The duties of medical doctors include the examination of patients, diagnosis, the prescription of medicine, minor operations and different treatments for injuries, diseases and other ailments. It further includes promoting healthy communities by educating them and promoting community development and also acting as a role model.
What am I going to do in this occupation?
Medical ‘doctors diagnose and treat diseases and injuries and perform an important function in looking after the well-being of the community.
Thorough knowledge of diseases and their symptoms are required for diagnosis and treatment. Medical doctors first compile a clinical history of the patient before they make a diagnosis. Medical doctors use several techniques and apparatus in their examinations in order to form an image of the disease or injury.
It is important that all factors are taken into consideration before a diagnosis is made. Treatment can be medical, surgical and therapeutic. Medical doctors sometimes find it necessary to refer a patient for further diagnosis and special treatment.
A specialized knowledge in one aspect of general medicine may be acquired, for example: surgery (performing surgeries), paediatrics (children’s ailments), obstetrics and gynaecology (women’s health) and other specialised areas.
What kind of personality do I need? Prospective medical doctors must love working with people and have an interest in their wellbeing. They must be emotionally balanced, patient, tactful and calm. They must be able to work fast, accurately, make quick decisions, carry responsibility and work under a great deal of pressure. They must also be physically fit, since they often work long and irregular hours.
Where can I work?
Medical doctors can work in hospitals, clinics, private practices, state departments, tertiary institutions such as universities and technikons in lecturing posts, laboratories, sports and research, etc.
Can I work for myself in this occupation?
Medical doctors may practice on their own or in partnership with one or more colleagues.