If the idea of helping and healing your fellow human beings inspires you, then a career as a physician—which offers not only the rewards of helping others in need but also job security and societal prestige—may be the right fit for you.
What do medical professionals do?
Physicians diagnose and treat patients suffering from injury and disease. They perform physical exams, obtain medical and social histories, and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They may administer treatments of different types, depending upon their specialty. Specializations include internal medicine, anesthesiology, general or family practice, orthopedics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and surgery.
Where do medical professionals work?
- private offices or clinics
- larger health care organizations
- university, private, and government research labs
- pharmaceutical companies
- biotechnology industry
What will I like (or dislike) about this work?
- hands-on work with patients
- intellectual challenge
- intense communication
- analytic thinking
- making life-and-death decisions
- prolonged period of education and training
- long, irregular hours
- financial rewards
How is the job outlook?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (2010/11): job opportunities should be very good, particularly in rural and low-income areas, or for those who specialize in family practice, internal medicine, or OB/GYN. Jobs are predicted to grow faster than average for all occupations.
What are the educational requirements?
- Doctor of Medicine (MD)
- Doctor of Osteopathy (OD)
- Four years of medical school
- Three to eight years of internship and residency