The medical field is one of the most revolutionary and intriguing fields in Science. With more and more diseases and viruses coming out, the importance of medicine is becoming more and more significant. With that being said, being in the field of medicine isn’t exactly a walk in the park. It is one of the most stressful professions, both mentally and physically. How can you tell if being a doctor is right for you? Here are the questions you should ask yourself if you are considering studying medicine.
Are my scholastic records high enough to be considered being accepted in a medical school?
Despite the challenges of being a doctor, there are more applicants to study medicine than medical colleges can accommodate. According to the statistics of the American Association of Medicine, only 41% of medical school applicants got accepted into medical schools in the year 2019-2020.
Apart from that, your grades must be very competitive especially in more prestigious schools because their standards are higher. Your grades in Science must be relatively high. The average GPA for medical school applicants that got accepted is 3.7. Your MCAT score must be in the above-average range. 506 is the average score for MCAT takers; however, 511 is the average score of those students that got accepted to medical schools.
Apart from grades, you must also have solid references from your professors and other persons. Other extracurricular activities, such as voluntary work is also a must. Lastly, your essays and personal statement must be convincing.
Do I have the financial capability to enroll in a medical school?
When it comes to finances, medical school is one of the most expensive degrees. This is because your professors are most likely doctors as well. This means that their pay is most probably way higher than those of your professors in your undergraduate degree. Facilities in a medical school are also another factor. Medical paraphernalia and other equipment also significantly increase the finances you need to be in a medical school.
It is no surprise that most medical students have huge debts. Of course, being a doctor is also a high-paying profession, so should you succeed in being one, and then your loans would most probably be paid in a matter of time. Still, a lot of consideration is needed should you decide to invest in going to a medical school.
Are you willing to invest a lot of time to start your career?
The process of becoming a doctor takes a considerable amount of time. If you want to study specialties, it may take up to 11 years of training. And that still does not include the time you spent on your undergraduate studies.
The undergraduate degree takes up to four years. Medical school is another four years. After that, you have to take up residency for another 3 to 7 years and more if you want to go to a specialized field.
If you went to school at the right age and never stopped studying, then you will be a doctor in your mid-thirties. That is still quite an endeavor considering that your peers who went on a different path would’ve started their careers in their early twenties. Now, it is a different story if your schooling isn’t straight.
Let’s say you took a few years off to save up for medical school that would mean that your career might start in your early forties or maybe even late forties. With regards to the amount of time investment, you should ask yourself if you are willing to sacrifice a lot of years just to be a doctor.
Are you okay with how being a doctor affects your life?
Being in medical school is no joke. You have to sacrifice your young adult years for studying or maybe even working just to pay off those tuition fees. You should also consider other aspects of your life. While some of your peers may be starting their careers and enjoying their young adult years, you may not have the time to do so yourself.
Being a medical student extorts a lot of physical and mental energy, leaving you drained for other activities. You must think of your family as well. More often than not, students vying for medical school need financial assistance from their parents. If you have siblings, then this means that money being invested in your medical career is money that is not invested in theirs.
This means that the sacrifices of being a medical student do not only apply to you but your family as well. If you have a partner, will he or she be supportive? Studying medicine requires a lot of studying. This means that you will not be able to spend so much time with your romantic partner. Being a doctor requires more than personal sacrifice. It also extorts a toll on your other relationships. This is another thing you should consider.
What are the sound reasons for being a doctor?
Now that you know how challenging being a doctor can be, you should ask yourself if it is worth it. And you can only answer that question by asking yourself the reason why you want to be a doctor. Is it your passion? Are you determined enough? And are all the sacrifices you have to do worth it just to get that PhD or MD? In the grand scheme of things, how much do you want to be a doctor?
Being a doctor is no easy path. It requires sacrifices. Take some time to ponder and think before committing yourself. You don’t want to waste time, energy, and money to do something partially and just quit part of the way.