When it comes to life after high school, there are a great many enticing possibilities. For some students, the answer is clear: a profession where they can use their talents is the right choice. Many people find the fields of medicine and law equally enticing. Both paths offer many benefits. Doctors and lawyers have the opportunity to master a body of knowledge and make use of challenging and exciting ways that allow them to make a real difference in the world. For the modern student attempting to decide which of the two is ideal, one thing is clear. Finding out as much information as possible before making a choice is imperative.
The World of Medicine
The world of medicine is incredibly varied. Doctors are some of the most important of all medical professionals. In the course of a single day, a doctor might examine many patients, prescribe medications, perform minor surgery, and send a patient for further testing. Doctors diagnose and treat illness; they can specialize or choose to become general practitioners. Others may become cardiovascular surgeons, pediatricians working with children or hospitalists who supervise patients when they are in a hospital for a prolonged period.
If you want to become a doctor, you’ll have to complete a long and rigorous training. The requirements for medical school are set by each school. Generally, they include the completion of certain undergraduate subjects and a specific score on the MCAT(Medical College Admission Test). A doctor needs to earn an undergraduate degree. After that, they must apply to medical school; doctors attend medical school for four years. Once the doctor graduates from medical school, they must complete a residency and earn a state medical license.
Becoming a Lawyer
Another possible profession many students find interesting in the field of law. Lawyers work with many different clients doing all sorts of tasks. A lawyer may help create a divorce agreement that includes detailed child custody arrangements. Lawyers can also serve in many other capacities. For example, they can become judges who make the law and determine how it should be enforced. They can also open up their own practice.
The process of becoming a lawyer requires the applicant to first complete a four-year undergraduate degree. Then they must apply to law school. It takes three years to earn a law degree from an accredited law school. All lawyers need to pass their state’s bar exam to practice law.
How Do You Decide?
For many students, the question becomes which particular path might best suit their own talents and inclinations. Some students already have a family member who is a doctor or lawyer. Others may have friends who are thinking about these professions and have already begun planning to enter them. It’s a good idea to speak to doctors and lawyers if possible. Many medical and legal professionals are happy to talk to students about all aspects of their careers.
Pros and Cons
Each option has potential benefits as well as possible drawbacks.
The field of law can suffer from over-saturation. There are many law schools. Students who graduate from a school that is not as highly ranked may find it hard to get a job in the field. Law school fees are thousands of dollars each year. A lawyer may graduate in massive debt. However, lawyers are respected professionals who can represent people in need of help. For those who enjoy arguing and love writing, the legal field often makes a great choice.
Becoming a doctor means long hours and mastery of an enormous amount of information. Medical students spend a lot of time studying. Residents face long hours working with patients. At the same time, graduating from medical school and earning a state license means the opportunity to cure a patient’s cancer, deliver a healthy baby, or fix a broken leg properly. Physicians and surgeons are in high demand all over the country. A doctor is likely to find immediate employment in the field of medicine they like best. Even if they graduate in debt, their salaries are among the highest of all professionals making it easy to repay student loans.
The road to becoming a doctor or lawyer is long. However, the end result of either can be intensely rewarding.