People are drawn to studying medicine for a variety of reasons. Today, we’ll dive into five of the most popular.

Every year, tens of thousands of students, from a diverse range of backgrounds, enter medical schools across the United States. What drives them to make that choice? If you’re contemplating whether you’d like to be a physician, looking at other people’s reasons for entering med school can help you decide whether it’s right for you. We’ll delve into five common reasons for entering med school so you can see if they resonate.

Unbeatable job satisfaction

Those with an innate drive for altruism, or an ethical obligation to the people around them, are often drawn to medicine. While certain fields can feel far more profit-driven, medicine revolves around an impulse to save lives, and improve patients’ quality of life. A desire to help an ailing loved one or witnessing health disparities firsthand often serve as catalysts for medical careers, helping lead to the knowledge that even one dedicated medical professional can change lives, families, and even entire communities.

Important role in your community

While the COVID-19 crisis has put an incredible strain on the healthcare industry across the world, the incredible outpouring of public support for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals because of it has been truly inspiring. No one gets into any career for the potential plaudits, but being a doctor does bring a substantial amount of respect from others. They know how hard you work, and the sacrifices you make, so that others may live. There is an incredible amount of pride to be found in that.

The dynamic nature of the field

A field rich in technological development and change, a career in medicine is certainly mentally stimulating. Medical professionals must keep upgrading their knowledge to stay up-to-date with the latest treatments and methods of care delivery, making their jobs dynamic and always interesting. A doctor’s daily work offers an incredible amount of variety, too. The job never stays the same from one day, to the next. With dozens of different specialties, there’s a pretty good chance you can find something that appeals to you personally.

Close collaboration on the job

Make no mistake, a career in medicine will provide its fair share of high pressure moments. Being able to negotiate those moments, and even lead others through them, will depend on those you work closely with. At the heart of medicine is collaboration. Regardless of your specific field within it, as a doctor you’ll frequently work with teams of fellow professionals, from different backgrounds, varying levels of experience, and a multitude of reasons for getting into medicine. Like in any industry, building relationships with these colleagues, and learning from their perspective and expertise, makes you not only a better doctor – but a better person. For those you work with in the future, it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Income and job security

While many jobs are at risk of being phased out, or becoming at risk in tough economic times, doctors will always be in demand. Jobs in medicine exist everywhere, too. Plenty of options to travel and live abroad exist in medicine, allowing doctors a chance to learn about new cultures through the lens of healthcare. And although medical students must usually pay off substantial debt, they typically find jobs with a salary that allows them to do that while planning for the future. Do these aspects of a career in medicine make you feel drawn to the field? Then a career as a physician could be right for you. Talk your thoughts through with a trusted mentor so you can make the best decision for you.