medical teamHave you ever wondered what life is really like as a medic at the top of their profession? Medics of every stripe are in the business of keeping people healthy, whether it’s bandaging up a finger in accident and emergency or watching computer MRI screening images of a person with cancer. But most people don’t really think about what it is like to be a doctor, nurse, radiographer or medical researcher.


Recently, a bunch of doctors were asked about what it was that they most liked about their jobs and what they didn’t. Here’s what they had to say.


Edna Ma, Anesthesiologist


Edna Ma works as an anesthesiologist in Los Angeles. She says that the thing she likes most is that her job is a single task. All she has to do is administer the anaesthetic and her job is done. The real joy for her, she says, comes from knowing that she is a critical team member and that she helps people to get better. She told that she likes working with intelligent surgeons and compassionate nurses and also meeting new patients and their families. She says that she loves being a physician, but the best part of her job is that she can be a part of her patients lives. Often, she says, patients will visit her multiple times a year before their health issues are remedied

One of the most frustrating aspects of her job is the fact that insurance companies are no longer paying out as they once did. Thanks to policies like Obamacare, Ma says that she is often put in awkward positions, having to tell her patients that they will have to pay before receiving sedation. Part of this, she says, has to do with the fact that deductibles are now so high that most patients have to pay out of pocket.


Pamela D’Amato, Pain Management


D’Amato currently works her own private practice in New Jersey. She says that she loves her career because she works at an amazing private practice that treats and specializes in disorders of the spine. She works with a group of very highly-skilled surgeons whose sole aim is to help people eliminate their back pain and improve their lives. One of the most satisfying things about her job is the fact that she gets to see patients getting better right there in front of her.


But she also said that her job brings with it some difficulties. The main difficulty, she finds, is getting the balance right between her family and her work life. She said that this was especially difficult during her training years when she was younger. The other problem with the profession, as she sees it, is that in her particular field of pain management many patients are looking for drugs to solve problems. Often she has no choice other than to give people painkillers that might otherwise damage their quality of life but, she says, that she is lucky enough to be in an area of medicine that discourages this type of behaviour.


Steve Heffer, Urgent Care Physician


Steve Heffer is an experienced emergency doctor who operates a range of clinics throughout Connecticut. He says that the thing he loves the most is helping people to prolong their lives. One of the most satisfying parts of his job is providing a service in areas where people would not otherwise have access. Heffer points out that you do not ordinarily see urgent care centers in impoverished inner-city areas. By being in the inner cities he says he is able to make an impact and see results on a daily basis. Once patients are inside his medical center, he’s able to make sure that they get the help they need and his efforts have improved community health in general.


The thing he doesn’t like about his job is the fact that there is currently so much uncertainty in the healthcare sector. Many doctors are leaving the sector because their jobs are now so difficult because of regulation and constant changes in policy. Many are seeking a retirement because of the problems they face at work, and others who are new to the industry are wondering how they can jump ship and find alternative careers.


Heffer says that the industry is a lot more money-focused than it was in the past. He says that there needs to be more of a balance between patient care and making money in the future.


Joseph Barry, Primary Care Doctor


Joseph Barry works at a hospital in New York where he offers personalized care and a concierge practice. One of the things that he likes most at his job is the fact that it is so patient-focussed. Thanks to websites like he doesn’t have to spend hours everyday worrying about what he is going to wear to impress clients. Instead, he can roll out of bed, put on his scrubs, and go straight to work helping patients.


The thing that he doesn’t like so much about practicing medicine is a lot of the regulatory nonsense. For instance, regulations create a higher overhead, and he has to fill out lots of forms on the computer which can be expensive. What’s more, he has to pay for lots of training over which he has no control.


The biggest problem for Barry is that these activities take away from time that could be spent helping his patients. He would like to be able to spend more time with patients to help them lose weight through exercise, quit smoking and other things that contribute to improve their lifestyles.