Don’t get me wrong.

I’m a doctor. I love my job.
But I have worked for almost ten years and have seen too many people who were forced to study medicine, or forced to become doctors. I have also seen people who thought they wanted to become doctors (after being convinced by their parents or teachers), but they could have done better with other things.

It is sad. Very sad indeed.

Dear parents,

Medicine is not for everyone. Being a doctor is not the only way to succeed, and I can tell you, if you think that being rich equals to success, you are totally misguided and will be deeply frustrated. Of course, it is a professioon where you try to help others to your maximum ability, but it does not mean that you could not help others by being in other fields. Personally, the job satisfaction as a doctor comes when we help the poor and needy, when we listen to their worries, when we attend to their needs. I can tell you that those will not come with million dollar paychecks, but the contentment is beyond measure.

Medicine is not for the fainthearted. It is not for those who can’t answer to others. It is not for those who are calculative and unfair. It is not for those who only think of money and nothing else. It is not for those who are not ready to study and read books all their lives.
It is not for people who are NOT INTERESTED.

I am very sure those students who excel in their studies have other ambitions than becoming doctors. Some might want to be chefs, architects, fashion designers, teachers, interior designers, farmers. Some are interested in agriculture, history, fine arts or literature. Many wanted to become religious teachers or imams.

So be it.
We need people who could excel in their studies to excel in these fields. Some students may not excel in their SPM because none of the subjects above were taught in schools! In fact, so many things are NOT introduced in schools that the interests and potentials of all of these students were not discovered. Society labelled them as slow, so they were left behind or even drop out of school, when they were simply not interested with what was taught in school.
Do you know what kind of students or doctors they will be if they are not interested?

They become lazy, unmotivated, sad, stressed up for even small things, unfriendly, calculative, angry doctors. When they study they fail often (which would waste parents’ or even people’s money). If they went on to become specialists, they are the bitter ones who throw files around at juniors and call others names. Are these the kind of doctors you want your kids to be? Are these the kind of doctors you want treating you?

I’m not saying that all “forced” doctors are bad doctors. I have friends who were told to study medicine and they excel in it. They became great doctors because they have accepted the fact that God has given them this path for a good reason. They are nice to patients because they know it is the right thing to do. They know they made their parents happy so they are happy too.

All I’m saying is, there are so many options for your children. Watch them and listen to them. Let them choose what they are interested in (with halal means, of course, as Muslims) and support them towards their dreams. You will later find out how much it means for them.