The medical profession is one of the most revered and respected occupations in the world but the sheer demand that is placed upon the aspiring medical professional highlights the fact that medical school is not right for everyone. You cannot be one of the couettes and expect to succeed in medical school; you need to be decisive, determined, resourceful, resilient and a ton of other values just to get through pre-med after which you would need to start thinking about residency, passing the multi-part licensure examinations and then subsequent specialization.
All of these are sufficient to give serious students a pause before moving forward, and for good reason. The commitment that is required to become a full-fledged medical specialist – a profession that takes 12 years minimum and cannot be learned simply by listening to audiobooks – mean that you have to be convinced with the decision to see it through to the end no matter what the cost.
As such, we present the top 10 steps to determine if medical school is really right for you. We do not promise that this will help you lift the veil of doubt that has prevented you from jumping into the medical fold but we can assure you that these questions, suggestions, recommendations, and introspections will put some semblance of structure into your thought processes for medical school better than a Carlsbad therapist can help you.
- Assess your motivation for wanting to go to medical school. The road to the medical profession is fraught with faulty motivation and reasoning regarding why one wants to become a doctor. At the top of the list is the implicitly infamous line “my family has many doctors, so I should become one too!” The only valid motivation is one that comes from within; you want to be a doctor because you want to be a doctor. If this isn’t where you heart is, you might as well become an expert in keratin hair treatment because you need a fallback plan once your motivation for being a doctor wears off.
- Are you prepared for the difficulties that lie ahead? Medical school is notorious for having the longest path to professional accomplishment and if you are not prepared to dedicate the next 12 years of your life to it, then you should start looking for that alternative career path.
- Do you have the drive to be spend long hours studying lessons, completing class requirements and putting in the extra work needed to pass your courses? Most doctors call the hospital their first home and their house the second! You cannot be a Masters in Health Administration if you are not willing to put in the necessary work to become a master in what you plan to do as a professional.
- Do you have the necessary resources for funding your chosen field of study? Unfortunately, medical school does not cater nicely to people who need to work extra jobs to pay for tuition; it’s not that it is impossible but it certainly is demanding! You already have tons of lessons and class work to go through and adding extra hours at the local diner will only serve to eat away your study time. Be prepared to raise $150,000 to $200,000 for medical school alone so you can focus all your energy and resources on the required work. Not to put a slight on dental hygienist schools but medical school is simply that much more taxing!
- Do you have a strong stomach? This does not even need asking. If you cannot fathom the sight of human cadavers, you might as well throw in the towel now.
- Are you prepared to make tough decisions? Medicine is not a profession that you can easily trifle with. You hold people’s lives in your hands and your decisions determine whether or not they live another day. You are like San Diego floors in that you hold all the weight of the world when it comes to making life-changing decisions for other people. If you cannot make tough decisions and stand by them, you probably should stay away from medical school.
- How is your tolerance to stress? Making tough decisions is one thing, doing it day in and day out is another. Humans are not like cars in that we can continue endlessly as long as there’s fuel; although to be honest, cars probably need more maintenance than we do! With that being said, consider if have a positive mindset towards handling stress in school, with your lessons, for upcoming exams… There are plenty of things to worry about in medical school.
- Memory! Yes, you will need to take into memory many things that are as alien as they can come. Are you ready to loose a few brain cells in the fight to remember medicine names, body parts, and complicated biological processes combined with long and difficult-to-pronounce substances and chemicals?
- How do you look at dealing with sick people? Not every doctor can be like the fictional Gregory House in House, M.D. You will need to talk to a lot of people and care about their problems. This is not like web design Kent where you can sit in-front of a computer the whole day and not care.
- Can your family afford to wait for you from a financial perspective? If you are the eldest, chances are that you have siblings that will depend on you for them to get to college. If you are relied on to provide for the family immediately after college graduation, then medical school is not a good fit for you.
Nobody can dispute the nobility and prestige of the medical profession but getting through is harder than threading a needle in a completely dark room. You will have to give a lot of yourself for a very long time before you can graduate from med-school and even then, there is no assurance that you can pass the licensing exams to be a certified doctor!
Still, if you are confident, determined, and capable of powering through even after these ten steps to determine if medical school is right for you, then you probably are fated to become a doctor! So hunker down and say goodbye to your weekends because the after thinking comes the time to play “doctor!”