Is becoming a Doctor all about making money?

Written by Dr. Palak Gupta, Maharishi Markendeshwar Institute of Medical Sciences and Research 

Is becoming a doctor all about making money? ‘It’s nothing; enter a medical college, and you will become a doctor.’ ‘Doctors with nursing homes in underprivileged areas make a lot of money.’ ‘Join a tertiary care hospital, and you will earn lakhs!’ ‘Doctors make maximum money.’So, thinking of all these thoughts ordinary people have about doctors makes me disheartened. Maybe I also used to think of one of these before entering this field.

Doctors have to go through a lot of mental stress starting right from undergraduate school(MBBS) -five and a half years of a long journey full of medical exams, toxicity among students, toxicity among professors, then in postgraduate MD studies (limitless work, sleepless night shifts, seniors demands and orders, colleagues argumentation).

Once all these undergraduate and postgraduation studies are done, here comes the actual mental condition of doctors; they have to go through several challenges, starting from building a setup/ joining a job, then encountering several patients, meeting their expectations, and giving their best to treat them.

‘A doctor must save a patient; it doesn’t matter what it takes.’ Unfortunately, an ordinary person does not understand that certain conditions/diseases are not under the doctor’s control to treat completely. Here, then, comes the argumentative behavior of patients and their families. They start saying that the doctor doesn’t know anything; instead of treatment, he has worsened the patient’s condition. Above, if any patient dies due to a medical condition, their loved ones blame the doctor, putting the medical license of a doctor, which he has earned after tremendous hardships, at stake.

What do you think is it easy for doctors to handle all these? Are they not human enough? What do you expect a doctor to work day and night, see all the patients in a day, just like if you keep on running a machine continuously without giving it a rest; ultimately, it ends up burning and does not work anymore, the same way if doctors meet up a common person’s expectation they will end up burning out themselves and losing their minds to work effectively. It’s important to know that Physicians burn out due to tremendous work, and sleepless nights lead to more medical negligence and errors.

Becoming a doctor takes years of studying, a tremendous amount of energy, mental exhaustion, social withdrawal, and whatnot. It is easy to stand at a distance  and say it’s just a few years of hardship, and then the doctor ends up making a good amount of money, but if you step into their shoes, you will get to know what it takes to learn a skill to save others’ lives.

As a doctor, I salute people who understand and respect doctors, and for those who don’t, I feel pity; maybe a day they will, too.

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