How can you tell if a medical career is right for you?
- You find science fascinating.
Do you enjoy science classes? Do you find that the information connects with you personally? Does learning something new about science create more curiosity? If you answer yes to these questions, then you probably find science, or parts of it, fascinating! Since a medical career is science-based and usually requires scientific training and thinking, it is a great benefit to enjoy and be amazed by scientific study and learning. You will be taking many science classes in preparation for most careers in the medical field.
- You love people and like to help.
The medical field is all about people. Researching on behalf of patients, evaluating patients, treating patients, and educating patients are all parts of the medical system. Whether you have direct patient contact or work behind the scenes, you do what you do to help take care of people medically. Loving and caring for people are the motives, so it is important that someone in a medical career has a personality that is others-oriented.
- You are able to deal with blood, needles, and seeing people in discomfort.
I am sure there are a few jobs in the medical field where this may not apply, but in most cases, this is a definite requirement. If blood, broken bones, or scalpels make you anxious, it doesn’t mean that you cannot overcome that fear. I have known a few people who weren’t that keen on blood and guts but later went on to become successful nurses, for example. But, you will need to get to a place where these types of things do not hinder your ability to do your job.
My husband is a physician in the emergency room, but before he became a doctor, he was a firefighter, then an EMT, then a paramedic. He knew what he was getting into. He knew he had a love for the chaos and uncertainty of what might show up in the emergency room and could handle the trauma he would encounter. However, I have heard more than one story from my husband concerning medical students who were a little surprised to find out that they did not handle blood, vomit, and screaming patients very well when they actually started engaging with them. These students were great learners and found the information interesting, and did well on tests, but some discovered they were uncomfortable performing procedures on live patients. Some of these students went on to overcome their anxieties and fears to be able to successfully work with patients, but some decided to change career paths. If you are unsure about this point, you may want to consider volunteering at a hospital or medical office to see how you respond to being around medical patients.
- You like to learn.
The field of medicine is constantly changing and growing. Research is ongoing and new information is continually being inserted into diagnostics, treatments, and procedures. Because of the fast pace of new information in the medical field, an employee will need to embrace the challenges of continual education and learning and be able to adapt to new ways of doing things. The best workers are those who welcome change and are self-motivated to learn new information so that they may be an effective employee that is as prepared as possible to do their job well.
- You are a conscientious, detailed worker.
Because so many jobs in the medical field directly impact a person’s health, it is imperative that you stay sharp and take the time and effort to be careful and thorough. Mistakes in medicine have the potential to be personally harmful to someone’s life. Consequently, the serious nature of the job begs for caution. Nobody wants to mess up on the job, but giving a wrong dosage of medicine or neglecting to run a diagnostic test that would have revealed a problem can potentially have more severe consequences than making a mistake on someone’s taxes or not ordering the right amount of supplies for your company. So, attention to detail and a cautious, methodical nature are good qualities to have for someone who is taking care of another person’s health and well-being.
Working in medicine provides great rewards!
One of the great rewards for someone working in the medical field is the satisfaction of knowing that they are making a difference in people’s lives. Medical professionals are highly trained individuals who have special skills that the general population does not have. They are able to offer vital services to people in their greatest time of need. They are great blessings to many.
So, how about it, is the medical field calling you? If so, I hope you will pursue it and find great purpose in answering that call. Those you help will be glad you did!
Debbie Stokes has been teaching science classes since 1991 and still finds great awe in how beautifully and intricately the Creator designed all things. She finds it a great privilege to journey through the “study of life” with students!
Debbie graduated cum laude from Kennesaw State University in 1991 with a B.S. in biology. She soon after earned her M. Ed. in science education from Georgia State University. Debbie taught high school science classes in the public school system of Cobb County, Georgia for sixteen years and has taught science classes online since 2011. She describes her teaching style as a combination of passion for the subject matter mixed with creativity and fun.