What advice would you give to younger medical students/people starting their medical journey and to people who may be considering medical school?
Medicine is arguably one of the more popular professions to pursue. Those who aspire to become a doctor have various economic, social, and personal reasons which have to be carefully examined. First, be honest with yourself. Are you really interested in becoming a doctor, or are your parents or relatives just pushing it on you? Do you feel that it is the path to becoming financially well-off? Some reasons may be valid, but being a doctor isn’t as glamorous and probably not as financially rewarding as you may think. The most important reason for applying to medical school should be an interest in medicine itself. Halfhearted applicants may get into the program, but many end up quitting because of the grueling load they encounter. Your passion for the field will be what carries you through 48 to 72-hour calls, seemingly endless exams, and what is almost literally a lifetime of learning. Once you have made your decision, focus on preparing for it. Joining your local pre-medical society can help you meet people with similar interests and provide you with various opportunities such as attending healthcare lectures and doing medical volunteer work. You can also consider applying as a research assistant or conducting your thesis on a biomedical interest. These will help prepare you for medical school in addition to enhancing your application.
For those who are already in medical school, congratulations! It is not an easy road but the journey itself can be enjoyable with the proper mindset. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Making it through medical school may be the hardest thing you will ever do, but there are even times when consultants miss and reflect fondly on student years when life was simpler. Enjoy your journey and good luck!
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Victoria Grace C. Dimacali, MD, DPBO