The task of choosing one’s career path upon completion of a secondary education may prove to be a daunting prospect. Being granted the autonomy to choose my career path, I have come to realize that it is this choice made now that will stand to shape my future ahead. With that at the back of my mind, I was left reminiscing that limited careers today offer us the opportunity to affect the lives of others profoundly. Very few careers offer us a sense of accomplishment, knowing that we are able to heal, nurture and care for those who are in need. Even fewer careers demand that we put ourselves second to those whom we are serving. It is the ‘giving’ nature of the practice of medicine that has always kept the passion of wanting to pursue a career in medicine burning within me.
I became interested in medicine since childhood. I was always in awe at how a trip to my family doctor would instantaneously make me feel better when I was under the weather. As I grew older, I realized that this field provides the opportunity to meet and deal with people from all walks of life. Being a people’s person myself, I knew that good interpersonal skills and effective communication form the key in providing quality service. My brother who is a junior medical officer in a hospital in Malaysia has also been my source of motivation in my determination to pursue a career in this field.
My desire of wanting to be a doctor stems from my tendency to offer help to those in need. Although I recognize that I may not be able to serve everyone, the knowledge and satisfaction of being there for someone at their times of need is truly rewarding for me. A career in medicine is a lifelong commitment. In my opinion, the sense of fulfillment attained from making a difference in the lives of a fellow human being will surely guarantee contentment at the end of the day. This, in itself acts as a catalyst to further give the best care possible to the public. My philosophy in choosing a career is rather simple. I think that the nature of the career itself, rather than the external perks or remuneration, should be the driving force behind your preference for that particular field.
Medicine is undoubtedly an interesting career. The fact that this is a constantly advancing field makes it the more appealing. The pursuit for knowledge in medicine is continuous. Learning never ceases in this vast field, for there’re simply too many sub-fields open for a doctor to venture upon, be it surgery, medicine, public health and epidemiology or medical research. This implies that practicing medicine will never be mundane, a crucial reason that led me to choose a career in medicine.
Being a competent doctor requires certain qualities. One has to be introspective, able to assess his/her own weaknesses and take the necessary measures to overcome them. Determination is another essential quality one should have to be a competent doctor. Even though a degree in medicine would take about five years to complete, relatively longer than most other courses, I’m more concerned if I’d be able to become a caring, competent practitioner of medicine by the end of this course. Contrary to the adage that ‘all good things come to an end’, I truly believe that in the medical field, the challenges and progresses in medical practice are never-ending. I reckon that this would be a field which can offer me the ‘gift’ of being in a constant pursuit of knowledge.
One can list an array of plausible reasons for wanting to be a doctor. However, as far as I am concerned, there has never been a better reason for me wanting to be a doctor other than sheer passion.
About the Author: Deepa Sanmugam is an alumnus of Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal University. This article was first published in the college magazine.