The Psychology Behind Helping People: Why It Makes for a Great Career

Choosing a career is, essentially, a significant life event; it is one of the most important choices you are likely to make in your lifetime. Most of those who are asked why they chose a career in the medical field will say they did so because they wanted to make a difference by helping people. However, choosing a career of helping others also has several benefits for professionals.


Human connection is vital; from the first moment of birth, it makes for a healthy start by strengthening our immune systems and providing us with an emotional foothold. Medical careers provide human connection, allowing professionals to impact the lives of community members directly.

Those working in the medical field touch thousands of lives every day; they save and change lives, and welcome new ones into the world. Medical professionals impact communities with various forms of healthcare and disease treatment, and bring comfort to those in need.

Mental and Physical Benefits

A medical career offers many benefits to mental and physical health. Numerous studies have shown how helping others affects our bodies, brains, and overall well-being.


Medical professionals are constantly on the move, visiting patients, administering treatments, and providing needed support. A medical professional may walk several miles in a day, which provides the physical activity needed to help prevent the development of illnesses like heart disease and high blood pressure.

Prevention of Depression

The constant connection that a NYC home health aide enjoys with others helps them to develop a reliable support system which can help prevent and fight depression. These meaningful relationships provide medical professionals with a sense of purpose, as well as provide a new life direction.

A medical career places the focus on others, keeping professionals mentally stimulated and providing them with perspective on their own concerns.

NYC home health aide

Increased Self-Confidence

A natural sense of accomplishment is a common result of doing good for others. Medical professionals take pride in their positions, which makes them feel good about themselves. This increased confidence can fuel a positive life view as well as future career or life goals.

Increased self-confidence can also be the result of the lifelong learning that medical professionals enjoy. There are always new skills and information to acquire. As well, working in a team facilitates communication and collaborative problem-solving, which can also boost self-confidence.

Help with Existing Conditions

Professionals with an existing medical condition may also be able to manage their pain more effectively when they work with patients having the same condition. This can occur when a professional recognizes the positive effect they have on their patients, which causes them to become more confident about exploring their options for personal pain management.

Brain Benefits Are Caregiver-Specific

A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine in February 2016 revealed three areas of the brain that benefit from social support.1 Interestingly, specific activity in these areas was only observed when an individual was giving, and not receiving, that support.

Other Benefits of a Medical Career

Many medical careers can provide professionals with a sense of security due to the fact that positions remain relevant and available even in the face of crisis. As well, many medical careers such as occupational therapy do not require professionals to adhere to specific schedules.

Still other medical careers allow professionals to work from home, such as is the case with some careers in medical billing and coding. As well, a career in the medical field offers much flexibility with career choices. Ultimately, these careers allow professionals to reap the many psychological and physical rewards of helping others in their communities.