Tips for Medical Students – Overview
Many students in their senior year of high school apply for medical courses each year.
However, medicine is not the career to get into just to earn a living – It’s more of a calling, and anyone who gets into it has to be committed to upholding life above everything else.
Here then is some advice from older physicians in the field to help medical students ease into the career seamlessly.
1. Determine Your Motivation
A career in medicine is extremely rewarding. However, you want to keep in mind that it can equally be stressful. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and perseverance to make it in the field.
As such, you want to determine what motivates you to get into medicine before making your final decision.
For instance, if you want to get into healthcare because you are influenced by someone in your life that you value, that’s good motivation.
Merely getting into a medical career just to make money won’t cut it. In the end, you will have to live with your decisions.
Determining your motives before embarking on the journey is what will keep you sane in those instances when everything seems to be going haywire in the future.
2. Consider the Financial Implications
Medical courses are expensive and there is no way around it. While studying medicine is a solid investment, you want to consider that there will be numerous hidden costs once you start.
Funding your tuition fees will not be easy. Those who are lucky enough will receive financial aid from their kin or perhaps an investment in an educational plan may save the day.
Some universities also offer discount programs for tuition fees.
Regardless, you want to be financially prepared if you want to pursue a career in medicine. Assess your finances and have a plan in place regarding how you will pay for your course.
You also want to note that medical degrees are not just financially demanding as they also require a lot of work and commitment.
You have to be committed to finishing your course irrespective of the hurdles you are likely to face down the line.
The last thing you want is for all that money spent on paying school fees to go down the drain if you quit before finishing.
3. Many Years in Med School
There is no denying that education plays a critical role when getting into the healthcare field. First, you will be required to go through four years of an undergraduate program.
Once you are done with that, you will go through medical school which will take another four years.
Then, there is the residency, which should take three to seven years. To be a doctor, it will take no less than 14 years. Are ready for that?
Besides, you will be required to update your knowledge regularly so even after getting your white coat, you will constantly be going through training for new treatment methods and technology among others.
If this sounds like something that you are not ready for, you will be better off choosing another career path.
4. Be Ready for the Reality
Working in healthcare means that sometimes you will be dealing with depressing and sometimes even devastating situations.
Keep in mind that some patients spend their last days in the hospital and you are likely to witness the loss of life many times.
Other times, you will see patients suffering and there will not be much you can do about it. How comfortable are you with that, or how prepared are you for it?
If you are uncomfortable, you will be better off not working with people but in other areas of healthcare like pharmacy, or pathology.
Getting into medical school and getting into a medical career can be easy.
What matters is how well you will be able to uphold your career with integrity and commitment.
A general rule of thumb would be to visualize your life as a medical professional and ask yourself if you are equipped mentally and physically to handle the demands that come with it.
As we have mentioned, medical school is not cheap and the time invested in going through it would be too much to forego and start afresh in another career.
The tips above should help you determine whether you will succeed in the field.