From the moment you entered grade school, the biggest question that all adults would ask you is “what do you want to be when you grow up?” For some kids, they know right off the bat that they want to be a fairy princess or a policeman, but as you grow older, the career you thought you wanted begins to change.
Your parents play a significant role in your career choices. From the parents’ perspective, they want you to pick a field that’s going to give you financial security… That reason alone is why so many parents in Miami are paying special attention to their children’s growth and education to prepare them for their college years, at a very young age.
And despite their heavy influence, you’re going to have more life experiences that sway your opinion of what you thought you wanted then, to what you want to do now. But in coming to the conclusion of what you want to do with your life, how exactly did you come to that conclusion and why?
That’s the question that everyone has to figure out when deciding on what career path they want to take in life. This is a question that all doctors have to answer for themselves before entering the world of medicine.
As a college student looking to enter medical school, it’s important to remember that medical school isn’t like going to typical college classes… it’s very intense, very demanding, and requires a lot of discipline, so there’s a lot to consider before going on that journey. If you feel like entering medical school is the route you want to take, then before filling out that application, ask yourself these important questions first.
Why Do You Want to Practice Medicine?
When college students are asked why do they want to practice medicine, can you guess what their number one response is? It’s typically “because I love helping people.” There’s nothing wrong with that response either. The health care industry needs caring people who want to help those in need… The world is cruel enough as it is but basing your career choice on loving to help people isn’t going to be enough for you to survive medical school.
If you love helping people, you can help people in more ways than becoming a doctor… You can help people find their dream home, you can help people get out of debt, and you can help people learn how to cook… Do you see where this is going? Your decision to practice medicine can’t solely be based on your love of helping people.
Are You Doing It For Yourself or Someone Else?
The follow-up response to “why do you want to practice medicine?” is usually followed by a story of some sort that explains that they either want to do it for themselves or for someone else, and that’s where things get a little tricky.
Entering medical school because of someone else can be motivation for you, but at the same time, they’re not the ones going through medical school with you. There’s a fine line between doing what you want to do and doing what you’re called to do. Doing what you’re called to do is what’s going to boost your chances of a successful career in medicine.
What Field of Medicine Do You Want to Study?
Another tough question to answer but when you know where your passion resides, it’s not such a hard question to answer. If you’re unsure what area of medicine to study, steadyhealth.com recommends starting out by looking for what areas of medicine where doctors are greatly needed.
There will of course always be a need for doctors, so job security would be the least of our worries… there are job boards specifically for doctors… if you need a job in radiology, you can simply search for radiology positions. If your specialty is in family medicine, you can search family medicine physician jobs.
One area of medicine where doctors are indeed in high-demand is primary care. Primary care physicians are the physicians that patients first see when they have any type of symptoms before being referred to a specialist. These physicians are in high demand in rural and low-income areas.
Are You Willing to Make the Sacrifice?
Being in medical school is going to require a lot of your time and energy so you have to ask yourself if you’re prepared and ready to do everything that will be required of you. So what types of sacrifices will you have to make? Well, a lot…
For one, you will have to sacrifice your social life. There will plenty of times where you’ll probably get invited to parties, family gatherings, and game nights but 9 times out of 10, you won’t be able to go simply because you have an exam the next day or you’re on a section that you’re having a hard time understanding and you really need the extra time to study.
What if you were asked out on a date? Would you go? Medical school can cut into that too. It’s not that if you enter medical school, your life is over, but you will have to find that balance between focusing on school and finding the time to have a life outside of school…
This is something that you will need to think about and determine if you’ll be willing to make those sacrifices that can cut into family and personal time.
Can You Afford Medical School?
This is the big one. If you thought paying for undergrad was expensive, just wait until you see the bill for medical school. There are several factors that determine the price you’ll pay for medical school, but you can expect to pay upwards of $80,000 to over $100,000. You can look into grants and ask for help from family but you will more than likely have to consider loan options.
All in all, there are several things you need to take into consideration when thinking about going to medical school. Price, sacrifice, and your reason why you want to practice medicine are all questions you need to seriously ask yourself when making the decision of entering medical school.