To become a doctor requires one to have at least seven years of education and training from the time they enrol into medical school. However, many parents are keen that their child pursues the profession. Here we look at the reasons why.

1. Family background

Generally, a person whose father or mother is a doctor can guide his or her child’s career growth with a lot of prudence. In a family where either parent is a doctor, the child can learn from his / her experiences in the profession as well as its perks. Essentially, parents who are medical practitioners can better equip their children with the much needed advice and guidance for their future career as a doctor.

2. Job security

Those who graduate from different universities in Malaysia face difficulty in finding suitable jobs or jobs that are to their liking; on the contrary, a doctor who has graduated can still practise his or her medical profession in privately-run hospitals or clinics.

In addition, if he manages to get a degree in medicine from abroad, he can earn a lot of money doing medical practice privately. A father or mother who is a doctor does understand this very much, and he or she encourages his or her child to become a doctor.

3. Stable income

In some countries, good medical degree from abroad may provide four or five times more pay to a doctor working in a private hospital than one who is working in a government-run hospital.

According to an article that was published in 2013, a study done by JobStreet found that doctors command the highest fresh graduate pay in Singapore. Entry-level doctors have an average starting pay of $3095, which is slightly more than pay of fresh graduates in corporate finance that offers the fourth highest starting pay of $2959.

4. Doctors are always in demand

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the United States will face a shortage of as many as 90 000 doctors by 2025. It was also mentioned that this would include the critical need for specialists to treat an aging population that will live with chronic disease. In Singapore, the Ministry of Health estimated that around 30 000 more healthcare workers would be needed by 2020 in order to meet the demands of the country’s ageing population.

This has shown that there will be an ongoing demand for doctors, as there is currently a need to increase the healthcare capacity, not just in Singapore but in several other countries as well. This would consequently motivate parents to encourage their children to become doctors, as they associate the profession with high income and job stability even during recessionary periods.

5. Being a doctor is an honourable job

Parents may be keen that their child becomes a doctor, as it will instill values of selflessness and compassion. Essentially, physicians often have a personal mission, purpose and motivation to heal people of their illnesses, be of service to their patients and even develop vaccinations that will save the world.

Doctors without borders, an international humanitarian non-governmental organisation (NGO) that is best known for its projects in developing countries and war-torn regions affected by endemic diseases, had over 30 000 personnel in 2015 who provided medical aid in over 70 countries. These personnel included mostly local physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals, as well as logistical experts, water and sanitation engineers and administrators. Therefore, parents often encourage their child to take up a career as a doctor, as this will help them to gain exposure to what others in developing countries go through, as well as enhance their compassion towards the sick and the needy. MIMS

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