5 Serious Reasons Why Becoming a Doctor is No Longer Worth it!

male doctor and female assistant in clinic
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The historically prestigious and well-respected profession of practising medicine is showing signs of wear and tear – medicine and the healthcare system as a whole may need an overhaul.

But in the meantime, should you bother studying it?

Here are 5 reasons why becoming a doctor is no longer worth it.

Novelty and prestige no longer exist

The novelty of becoming a doctor and the prestige attached to the title no longer exists.

Sorry, that’s the truth of the matter.

Hopefully this fact will keep the wrong people from applying for the wrong reasons since the right people never really cared greatly about the prestige.

For more educationally oriented families and cultures, it may still be the case that traditionally sought-after degrees like medicine, engineering and STEM-related fields are looked upon more favourably than others.

This, however, isn’t the case in the increasingly changing modern world, where numerous alternative career and life options are available to people.

Indeed, the roless of “doctor” (physician) and “engineer” (inventor of things) will always be around.

However, there is now simply SO MUCH MORE OPPORTUNITY to pursue the most interesting life-path FOR YOU.

Gone are the days when medicine was the only viable career choice to ‘make money‘ and ‘help people‘ while still making your family proud.

To find out exactly what you should be doing in life, you should be doing two things: – think about an activity that you do for yourself that you and others derive joy from, then find someone else making money from that activity and learn how.

I need to add: There are those who genuinely WANT TO and SHOULD study medicine. But for the vast majority of people, that’s not the case.

The issue of salary will ALWAYS exist

In the past 3 months, junior doctors seem to have spent more time striking than actually treating patients.

Of course, this is an over-exaggeration; however, there are serious concerns over the state of the current healthcare system, and its ability to deliver the vital services that taxpayers need.

There needs to be a significant overhaul of current working practices both at national and service levels, where trusts and systems need to take better stock of how resources are being deployed to benefit the populations they serve.

Before this occurs, working in healthcare, especially as a junior doctor, will remain truly soul-draining.

Professional burnout is real

On the topic of soul-draining things, have you ever considered the prospect of medical burnout?

If medical school exams were stressful, dealing with patients for a living would be a huge culture shock.

Not only due to the responsibility of providing health services to real people looking to you for hope and guidance, but also due to the sheer number of patients doctors may need to see.

At a certain point, especially for those with wrong motivations, it may turn into a game of “getting through the day” rather than evaluating people as individuals and providing person-centred care.

If you are prone to playing this game, medicine and becoming a doctor is certainly not for you.

The ageing population and increased demand for healthcare services

Believe it or not, this might be a pretty compelling reason TO become a doctor, as working to provide support to the often understaffed frontline departments is a noble gesture.

However, for those whose pursuits aren’t genuine, the increasing demands may end up being overwhelming for you.

The repetitive nature of certain tasks and the constant churning of elderly patients suffering similar problems will prove to be mundane and problematic for your career fulfilment in the longterm.

It shouldn’t be news to anyone that currently, as of writing this post mid 2024, things arent looking great, nor are they showing any real signs of improvement unless something is done.

Getting into an industry that undervalues its workers and on top of that gives them more work burden, AND ON TOP OF THAT ignores or conservatively acknowledges any calls for salary revision, should be one you enter VERY cautiously.

This is similar advice I’d give even to someone with a burning passion of studying medicine, – albeit also promote the good aspects in their case.

Doctors aren’t happy

Perhaps a sweeping statement, perhaps the truth of the matter with most modern careers.

But it’s certainly the case with doctors (certainly juniors in the UK atm).

And if there’s happy doctors out there, please do let us know about it!

The stress, pressures, work expectations, and possibly even a lack of positive career outlook can be taxing.

Doctors are in-fact people, yet both employers and patients may be treating them as commodities to be used.

Perhaps this isn’t the experience of most doctors, but for some this unhappy reality is their life most days – but I think there is a light at end of tunnel.

Summary

Even though the novelty of becoming a doctor and the prestige attached to the title no longer exists, it doesn’t mean the profession itself is going downhill.

It just means that any new entrances need not rush into this decision of becoming one simply for the reasons of prestige and wealth.

It also means that current and future junior doctors have some work to do in terms of steering the profession in the direction it ought to go.

As it stands, it seems that for the tens of thousands of people who WOULD consider studying medicine, there is more downside than up.

Every once in a while though, someone or a group comes and changes how things are done.

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