A career as an M.D. or D.O. involves challenges, opportunities, and a chance to make a difference. It requires an inquisitive mind, an interest in science and how the body works, and a strong commitment to caring about other people and their problems. You should enjoy both using your knowledge to help others and increasing your knowledge for improving the lives of others.
Doctors diagnose illnesses and treat people who suffer from injury or disease. Their professional lives are filled with caring for people, keeping up with advances in medicine, and working as a part of a health care team. Every day in communities around the country, doctors work in neighborhood clinics, hospitals, offices, even homeless shelters and schools. Few fields offer a wider variety of opportunities.
- Primary care doctors - general internists, family physicians, and general pediatricians who are trained to provide a wide range of services children and adults need. When patients require further treatment, primary care doctors send them to specialists.
- Specialist physicians, who focus on treating a particular system or part of the body, include surgeons, neurologists, cardiologists, and ophthalmologists.
Physicians work together to provide patients with complete care throughout life. Becoming a physician provides many other opportunities, including:
- Physician researchers
- Academic physicians
- Health maintenance organization work
- Pharmaceutical development
- Corporate work (directing health and safety programs)
Exposure to the Field, Shadowing, and Volunteering
A commitment to serving others is an integral part of a physician's career as well as successful admittance to an M.D. or D.O. program. You can volunteer right on campus at the Washington University Medical Center.
You do not need to limit your volunteering to the clinical enviornment. You can also do volunteer outreach in the community. Some projects are avaialble through the Campus Y. You can also initiate your own projects. For example, you can tutor, help build a house through Habitiat for Humanity, serve meals at a soup kitchen, or participate in the 200 student groups on campus.