The Reasons To Become A Doctor

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Description and reflection
  3. Research and Analysis
  4. Decide, Act and Evaluate


To me, a medical practitioner’s occupation is one of the noblest things a person can do. When asked why do I want to become a doctor, I always answer with my interest in Biology, but I often struggle to elaborate further. However, I am confident that I can overcome all sorts of obstacles from various aspects with my personal qualities and values I bring to the study of medicine.

Description and reflection

The personal qualities that I bring into the study of medicine is kindness and compassion. When I was a kid, I enjoyed the animated film, Cinderella. Different from my peers, I wasn’t hoping for my prince charming to appear someday, instead the moral of the story was embedded in my heart since the first time I saw it. The film taught me to be kind towards all and never let bad things ruin your heart. I held this moral value close to my heart as it meant a lot to me. Back in primary school, I was bullied and disturbed by my desk mate. She pressured me into doing what she demands, or else unfortunate events might happen to me, just like any other bully stories. I was in despair; it was a dark memory from my childhood. However, it woke my inner conscious to be kind to all, forgive and forget, as the film taught me so. Strangely enough, it also inspired me to help others in need as I thought it would be nice if there was more kindness in the world. Together with my interest in Biology as well as curiosity towards the human body mechanisms, it planted an ambition in my young heart to become a doctor. I became more compassionate as I believe everything happens for a reason. I tend to put myself in other’s shoes and look at things from different perspectives. This shapes me into a good listener which I think is an important aspect for a medical practitioner. I enjoy helping people as it gives me a warm feeling in my heart. After all, I gained high-quality values from an awful experience and I could say I benefit from that.

Besides, I believe adaptability is considered a crucial value in becoming a medical practitioner. After I’ve completed my A-levels examinations, I had a few months before I started my degree in medicine. As I enjoy learning and experiencing new things, I worked as a waitress for 6 months to experience a different field of profession other than the medical field. During that period of time, I enhanced my communication along with teamwork skills and obtained experience related to customer services. It was a challenge for me as I never had any background in the field, but I adapted to the environment quite easily. My willingness to learn as well as fine adaptability contributed greatly to the reason why I was voted as the best employee of the month and able to carry out tasks in a short amount of time. In my point of view, being able to adapt to every situation is an important skill in the medical field as the past medical history for each patient varies and the patients have different preferences and concerns. Plus, I helped out my colleagues and friends whenever I can, even without receiving overtime pay. In the customer service world, there will always be mistakes made and complaints received. I had to reflect on the decisions I made that led to mistakes and keep in mind not to repeat them. Through this experience, I trained myself to be more open-minded to criticisms and judgements as I know they will help me grow and nurture me into a better person. With all of the personal qualities I have, I believe they will help me in my journey of becoming a professional doctor.

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Research and Analysis

Through research, I found out apart from knowledge and practical skills, kindness plays a significant role in being a health care provider. In a hospital, there are various positions with specific assignments and profession such as the intensive care unit (ICU), surgeons, anaesthetists and so on. Every post works together to implement a formal procedure for every patient. However, according to David and Waxman (2018), the collegial environment in a hospital nowadays is filled with negative energy and miscommunication, there are people guilty of uttering critical conversations in the workplace that oppose positive interdisciplinary relationships. The authors also stated that during the relay of information from a post to another, there may be miscommunication as well as involvement of personal emotions causing misunderstanding and misinterpretation of information. A kind handover is required throughout the patient’s time in hospital to reduce the mistakes in diagnosis and discuss the treatment more openly (David & Waxman 2018). Therefore, a simple ‘thank you’ can show appreciation and acknowledgement of the work someone did and the potential obstacles they overcome to help you. Moreover, unkindness is often found in the medical hierarchy as some senior doctors humiliate and embarrass student and junior doctors in public (Jeffrey 2016). This causes unbearable stress on junior doctors over time. He also thinks unkindness may occur towards patients too, such as appearing busy and ignoring patient’s concerns, leaving the patient feeling isolated. Jeffrey (2016) found that a doctor’s duty in addressing their patient’s anxieties is not as essential as success in numbers in a management culture. It is ambiguous how medical practitioners developed and learnt the most sophisticated ways of communication but somehow isolate themselves at a personal level by them. This causes conflict and produces an uncomfortable environment to work in. In my opinion, surely there are other things going on in our colleagues’ life, being a little considerate should be able to ease the situation and everyone can work peacefully. Relating to my personal experience, when I was bullied, I told my favourite teacher about it. Of course, my desk mate was reprimanded but my teacher also advised me to let it go. She said that if I hold grudges against someone, I will never be peace at heart as I will only remain on the spot and fail to move on, instead I should be kind to others so it will not happen on someone else. Her words are still vivid in my mind. I became more considerate and understanding towards my surrounding after the incident. Through this study, I believe a professional physician should present kindness towards all as it will benefits the physician himself and people around him too.

Furthermore, I noticed that being compassionate contributes to a great extent in having a healthy doctor-patient relationship. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) issued the Code of Ethics in 2006 (revised in 2016) and emphasized on a good doctor-patient relationship by stipulating doctors to practice medicine with compassion. Equally, the patients expect compassionate caring from their medical practitioners (Boland 1995). This is to ensure a wholesome connection between doctors and patients. A study was carried out which revealed that when an individual believes someone important is listening and cares, it has a positive correlation to the physical and mental healing and recovery of the individual (Adler 2002). Other than that, it also stated if a medical practitioner has yet to come up with any medical remedies, they can attempt to offer themselves as a social connection and is proved to improve health of the patient. This made me realize how vital human bonds and social connections are to human health and wellbeing. Although proven that it helps the patient get better when a health care provider is compassionate and caring enough, the health care provider may be inundated by the overwhelming traumatic experience shared by patients. This relates to the shortcomings of compassion fatigue as a doctor, which is defined as a secondary traumatic stress from learning and understanding of a distressing event involving any other significant person (Huggard 2003), in other words, a specific kind of burnout that is caused by exposure to patient trauma and suffering (Fernando III & Consedine 2014). The professional may experience the symptoms such as feeling pain and fear, similar to their clients. As the symptoms worsen and intensifies, the professional will start to isolate themselves and gradually disconnect from the community (Gentry 2002). Hence, compassion fatigue is a serious matter which greatly affects the mental stability of the doctor and quality of care given to the patients. Now, I have a deeper degree of understanding towards the importance of compassion for a doctor. I not only have to sincerely understand and figure out solutions to help my patients, I have to be aware of my own condition and prevent myself from engrossing into the stories shared. As a future doctor, I believe I can achieve a therapeutic goal for the patient by developing a healthy doctor-patient relationship at the same time pay attention to my mental health state.

In my opinion, a physician has to adapt to several medical situations, but also adjust the way he or she speaks and communicates with patients as their preferences may vary. This can ensure high patient satisfaction towards the health care provided. Patient-centred care is introduced as one of the six fundamental elements of high-quality care by the Institution of Medicine (IOM) and is defined as a type of respectful and responsive care towards an individual’s values and needs (Committee on Quality Health Care in America 2001). A patient-centred doctor interacts with patients by adapting to their communication style, this means the doctor has a precise understanding towards the patient’s traits and character at the same time possesses behavioural adaptability (Carrard et al. 2018). A study was carried out and proved that when a physician behaves flexibly by adapting to patient’s preferences, there are more positive consultation outcomes and are more advantageous for the patients (Carrard, Schmid Mast & Cousin 2016). It is revealed that when the physician is more patient-centred, there are less cases of patients taking legal action due to malpractice (Ambady et al. 2002). For example, when talking to a 6-year-old, it is best to use language that the kid understands and suggestions that he can adhere, so he does not feel afraid and anxious during examinations or taking medications. Plus, patients trust their physician more (Aruguete & Roberts 2000), which is excellent for developing a healthy patient-physician relationship. The patient will feel respected, valued and treated with care. When I was working part time, I came across difficult customers who were probably having a bad day and were causing disturbance. The manager managed to soothe things out and everything went back to normal. The customer even left a tip. I noticed he adjusts his way of communication to suit each customer. I realize when communicating with someone, it requires skills, patience and flexibility to ensure the person absorbs all the information transferred. Doing research, I believe without adaptability, there will be hardships trying to communicate with the patient followed by complicated consequences.

Decide, Act and Evaluate

After all the reflection and research, I realize I have a deeper and more thorough understanding about what it takes to be a doctor; it takes a whole lot more than just good grades and knowledge. I have to pay more attention to my surroundings and reach out to the ones in desperate need of a helping hand. Other than looking out for others, I have to take exceptionally good care of myself, constantly reminding myself not to spiral into compassion fatigue. I have to manage a healthy work-life balance and take time off to rest my mind, soul and body, to do that I’ll have to manage my time wisely. Through this task, I now know I have to work on my adaptability and communication skills to ensure a smooth and pleasant consultation with my future patients. Hence, to keep track of my progress, I will constantly request feedback and reviews from people around me such as my friends, family and senior health professionals. By practicing self-reflection, I will be able to identify areas that requires improvement and enhancement as well as tracing my progress of development. Then, I will strive to correct my mistakes and improve my weaknesses, step by step. If the self-reflection cycle seems to fail, I will then seek relevant professional help to guide me in my path. Being a doctor requires a great deal of training and persistence, I have confidence that I will make a decent effort in nurturing myself into a professional.

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The Reasons To Become A Doctor. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from
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