Do you think times have changed as far as what warms and satisfies the heart? Do we still follow our hearts blindly and pursue and chase after all of our dreams? Or are those same passions and desires influenced and overshadowed by financial gain and financial potential?
When you were a child eagerly and excitedly stating “doctor”, when someone asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, what was your motivation? Did the profession appear to your altruistic nature to serve and help others? Did you feel compassion early on and want to make a difference in the lives of those in need? Were you encouraged by your parents to choose a profession of prestige and respect in order to obtain the American dream?
For most of you, I can imagine that the early desire to become a physician was out of the very need to help and serve. Through recent research, I have learned that medical and dental specialties are being chosen based off of the amount of debt required to obtain such careers. For instance, someone looking to become a doctor may opt to become a general physician rather than a surgeon just to avoid high six figure student loans. Further research suggests the income earning potential is also an influence on specialties chosen and sought after. It seems some are forgoing their true callings for fields that can make them the most money or be a greater return on their investments (medical school loans).
If money is your driving factor and underlining motivation, do you see your patients as numbers? Have you quickly calculated what dollar amount each patient will put into your pocket before you greet him? Are you calculating how much debt you will be able to eradicate with your next scheduled procedure? Or are you tallying up how many patients it will take you to go on your next vacation?
If you are seeing your patients as a paycheck first, how much dedication are you truly giving to service? Don’t get me wrong, we all have to eat and I truly understand no one embarked upon a career as a doctor to eat ramen noodles every night, but if there were no 6 figure student loans, and no dream vacations or cars to drive, how much more focused and caring would you be to each and every patient regardless of the bottom line?