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Medicine as a Career

On Being A Physician

Physicians are acknowledged practitioners of the art of medicine. They are expected to be people of high ethical standards since they are entrusted with the intimate details of life and death. They are expected to have the capacity and enthusiasm for difficult work extended over long hours, and they must be able to perform efficiently under a chronic load of heavy responsibility.

Physicians are expected to be able to reason quickly and accurately and to have life-long desires to continually add to their accumulated body of medical knowledge by learning about new developments in their profession. They are expected to be able to communicate with their patients in order to teach them hygienic measures and to adequately explain the nature and significance of a disease. They are also expected to be willing to serve the community in a capacity beyond that of their professional training. Physicians are people who have ordinary physical and emotional needs, yet who have a great purpose in life. Their practice can be the source of enrichment of their own life as well as the lives of others.

When setting your sights toward a medical career, your goal should be to become a good physician. Ideally, this means becoming a doctor who will (1) blend book knowledge with common sense; (2) provide compassion with candor; (3) strive to maintain perspective by focusing on the whole patient rather than solely on the disease; (4) allow time to listen to those seeking help; (5) perceive the real meaning of the patient's words; (6) communicate with patients in a way they can easily understand; (7) think independently; (8) rely on your own mind and clinical judgment; (9) utilize tests and consultants to verify hypotheses; (10) be aware of limitations of lab procedures; (11) be cognizant of your own fallibility; and (12) not be afraid to admit when you don't know something.

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Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesGuide to Medical & Dental SchoolsMedicine as a Career - On Being A Physician, Why Study Medicine?, The Reality Of A Physician's Career