Most of us have heard our parents tell us to be doctors, teachers or lawyers when we were little. As we grow older, we discover our own passions and find our own purposes in life. We have individual callings, things that we feel compelled to do something about and our career desires starts to change.

With every career, there will come a point in time where we become tired and fed-up with the day-to-day routine. We would want to get away, even if it is just for a week, but realise that we cannot because we have to work. This is for all the doctors out there going through a day like this because if the world was a huge tree, they would be the xylem and phloem tubes, keeping the tree alive.

1. An industry with a good standing

According to Forbes, the healthcare industry is a trillion-dollar industry and it is predicted that China alone will reach $1 trillion in healthcare spending by 2020. As the quality of life improves year by year, demands for higher quality healthcare products and treatment improves with it. Unlike the finance industry that suffers a blow every decade or so with fluctuations every now and then, the healthcare industry is incredibly stable.

It will continue remaining unaffected by the economy as governments around the world continue pumping reserves into it and prioritising it. New medical schemes continue spouting up, such as Singapore’s Community Health Assist Scheme, which was started in 2014 to help low to mid income families cope with healthcare spending, like subsidising the total cost of clinical visits. What this means for doctors is, of course, stability and a shield from retrenchment.

2. A constant demand

With ageing populations in developed Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan and South Korea, comes the constant demand for healthcare as more health problems start to arise with age. According to The Straits Times, back in November last year, more than a quarter of the doctors in the public healthcare sector in Singapore are foreigners as there is a shortage of trained medical staff. People are always going to get sick, regardless of our age, race or gender; hence, the demand for doctors is always going to be consistent. This brings links us back to the point that this will be an ever-standing industry and hence, the demand will be ever-present.

3. Personal benefits

As mentioned in the second upside, every human being is going to need medical attention in their lives, be it from a common flu to a major operation. Doctors get the advantage of gaining easy access to healthcare/medical attention. Just like how staff working in boutiques get staff discount, doctors and their immediate relatives can ask to be put in the priority waiting list for seeing a doctor. As self-centred as this may sound, it is still an upside to this career that may come in extremely handy one day.

4. Overwhelming respect

This may come off as a little too boot-licking for some, but it is true. Doctors never fail to get a look of admiration or respect from whoever they talk to, and rightfully so too. Medical school takes up five intense years of study and practice as compared to business degrees, which mostly takes up about three years. Most, if not, all of them go in with the intention of becoming a successful doctor in the near future and a big part of that comes from helping countless people through their life. This, alone, should be a great motivation to doctors out there because as much as every human being should respect one another, the kind of respect a doctor gets exceeds that. It goes beyond basic human respect because we know the person are talking to has probably saved a number of lives while we were idling away on our couches at home.

5. Meeting appreciative patients

Just like how teachers get showered with gifts and letters of appreciation on Teachers’ Day, doctors will always meet patients who truly appreciate what they do. Not all of us are destined to make a difference in this world or even an impact to our community and therefore, many of us admire and appreciate all the doctors around us. We may not show it when we go for a consultation at a clinic, but at the end of the day, we are all thankful for the doctors around us. Doctors will, undoubtedly, get patients tearfully thanking them after they have been cured or have recovered from a surgery. These are the times you will look into the patient’s eyes, realise that they are overwhelmed with gratitude and feel thankful that you have made a difference in their lives.

Every career will have its upsides and many times we do not see them because we become so fed-up with the work load. Making a difference to someone’s life is not easy, much less shouldering the responsibility of the lives of many and the emotional tension of it all. Do not stop making a difference and know that doctors have the public’s utmost respect and admiration for pursuing a career that saves lives. MIMS

Read more:
7 ways for doctors to stay motivated
Doctors among highest paid professionals
Doctors, upgrade your salary - what skills do you need to improve?

Jack Perkowski. “Healthcare: A Trillion Dollar Industry in the Making” Forbes
Sama Kahlik. “Number of foreign doctors rising in Singapore public hospitals and polyclinics”. The Straits Times