Date
24 March 2017
Four hundred of the 500 best students in Hong Kong chose to join medical school last year. Photo: CUHK
Four hundred of the 500 best students in Hong Kong chose to join medical school last year. Photo: CUHK

Are our future doctors picking the career to serve or for money?

Last year’s college enrollment data shows that top students crammed into two major faculties — medicine and business.

The situation begs the question of whether these top scorers based their decision on their real interests or they were largely drawn by prospects of financial rewards.

Last year 400 of the 500 best students in Hong Kong chose to study medicine when they entered college.

“I am not questioning our students’ resolve or ability, but there is a need to query about this strange phenomenon,” Francis Chan, dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Chinese University of Hong Kong, told iknow.hkej.com.

It’s not unusual to make choices based on practical considerations.

“Nonetheless, being a doctor is a lifetime profession. If you make a wrong decision, not only would you become unhappy, you won’t be a blessing to the patients either.”

Hong Kong’s ever-increasing population and an aging society guarantee that the demand for doctors can only go up.

A medical career probably won’t make you a billionaire, but for an experienced doctor to earn HK$1 million a year is rather common.

In fact, on average, doctors belong to the highest paid one percentile in Hong Kong. There is indeed quite a lot of financial incentives in taking up the profession.

But as Chan said, one should not embark on a medical career lightly. One needs to have the capability, the right character, proper motivation, and, most important, the desire to help and serve people.

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CG

EJ Insight writer

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