Da vocação médica ao exercício profissional: quando os médicos revelam o seu talento [From vocation to professional work: when physicians unmask their talent]

ZAHER, Vera Lúcia (1999) – Da vocação médica ao exercício profissional: quando os médicos revelam o seu talento [From vocation to professional work: when physicians unmask their talent]. Doctoral Thesis. São Paulo (SP), Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, 272 pp.

The choice of a profession by any individual is based on many (conscious or unconscious) complex factors other than cultural, social, political and economical ones. In the case of physicians, an inadequate choice can bring difficulties in dealing with human suffering and the complexities of the relation between life and death. Since the beginning of time, any work in the medical field was related to religion and the idea of vocation. This study evaluates the motivation of a group of physicians in choosing their professions, the change they would do in their lives and at the same time elucidates their personal characteristics, thus contributing with legal instruments which influence the relationship between health professional and patient. The research was divided into two parts: in the first one, a questionnaire was answered by a group of 293 physicians throughout Brazil; in the second one, through an interview and the Drawing-and-Story Procedure (D-E) – five physicians were evaluated in the city of São Paulo. In the first part, out of 293 questionnaires, 276 answered the question: “what are the motivations that took doctors to choose the profession”. There were several answers regarding family influences, people related to the field, memories of childhood, personal motivations (vocation), the relationship with others (desire to cure, help, minimize the suffering), social factors and a better life quality, social position, sense of being valuable, economical security and assured work in the market. Other answers referred to lack of professional options, vocation tests, the challenge in entering a difficult college, love of science, etc. When it was asked “what changes physicians would make in their own lives”, the answers were related to: personal care (more leisure time, trips, care with nutrition, no smoking, sports activities, care with their emotional life in order to bring satisfaction to themselves and improve as a human being), more time with the family, less working hours, higher salaries, changes of specialty, field or country. In the second part, the research dealt with the psychic dimensions of the subjects. This was evaluated through an interview and D-E. It was found that although the subjects were willing to meet with the interviewer, they had difficulties in exposing themselves, answering with little symbolization and preferring to simply describe their daily lives. This study gives an overview of the physician’s psyche and how those mechanisms influence their relationships with their patients. The questions that the doctors make about their lives should be used to improve their professional performance. Physicians shouldn’t have to depend only on themselves, on medical technology, on knowledge and power and at the same time be a prisoner of social imagery. They should go through the various conflicts of daily life. Authorities in the medical field should recommend physicians to give more attention to self knowledge, and by taking care of themselves, they could better assist their patients.

Walter Trinca Copyright 2001 – All rights reserved.

Developed by BAUM Marketing