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 (2014-2015): “Employment of physicians and surgeons is projected to grow 18 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Job growth will occur because of the continued expansion of healthcare-related industries.”
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