What if I told you about a job available right now? It’s a special kind of job, one that requires incredible work ethic, attention to detail, and great interpersonal skills. You’ll work full-time, about 50 hours a week, and likely some weekends and holidays. You cannot work from home, and you have no sick days. Vacations are few and far between. Are those long hours and hard work worth it? Well, about 51% in this field are satisfied with their current arrangement . And 46% reported some degree of burnout during the course of their work.
So what are the required skills and experience? There’s quite a lot actually. You’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree, of course. But you’ll also need an additional 4 years of professional level schooling. After that, you’ll need experience working during an apprenticeship period, which ranges from 3-7 years. You may also need additional specialization training afterwards, which could take anywhere from 1-3 more years. Meanwhile, you’ll need to take about a half dozen rigorous exams for certification. You’ll need to pass all of these exams in order to get a job. But you’re not done yet – you’ll also need to take a refresher exam every 7 years for the rest of your career.
So what’s the compensation? Not bad, if you’ve made it this far. You’ll make about $202,000 a year . But don’t forget, you’re currently around $300,000 in debt from your many years of tuition, testing fees, and living expenses. No worries though, you’ll probably break even by the age of 40. Over the course of your lifetime, you’ll make about the same hourly pay as a schoolteacher .
So does this job sound appealing to you? Because this is the life of an average physician. Yet, medicine continues to be an incredibly competitive field that turns away thousands of hopeful candidates every year. Ultimately, I think being a doctor is a respected and rewarding field, but the sacrifices that are made in this pursuit should be fully understood. Medicine isn’t a job, it’s a career, which means your patients come before everything else – including yourself.