Posted by: Dawud Israel | April 12, 2008

Why YOU shouldn’t become a Doctor

Should I write this or shouldn’t I? Hmmm tough call especially considering there are so many doctors and potential doctors in our Ummah. I’ll write this and see what happens, if anything. ๐Ÿ™‚

There is a culture, no–it’s a FANATICISM, over doctors in Muslim cultures. It’s the BEST job you could ever have. And everyone wants their kid to become a doctor. It is unthinkable that anything could be better than being a doctor, IMPOSSIBLE! Some families are different and this mainly does occur in families from the Indian subcontinent.

And so I will tell you a number of things you never knew about this or never considered…

Why you SHOULD be a doctor:

-If your a niqaabi sister you get to dress like the above picture. ๐Ÿ™‚

-Lots of money…to use for Islamic causes

-Save lives and can be a hero (IF you have the courage, which most shy Muslims don’t) in many situations–or even travel abroad to help Muslim countries

-Very rewarding

-There are MANY MANY unskilled lazy doctors out there who misdiagnose and mistreat. Consider the fact that legal drugs kill more people than illegal drugs and you’ll understand how severe this is. If you are sincerely committed to medicine are willing to learn EVERYTHING there is about medicine–than you should become one.

-Your parents will hate you if you don’t become one

Why you SHOULD NOT be a doctor:

-Very difficult to get into Medical school and so many Muslims resort to taking drugs like Dexedrine to help them study, only this medication is very very damaging causing severe weight loss, lose of memory (you can focus and study hard for hours straight, but you cannot recall it all).

-Finish education and become a doctor very late and this means you are too old to get married and this is especially problematic for sisters who I’ve seen resort to marrying outside the faith. The myth of becoming a doctor and being eligible to be married is only true if you finish medicine at a young age which 9/10 does not happen.

-Lots of work and this leads to very little time for family and worship–sometimes one cannot pray because they are dealing with life-death situations–not to mention you are exhausted most of the time.

-Lots of money, but rarely ever used for Islamic purposes mainly because studying and the doctor lifestyle leaves little room for Islamic practices and actually giving Islam the attention it deserves.

-Doctor culture results in entire families of doctors and this takes away from the prestige of holding the title “doctor”. In these sorts of families being a doctor is not just a job–it’s essentially a religion.

-Many families have so stressed their children to become doctors that many have…gone insane. One true story I know of is a young brother who was indoctrinated to become a doctor by his parents to the point it was a like a “Jannah” to him. He lived it up so much in his mind because his parents stressed it virtually every day. When he finally got into medical school, he realized it was not what he had dreamed of and he lost his mind. He attempted to commit suicide and his parents no longer cared about medicine, they simply wanted their son back. He is now living in an asylum I believe. This is just an example as to how Muslims have become Doctor Fanatics and how it is ruining people’s lives.

-Do not focus on other pursuits and Islamic work because studies occupy them 24/7 from childhood to university–we Muslims NEED lawyers because we are being attacked left and right but there are none to go to!

-The doctor occupies a status that is second to that of God in today’s society. He can bring life to the dying and so it is not rare for doctors to have cured patients visit them, thanking them, praising them over and over again for quite a long time. The amount of praise and respect given is really no different to how people visit the shrines of Muslim dead saints and give them offerings, not to mention how much pride this fills a person up with.

-In contemporary society, there are a number of Muslims who bribe their way through school or cheat through school and then get into med school, just to please parental pressure. They may even go to the extent of getting a fake certificate. Needless to say, they aren’t proper physicians and this is a major risk to people’s lives.

-Many go onto live and work as doctors but are very unsatisfied with their life and wish they had done something else.

-Not everyone will become a doctor and so there will be many broken hearts and sad stories. One brother I talked to almost left Islam because he couldn’t get in and it’s all he wants. He keeps asking, “Why won’t Allah let me be a doctor?” This fanaticism with medicine is so childish, it’s sickening.

-Let’s face it, your doing it for the money and saying your doing it to save lives is just to make yourself feel good. Everyone else is doing it for the money and status, so why shouldn’t you right?

Conclusion: I take a very anti-doctor stance simply because it has been so heavily indoctrinated into Muslim society that it has left us weak and stupid. We have become so infatuated and obsessed with this it has caused a countless problems that I have barely only touched upon. The truth is very very few people are good doctors and in fact the ones that are love their job and it was a conscious decision for them rather than parental pressure. These doctors which are indeed skilled and talented are the ones that gain the prestige everyone talks about and it is often because they go above and beyond the average doctor and this is because they love their job. If you are reading this and you think, “Oh that’s me!” chances are you are wrong. I have met countless doctors and out of them I would put only 3 in this category.

So in short, consider other careers besides Medicine because this Ummah needs more than doctors.

We need lawyers, human rights activists, politicians, Imams, community leaders, counselors, businessman that cater to Muslim needs, psychologists that understand the delicacy of Muslim life, Muslims portraying Islam in a positive light in the media, writers and most importantly thinkers who will create change!

Please don’t dismiss this because it is something that I have seen cause a great deal of problems to brothers and sisters. To become a doctor it requires an attitude of maturity, not a childish insistence, “I want become a doctor!” when they clearly do not display the traits of a good doctor. You later see these same doctors who think they are so special doing some of the most idiotic things ever. They never matured passed that childish “gimme gimme” and you see them doing things even a fool on the street would never do.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illah illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, Ameen.


Responses

  1. human rights activist, sounds nice, where can I apply?

    how do u make any money of these jobs?

  2. Now that was not very encouraging. InshaAllah I still want to become a doctor…because I like studying. May Allah make me one AMEEN!

  3. -Just because something is hard to do doesn’t mean you should give up on it! One should follow her/his dreams.

    -As for your claims about job dissatisfaction, legarthy with regards to family and worship, cheating to get into medical school, malpractice and misdiagnosis…you need some statistics to back those statements up. Until then, they are simply-opinion. ๐Ÿ™‚

    -With regards to finding a spouse: One intellectual (nerd ;)) usually finds another. I think intellectual (nerd) wanna-be’s would also be flattered to marry a doctor. I don’t think chances are that low if you are young. Just Trust ALLAH!

    -For time…You can run a private practice and set up convenient hours.

    Bottom Line:::Becoming a doctor = Mental pleasure!

  4. Oh and yeah…What was the name of the person who said that the only science that is better than medicine is Islamic fiqh?

  5. good article

    I think people seem to believe that becoming a doctor means not working for anyone (which is nice), but many people become slaves to work instead.

  6. Well, if you want to do it for the mental pleasure I am sure you will have no problem working as a doctor in a third world Muslim country then ๐Ÿ™‚

    Besides, in North America colored doctors get sued by racist patients at times for “malpractice” so… ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. “Becoming a doctor = Mental pleasure!”

    I can’t fathom having mental pleasure when I would have to tell parents that their child has died, or that someone has a fatal disease, or that someone needs to loose a limb to save their life…

  8. Well, I do not know what the best place to work would be after I inshaAllah become a doctor. I will make dua to Allah for that.

    By mental pleasure…I mean all that you get to learn = pricelessness! Plus, you get to apply what you have learned to improve people’s lives inshaAllah. Witnessing all the misery will make you more aware of Allah…you get less indulged in this world and repent more often and thus prepare for the after life. EVERYONE has to die at some point. Loosing a limb is better than losing life, ain’t it? (If Allah has willed) only good doctors can contribute making a life without limbs possible.

    With regards to ‘colored’ doctors being sued by racist patients…that may be true…but like anything in life one’s gotta be optimistic.

    InshaAllah Brs. Dawud and Qas please make dua to Allah that he make my journey easier. : )

  9. May Allah grant you all that is best for you. Ameen. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. May Allah grant you the best.

  11. One thing I would like to point out in this comment:

    “…(IF you have the courage, which most shy Muslims donโ€™t)…”

    In Islam, shyness is considered a praiseworthy quality. Shyness has nothing to do with lack of courage. Shy people can be VERY courageous. The Prophet sal-Allahu-Alyhe wa sallam is an excellent example of that.

  12. oh…thx for the duas. Ameen.

  13. After twenty years of giving dawa and seeing and dealing with the problems related to exactly some of the matters this article is expounding, I have to agree with its jist. Becoming a doctor has become almost a deen in itself! The point about marriage is especially true for sisters, and I know too many for whom this is an issue.
    I also met one brother who had tried to kill himself because of the pressure to become a doctor and his inability to get into the field!
    I must admit it would be nice to have at least one doctor in the family, and it certainly is a noble profession.
    The best, most essential and most useful ilm is that of the deen. One of the sad things in some of our communities is how all the talent is pushed to money making and only those who have little academic capacity are chosen for dar ul loom!
    Sheikh Taqwfeek Chaudry, however, gave up medicine despite all his parents protestations to study the deen, and what a benefit he is bringing!

  14. Subhana Allah, my first comment from a shaykh. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sometimes I wonder where the shaykhs all go and wish they would get down from the minbar and come down and relate to us simple Muslim folk (not referring to you shaykh but a generalization)

    I have barely touched this topic fully and there are many more bad things about these fanatical obsession with medicine.

    Hope to hear from you again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. As salaamu alaikum,

    Ghafarallahu lak ya akhee,
    Don’t blame the profession, blame the mentality.

    Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illah illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk.

  16. ^^Yup yup yup!

  17. Have to agree with you Anis.

    Very few are worthy for the profession and able to give it what it deserves.

  18. Hmm…You say that only few are “worthy for the profession”. My question is how is their worth decided?

  19. Perhaps by their sincerity? And Allah knows best about that.

    But it’s getting a bit out of control, and it’s questionable…every Desi and his sister wants to go to med-school…

  20. One thing I’ve noticed when I was in India is yeah a lot of people want to become doctors but its because they value education A LOT. Atleast that’s what I felt. However, I’m not sure how much money doctors make over there.

    I think the doctor-craze is more original to American-Desis as opposed to people living back home. Perhaps because they make a lot of money here.

  21. It’s also a status thing.

    I really think Muslims should switch over to areas such as psychology, social work and counseling as these areas are similar to being a doctor AND are more needed, not just by Muslim youth, but in today’s world. There are a huge amount of depressed/suicidal people out there and I’ve seen doctors who will attest to this increase and the truth is, medical doctors don’t know exactly how to deal with this.

  22. Just as an FYI: I took an Animal Parasitology class this semester and I was surprised to learn that A LOT of psychological/psychiatric (depressive) symptoms can be induced by parasites infecting your body/brain. It was pretty scary.

    A lot of psychologists are unable to address these patients’ problems because they are obviously using a psychological approach. Psychiatrists also fail to fully address the problem because they prescribe drugs for the ‘mental disorder’ rather than the parasitic infection. There is a shortage of infection specialists who are capable of diagnosing the real disease.

    Anyway, getting back to the topic yeah…I think it is also a status thing. I’ve heard of cases where the girl obtains a medical degree but doesn’t practice it. May Allah protect from such a fate.

  23. Speaking of psychology…its an awesome field. There are SO MANY things you can do with the knowledge gained. It would be sooo awesome doing research on things that relate to Muslims.

  24. Another thing: One positive side of the Desi-doctor-obsession is that it shows that Desis are ambitious. Given the esteem doctors hold in the society, it appears that Desis like to dream high–which is a good thing. Ofcourse, this ambitiousness can also be channeled to other benefial fields.

  25. ^It doesn’t mean they are ambitious–if they were ambitious they wouldn’t conform so easily to what everybody else is doing.

    They’re just following the crowd.. ya know?

  26. Yeah but following a crowd that is ambitious…perhaps not independent thinkers?

  27. No for the most part they aren’t ambitious…they just don’t know what else to do with their life…so conform more easily.

    Heck, their are even ads for overseas medical schools which are easier to get into on desi channels…

  28. wallahu Alim. That might be true for some people. Everyone’s different you know.

    Its an interesting thought, though. It makes me re-evaluate my reasons for becoming a doctor. But, then my brain hurts and I stop.

    Maybe you should write a post on moral guidelines for choosing a profession; doc-try bein the first one. That would be helpful.

  29. ^Hmmm… good suggestion. I’ll think on it.

    Yeah when ya start questioning medicine it hurts, cuz all the brainwashing seems as if there is nothing else but medcine!

  30. I actually meant my brain hurts from thinking too hard and not making any useful discoveries. So, I stop. I was never brain-washed, though.

    Since you take an anti-doctor stance, I thought it might be easier for you to see things that I don’t…that’s why I made the suggestion.

  31. Yeah I can understand your position on being anti-doctor. My parents said no marriage till I finish med school and im 23 and it’ll take me another year for preparations to get it.

  32. to get in med school I mean, another year to get in

  33. Thank you for your post.

    This is an issue that affects so many people of varying cultures and religions.

    I’m West Indian and was raised Catholic.

    All my life my mother told me that I was going to be a doctor. I was to go to med. school and work in her practice with my sister. We were about 4 and 5 years old when she started telling us what we would grow up to do. At the same time, we’d be driving through the inner city part of town…implying that if we didn’t become doctors we’d live in poverty.

    She told us that there will always be a need for doctors and the only way to have respect is to have money.

    I was too afraid to consider another profession. I’m 21 and just realizing now that medicine isn’t for me.

  34. This is very much a cultural thing now. You can go to med schools in the Caribbean and see that the majority of the students there are Indian in descent.

    There is more and more advertising in the Indian community for medschools that train you to become doctors fast and easy.

  35. I didn’t see this word on your website so I wanted to add it: Teaching :).

    Personally I like the idea of becoming a writer and English teacher and volunteering in countries in poverty and perhaps even expaining Islam, etc ,etc.

    But I’ve always used to want to be a doctor and volunteer and explain Islam, etc, etc.

    I guess my reason for wanting to be a doctor is to help (primarily) and the reason why I think I should choose Medicine instead of English + Spanish in uni is because of status and I don’t want to let my parents down (they want one doctor in the family, I’m their only child. The reason they want one is because they want me to lead a happy life and because of a long complicated relationship with their family)

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy human sciences but I also enjoy writing and if I weigh up the pros and cons of each I’d find that medicine has more pros plus with more brothers nd sisters outside my family telling me I should become a doctor makes it hard for me to say no (esp. as they’re gonna ask why I rejected med school to study ‘English’!)

    So I guess (aside from getting my rant in) instead of addressing us perhaps you could address other brothers and sisters on why they should push people into medicine and give proper advice and explain what other jobs there are…

  36. Whoever takes the path to become a doctor should remember to remain open minded… science is flawed, things that we thought before are no longer after a few years, and so on. I can’t go to my pediatrician’s office because she can’t tolerate that I don’t trust vaccines. I was even asked if I wanted to kill my children by avoiding vaccines (for your information, at that time I was simply questioning the schedule and wondering if I could separate the MMR {which I hear isn’t made anymore but have to check on that}). This is a Indian doctor. I lost trust but haven’t changed doctors yet as I haven’t found one that the insurance will cover who is open minded so I just use this one if there is a serious question I can’t answer but that’s it, and without going into her office. I dread going into the office… after experiencing a naturopath and seeing the importance they give to building trust and actually spending more than 5 minutes with you (more like one hour!), I don’t want to use a “normal” doctor unless I have to. Enough venting!

    • Yeah- doctors have a bit of hubris in the absoluteness of their own medicine. I never bothered to take the swine flu vaccine and alhamdulillah I did fine!

      Most medicine is over-rated in terms of possible effects, most veteran doctors learn this eventually…

      • Yeah, and another thing to consider is the little importance that is placed on nutrition in modern medical schools! They first go for medication, more medication, and then they want to cut you open and take something out! Ya Rabb!

  37. Medicine is only one aspect of the human condition. Security is another.

  38. good article…i have been wondering about this for a long time – all brown people wanting to be doctors. I don’t know about Hindus, but you guys are religious (I assume as its a Muslim site) You should realize that God creates each person as an individual, with different talents and desires and abilities. I think we can agree on that. Therefore, it is kind of illogical to push your kids into only 1 specific job. Nothing is wrong in encouraging your kid to reach his/her potential and work hard, but how can that potential be only 1 job? People can succeed and make a living in many areas, especially if they are really good at it. I know a guy who is a hair colorist, and he is great at it, and makes more money then most “professionals” do. He works in a high end salon and then also works on sets of movies and TV shows. If you told him to go to medical school to get a good job, he would laugh at you out loud.

  39. I found this a very negative, resentful and almost jealous response to being a doctor.
    I didnt find one single point you made to be completely relevant to me.
    Very difficult to get into medical school and muslims resort to takin drugs? Well that is down to the individual, not everyone will take drugs.
    Can’t get married till after, that is a stupid cultural thing, marriage should be made easy.
    Lots of work leads to very little time for worship? I agree that it will take a lot of time up, but its up to the individual if they pray. I know muslims who are on the DOLE and dont even pray.
    Ok muslim families puttin pressure doesnt apply to me, you should just discourae other people from it just because this happens. Doctors will become proud? Well its up to the individual. Dont become an imam u will become proud, same thing.
    The problems hear arent Islamic issues they are because of stupid asian culture. Forcin their children who dont have the mental capacity, or will to become a doctor. Cant get married untill after.
    I only hope and pray that the next generation muslims in the Uk and US dont turn out like their parents and are more open minded, but keep islam strong at the same time, ameen.

  40. salam..after i read half of comment and half of article..
    nothing i can say about your opinions..

    but for me..medical student in Egypt (but i’m not egyptian)
    i know more about islam and practice to be the best muslimah when i learn medicine..
    subhanaallah..by His knowledge..i know more about Him and islam..

    about being a doctor cannot contribute to islam is totally wrong..
    i have know i specialist in oncology..can be a volunteer for palestin..
    but it’s true is hard to find doctor like this..

    that’s why when i arrived at cairo airport..my seniors had remind me about niat..
    then we learn how to be a muslim doctor..not a doctor who has mbbc..

    for marriage..it’s about the others thing..
    1st u have to remember..ur husband/wife is set by ALLAH..
    there is no problem if u busy or cannot be at home at all the time..
    because he/she knows u work for islam..

    when ur niat is truly because of ALLAH..
    u work as ibadah to ALLAH..
    and to raise kalimah ALLAH in this world..
    ALLAH will help u because u help ISLAM…

    (ALLAH knows which better)

  41. Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, โ€œA prostitute saw a dog lolling around a well on a hot day and hanging his tongue from thirst. She drew some water for it in her shoe, so Allah forgave her.โ€Source: Sahih Muslim 2245

    my point there are many ways on how a person can have an eternal happiness in the hereafter. it’s not really the deeds that count (Allah knows best… may Allah forgive me.) but the MERCY of OUR LORD…

    So you can be a doctor.. just be sure it is fir HIs sake.. Jazakhallahu khairan!

  42. well… with all respect… what you have written is pure nonsense……………………………………. There r plenty of women who r doctors and having family n marriage in the same time.

    Being doctor for mental pleasure and not have enough time for money for worship? ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m sorry but r u aware that this can be in any kind of proffesion… its all about your time management and priorities.

    I’m really curious to which doctors all the sisters will be going if nobody will study medicine because of reasons you stated above. To nonmuslims one, right? That they will be good for.

    I have really no words, posts like this makes muslims look ignorant and backward.

    You stated psychology, r u aware that psychologist in the studies learn about so many psychological theories which r sooooo against islam? That they r forbade to talk about God, if patient start talk about God they have to stop him?

    Do you know how hard is law school?! Is same hard as medical school with one difference. At medical school you learning about Allah s creations, you are fascinated how Allah Created our bodies, whole systems, even diseases… at law school you learn about menmade rules.

    And about medications that they r killing people? Seriously? Be honest how many junk food you ate this week? Majority muslims from arab n desi world r overweight n have diabetes, high blood pressure and these problems due to unhealthy lifestyle.

    Muslims r so much in need of good doctors who educate them about healthy lifestyle.

    I believe studying and practising medicine is extremely rewarded and appreciated by our Creator. Allahu Alam

    Fi Amani Allah


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