As a child, have you always wanted to be a doctor? Maybe you were that kid who would always have your plastic stethoscope and try to listen to everyone’s heartbeats. Whether you had a passion for medicine at an early age or didn’t discover your passion until later in life, that passion is what you’re going to need to survive medical school. However you had your epiphany that you want to practice medicine, are you ready for all that it entails?
Becoming a doctor, of any specialty, is not easy. You’re really going to have to dig deep and find your inner drive to finish medical school and become a doctor. Maybe you were inspired by a close family member who passed away from a certain condition and that made you want to work towards finding a cure for it. Your inspiration is what will help keep you going.
If you’re someone looking to pursue a career in medicine, here are a few aspects to consider and keep in mind when making that life-changing decision.
You May Have a Reality Check in Medical School
All throughout your high school and undergrad career, you might have been the brightest student, getting straight A’s in all subjects but once you head to medical school, your academics start to slip.
As a medical student, you will be loaded with tons of information, expected to thoroughly study that information, and then get frequent tests on that information… all of this can be expected in the first two years before starting clinical and can be overwhelming for the most intelligent of students.
You’ll Soon Have to Think Before You Speak
Pursuing a career in the medical field, you’ll be exposed to things that the average person will not, so that means your dinner conversations will have to be filtered. It’s totally fine to have those gross conversations with your medical friends but when it comes to personal friends, you have to use a filter. Topics to stay away from with personal friends:
- Draining masses
Sleepless nights are a Never-Ending Story
When it comes to sleepless nights, people typically think that it’s only during medical school and during your residency… oh no, those sleepless nights continue well on into you practicing medicine in your field. Doctors have worked three, four, and even seven days straight! Some doctors call it a ‘week of nights.” This situation varies case by case and is dependent upon what your specialty is but when it comes to practicing medicine, working overnight usually comes with the deal.
There’s Not Always a Happy Ending
Becoming a doctor is one of the most rewarding careers to have. You’re able to help others and essentially, save lives but with that, there’s always a downside to becoming a doctor too, and that is that you won’t be able to save every patient… the field of medicine is a field where you have to take the good with the bad, and there’s only so much medicine can do sometimes.
You have to be prepared to give your medical skills to help your patients live the best life they possibly can and when things don’t pan out as you had hoped they would, you also need to be prepared to give your emotional support as well.
U.S. News talks about the importance of grieving among medical students. It suggests that medical students can volunteer to learn how to compassionately care for dying patients. This is a way that some future physicians cope with the death of a patient.
You Don’t Learn How to Be a Doctor in Medical School
A lot of people tend to think that medical school is where you learn how to become a doctor, and that’s not the case at all. Medical school, that’s where you learn the scientific principles and foundations that will prepare you for further training. It’s not until you enter your residency and post-graduate practice that you will gain the hands-on training and skills to truly become a doctor.
It’s Not Easy But You Can Do It
Once all the education, residencies, testing, and licensing has been obtained… it will then be time for you to find a job in your prospective field. You can’t just up and tell hospitals and facilities to hire you because you’re a doctor… you need to look into job searching platforms specifically for physicians.
The process to become a doctor is definitely grueling but once you’re able to start practicing your passion, you’ll be able to look back a see that the ‘blood, sweat, and tears” were totally worth it.