Social Disapproval - A Side Effect of Non-Clinical Careers

Social Disapproval - A Side Effect of Non-Clinical Careers

Coping with social disapproval for not being a clinician is one of the biggest challenges faced by non-clinical doctors in their personal lives. In this article, you will find out why physicians in non-clinical careers need to cope with social disapproval and how they can address this challenge.

Challenges faced by non-clinical doctors
Image credit: John Hain from Pixabay

Why don't you see patients doctor XYZ?

If you are a non-clinical MBBS/MD doctor, this question will be posted to you over a thousand times in your life. If you cannot cope with this question, you will likely have a very hard time in your personal and professional life.

This question would be posed to you by your neighbors, relatives, colleagues those who are superior as well as your subordinates, acquaintances, parents of your child's friends, his school teacher, and every other person who has some business with you, and occasionally even by strangers. 

This question would surprise you in business meetings, job interviews, family functions, parent-teacher meetings at your child's school, training programs, client calls, air travel or train travel, or in situations whenever you least expect it.

Family's Disapproval - The Biggest Personal Challenge in Non-Clinical Careers

The situation can get really difficult if you have immediate family members who resent your career choice. Their displeasure with your decision will likely be expressed multiple times, and you would have to learn to live with it. This can be particularly stressful at difficult points of your career when things are moving at a slower pace.

challenges faced by non-clinical doctors
Image Credit: Rickey123 from Pixabay

The resentment is the highest at the beginning of the journey straight after graduating from medical school when the expectations are at their peak. There is some waxing and waning in the initial few years but eventually, it declines once the non-clinical doctor meets success in his chosen profession.

This struggle on the personal front has also been reported by many non-clinical doctors who later on turned out to be national and international figures and eminent professionals. See the section on Journey of famous non-clinical doctors

Coping Strategies For Social Disapproval Associated with Non-Clinical Careers

Certainly, there would be a point of time when one would be thinking: Why do you care? It is my life after all! But eventually one would realize that you have chosen a road that is less traveled and this is naturally supposed to arouse a lot of curiosity in people's minds. They might not be always judging you though this may sometimes be a reality. One would need to accept that sometimes people are insensitive to what we may feel about it, and at other times, they may themselves be in a state of anxiety due to the myriad number of reasons beyond our control.

Always being defensive to these questions might not be a great idea, nor is withdrawing from family functions. One may need to maintain positivity, avoid overthinking, develop a thicker skin, and be prepared to answer this question even when woken up from deep sleep! Of course, these things are easier said than done.

"Lean too much on the approval of people, and it becomes a bed of thorns" - Tehyi Hsieh

Did you get a pulse of the challenges faced by non-clinical doctors? Feel free to share your views.

Views expressed are personal

Last Updated On 09/04/2019 11:30 AM

Author Profile

Dr. Naval Asija is a New Delhi-based non-clinical doctor having health administration postgraduate training. Since 2018, he has been writing/blogging full-time on health issues. In the past, he has worked for a decade in healthcare, in different organizations, namely Innodata India Pvt. Ltd., Win-Medicare Pvt. Ltd., National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Integrated Disease Surveillance Project, and the National Polio Surveillance Project. The author can be contacted through

journey of a non clinical doctor


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