5 Things You Should Know Before Getting into Medical School

A young medical student

Are you in the cusp of enrolling in medical school? Has being a doctor always been your dream? Can you imagine yourself treating patients, healing their bodies, and doing the good work? Being a doctor is not at all glamorous. Aside from that title that you’ll go to the grave with, money, glamor, and prestige will not come too easily for you.

Seeing sports medicine specialists in Clive, Iowa or in any other city shouldn’t make you feel that becoming a part of the medical community will pave the way for you to become close to artists, athletes, and other influential personalities. Those cases are isolated. They are the exception, not the rule. Instead, becoming a doctor comes with all the ills of sacrifice, commitment, dedication, and financial woes.

Prepare to Sacrifice Your Time

If there’s one thing that medical students will tell you to expect from med school, it is to give up your personal time. You don’t own your time once the residency and internship start. The hospital and the duties that you have will tell you when you can sleep, when you need to wake up, when you can take a nap, when you can eat, when you can spend time with your family, and even when you can brush your teeth. Even non-emergency doctors need to go through this rigid training.

Choose a Specialty that You Can Do for Life

When you choose a specialty, you are essentially choosing it for life. You cannot become a pediatrician and then want to become a surgeon after a year. You will have to spend years in training again if you want to transition to a different specialty. The career you choose at the beginning of your residency years will be the same one you have until your last breath—unless you’re willing to spend an inordinate amount of time in training and internship work.

You’re Never Going to Get a Lot of Sleep

Med proper will last for four years. Then, you need to be an intern for a year before you take the board exam. After which, you need to wait for the hospitals to match you to their programs, depending on the specialty you are applying for. While doing all these, you have to do rounds, duties, consultations, training, and the like. This means that for the next six to eight years after you start med school, you’re never going to have enough sleep. You’ll be up on your toes studying, reading books, attending to patients, and consulting with your professors and colleagues.

People Will Be a Lot Smarter Than You

Going to med school is a humbling experience for many. You have probably spent your whole academic life being better than the rest of your classmates. Med school is different. You will be surrounded by people more brilliant than you are. You’ll be surprised at the kinds of awards that people your age actually get.

You Need to Work with People

Female practitioner on the phone

If you are not fond of working with people, maybe med school is not for you. In medicine, you will have to work with your classmates, other doctors, nurses, medical technologists, radiology technicians, and patients. You need to get along with these people because you’ll be with them 24/7. Stress in the workplace is never a good thing for anyone.

If you go through this list and still want to become a doctor, then congratulations! Even amid such stringent requirements and sacrifices, being a doctor can be the most fulfilling job in the world. If you have the patience and dedication to study to become a doctor, then you are choosing to be bigger than yourself.