Being a medical doctor is one of the most sought-after professions in the world. Not only because of the high-salary that typically accompanies it, but also because of the satisfaction that comes with knowing that you’re helping people every day.
West Lake Hills, Texas, United States, August 27th, 2018 — Despite what you see on Grey’s Anatomy, being a doctor isn’t all glamour. It takes nearly a decade in school, and once you’re out, the hours are demanding and the need to prove yourself never stops. That being said, if you’re determined that it is your passion, you’ll likely be fine. We spoke with Dr. David Miranda, a busy Emergency Department specialist in Texas, about things he wished he knew before coming a doctor.
You Have To Commit A Crazy Amount of Time
“If work-life balance is something that is essential to your future career, then pick a residency specialization that will suit that need,” says David Miranda. Working as a doctor often means that you will have to work overtime, extra shifts, weekends and nights. You don’t usually get to pick your shifts, and if there’s an emergency, you’ll have to come in on your on-call days, which are frequent. It’s also worth noting that twelve to twenty-four hour shifts are common in this industry, and some even last longer than twenty four hours.
You Won’t Know What Doctor You Want To Become Until the End of School
The spectrum of specialties within the medical field is broad, and trying to decide what branch of medicine you want to go into before you’ve finished studying is difficult. It’s okay to be unsure. Most physicians don’t know what area of medicine they want to specialize in until they’re near the end of their third year of medical school.
You’ll Never Know Everything
Just because you went to school for a decade doesn’t mean you know everything – and you’re unlikely to. The longer you practice, the more you’re likely to know. But new procedures are constantly being invented, new ones innovated, new medicines discovered. “Unless you attend every conference and symposium for the new four decades, which is impossible,” David Miranda says, “you probably won’t know every tiny thing about medicine.” So the need for constant independent study is lifelong.
You Will Make Mistakes
It’s unavoidable, and it’s something that happens to every doctor at least once in his or her career, but you’ll make mistakes. “No matter how skilled you are,” David Miranda says. “At the end of the day you’re still only human.” It’s a big fear among doctors, especially when someone’s life is in your hands and you’re stressed, and tired and overworked, but inevitably you’re going to do something wrong, and it’s important to be okay with that.
But although these are all realities of medicine, caring for the sick is extremely rewarding. “But it’s important know what you’re getting into to help limit frustration or disappointment with a poorly
thought-out career decision. Most doctors love what they do and wouldn’t change a thing” says Dr. Miranda, adding, “To me it’s the best profession in the world!”