My Ambition Is To Become A Doctor

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We all have aspirations and goals to achieve in life. One of those goals is to pursue the vocations of our choosing. My ambition is to become a medical doctor. I did not choose this career because I was pressurized by my parents like most people do, nor did I select it because of the money. I chose this career based on my conviction to make the world a better place. We are living at a time where human life is utterly disregarded.

People love material possessions more than they love their fellow humans. It is due to this disregard that medical care all over the world is in a despicable state. The powers that be set aside less funds in healthcare each year, as compared to military expenditure, which explains why there are few good public health facilities. Most of the good ones are actually private owned and very expensive for the common man.

Furthermore, the ratio of medical practitioners to patients is really bad, which only aggravates the situation. As the world population grows larger and larger each day, the state of health grows worse and worse. I am a person who favors change, especially in the medical sector and instead of doing nothing, I made a commitment to myself to be the best doctor I can ever be.

Mahatma Gandhi couldn’t have put it better when he said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Therefore, I look forward to offering medical services to the best of my knowledge and abilities without favor or prejudice to all of mankind.

It is worth noting however that I did not wake up one day and just decide to be a doctor, nor did it come to me as a suggestion from someone nor as an epiphany. It was a matter of bad luck that led me to this journey of bringing change to the medical world. I was fortunate enough to be born in a well to do family.

Despite going to a high end school, I was also able to interact with students from not so well-off families courtesy of our school’s scholarship programs. I was particularly fond of one such student and his name was Frank. He was a good person and we became great friends, despite our different backgrounds. He was however naturally weak, something that he was not comfortable disclosing even to me- his only friend.

It was in the eighth grade when I came face to face with reality. Frank had passed away. He had been suffering from sickle cell anemia. For a very longtime, I felt guilty because I could not save him. I felt that maybe if he had stayed with us and received proper medical care, maybe he would still be alive. Over the years however I came to learn of the disease that it was genetic and people who suffer from it have a shorter lifespan than the average person.

From that incident, I felt the need to become a medical practitioner to be able to help humanity in whichever way I could. Frank’s case was beyond saving, however there are many cases of people dying from manageable diseases, due to neglect and incompetence on the part of both the governments and hospital staff.

I believe that vocations or callings are not unveiled through trivial things like money, power and fame. Any job that guarantees the aforementioned things cannot be considered a calling. Callings require relentless duty to humanity and they do not guarantee fame and fortune. Vocational jobs need people to be selfless and sacrifice their resources to ensure that people are happy. Though mine came in an unconventional way, I believe my passion to become a doctor is a calling from higher spiritual authority, so that my talents are put to good use.

Aside from the satisfaction of restoring people’s health, there are many advantages that this profession offers. For example, the salary is good. A practicing doctor is among the highest paid workers on earth. With such a job, I’m sure of a secure and comfortable life. There is also the issue of universality. I can practice this job anywhere on earth without restrictions. Furthermore, it is a secure job.

Under the Hippocratic Oath, all medical practitioners are mandated to dispense medical services to every persons, including terrorists and enemy forces. In the same way, terrorists or hostile groups are not supposed to inflict harm to all medical practitioners. This rule was actually enacted at the Geneva Conventions and it states that: “Medical personnel exclusively assigned to medical duties must be respected and protected in all circumstances. They lose their protection if they commit, outside their humanitarian function, acts harmful to the enemy.”

I’m also quite familiar with the challenges that I’m going to face along the way. One of the challenges is that I will have to study extra hard to get the necessary grades to be accepted for the medical course. But, that is just the easy part. I also have to come to terms with the rigorous training and the extensive school curriculum. There is four years of college study, four more years of medical and three or more years of residency and fellowship. This is quite tricky considering the fact that I will still be depending on my parents and student loans. However, I’m determined to see it through to the end.

The challenges do not end with the painful educational experience. The medical field is filled with so many challenges and the majority are beyond the control of the practitioners. The one that I’m particularly concerned about is properly balancing work with personal life. Doctors work more hours than the average workers.

The long working hours actually eat a substantial amount of their family time. Most times than not, doctors are usually very tired after a day’s work, especially surgeons who spent many hours doing operations. Sometimes they go for night shifts, which further reduces their time with their families. Doctors therefore have less time for their friends and loved ones.

The work is also stressful and demanding. Doctors have a lot of responsibilities. All people look up to them, from the rich and powerful to the poorest. Each day, doctors have to save lives and restore people to good health. There are no room for errors because these are human lives, which is quite a tall order considering that no human is perfect, including doctors. And if they fail to save someone, it usually falls on their conscience because they believe they could have done better. It actually affects them seeing the multitudes of people suffering and dying each day, which may lead psychological problems in the long-run.

To add on that, patients or their kin may sue doctors in case of an error. Although the likelihood of doctors winning is more than 90%, the lawsuits may be too overwhelming for the doctors if they have to pay for their defense costs. The court proceedings may actually affect their job performance, if the cases extend for a long duration. The one challenge that I dread the most is my inability to provide services due to inhibiting factors, such as insurance cover.

This is probably the only factor that ensures the rich will always have the best medical care, while the poor survive with whatever that is thrown to them. The insurance companies are usually reluctant to pay for chronic illnesses and expensive procedures, which forces patients to dig into their own pockets to get the right treatment. For the rich it is not a big deal; for the poor however, it is a matter of life and death.

This is where the doctors are most frustrated. Under their Hippocratic Oath, they are willing to offer their services, but their hands are tied. They cannot just use hospital resources, without money from the insurance companies to pay for them. In public hospitals, the situation is even worse.

The hospitals are usually underfunded by the governments and are therefore ill equipped and under managed. Since most people run to them to get cheaper medical care, they are usually overcrowded and a single doctor has to cater to so many patients. Doctors have to make do with whatever little resources they are given to by the government and also rush through the process to ease the crowded hospitals each day.

The challenges of becoming a doctor far outweigh the benefits. However, no feeling is greater than the satisfaction of saving someone’s life and the feeling that I’m being used by higher spiritual authority to bring happiness on earth. All these challenges are many and demanding, but if that is what it takes for me to be a doctor, so be it. I will put my best foot forward each day and let God do the rest.

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