I spent the better part of last week interviewing kids in my neighborhood. These
kids were between the ages of 4 and 9 and my major question to them was: ‘What
would you like to be in future?’ Of the 14 kids that I asked, 10 said that they would
love to be doctors. The other 4 were, for lack of a better word, ‘creative’. Sharon
(aged 4) said, ‘I want to be a mummy.’; Kolawole (aged 8) would like to be an artist,
‘like Davido’, in his words; and Cynthia and Zainab (both aged 6) want to be
Their responses left me puzzled. They reminded me of a young version of myself. I
was certain that I would become a doctor because my parents had ensured that I
understood that their smartest kid had to become a doctor. So, I ask today: must
we all be doctors?
To answer this question, it is important to understand why medicine as a profession
has been accorded so much respect. You see, reasons abound as to why medicine is
deemed prestigious; some of these reasons include the fact that doctors: save
lives, are smart, earn significantly high salaries, and are perceivably responsible.
All these reasons add to the allure of the profession; enticing parents and children
alike to dream of, one day, donning the white coat.
However, the answer to the question, ’Must we all be doctors?’ is an emphatic no!
We must not all be doctors. The medical profession is one that calls for
practitioners who are very emotionally intelligent and are particularly patient,
empathetic, and who are natural caregivers. For those of us who do not fit this
description, we must find where our best strengths lie, and seek professions that
make the best use of those strengths.
There are a plethora of other professions that are equally rewarding, fulfilling and
respectable. Engineering, art, physical and biological sciences, architecture,
business, management, amongst others, are fields with so much promise.
Professionals in these fields are making significant contributions around the world.
They are ushering in the next generation of workers and innovators that will
change our world as we know it. If you do not want to be a doctor, you don’t have
to; all you need to do is find what you are passionate about and get to work.
Were you forced to study medicine as a child? How did it work out? Gist us in the
comments section, or shoot us an email via this address: [email protected]