COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. Many of us have been forced to realize the things we truly value in life. In fact, I recently heard someone thank a grocery store cashier and told him that his job is more valuable than a lawyer these days. It really got me thinking…
Over 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past month. This breaks my heart. Many people do not recognize that many doctors are also taking a huge hit. Sadly, more and more clinics are being closed. For example, there are some dentists, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons (to name a few) who are having difficulty staying busy. These are very important fields but when times get hard, our patient’s priorities change. This is when money needs to be saved for essential medical needs.
When med students ask for my opinion on choosing a specialty, I always give the same answer; chose something that brings value to others. Bringing value allows you to live with purpose. It brings fulfillment. It gives you a strong reason to wake up in the morning. It brings job security. Bringing value to others is what will make you essential. Here are a few tips to find a valuable career:
1. CHOOSE A FIELD THAT TOUCHES EVERYONE
Preferably one able to serve the rich, the poor, the young, the old, the educated, the uneducated. If your field covers a condition that nearly every household is affected by, then you are of huge value.
2. CHOOSE A FIELD THAT CAN SERVE YOUR FAMILY AND COMMUNITY
You want to be there for those you treasure most at their greatest time of need. This will likely give you the most purpose in life.
3. CHOOSE A FIELD THAT IS FLEXIBLE
Being able to provide your services from any place in the world gives you a huge advantage. The less strings you have tying you down the better.
4. CHOOSE A FIELD THAT REQUIRES SKILL
You’ve got to have the skills to pay the bills. It’s wise to pick a field you go into having a particular skill set allowing you to have an advantage. A job without skill is an easily replaceable one. Nowadays, it is sometimes the wiser choice for a company to hire someone with less schooling and credentials than you if they are cheaper and can do similar work.
5. CHOSE A FIELD THAT REQUIRES A HUMAN MIND
We all know computers are taking over. It’s best not to be in a field where you are competing with an inanimate object. Spoiler alert, machinery will win that battle 9 out of 10 times.
Notice I did not mention choosing the job that pays the most. While money is a huge necessity and it should be factored in, it truly cannot buy you happiness. It cannot buy you purpose. It cannot buy you the knowledge you need to save your sick loved one. It cannot substitute for value. We currently live in a vain society where one can post YouTube videos doing anything and make money. However, our society is quickly changing. The teachers will come out more appreciated than ever. Our frontline healthcare workers have a new platform to voice their opinions. This pandemic is a wake-up call which just may better align value with compensation.
Whether you become a doctor or not, choosing a job that adds value to the lives of many will serve you through thick and thin and provide purpose in your life.
Other blogs by Dr. Daniel
Med School Application Timeline
Getting into Med School with Subpar Scores
The Five Types of Premeds
5 Factors Why Premeds Don’t Get into Medical School
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