My three-year-old daughter loves playing doctor, and I certainly wouldn't be disappointed if she grows up and wants to be one for real. But would physicians advise others to follow in their footsteps? University of Illinois doctor-blogger Dr. Wes has this to say:
With all the negative press, the pay cuts, the uncertainty of health care reform, I am approached by people who secretly whisper in my ear, "Would you have your child go in to medicine?"
On first blush, I am tempted to answer "Heck no!" given the administrative hassles, the changes in the public's perception of our profession, the front-load of education and the long hours involved. But those observations, while real, are at best superficial...
Dr. Wes goes on to explain there are actually quite a few things that makes his profession special, and he compiles a list of the top 10 reasons to become a doctor. The top reason is teamwork:
Medicine is, by definition, a team sport. No physician can do what we do in isolation. Our "Club Med" has challenging pre-requisites, but once in, it is a vocation where we share collectively in the trials and tribulations of patient care. We win and we lose, together. Whether we are doctors, nurses, technicians, administrators, clerical staff, safety personnel or maintenance workers - each of us are constantly working for a common goal - the health and well-being of our patients - and when it works, nothing, I mean nothing, is as cool as that.
It's a good read, and I'm thinking I should show this to my daughter someday. Just in case.