Been a doc for over 30 years, so I feel qualified to answer this. Professional challenges: getting patient referrals from other docs who just can't see your value, e.g., I'm a woman in urology (one of the first in the US) and male physicians can't wrap their head around that - for male patients. Another challenge: inappropriate expectations from patients who think you can "fix" them because of your sex (as a woman physician, other women somehow believe that I have easier answers to complex problems, that I have better medicines, that I don't expect them to change their behavior because I somehow sympathize with their particular medical plight). Personal challenges are like landmines: until you step on one, you might not be able to anticipate it. E.g., what happens when you have children? Is your "career" so important that you will slam-dunk your helpless, needy, developing child into a daycare for 14 hrs/day where strangers care for them like widgets on an assembly line, while you go and "help" people? (OTHER people). How important is your role as a physician? TO the extent that you will neglect your family, your spouse, your sleep, your health, your spirituality? This is not an 8-to-5 job. After you leave work, it is hard not to think about the tragedy you encountered during the day. Your reactive behavior may include using alcohol, drugs, or suicide. N.B. female physicians almost THREE TIMES more like to commit suicide than the average U.S. citizen, not to attempt suicide but to die from it. Male physicians are at increased risk, also. By description, doctors take care of needy people, and there is a balance between feeling your patients' pain and admitting that you cannot fix their brokenness. You have to give it up to God.
Last updated Sep 27 '17 at 08:25