Children are often asked in school, what would they want to be when they grow up. A few would volunteer that they want to become a teacher, an engineer, a lawyer, a journalist, a pilot, an entertainer, a politician, a nurse, an IT expert and yes, to be a good doctor. Many have dreamed of becoming a doctor but only a few have gone on to pursue the career.
Reasons are varied why many wanted to become doctors. Most often the very reason for pursuing medicine is the inherent dream of serving people--that is, to treat the sick. Others have become doctors because their parents were practicing physicians and they were "bred" into it. And it's also a given that it's a lucrative career, one in which they will never be wanting when it comes to financial rewards.
So why only a few took the path leading to a medical career?
One reason is that medical study is very expensive and only a few could really afford it. But this is not enough reason nowadays not to pursue the dream, as there are scholarships now offered (in the Philippines and the USA), some even with free lodging and medical books to aspiring students. One has only to pass the qualifications.
The long years it takes studying for this career is another reason why many opt out of medicine. It would, at least, take another nine years after high school graduation before one becomes a licensed physician after passing all the required grades and the licensure examination. This means that he'd still be in school while his classmates are already receiving salaries from their respective careers.
Unfortunately, not all who have enrolled in medical school go on to become doctors. Some don't continue because of financial difficulties, or failing grades, some lack the self-discipline and the dedication needed to hurdle the difficulties of medical school and hospital duties. And there are some who quit because they have forgotten the reasons why they went into medical school in the first place.
The common factors therefore, that made medical students stick to the program are self-discipline, dedication and focus – thus never losing sight of one's goal, that is, of becoming a good doctor. Other factors include the love for learning new things, the fascination with the human body and its functions, and the challenge it presents. Medical school can also be a fun place like high school and college, but with more rigid rules and curriculum to follow.
The chosen many who went on to become doctors despite these difficulties are only to be admired.
They made it through the years where sleep was considered a luxury. They made it past the medical books, quizzes, examinations, and lecture after lecture every day that they were in medical school. They finished a year of internship in the given hospitals their school was affiliated to, where they have to deal with different personalities of patients, nurses and consultants. And after graduation, they had to render another year of post-graduate internship in the hospital of their choice. Months of review for the board exams followed, and only after successfully passing the medical licensure exams, they are given a license to practice medicine.
Having acquired this license, the medical graduate now becomes a proud doctor. Proud in the sense of his accomplishments, and eager to pursue his residency in the specialty of his choice--which would take him another three to five more years of training. The good news is that he's now financially compensated.
Doctors are Unrecognized Everyday Heroes
Doctors deserve to be recognized and hailed as silent heroes not only for overcoming the long arduous years of studying in medical school and rendering long hours of hospital internships, but more importantly, for their choice to be in the position to serve people. They understood and accepted the need to undergo the long years of study because they knew that they would be dealing with human lives. They must then apply the knowledge and skills they've acquired through the years in order to render competent service to their patients. They also must never stop learning and updating themselves with the latest medical breakthroughs in order to give the most appropriate medical interventions needed by their patients.
Because of these, millions have benefited from the services the good doctors provide, from a simple stomach ache to the most severe of maladies like cancer and AIDS, and the most recent scare, the H1N1 flu pandemic.
The services most doctors offer are no longer limited to inspection, palpation, percussion, auscultation and then giving out prescriptions, but include counseling and advice toward prevention and maintenance of healthy lifestyles as well.
It is fitting, therefore, to acknowledge the greatness of all doctors, who in one way or another, have touched many lives and made it better, just because they have chosen to become doctors.