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My Perfect Job

By Jennifer Frank, MD

I just completed an online survey about my career-- the hours I work, my salary, how many patients I see, etc. One of the questions was whether, had I to  do it all over again, I would choose to be a physician and whether I would choose my same specialty. I have to admit, these are questions I ask myself not infrequently.

My answer changes from day to day and moment to moment. Right after I have delivered a baby and am on that post-delivery high of all being right with the world, I do not hesitate to reaffirm both my choice to be a physician and my  choice to be a family physician. At the end of a busy clinic session where I feel that I have only served to frustrate myself, my patients, and my nurse,  other careers look appealing ” lawyer, daycare worker, teacher, trophy wife.

Most often, I hover somewhere on the side of being a physician and fluctuate back and forth about my choice of family medicine.

It leads me to think about my ideal job. Here is a list of the qualities that  make up a perfect career for me (at this moment “ it may change tomorrow):

1) My career would allow me to pursue a personal passion.

2) At the end of the day, the world would be a better place because of the work I did.

3) I would make a comfortable salary” nothing too grand but enough to live on without worrying about paying for college or an unexpected car repair.

4) OK, if I’am dreaming, I would like to be able to take the day off on a whim if it is very beautiful weather outside and I feel like it.

5) I would not ever have to get up at 3 a.m. on a snowy, freezing cold night and go somewhere to do my job.

6) I would be able to be creative and spontaneous.

7) My job would  involve writing” I love to write.

8) There would be an element of the  unexpected, surprising, or challenging every day.

9) I would be able to work with people I like and respect.

10) I would have energy left over at the end of my workday to spend on my husband and children.

There, I think that just about sums it up. Looking over this list, I have to say, that aside from No. 4 and No. 5 and sometimes No. 10, my job often meets  those requirements. Maybe I am in the right specialty after all. Or maybe I was  really meant to be a famous novelist.


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