When choosing a career in medicine, it’s not just a job that you’re thinking about “doing.” The world of medicine is a passion and a lifestyle that’s not cut out for everybody. If you were to ask doctors why they chose to study medicine, each one of them would have various different reasons why they made their decisions but you can believe that every single doctor’s decision is deep-rooted in the need and want to help people.
As freshmen enter their first year of college, a lot of them have a focus of undecided because they want to make sure they’re making the right career choice. So instead of picking a major they’re unsure of, they’ll stay undecided and use their first two years completing their prerequisites and honing in on their field of focus their junior and senior years.
Why Do You Want to Enter the World of Medicine?
If you’re someone who’s interested in the field of medicine and feel that it’s for you because you love helping people, that’s mighty noble of you but it’s going to take more than that for you to survive medical school and actually graduate. A lot of students see the fact that there will always be a need for doctors as a reason to study medicine and that’s absolutely the wrong reason.
Yes, there are job boards such as Practice Match with countless career opportunities for urologists, chiropractors, oncologists… you name it, there is a need for it in the world of medicine but if you get into the world of medicine for the wrong reasons then you won’t be in it for very long. You see, it was mentioned earlier that you can’t survive medical school alone on wanting to help people. Although that is definitely motivation to help get you through, there are other qualities and factors that will be required of you in order to go all the way.
Do You Have What It Takes?
As you enter your journey of medical school, you will have several emotions running through your body. Initially, you’ll feel an intense amount of excitement but then you might immediately feel anxious and concerned about what you’ve gotten yourself into. It’s pretty normal to have those feelings.
Before even applying to medical school, friends and family would tell you those horrific stories of students they knew entering medical school and how they had countless sleepless nights and how their entire life revolved around school… Well, after hearing stories like that, you’d be crazy to not be nervous about entering medical but the truth is, everybody’s experience is different and everybody’s journey is different.
Embrace Your Journey
You can’t compare someone else’s experience and journey to yours, especially when yours hasn’t even started yet! Now, to be fair, these medical school horror stories didn’t just come out of the blue… they had to be rooted in truth somewhere, right? Yes. What you need to understand is that your medical school experience might be much better than the next person.
For one, everybody has different speeds of learning and comprehension. An assignment that might have taken three hours for one person to complete might only take you an hour and a half. So you can’t set yourself up to lose the race before you even get to run the race. Stop comparing yourself to others and embrace YOUR journey. Take a look at what else it takes to survive medical school.
Be Open-Minded to New Experiences
Upon entering medical school, you may have a particular specialty in mind but then realize it’s not really what you thought it was so now you need to look into another specialty, right? Well, don’t go into panic mode just yet… nothing has to be set in stone just yet. You should consider taking clinical rotations, that way you’ll be able to see a lot of the different challenges based on the different medical areas.
Also with being open-minded, you’ll be up for trying new experiences in lots of different aspects as well. In medical school, being open-minded can mean a wide array of different things. For example, you can be open-minded in trying:
- Different study habits
- Getting to know some of your classmates
- Accepting volunteer opportunities on or off campus
Learning to Say No
A large part of medical school is embracing the art of sacrifice and learning to say no to certain things. This is the hardest part of medical school, some would argue. You have to think about it though. You are in medical school to become a doctor. As a doctor, people’s lives will be placed in your hands. You should be willing to sacrifice going out to a birthday bash for studying a few extra hours to ensure you understand the proper tools to use during surgery and their functions.
It’s a scary thought but once slip of the hand or the use of the wrong instrument during surgery can cost someone their life and you don’t want to be the person holding the wrong instrument. A lot of doctors have said that it wasn’t until they were in medical school that they discovered who their true friends were. They said that when parties came up, they would tell their friends that they couldn’t go. After hearing “no” so many times, they eventually stopped asking for them to hang out.
Saying “no” is also no reason to feel bad for losing a friend either… you’re in medical school trying to get an education and if your so-called friends can’t understand that, then they never really were your friends in the first place. Forbes.com says people need to start saying no more often because you are only responsible for creating your own boundaries and limits and if someone goes beyond them, then it can affect your mental health and that’s the last thing you need in medical school.
Remember, your journey won’t be like everyone else’s so whether your journey is a smooth one or a bumpy one, it’s YOUR journey. Being open to new experiences and learning to say “no” in conjunction with your desire to help others will definitely help get you through your medical school journey. Just stay focused and keep your eye on the prize. You can do it!