Being a doctor is a lot harder than getting into med school.
There is a lot of content to learn, and the content keeps changing. The content is extremely applicable to your work, so it can feel rewarding to learn. But you have to really enjoy it, as you will be studying after work and taking examinations until you’re 40.
Work-life balance is difficult, because there is a shortage of doctors in Singapore. This is a systemic issue that may take decades to change. As an intern, he once left work at 11pm after starting the day at 4am. He has also worked 21 days with no rest days in between. While it’s possible to have lunch every day, it normally doesn’t happen for many doctors.
If you want to be a doctor, you have to be able to work with people, even people you don’t like. Doctors do get verbally abused by angry patients. Even if you don’t like a patient, you still need to interact with them and make sure they follow your medical advice. Being able to communicate well is crucial.
If you want to be a doctor, you have to be able to deal with gross things or disturbing situations. Expect to see blood, urine, and other fluids, and smell really bad smells. Be prepared to witness patient deaths, expected and unexpected -- this, on top of the strenuous workload, can take a heavy toll on some people’s mental health.
While most med students in Singapore become doctors after graduating, it’s not the only option. Some decide to become healthcare consultants, join med tech or drug companies.
Money is a non-reason for going into medicine. Doctors used to be one of the most highly paid professions, but not anymore. The hourly pay is about $5.