This is a copy of an email posted at the Saudi Doctors Yahoo group on February 19, 2008
Few hours ago, I attended a “Career Planning for Your Kid” workshop for parents of high school students. I had no clue that such thing existed if not for my son’s invitation and suggestion that it might be a good idea for me to go.
I was impressed with the amount of work the “Career Practitioner” had done to facilitate and make the workshop a success. I was so impressed with the amount of free booklets and literature (funded by the provincial government) she distributed. I was impressed with the attendance of parents. Some of whom are really old and looked very experienced, yet they showed up eager to “learn” what is going on in the “job market”. I was impressed hearing stories of how people switched gears and switch “careers” when they “found themselves” in their new career. I was impressed to hear how the “Career Practitioner” herself started in a career with a Bachelor and Master degree for 10 years, then “found herself” in a new career, for which she obtained another Master degree.
This workshop reminded me of a medical student I met in Ontario . The gentleman was in his fifties, grey-headed. He has been a teacher for more than 20 years and his daughter was a PGY-1 (when he was in his 2nd year in medical school). I know how sensitive these personal issues in the western culture. However, I couldn’t resist and asked him why is he doing this to himself? (as if he was suffering from my perspective) . He replied that he is enjoying every minute as a medical student. He said that he has helped the community as a teacher for more than 20 years and now he wants to help it as a family physician!!! !!!
My points with this email:
- Do we have “Career Planning” workshops in Saudi? As far as I know until 6 years ago, we had none. I pray that we have some now.
- Why did we join the health care field (doctors, dentists, nurses, allied health care professionals) ? Has someone discussed with us our personality and values (realistic, investigative, conventional, artistic, enterprising, and social) and match it with our future career? By the way, these are the new terms from today’s session.
- Have you ever regretted your career choice? Have you thought of switching career? Is it feasible?
- Why is there a requirement in all universities that you should not have spent more than 5 years since your high school graduation to be eligible to enroll?
- Let’s say you knew from kindergarten that you wanna be a doctor. Has someone discussed with you your specialty career choice? Do we need “Medical Career Practitioners” in our medical schools? Do we have a good system of mentorship? How much does it cost us to assign medical students to teaching staff (as their student advisors) for guidance, mentorship and career planning?
Just thoughts to trigger some discussions.