30 year practicing physician now) said this out of love.

    It’s a thankless profession proportional to what you give up to do it. It’s basically like what teachers go through on maximal steroids.

    I ended up picking the path, though, and some days I am like WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF.

    Like today. I took the MCAT. The first section I got frazzled and pretty much ran out of time. It feels like I’ve studied over 1,000 hours for this goddamn test. It is so frustrating. And here I am just feeling like I’m begging people to admit me to medical school. I’ve got a LOT of hard work in front of me still if this MCAT thing works out (I need at least 80th %-ile across all sections).

    I like to quote a show on Amazon called The Marvelous Miss Maisel. She’s a comedienne in the 50’s, and talking to a guy who is also a comedian. She asks him if he loves his job as she’s bailing him out from jail.

    He says, “If I could do any other job in the world, then I would. If I could sit at a desk and be an accountant and be happy, I would. Comedy is a terrible job. It should never have been invented. It should not exist. ”

    He turns to walk away.

    She yells after him, “But no, that’s not what I asked. I asked if you loved it.”

    He turns around, looks at her, does a huge shrug and a goofy smile and walks off.

    She says to herself, “Yeah. He loves it.”

    So it is with medicine.

    I have seriously tried at least a dozen other careers. I kept coming back to the lab. I kept coming back to medicine.

    Seriously. I was a philosophy major in college — you think I thought I’d be doing this?!



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  2. Dr . Muhammad Sabtain

    Dr . Muhammad Sabtain Young Member

    May 7, 2018
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    Practicing medicine in:
    It is tough, job
    Needs more work
    Less sleep ,busy schedule
    More study then normal courses
    More working hours in Pakistan
    You have often no time for your family
    You are often machine with no feeling's

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