Home Student & Career Tips 7 Common Challenges of a Medical Profession

7 Common Challenges of a Medical Profession


Those in the medical field are life-savers and therefore considered heroes to humanity. These set of professionals render excellent health services such as:

  • Engaging with colleagues to maintain and improve the safety and quality of patient care.
  • Contribute to discussions in regard to improving the quality of services and
  • Raise and act on concerns about patient safety.
  • Demonstrate effective team working and leadership and use resources efficiently for the benefit of patients and the public.

Top 7 Challenges of a Medical Profession

Obviously these professionals have a lot on their hands and above all the listed responsibilities, their primary duty is the care and safety of patients.

It’s also amazing how so many young and talented individuals want to give back to humanity in a noble manner by going into the medical field. However, this mindset tends to shake somewhat for so many prospective medical professionals as they go through medical school and the manic demands of residency. And those who survive these have new levels of challenges in the real medical world.

On the other hand, today’s physicians are experiencing a lot of trials and challenges, despite their diligence to the practice of medicine and the health of their patients. Here’s an overview of some challenges facing physicians in today’s medical profession:


Below are 7 challenges of the medical profession.

1.  Workload/Overload

According to the CareerBuilder Survey, the provider shortage is hitting every healthcare organization, especially when it comes to nurses. 40% of medical professionals responded that they felt challenged by workloads at their jobs and when the pool was limited to only nurses, the number increased to 48%. This survey also showed turnover issues among healthcare professionals taking on additional responsibilities above their comfort zone. Who would want to add to an overload? Definitely not me! So, this goes the same with the medical professionals as there are few of them in the field and it wouldn’t be a good thing if they break down due to workload. We all need our medical healthcare professionals up and strong. Therefore, workload/overload is a serious challenge in the medical field.

2.  Imbalance in Work-Life (stress and burnout)

Unfortunately, this might seem like an individual or personal issue but can easily and seriously make a crack in the life of medical professionals, thereby becoming a challenge to the healthcare givers.

However, being a medical professional has always been a deteriorating occupation, after all, doctors are lifesavers.

Top 5 stressful parts of a medical profession:

  • Psychological pressure
  • Long hours
  • Difficult patients
  • Quick and life-changing decisions
  • Negative environments

A bad day in the life of a medical practitioner can be really bad. Oftentimes it’s just the emotional strain of dealing with specifically tough patients. Probably you go through a run of giving out wrong diagnoses. Probably you deal with the death of an infant. Or a patient who pulls at your heartstrings in an exceptional and personal way. Maybe someone dies unexpectedly. Worse, probably someone dies on you, and you’re not certain if it was your bad or not. Perhaps, you know you made an error, and you’re going to have to face query for it.

This is certainly a challenge that once it affects the medical professionals, it’s definitely going to affect healthcare activities.

Many doctors work 70-80hours or even more week-in-week-out and relatively little of their time is spent interacting with patients. Doctors and staff spend much time complying with new regulations, adapting to new technology and addressing the economics of maintaining a practice.

3.  Lack of Adequate Training

Not giving employees the adequate training required can leave them confused and frustrated about their job role. In the medical field, Nurses specifically are very concerned about doing their jobs well and in a good environment than with the amount of money they make.

Healthcare workers need to be trained thoroughly from time to time as implementing training is essential in order to improve job performance and satisfaction.

4.  Lack of Time with Patients

20% of medical professionals felt challenged by an inadequate amount of time spent with patients, this is based on a survey. According to another CareerBuilder Poll, 57% of medical professionals said the number of providers per patient had gotten worse in the last 12months, compared to 32% that said it had stayed the same, while 11% thought it had improved.

When nurses were interrogated on the same question, 69% of them said the provider-patient ratio had gotten worse and only 4% thought it had improved. Lack of time with patients may be caused by an overload of administrative tasks or non-clinical assignments; 19% of health professionals felt challenged by too many administrative tasks, while 14% were frustrated by lack of interesting assignments.

Also, government regulations, private-pay requirements and the day-to-day hassles of running a business often make physicians spend less time with patients.

When there’s not enough staff, there won’t be enough patient interaction resulting in a workplace being less attractive to staff, but employers can maximize patient interaction by scheduling choices.

5.  Dealing with Incurable disease(finding cure)

Recently, a wide-spread of a virus namely COVID-19 of the Corona family popularly known as Global health pandemic has been a threat to human life worldwide and a challenge to medical professionals as they work tirelessly, day-in-day-out to get the cure for this deadly virus and the diseases it inflicts in the human body.

Medical professionals have probably always felt helpless and frustrated in situations such as the above mentioned. Despite their best efforts, it seems that doctors are losing the war against these microscopic enemies that are taking millions of lives all over the world. This is not restricted to COVID-19 alone but also many other deadly diseases lingering on the face of the earth terrorizing the human body. This is certainly a serious challenge in the medical field and in the world at large.

6.  Ethical dilemmas

Physicians face a lot of ethical challenges during their jobs today, as they handle life and death circumstances amid priorities that can navigate them in different directions.

Take for example, how do you balance patient need with their ability to pay, or make decisions about expensive end of life care that only delays the inevitable?

7.  Funding challenges

Majority of smaller and independent healthcare centres may be worried about funding issues. A big challenge is relying almost totally on a third party for reimbursement. The irony is that the onus of the increasing expenses is completely on the medical practitioners with those third parties, or the government not helping fund that.

For example, medical practitioners are required to use certain kinds of technology, such as the electronic health record, but they have to come up with the money to fund it. These types of challenges are driving more physicians to consider employment options or running their own healthcare service.


To whom much is given, much is expected, isn’t it? But when the necessary things to excel at it are not available nor forthcoming then challenges set in. Also, when there’s no adequate funding to help acquire necessary technology for proper medical operations, this results in less efficiency.

Dealing with incurable diseases is a tough common phase in the medical sector, and it’s really challenging as medical practitioners work day-in-day-out seeking solutions, and when this proves abortive, it can be really frustrating. Solution to this is by getting more medical professionals on deck and supplying them with every necessary facility.

Lack of patient time is also very common in today’s medical sector; this is as a result of under-staffing(insufficient staff). If there are enough staff, then a division of labour will be easy, thereby, letting medical practitioners have time for their patients and other work duties without getting work overload. Under-staffing is what actually causes much workload resulting in stress and imbalance in personal lives among healthcare workers. If more professionals are hired, I think this will help ease the workload and keep our medical professionals happy and healthy, and also continually save lives.

Lack of adequate training is a problem that requires immediate review. That one is a professional doesn’t mean he/she is actually perfect. Medical practitioners need to be trained more so as to advance in knowledge; this is because the world moves into different perceptions and eras, so does technology. Healthcare workers need to be trained/taught thoroughly from time to time. They are to save lives so this is vital.

The medical field is a challenging one and not as easy as it involves a lot to thrive successfully as a medical professional. Doctors, Nurses and all of the Medical Practitioners are all involved in saving lives day-in-day-out and as well occupied with other operational activities for the betterment of the health of their patients(this makes their work so cumbersome).

Kudos to every medical professional, you all are heroes!

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