Being a doctor is an incredibly rewarding career and one which many young students would love to become. It is also a very specialized career and anyone who wishes to become a doctor has to not only have a real passion for medicine but they also have to have the right attributes for such a high profile and difficult job. Despite how much you may wish to become a doctor, the truth is that there are only a small percentage of us who really have what it takes. To find out what the attributes are that a great doctor needs, I spoke with my wonderful physician David Crawford MD, to get his take.
There is absolutely no getting away from the fact that you have to be intelligent in order to become a doctor, and whilst you will still have to study religiously, you just can’t expect to earn a career as a doctor without having that natural spark of intelligence. Now there are of course many types of intelligence but here we are talking about the ability to learn things quickly and the memory to remember them, the ability to find solutions and the ability to react quickly based on your knowledge.
As aforementioned it is not just basic intelligence that you will need but also the will and the desire to study. The reason why this is more important than in any other career choice is because the studying never ends. You will have to work tirelessly to get through high school and med school, and even when you become licensed to practice, you still won’t be able to stop. The world of medicine is improving and moving all of the time and you have to keep studying to ensure that you are able to offer the best care.
Being a doctor is one of the biggest emotional challenges that anyone can have, and in order to survive you have to have inner emotional strength. You will be dealing with tragedies, deaths, sad situations and gruesome ones, and you have to be the calmest person in the room, who just goes about their job. In order to do this your skin must be thick and you should be able to completely control those emotions.
Doctors have to be able to trust in their abilities and their knowledge when making decisions, which they sometimes have to do in a split second. There is no space for being hesitant as a doctor and this is why decision making is such an important attribute for anyone who wishes to pursue this as a career. Your ability to make decisions could result in someone’s life being saved and you can’t have any fear when the time comes to take such decisions.
There are of course many more attributes which you will need, but these are the core abilities which you’ll have to show if you want too become a doctor.