The Career Doctor™

by Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez

Looking for a first job? Thinking of changing careers? Facing a lay-off? The Career Doctor™ is a Larchmont psychologist specializing in career counseling. If you'd like to ask a question of your own, use the anonymous form below, and she might answer you here. Read more about the Career Doctor here. Contact information is here.

IS IT WRONG TO DO WELL WHILE DOING GOOD?

Dear Career Doctor:

When I left school I had the option to study medicine but I decided not to. I always wanted to earn a lot of money but my ethics wouldn't allow me to treat human beings for profit.

Obviously the way I feel does not apply to everyone and it sickens me to see so many doctors profiting from people's illnesses. What is your opinion on this?

Regards,
Helen G.

Dear Helen:

Most people become physicians because they want to do well while doing good. If your ethics make you feel guilty about doing both at the same time, you were smart to go into another field.

I have worked with many people who went into professions that were purely financially driven, and found that if they didn't build charity and ethics into their lives, no matter how much money they made, they were never satisfied. For example, I remember one very successful financial planner who came to me wanting to change professions. She said she felt her work lacked meaning because, "I am just helping rich people get richer."

After analyzing her situation, it became clear that she liked her work, but needed to balance her financial drive with altruism. She began giving away 10% of her salary and found great satisfaction in deciding which charities should get her money. She began to really enjoy her success, in part because each raise allowed her to give more money away.

Am I sickened by seeing doctors "profiting from people's illness?" On one hand, I think physicians have a right to earn a good income, given the long and expensive training they must endure. On the other hand, there are physicians who gouge those with limited incomes, and they are repulsive.

But why pick on physicians? It is repulsive when any professional gouges and it is unsatisfying when anyone lives a life without helping others in need.

The Career Doctor

 

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The Career Doctor cannot answer every question here, and she does not respond to personal emails.

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The Career Doctor™ is Larchmont psychologist and career counselor, Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez.

Her office is at 90 Beechtree Drive in Larchmont, 914-834-1982.

 

 

 

 

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