Whether you work in a national healthcare system or you're dealing with private healthcare, and whether you're a military or civilian, being a doctor is ultimately the same job. You have to be fanatically dedicated to helping people to live the best life they can. Most of the time, this means healing injuries and curing diseases. However, sometimes it means helping people to cope with chronic conditions, buying time or quality of life in the face of an impossible medical challenge and sometimes even easing a person's passing from this world.
That's why there are plenty of elements that go into being a great doctor. You have to be book-smart and willing to put in years of study involving long and often unpredictable hours. You have to learn hundreds of drugs and how they interact with each other (and with different conditions) and know when to adjust the dose in different directions or try something else. You also have to memorize a list of symptoms and correctly associate each one with the right problem. On top of all of this, you have to be able to address the full humanity of the patient and see them as more than a collection of systems.
Do you have all of these qualities and more besides? It's time to find out!
What percentage of people do you actually like?
Do you look good in a white lab coat?
Can you remember long lists of seemingly unrelated items?
How steady are your hands?
How important is money to you?
Could you break bad news to someone in a sensitive way?
Would you be willing to spend ten years in college?
How icky do you find the sight of blood?
Can you fill in a form quickly and accurately?
How easily do you separate your work and home life?
Confidentiality is everything. Can you keep a secret?
How well can you operate on not enough sleep?
How official do you sound when you say "Scalpel"?
Do you often fantasize about being the person who can swoop in and help in an emergency?
Do you mind people only wanting to see you when they are unwell?
When you make a mistake, how comfortable are you with owning it?
What is your tolerance for ambiguity?
How do you feel about the prospect of constantly having to update your skills to say relevant?
If a patient told you they learned something from some quack website, how would you get them to change course?
Do you consider yourself a team player?
Would you move to another city for work?
Can you deal with being in plenty of student debt?
How strong are your math skills?
How important is a clean working environment to you?
Do you love to keep meticulous records?
Is there a particular organ or system in the body that interests you?
Can you deal with effectively being on call in just about any situation, forever?
Do you like the idea of a hierarchical career where the next step is generally clear?
How much physical work do you like your job to include?
How much reading do you do just for fun?
About HowStuffWorks Play
How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!
Get smarter every day! Subscribe & get 1 quiz every week.
Playing quizzes is free! We send trivia questions and personality tests every week to your inbox. By
clicking "Sign Up" you are agreeing to our
years old or over.