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What does it take to be a great doctor/surgeon?

I always wanted to be one but I just don’t know if I could ever achieve it. I feel like I would be clumsy during a surgery or I would forget diagnosis for a patient. What can help?

Thank you comment icon Hello Sanisia, I am Jesennia, a graduate student from Puerto Rico. I am not a medical student nor a doctor, but after hearing from medical colleagues I can say that what will determine if you are going to be an amazing doctor will be your determination, persistence, and dedication to your community and studies. Greatness comes afterward in abundance if you have done what it takes to finish your career. I will recommend dedicate now to your academic responsibilities, have a personal life balance, and work hard towards your goals. I will advise reading or listening to podcasts from current doctors or medical students, there is a bunch. I wish you the best of luck! Jesennia Bonilla-Liriano, BS
Thank you comment icon One should focus on studies and training for becoming a doctor. One day you will be a good doctor Waseem Jafri

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Subject: Career question for you

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Jia’s Answer

Don't let fear hold you back from pursuing what you truly desire. Remember, the path to medicine is indeed a long one. It's your interests, passion, and skills that will guide you toward one specialty over another. It's crucial to dive deep into all the specialties during your rotations in medical school. Keep an open mind. As you experience each specialty, you'll start to envision your future life. It's important to remember that your career needs to blend well with your personal life. Some specialties might require more of your time and energy. These are all factors to consider when picking your specialty. It's not unusual for students to change their minds during their medical school journey. Some might even switch during their residency. As you gain more experience, you'll find that there are numerous other opportunities in the healthcare industry. We all have fears of missing something on a patient, even after years of practice. You will get to do a surgical rotation or two and you can figure out if it is for you. Most importantly, you need to know that you really want to do medicine. The field is dynamic, so if your heart is set on medicine and caring for people, don't hesitate to dive in.

Jia Zhang, DO
Nephrology/Internal Medicine
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Ryan’s Answer

Dear Sanisia,

Remember, you're not alone in your worries - every medical student feels the same way throughout their medical school journey, and for many, this continues into their residency. The long years of studying and practicing, with numerous safety nets in place, are designed to make you an expert in your chosen field. So, don't stress about your abilities at this early stage. Instead, focus on discovering what fuels your passion and use that as your driving force to excel in a field that brings you satisfaction and joy.
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Javier’s Answer

Hello Sanisia,

Depending on which specialty and areas of practice you ultimately choose, a definitive answer will always vary. However, there are commonalities along the path towards the answer to your question.

The desire to want to help others can be one of your strongest motivators, and as a physician (MD or DO), you should never need to worry about money, which should logically allow you be able to devote all of the knowledge and training you acquire towards helping others. This simple paradigm has traditionally always been the unspoken understanding, unless you are so devoted to the desperate needs in too many underserved regions within the United States, that you encounter personal monetary limitations.

The reason I mention the desire to help others is because, as a physician, you will have the opportunity to do the greatest possible good that one human being can do for another. For example, saving lives, and changing your patients’ lives, and indirectly, the lives of their families, for the better, on a day to day basis and/or overtime, depending on the specialty of medicine you ultimately choose along your career path.

Once you truly realize the many ways you can use your medical training and knowledge to help others, no alternative career path will likely compare.

The more you can imagine yourself helping others in your future life as a physician, the more you will become self-motivated to pursue your life goal with a passion, in just about any specialty you ultimately choose.

The career path of a physician is one chosen strong, and not having to worry about money is nice because that will allow you to enjoy the rewards of your future career, to which money will never quite compare.

The more you understand all of the above about your desire to pursue a career in medicine with an aim to help others, the easier and more fulfilling your career path towards becoming a “good doctor” will become. I’m a learned person, and have never lost my desire to learn more, as is the norm amongst practicing physicians in any specialty. Becoming a physician includes the life long pursuit of knowledge, regardless of what comprises your specific motivations. So, if science, and the furtherance of the greater common good during your life span interests and drives you, then a career in medicine may likely be your true calling in life.

May your path in life,
be your reward.

J.P. Escalera, M.D. M.S.
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Javier’s Answer

Hello Sanisia,

Depending on which specialty and areas of practice you ultimately choose, a definitive answer will always vary. However, there are commonalities along the path towards the the answer to your question.

The desire to want to help others can be one of your strongest motivators, and as a physician (MD or DO), you should never need to worry about money, so that you will be able to devote all of the knowledge and training towards helping others. This simple paradigm was always the unspoken understanding, unless you are so devoted to the desperate needs in too many underserved regions within the United States.

The reason I mention the desire to help others is because, as a physician, you will have the opportunity to do the greatest possible good that one human being can do for another. For example, saving lives, and changing your patients’ lives for the better on a day to day basis, or overtime, depending on the specialty of medicine you ultimately choose along your career path.

Once you truly realize the many ways you can use your medical training to help others, no alternative career path, will likely compare.

The more you can imagine yourself helping others in your future life as a physician, the more you will become self-motivated to pursue your life goal with a passion, in just about any specialty you ultimately choose.

The career path of a physician is one chosen strong, and not having to worry about money is nice because that will allow you to enjoy the rewards of your future career, to which money will never quite compare.

The more you understand all of the above about your desire to pursue a career in medicine and aim to help others, the easier and more fulfilling your career path towards becoming a “good doctor” will become. I’m a leaned person, and have never lost my desire to learn more. Becoming a physician includes the life long pursuit of knowledge, regardless of what you motivations are. So, if science and the furtherance of greater common good during your life span interests and drives you, then a career in medicine may likely be your true calling in life.

May your path in life,
be your reward.

J.P. Escalera, M.D. M.S.
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Rita’s Answer

We all feel that way...that's what schooling is for. It teaches you and you learn. Even after medical school and residency, you are constantly learning.

I think what makes a great doctor depends on what type of doctor you want to be. Yes, it's great to be smart and know the answers but what is also important is a kind and compassionate doctor who listens to you. This is not always something you can teach someone.
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