Is a Medical Career Right for You?

For many people, a career in the medical field often is seen as an ideal proposition.

Positions in this field are typically high-paying and highly revered; after all, what proud mama doesn't want to see her little boy or girl grow up to be a doctor?

The reality is, though, that different careers are suited to different skill sets and personality types. It takes far more than a dream—or, for that matter, a desire for a big paycheck—to make it in the medical profession. So before choosing a career in this area, you must first conduct a thorough, multifaceted assessment of the skills and personality traits that you have to offer. This thorough self-analysis will help you answer the question, "Is a medical career right for you?"

Are you a caregiver? In order to succeed in the medical field, you have to be a caring, nurturing person who has a strong desire to help others. On a day-to-day basis you'll be dealing with seriously ill people who may be frustrated, frightened, and in pain. And whether your patient suffers from a broken leg or a more serious, chronic condition, he/she needs a medical professional who can double as a caregiver, a counselor, a friend, and of course as a trained technician capable of easing and hopefully healing their ailments.

Are you a hard worker? Many medical professions require long hours of intense labor on a daily basis. You'll be working your share of overtime and night shifts, and could be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You may sometimes miss family functions and fun social opportunities; this owing to the fact that medical emergencies can happen at any time, disrupting the best laid plans. In order to be a successful medical professional, you have to be dedicated and, ultimately, self-sacrificing.

On a related note, do you like to study? Of course, few people rank the practice of studying among their top ten favorite recreational activities. The fact is, though, that most medical careers require years of education; particularly if you decide to become a doctor or nurse. You'll be enrolled in challenging courses that tax both your intellect and your level of concentration. And you won't just be hitting the books. You'll be hitting the boards, working long hours as an intern at hospitals, nursing homes and medical centers. You may very well lose sleep, as well as lose valuable time with your family and friends. For a time at least, your life will be consumed with career preparation.

Do you dream of a career in medicine? Your life work should be joyful and fulfilling to you. You always should strive to fulfill your dreams, and you should choose work that you enjoy. You should strive to find a profession that interests and challenges you, and that brings you a great deal of personal satisfaction as well as a true sense of professional accomplishment.

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