The path to becoming a doctor is perhaps one of the most difficult one. You have to put in a lot of hard work and labor and yet sometimes you do not get the results. Going through a lot of emotional and mental stress is an integral part of becoming of a doctor. Clearing the medical entrance exams is one of the most strenuous part of this journey. But even after clearing an entrance exam, this does not end. The next five and a half years of the course are equally arduous and demanding. Our friends and batch mates who chose different fields as their career usually complete their graduation and start earning, whereas we are still in college. Our lives get confined to books, lecture halls and the operation theatres. Every day is a new challenge, a new test. But as it is often said that good things come to those who wait, the reward of facing all these gruelling situations is the title of a doctor. The two-letter title Dr. is a matter of pride and honour that only a few chosen people receive. Those five and a half years of struggle becomes trifling in front of this title. Where we were once being taught by doctors, we now are the doctors. Very often a medical student comes up with a question of whether or not he/she should opt for a speciality after graduation. The idea of once again going through the exacting time period of appearing for entrance exams and then studying for another three years seems very daunting. Why not get a job at some hospital or even better, start our own private practice.
After five and a half years of studying, we feel like it’s time to earn now. So is it really necessary to opt for a speciality and then maybe a super speciality? Do we really need an additional degree to become established doctors? Before these questions get addressed, ask yourself this question, you went out on a trek with your friends where the place was full of trees and wild bushes. You suddenly develop an extremely painful and itchy rash on your arm which is not subsiding by basic anti-histamines (anti-allergic medications). You decide to visit a doctor. Are you going to visit a general physician who is a graduate doctor only or are you going to opt for a dermatologist? A dermatologist is going to be your choice because skin diseases and allergies are their areas of expertise. You opted for a doctor who specialises in treating such conditions. In today’s time, people are more educated and much more aware as compared to ten years before. Most of the times before visiting a doctor, a patient has already researched about his symptoms and has five different types of diagnosis himself. People want the best possible doctors to treat them. They want the finest treatments for themselves. They have already researched about the doctor well beforehand while making an appointment. Before reading the name, they read about what all degrees the doctor holds and what are his or her areas of expertise. So yes, in today’s times in order to become a reputed and a successful physician or a surgeon, one needs and should definitely go for higher studies. Some of the reasons for choosing a speciality are :
Better job opportunities.
In India, with an ever-growing population, the need for specialist doctors is ever increasing. According to a 2014 survey, we only have 1 specialist doctor for 385 people. The number of job vacancies in government as well as private sectors for a graduate doctor is far less as compared to job vacancies for a doctor with a speciality. Acquiring a speciality in medicine or surgery enables you to choose when and where you wish to work. You are going to have a much more flourishing private practice too. You are going to be much more sought after by the hospitals in comparison to a doctor with only a graduate degree.
Greater respect in society.
A doctor specialising in a particular field of medicine is held in much higher regard than a general doctor. Holding a specialist degree comes with the benefit of much more recognition and reverence.
More number of patients.
Specialising in a particular field of medicine or surgery enables you to have maximum knowledge of a particular part of the body and associated ailments than a general doctor with basic knowledge. So many news diseases are being discovered every month in all parts of the world. And only a specialist knows the best possible treatment of a disease native to a particular organ in the body. This superior knowledge is going to increase the number of patients visiting you because a patient suffering from a particular disease is always going to prefer a specialist. After all more the number of patients, more successful is the practice.
Added knowledge and experience.
A human body is vast beyond imagination. Where a general doctor would know all the parts of the heart, only a cardiologist will know how to treat a cardiac tamponade. The additional years spent after graduation to acquire a speciality makes you the master of that part or organ of the human anatomy.
The medical field is one of the most noble fields. You serve the people of the society. But you also need to sustain yourself. In our fast-growing economy, having a good income is a huge benefit. What a graduate doctor would earn after ten years of experience, that is usually the starting salary of a specialist and super specialist doctor.
So yes, opt for higher studies. Choose a speciality that interests you. Take the road less travelled. Dr. Webber from the famous sitcom Grey’s Anatomy said,” This is your starting line, this is your arena. How well you play, that’s up to you.”. Graduation is just the beginning. The path to acquiring a speciality might seem long, but it is definitely a rewarding one.
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