Being a doctor might just be Malaysians’ favourite choice of occupation. Or is it more of an Asian thing? After all, the image of a doctor is always painted as a prestigious white-collar career with a gratifying salary.
Regardless, numerous students aspire to be doctors, not to mention many parents persistently steer their children to take up Medicine and consequently to a career in this field.
But what is it really like being a doctor? Is it really as glamorous and exciting as depicted in Grey’s Anatomy? We spoke to practising doctors to find out the real deal. Hear it from them as they reveal the worst parts of being a doctor.
#1. Crippling health care system
Doctors, despite their magic, are restricted by the system they are in. The Malaysian healthcare is not the best in the world, and all the red tape and bureaucracy makes it hard for doctors to do what they do best — help people.
This shortcoming is indeed a challenge as doctors can do almost nothing to change it. They soldier through the system with the strong will to serve patients as best as they can.
#2. Dealing with ungrateful patients and relatives
It is almost an irony that the people who are in need of the doctors’ services are also the ones who are giving them headaches and frustrations. Uncooperative and ungrateful sentiments from patients and their relatives alike are on the top of many doctors’ frustrations list.
It’s important to remember that doctors are humans too, with emotions and limited patience. All of the hard work they pour into the service they provide are to help patients heal. A pleasant demeanour and a little thank you from patients have the power to flip their frowns into smiles.
#3. The extensive working hours
Long and gruelling hours of work is something many doctors are conscious about before they jump into their chosen profession. Knowing about it doesn’t make them invincible to the effects, however. The more hours they dedicate to this profession, the less time they have for other things in life.
To say the long hours are tough is an understatement. Being a doctor will consume your time until it becomes your life. Dedication to work is synonymous with doctors. If you choose to join this profession, be mentally prepared.
#4. Wolves in sheeps’ clothing
It is even more frustrating when on top of everything, people in the medical field themselves are also giving you a hard time. Sometimes, the cause of a doctor’s frustration is doctors themselves, as well as other healthcare staff.
Aside from patients, doctors also need to deal with colleagues that have their own working style. Misunderstanding and discord may occur, despite the fact that they are in the same field. This indeed provides further challenge for doctors in their day to day working life.
#5. Death is all around
Not all stories have a happy ending, and this is especially true in the medical field. Doctors have to face the deaths of patients on a regular basis. You might think they’ll be used to it over time, but the truth is, a patient’s death still affects even the most experienced doctors.
Life and death is a natural process of life, and death will come to all. Doctors do their best to aid a betterment for life and to prolong it. Facing deaths act as a lesson and reminder for doctors in serving their next patients.
So there you have it. Behind the glitz and glamour of the profession, being a doctor is definitely a challenge, and one of the toughest jobs out there. We have heard it from doctors themselves, the rest depends on you. Are you up for the challenge?