So you have chosen to become a doctor.
It is hoped, at this juncture, that will you have performed Salatul Istikhar before taking this decision. If not, then it is not late yet. You can perform this highly beneficial act at the earliest opportunity. Basically Istikhara means asking Allah to guide you to take the right decision concerning any affair in your life.
If you have the desire to help and care for others and at the same time to come closer to Allah, then you have made the right choice. The medical profession is one unique profession by which you can achieve a twofold objective in life: 1. Attaining Divine proximity. 2. Serving humanity.
Attaining Divine proximity: A doctor or any other person connected to the medical profession can come very close to Allah, the most high, if he ponders on the amazing way Allah has created the human body and the way each organ functions. Allah Ta’ala urges man to examine his own physical features in the following ayat:
“Do they not reflect in themselves?” Surah Ar Rum verse 8
At times a surgeon operates on the human body and its interior organs are displayed right in front of his eyes. If the operation involves the ‘open heart’ surgery during which the chest is cut open and the rectification surgery is performed on the muscles, valves, or arteries of the heart, he gets the opportunity to witness the wonderful functions this organ performs.
This is just one organ. The human body contains approximately 79 organs. The brain, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, tongue, teeth, lungs, kidneys, liver, etc. are all wonders from Allah and each one has a unique function or functions to perform.
Serving humanity: A doctor can serve humanity like no other professional can. For any person, a good health is a vital thing and he is ready to do anything to achieve it. You are in a profession where Allah has granted you to become the means of achieving that ‘good health’.
However, as a doctor there are some conditions that you have to fulfill to achieve the above mentioned twofold purpose in life:
You must treat your patients with the intention of pleasing Allah only and without the element of greed involved in it. If you are craving to become rich then understand that you are in a wrong profession because two intentions cannot go hand in hand – your desire to achieve closeness to Allah plus serving the humanity and your greediness to acquire wealth. Consider your patients as persons very close to you. Doctors are genuinely for altruistic reasons only. You have to be contented knowing that Allah has endowed you with the skills and knowledge to take care of people in their illnesses and to be the means of curing them. Stick to this principle every single day as a routine part of your work.
You should be sympathetic with your patient’s feelings and feel pity for his sufferings. Apart from dealing with him gently, you must be courteous and kind to him. When talking to him you should not incorporate anything that may render him weak or helpless. You have to understand that the psychological condition of a patient is different from that of a healthy person and as such you should administer the proper techniques that would help relieve his fears.
You should be modest in your practice. You must not be arrogant or disdainful to your patients, no matter what background they come from. Rather, you should show respect to the patients and also to their guardians. Such modesty will be met with respect from others. You should understand that if you act modestly for the sake of Allah, Allah will raise you in the eyes of others.
If a patient comes from a poor family and he cannot effort the fees you are charging then try to reduce the fees or waive them completely. This way you will insha Allah win Allah’s favours.
Organise your work in such a manner that you get the time to say your five-time Salah, preferably in congregations, in a Masjid or a Musallah
At times you will have to sacrifice your sleep, your outings with your family and friends and many other leisure time activities, if and when the need arises. As a doctor your job usually takes priority and you simply cannot shirk your responsibilities simply because you have prior engagements of a personal nature.
If you, as a surgeon, are about to operate on your patient then offer two rakats of Salatul Hajat (a prayer offered for the accomplishment of particular purpose or need). While performing the surgery it is very important to constantly make zikrof Allah the Most High. Allah will insha Allah make things easy for you and He may grant you success in your endeavour.
If an operation goes well and the patient starts recovering then you must thank Allah profusely and offer your gratitude to Him in whatever way you can. This is the time when you must never let the element of pride enter your heart.
That’s pretty lot to sacrifice just for a job isn’t it? However, you must understand you are in a profession (or trying to get into it) that is not just a career, it is a whole way of life, that is difficult to let go of once you’ve decided to enter it, and these sacrifices are simply part of the deal.
May Allah guide on the right path all those who are in this profession or are about to join it. Ameen.
And Allah the most high knows best.