Well, the track to being able to practice medicine is a long one. There should be some benefits, shouldn't there? From teaching, to working in hospitals, to opening your own practice and helping to heal and save people, there are a multitude of benefits to becoming a physician.
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You will earn a healthy salary as a physician in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013, the average national salary for a physician is $166,400. That compensation may make up for having to be on call and working long shifts.
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Being a physician is for you if you are caring, compassionate, people person, who has a great bedside manner, says Randy Blackburn, DO, MBA, a radiation oncologist at Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, North Carolina. "The number one gift is the special something patients give us. They have a unique and positive look at life after their diagnosis. This 'transformation' is very noticeable and seems to allow the patient to see life in a different light. They do not sweat the small things in life."
Physicians can take part in completing and even leading research that further advances their fields. This can be extremely rewarding, as studies are of great importance to the survival and treatment of patients.
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Physicians have a variety of possible environments they can work in, from the hospital to opening their own practice. It is liberating to have such choices after having put in years and years of study, internship and residency.
- Randy Blackburn, DO, MBA a radiation oncologist at Onslow Memorial Hospital
Julie D. Andrews is a writer and editor living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in print or on the websites of "Prevention," "Glamour," "Fitness," "Shape," "Cosmopolitan Latina," "Elle" and "New York Magazine."