Visionary young individuals, both male and female, have for many, many years been drawn to careers in medicine. But recently the focus has shifted to those fields of study where the monetary rewards and other material benefits of a medical career are passed over in favor of the personal fulfillment one achieves by working for the public good.
For instance, one 28-year-old physician refused $ 30,000.00 + from insurance and drug corporations, medical schools and private institutions. He, instead, decided to continue working for an organization that he established while in medical school, and earns a salary of $ 12,000 annually. A commitment to the advancement of the level of medical care being provided in the United States is what drives this doctor, as well as the others of this new breed.
He says he’s not interested in practicing the “traditional” methods of medicine. His organization studies medical, dental, educational and legal needs of individual communities throughout the country. He believes that one cannot consider health care issues by themselves, that you must study the overall needs of the entire community. The issue here is that there are such few opportunities out there for students who would like to grow within this niche.
Health care in the United States is in real trouble. Medical schools are slowly beginning to see this need but they need to be spurred to action. It is up to the students enrolled in medical school to provide this motivation, and thanks to their prodding, courses devoted to community medicine have been added to the curriculum of the majority of U.S. medical schools. There is a growing awareness on the part of modern medical students of the lack of basic medical care available to many individuals and their families.
A dean at a top medical program in the United States stated that currently, students are really in tune with the social issues facing the nation. They show deep empathy for and are extremely caring about gaining equal access to health care. He is even seeing a deficiency in the sense of humor of current students, as opposed to students from past generations, as a result of their drive and passion for achieving their goals. Medical students desiring to implement real change will also work harder to realize their goals and see real change. Modern medical students have different goals and values, and want different lifestyles. Today’s student is very sensitive to his not being caught in social regimentation.
Prior generations of physicians held social status high on their list of goals. Their society was kept by more elitist and recreation oriented people and their goals were more material and organization based which allowed for greater security, affluence and comfort. Current students are beyond comprehension should your beliefs and standards be from an earlier generation’s opinions.
The era of community medicine is upon us, and more students are going to be focused on getting proper medical care to all levels of society, and ensuring that the care is based on need rather than the ability to pay. A current associate professor and leader in the effort to reform the goals of medical schools and their curricula says that this country has put billions of dollars into medical care, yet the consumer will not see the available services or their health improve in the years ahead. In reality, they could be much worse off should changes not be forthcoming.
Encouraging medical students to seek careers in preventive medicine, and public and environmental health, is a task that has been taken on by one organization. This organization promotes community-oriented medical activities across the nation. Not only that, it is dedicated to integrating community health projects into the curricula of various medical schools.
One of the organization’s student program directors said that the majority of the medical students who participated in various projects said they were seriously interested in coming back to the areas to practice medicine. Projects include creating clinics in deprived areas. There are also many hospitals and medicals schools that are looking into increasing the numbers of minority doctors being trained.