Advantages and Disadvantages of Becoming a Doctor

Many advantages and disadvantages come with being a doctor. Some of the career's most notable rewards and challenges include income, prestige, helping others, job-related stress, long work hours and legal challenges. View article »

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

94% college-bound high school students
…said it was important to communicate with colleges during the search process. (Source: Noel-Levitz 2012 trend study)

Select a school or program

View More Schools
Show Me Schools
  • 0:01 Positives and…
  • 0:24 Income
  • 0:44 Personal Satisfaction
  • 1:07 Time Consumption
  • 1:23 Job-Related Stress
  • 2:13 Lawsuits

Find the perfect school

Video Transcript

Positives and Negatives of a Doctor's Job

Advantages Income
Personal satisfaction
Disadvantages Time commitment for both training and career
High stress levels

Like any other workers, doctors enjoy the ups and downs that come with the flow of a long career. For every positive experience with helping patients and giving back to communities, there is a flip side that can hamper job satisfaction.

Let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of a career as a doctor.


Salary, which varies according to experience, specialty, and setting, is an advantage for physicians. Most physicians enjoy above-average earnings. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, family and general practitioners earned median annual salaries of $184,390 in May of 2015.

Personal Satisfaction

A study conducted in 2002 by the American Medical Association showed that physician satisfaction varied by specialty; however, in general, about 42% of physicians showed satisfaction with their career. Other factors that contribute to personal satisfaction may include research and training opportunities and the freedom to provide quality healthcare.

Time Consumption

Doctors often cite long training periods in medical school and the high tuition costs associated with it as a disadvantage. Time remains an issue even after earning a medical degree, since physicians often work long hours and don't have as much time to spend with family and friends as they'd like.

Job-Related Stress

Just as saving lives can be rewarding, the responsibilities that come with being a doctor can be stressful, such as making a mistake, losing a patient, or fearing the loss of one. According to a 2002 article appearing on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, 73% of junior doctors on cardiac arrest teams found cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) stressful.

Individuals surveyed note that stress was due largely to unfortunate outcomes. Other issues included the failure of senior staff to give 'Do Not Resuscitate' orders for applicable patients, no advanced life support training prior to performing CPR, or simply just having to perform the procedure. Doctors also reported that they sometimes find it difficult to discuss CPR with patients and their families.


Medical malpractice suits are another disadvantage. As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly 2,500 medical malpractice cases were handled in general jurisdiction courts in 2005. Although plaintiffs won less than one-fourth of the cases, medical malpractice suits can still sully a doctor's reputation.

The advantages of becoming a doctor include high salary and personal satisfaction; but disadvantages include time consumption, stress, and lawsuits.

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

  • 3
    Yale University
  • 4
    West Virginia University
  • 5
    Weill Cornell Medical College
  • 6
    Washington University in St Louis
  • 7
    Upstate Medical University
  • 8
    University of Toledo
  • 9
    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • 10
    Yeshiva University

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?