A doctor ̕s life is extremely satisfying despite the stress of performance and uncertainty of treatment outcome.
It seems from research that job satisfaction is more dependent on the return of gratitude and respect that one attains on delivering service or a goods rather than the monetary gains. And in this perspective, medicine as a profession has no parallel.
In Japan, there is a concept of Ikigai, the attainment of which is supposed to impart extreme satisfaction and joy of living to the possessor.
So, how does one attain this extreme joy of living called Ikigai?
In simple language, if one enjoys doing a work, does it with passion, that also fetches livelihood to the person and is of service to mankind, then the state of ikigai is achieved.
More often than not, a doctor, teacher, artist and a gardener are among those professionals who have a higher chance of achieving ikigai because of the kind of work they do.
There is another way of understanding job satisfaction.
Philosophically, questions regarding the purpose of life have extracted a lot of interest, discussion and viewpoints. One suitable answer to this is- the purpose of life is a life full of purpose!
And indeed, a doctor's life can be a life of purpose. It's a great opportunity and a privilege to be a doctor. It's one of those lives where one can make a difference to lives of others on a daily basis. One can impart a smile to the cured, be charitable to the less privileged, kind to the sufferer, reliever to the pained and a comforter to the bereaved!
As a member of this profession, I have often asked myself- given a chance to relive my life, considering all the stress involved, the accountability, changing society where trust doesn't come easily, the odd hours of working and rising expectations of society, would I still choose this profession?
My answer is- Undoubtedly, I would!
This is my ikigawa, my purpose of life!