Vocations: Doctor vs Priest

To my dearest Brothers and Sisters,

I am currently in a weird position: I am a college student, majoring in the Biological Sciences, volunteer EMT, hopeful paramedic, and hopeful med school student, and doctor. However, my old calling since I was a young boy keeps coming to me. Some days I want to be a good Doctor, hopefully a Surgeon… Some days I want to be a Canon in the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. However, I am still in a mix up! Please pray for me. I say old calling because it has been 3 years since I last practiced my faith and now after a couple weeks back, I feel that vocation to the Priesthood again. I am not sure if the vocation is really from God, like what if it’s just the fact that I am attracted to it because it was my attraction from long ago?! So please pray for me.


Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance & direction in your discernment.


“Come and See.”

Go on a discernment retreat. A doctor of souls would procure more lasting cures than an M.D.! :stuck_out_tongue:

A physician of bodies who uses his work to win souls to Jesus Christ can do much everlating good. For example, a person who is in a car wreck and is in imminent death may not be well prepared to enter heaven. A physician and his or her medical team, even if they are not directly thinking of the patient’s soul at the time of resuscitation, may prevent the loss of life…and possibly the loss of one’s soul.

I’ll disagree a little here with the other posters who are quick to tell you to be a priest.

It’s about God wants. God doesn’t want everyone to be a priest because we are often called to do other things.

You can be a holy Catholic doctor if it’s in your heart. What occupation is more appealing to you? Ask God to put the desire within your heart for the vocation he wants.
This is how discernment works!

Pray and focus on which one you can use your talents, which one gives you a sense of peace and joy when you think about it?

Frater carissime,

become doctor for souls, become priest… Only advice: go and pray before the Blessed Sacrament, only Almighty can tell you what to do, become…
Sit Deus te benedicat!

In Christo,
frater Jakob aka Attempto, F.I.J.

I’ll be honest, when I think of both, I’m overcome with joy. However one is just extremely stressful, arduous, and competitive… (Doctor). Getting into med school is one thing, but residency and actually getting te job is really hard! If I were to pick my occupation in the health field it would be an occupation in the ER or Neurosurgery. I plan on becoming an EMS first though to gain valuable experience. I’ll most likely use my certs to become an ER Tech. (all this whilst going to school, trying to maintain a 4.0 and study for the MCAT to get above a 32). When I think of priesthood, I feel like it wouldn’t be hard in the academic sense because I love all the subjects surrounding it. I’d have no problem passing the classes, even learning French and Latin, with flying colors because I love the subjects. As a matter of fact, I would beg my superiors to let me study in Rome to get an S.T.D. But what concerns me is that what if I didn’t want to be a priest and I got ordained already! Sure I can leave, but that just means I put away 8-9 years away from my life which would result in me being in extreme poverty, and I would’ve lost all my scientific and mathematical knowledge along with the skills needed for my true field, the field of health. Also what scares me about the priesthood is the fact that I have a stronger chance of going to hell because of my increased responsibility as a type of shepherd for my flock. What if I made someone lose their faith, sin, etc as a priest!!? That would devastate me, and I would certainly deserve hell for my terrible job as a priest, being a terrible priest is the last thing on my mind. As a doctor however, I don’t have care over souls, but the physical body. There’s so much more to it, but in all, my responsibility for a flock is not that of a priest. I honestly love both, and I plan on going on an Ignatian Retreat to disern this. However… One thing is clear: I am set on getting my bachelors degree before any big significant thing happens.
I would like to thank you all for your input. Please know that all of you are in my prayers. In all, I don’t think I have what it takes to be a priest, let alone a good priest. I don’t want to lead the flock astray accidentally through something I did. It’s no wonder a lot of priests don’t want to be Bishops, and so on. The responsibility for souls scares me because I am terrified of losing God over my own mistakes. As a doctor, I can glorify my Father through the work I do, and through a healthy spiritual life. Please pray for me. It’s so hard to be holy, let alone a holy priest! It scares me! Please pray and help!

It sounds like you’re doing so much right here. That retreat is very important, as is continual spiritual direction. It seems you have a very acute mind, weighing the benefits of each situation, but we can get trapped in all the weighing and measuring of every little quibble. Now it’s time to pay attention to what your heart is telling you. Let it all go to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. If you don’t pray before the Blessed Sacrament often, start doing so. And let your worries and anxieties be overcome by trust in God. I’ve found that praying the Divine Office, and choosing to believe wholeheartedly in each word the Psalmist wrote and I was praying, really helped with that.

God bless.


First, know that I am praying for you. I experienced a similar discernment process many years ago. My advice to you is to continue to pray for guidance on what God is truly calling you to. If you get that right, the path you take, whichever it is, will be filled with all of the grace that you need. It is so easy to become paralyzed with the anxiety of potential failure. With intellectual gifts, there is always much danger in falling into sins of pride. If you act out of love, with your eyes firmly fixed on Christ, you cannot fail. As a priest or physician, your ultimate success will depend on God’s grace, not your own efforts. Put your trust in Him alone.

Peace in Christ

I went to the seminary with the same dilemma… I didn’t want to know if I wanted to be a priest or a doctor.

They set me straight right away… You first have to decide whether you want to go to the married, single or priesthood route.

You could possibly be a doctor in any of the above three.

Your primary vocation is first to be one of the above (married, single, priesthood)…after which, you may enter into a secondary vocation if you will… a career path that you can devote yourself to that also could help build up Gods kingdom.

God bless

I think spending time in Eucharistic Adoration and going on a discernment retreat maybe be your best means.

God Bless!!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.