Doctor vs Engineer vs Business | Deciding on a Career


Did you always know that you wanted to be
a doctor? I didn’t either. In fact, even in college, I was weighing my
options between going into engineering, business, and medicine. In this video, we’ll go over each and how
you can best decide which career path is right for you. What’s going on guys, Dr. Jubbal, MedSchoolInsiders.com Before we dive in, there are two caveats we must go over, first, my personal story as
to how I decided to become a doctor is much more personal than what I am explaining in
this video. Personal factors, such as being diagnosed
with a chronic illness at the beginning of college, influenced my decision. I go over the full story on my vlog channel,
link in the description below. There are several videos on the vlog channel
that go more into my personal experiences with career options, health issues, and my
philosophy on optimizing one’s life. For an even deeper and more intimate view
of what this looks like, visit me on Instagram. At number two, I am inherently biased as I
went to medical school and earned my MD. That being said, I do love engineering and
business as well and have dabbled with both, as you’ll see. I will also do my best to be as objective
as possible and portray the pros and cons of each, and help guide you in making your
decision. For those of you with a engineering or business
backgrounds, I tremendously value your input as you have a different perspective than me. Let me know what you agree or disagree with
down in the comments. Without further ado, let’s get to it. First, let’s talk about becoming a doctor. I like many others consider medicine to be
a highly noble profession. You deeply connect with patients, they trust
you in their most vulnerable states, and you can leave a deeper personal impact and change
their lives in a way that is difficult to match in any other profession. One of the most common reasons people want
to go into medicine and become a doctor is the fulfillment from helping others. That sounds great, but remember that you can
help others in a multitude of professions. In many healthcare settings, nurses actually
have more frequent and extended patient contact than doctors. Policemen help enforce the law and protect
those in need. Firefighters and EMTs help people in the most
dire of emergencies. Engineers and businessmen and women help people
as well through their work. Helping others is not unique to being a doctor. That being said, the desire to help others
is not a bad reason to pursue medicine. Helping others is fundamental in finding one’s
life purpose and fulfillment. However, it isn’t unique to being a doctor. What is unique is the intellectual challenge
and interpersonal connection that comes with being a doctor. I like to joke that all doctors are nerds
because it is tremendously difficult to be successful in medical school and beyond without
having an innate desire to learn, grow, and challenge yourself. Medicine is a profession where being a lifelong
learner is essential. You are going to be required to take boards
every 10 years, and to provide the best care to your patients, you need to keep up to date
with research. At Med School Insiders, we go over a wide
array of study strategies to make you a more effective lifelong learner, and that includes
learning to enjoy the process of learning. There are several other reasons individuals
pursue medicine, but these are less frequently spoken about, but at Med School Insiders,
we keep it real. First the salary. You should never go into medicine because
of the money, but to deny the job security and high earning potential as a factor would
be dishonest. Compared to engineers or businessmen and women,
doctors on average earn more, emphasis placed, on average. Based on the specialty, doctors can expect
to earn between $200,000 to $600,000 per year. There are, of course, outliers to this range
on both ends of the spectrum. The reason you shouldn’t pursue medicine
for the money is because of opportunity cost and the rigorous work that is required by
the profession. By the time you’re actually making the big
bucks in your 30s, you’ve sunk hundreds of thousands of dollars into your medical
education, and while others have been making a salary and saving for the past 7 to 12 years,
you’re been in training and are now you’re finally starting but from a negative net worth. You’ll be working longer hours too, as the
average attending physician works 60 hours per week in the US. In residency, expect that to be closer to
70 or 80 hours per week, plus studying at home. And remember the average medical student graduates
with close to $200,000 in debt. The image of becoming a doctor and being rich
is mostly antiquated. With decreasing compensation and increasing
student loans, don’t expect a lavish lifestyle. Most doctors are very risk-averse. The profession of medicine, after all, is
extremely secure. AI is coming, but it’s going to be replacing
several other careers before surgeons get replaced, and people will always need healthcare. There’s always a demand. Assess your own risk tolerance and determine
what you’re comfortable with. But at the same time, don’t let fear of
risk pigeon hole your potential future. Usually, when there is more risk, there is
the potential for more reward. Take business for example, businessmen and
women have a much higher earning potential than physicians and much more potential to
change the world, but it’s not guaranteed. In fact, most businessmen and women, on average,
make less than doctors. Stated another way, if you become a doctor,
you’ll probably make more money however, you could potentially make more money in business. Now, certain cultures place heavy emphasis
on the status and desirability of being a doctor. While this is a nice perk of being a physician,
I am doubtful that it contributes to long term satisfaction. Sure, it’s nice to be respected for the
hard work, dedication, and long hours, but if this is your reason for going into medicine,
it’s not gonna sustain you. Intrinsic satisfaction and fulfillment from
the work is much more important. Next, let’s talk about engineering as a
profession. Similar to medicine, engineering allows you
to specialize based on your area of interest. In medicine, you can go with plastic surgery,
pathology, radiology, internal medicine, psych, et cetera and find the best specialty for
your personality and preferred lifestyle. In engineering, you can also choose from a
variety of specializations, such as civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical,
and much more. Similar to medicine, engineering also provides
a high level of job security and a relatively high salary. While many physicians earn in the low to mid
six-figure range, many engineers are in the high five to low six-figure range. Engineers, on average, make less than doctors,
but they also aren’t required to go through four years of medical school and three to
eight years of residency and they graduate with significantly less debt. I was personally very interested in computer
science because the way of thinking is so unique and logical. I loved programming in high school and it
came easily to me. The problem solving of computer science and
programming is very stimulating and fun in my opinion. I was also a huge fan of math in high school
and in college and I thoroughly enjoyed physics, calculus, and mechanical engineering electives. But one thing that pushed me away from engineering
was imagining what I would be doing day in and day out. I like interacting with people, and I felt
that the interpersonal stimulation of being a doctor and meeting patients every day would
be more in line with my ideal future than what the job of an engineer would traditionally
entail. It was difficult to see myself working at
a desk nine to five. And not all engineers necessarily do, but
doctors usually have more interpersonal stimulation than engineers do. Lastly, let’s talk about business. This is a difficult career to cover in such
a short video, as business is the most flexible and diverse of these three career paths. While the job security, clout, and average
earning potential is not as optimal compared to medicine, business has several distinct
and significant advantages over the other two options. First, business provides tremendous flexibility
in every aspect of your career. You don’t have to go to graduate school,
and you don’t have to work for someone else, you don’t have to follow the traditional
rules. Second, while the average earning potential
is lower, businessmen and women have the potential to make significantly more than doctors or
engineers. Lastly, and most importantly, business provides
the most direct path to change the world. Allow me to explain. Since college, my interests have changed and
developed. I grew obsessed with biomedical innovation,
or the invention of technologies to improve patient care. I found myself at the intersection of medicine,
business, and engineering. I even founded a biomedical incubator at UC
San Diego called Blue LINC to pursue this interest. In the incubator, we combine teams of medical
students, engineering graduate students, and business MBA students and mentor them to create
healthcare startups. It’s tremendously exciting because there’s
a potential to affect thousands or even millions of patients by improving healthcare technologies. With my MD I have the clinical expertise. However, had I majored in engineering in college,
I would have been better prepared to work on designing and developing these healthcare
technologies. If I had business training, that would help
me take my ideas to market. Each discipline, medicine, business, and engineering
is necessary to create a lasting impact through biomedical innovation. And I love this idea of leaving a mark on
the world, having a significant impact, and it’s much easier to do through business. Don’t get me wrong, doctors and engineers
have very important and significant roles in society. But doctors, they usually create deep connections
and help one patient at a time. Engineers create the infrastructure from which
all of society operates. These are both extremely important professions
that deserve respect. However, for a technology to impact and truly
change the world, it needs to be sustainable from a business perspective. You could create a new treatment for diabetes
that improves patient outcomes. However, if it’s cost-prohibitive, or is
challenging from a patient compliance perspective, or is ultimately not sustainable as a business,
it’s unlikely to make a significant impact. Elon Musk is revolutionizing space travel
and challenging our dependence on fossil fuels for personal transport through business. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs revolutionized and
created the possibility of personal computing through business. Sheryl Sandberg has used her influence at
Facebook to push for women’s health and immigration reform. Each of their impacts has been facilitated
through business. Medicine, engineering, and business are each
fantastic careers to pursue. And remember, you don’t have to limit yourself
to just one or stick to a prescribed path. Don’t be afraid to break the mold and take
the path less traveled. Through Blue LINC and Med School Insiders,
I’ve been combining my interest of medicine and business. What about you? Are you going all-in on medicine? Considering a career in business or engineering? I’d love to hear your future plans down
in the comments below. Remember to check out the vlog channel and
Instagram for more exclusive content that you won’t see anywhere else. Thank you all so much for watching. If you like the video, make sure you press
that like button, hit subscribe if you have not already and I will see you guys in that
next one.

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