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10 reasons why being a doctor is a privilege

I feel privileged to be practicing medicine. Many people consider doctor careers and imagine how great it may be. Is it the right thing for you? Yes there are days of frustration, exhaustion, and utter defeat, but at the end of the day I home and know that I helped at least one person if not two from the 16 I meet.

The fact that I alleviated one individual’s anxiety or provided reassurance that they will be okay is a good feeling and one that I must remind myself of. That I am able to work with a team of individuals from medical assistants to nurses and techs to provide care and the fact that I am not stuck behind a desk all day despite computers and electronic medical records encroaching more and more into our lives (one recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine described two hours of computer time for every one hour of physician interaction time. And despite more focus on parameters such as that may or may not have anything to do with actual health outcomes.

It is easy to forget the effort it takes to become a physician. Once in practice, it is easy to get burned out. If I applied today for medical school I may not be successful with current acceptance rates per US News are 6.9 percent nationally in 2015. This is despite a expected shortage of between 46,000 to 90,000 physicians in 2025 which blows my mind because there is already a lot of discussion regarding physician burnout — a topic I will not be covering that here today — but will likely be made worse by a physician shortage. OK, so before I digress more, I mean to discuss why I am privileged to be a physician and why we as a profession can never forget these things despite all the BS that has entered our field.

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