I have two other older brothers who are of a different discipline than me. Although all of us were in science stream when we were schooling (in Malaysia the other stream was Art, then), I had chosen a different path when the time came for me to choose my major in the university. I went to pre-law and then law school while my brothers studied and managed to obtain a degree in engineering for the eldest and a degree as a doctor for the second eldest. And yes, you guessed rightly so, I am the youngest. My eldest brother did not became an engineer as he was too engrossed in computers as IT was a new horizon in 1988 and when he came back to Malaysia in 1990 from the States, he became a system analyst. He is still in the field of IT as he loves it more than anything.
As for second elder brother, he was a medical student who then went on to become a government doctor since 1996 or 1997 (can't really recall the year of his graduation and housemanship) who in 2002 or 2003, make the jump to open up his own private practice. If you have been following this blog, you would have noticed that I start my own practice in 2000 and I had to go through hell to get where I am today. It was a saturated market in the Klang Valley of Malaysia in which there are so many lawyers plying the same route. I am just so lucky to be still be here owning my own practice after all these years. I knew of a few of my friends and even a former partner who are not in practice anymore, or have joined corporations as legal advisers.
Why I am jealous of doctors? Let us put aside the issue of which is harder to study in order for you to be accepted into the profession. Both have their own way of making students give up after some times. Law require reading and understanding the intricacies of applying it to situations. When you are practising it, what you would be applying will be so very much different from what you have learned and seen on television. There are no Boston Legal or LA Law for you there. As for doctors, the practical side of it have been taught to you in Year 3 or Year 4 of your degree and you would have already be getting your hands on some innards of humans or some animals. However, I can bet my left arm that when you had to go through housemanship and be on-call, 24/7, it is a far cry from your student days.
As hard as both disciplines to be studied, the hard work for the professions of both discipline can be rewarding. What I am lamenting about is the turnaround time for a doctor and a lawyer to make 'real money' when they decided to have their own private practice. Although I was earlier in trying my hands in business and had the help of the same circle of people (my parents) I had to wait nearly two whole years to reach where my brother managed to do in a year. Doctors are so very much sought after that they have sponsors in the form of medicines and machines. As for lawyers, we are known to be a nuisance to society who only need us when there are something wrong with their rights or they just couldn't get around the idea of living in an orderly world.
Don't get me wrong, I understand the concept of everyone has their own function and everyone has their own share of the pie. What I am saying is that, I am just jealous of them. And don't get me started on the respect they get just by being a doctor. A lawyer has to be something else, either as a politician or a leader of a society or whatever that people think elevate his or her status to something else. Maybe I do need to join that association my friend told me about...