If ever there was a profession that called for unbridled passion and a lifetime commitment, it’s medicine. Future doctors might feel a personal calling towards understanding and battling medical mysteries, or end up following in the footsteps of a long line of family doctors. Either way, no matter how much you think you know, the journey to becoming a doctor can come with a set of hurdles and unexpected turns.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a little help to offer along the way! Our team of physicians and med students has put together a list of things to consider if you’re thinking of pursuing a career in medicine.
Unexpected Aspects of the Journey to Becoming a Doctor
- Medical School Can Make You Or Break You:
We’ve all heard horror stories about medical school and how tough it can be. Every group of friends has that one med student who you can never beat at complaining because no matter how challenging your school is, med school just doesn’t compare. And to be honest, it’s all true!
Being in med school is the closest to having a full-time job that you’ll ever experience. The hours are rigorous, the work immeasurable and the expectations are sky-high. The other challenge you’ll face is that you’ll be surrounded by the toughest competition too; consider every med student to be as passionate and relentless in their pursuit for excellence because they are. This means that bringing your A game is a prerequisite!
And part-time work? That requires the kind of time that medical school doesn’t allow. The best course of action would be to focus completely on your studies, you’ll need all the time you can get! It’s a hurdle for even the most highly qualified applicants to stand out during admissions. As uniquely competitive as the field of medicine can be, particularly in the United States and Canada, the more you do the better.
2. There’s Nothing Like Medical School To Make You A Better Student:
Medicine is a lifelong commitment to learning – they don’t call it ‘a practice’ for anything! Medical school is only the first stepping stone towards a long journey of growing your knowledge and experience.
One of our physicians relates their growth from their second year to the fourth as immeasurable! And that’s one of the most fascinating things about this career. The stakes increase exponentially in a matter of just a couple of years.
“Your responsibilities as a resident compared to your responsibilities as a student are tenfold,” Dr. Kaminski says. “And it’s tangible because you’re now signing orders and prescriptions. You’re under supervision, but you’re the one making those choices and clinical judgments.”
3. A Career in Medicine Brings Perspective:
No matter where you’re from, what your interests are, or who you know, once you put on that lab coat, you’re an impartial warrior of medicine. This brings with it a new perspective; you are a healer who can make an actual difference in a living, breathing person’s life. The stakes have never been higher.
Working in medicine not only requires you to learn the many intricacies of the practice but also calls for working with a diverse chain of people. Effectively treating and spending time with your patients can open up a whole new outlook on life, as is true for many of our physicians. Getting the chance to complete your residency in another country can bring a plethora of experience and perspectives that you never thought possible!
4. Hard Choices Will Be Your Bread And Butter:
From selecting which schools to apply for, to choosing from a wide array of specialties that work for you, this is a career that calls for difficult choices around every bend.
Chasing a field you’re passionate about is imperative but there are still things to consider. Does your chosen fieldwork with your schedule? Are you able to go for a specialty that requires 100% of your time and effort or do you have other responsibilities to juggle? One of our physicians looks back on their time and points out that pursuing a notoriously time-consuming specialty such as surgery, might prove challenging for someone who has children.
And this isn’t even the most challenging part! While working with real-life patients, know that on-the-spot decision-making and hard choices are what being a doctor is all about!
5. You’ll Discover A Whole New You
They say that extreme pressure can bring out the best in you and every doctor would agree. If you can make it through the pressure of medical school, residency, and your chosen specialty, there’s nothing that can stop you! Yes, it will be the hardest thing you do, but you’ll come out the other side a better person, ready to take on the world of medicine and with the kind of experience and perspective that only something as challenging as medicine can bring.
Nearly every medical school says that even though medicine pushes you to the limit, where you think you can’t learn anymore, the limit that causes most to break and quit, it’s surprising that it also gives the strength and motivation to keep going. It shows a side of you that even you didn’t know existed.
Is Medicine The Career For You?
We, at USDoctors.co, are here to answer any questions you might have about pursuing a career in medicine and our team is ready to guide you along the way!
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