Look at your interests and goals. Does the future appeal to you? Do you want to experience challenging situations? Do you have a passion for science? Are you interested in body processes? Would you like to care deeply in resolving the pain of others? Are you interested in studying medicine? Do you like learning new things? Are you attracted to the way treatment has improved people’s lives in the past?
If you answered “yes” to most of the following questions, your personality possibly matches a career in medicine. Having an intense and long journey is an essential part of pursuing a career. Several studies show that a quarter of students decided to get into medical school before they graduate from high school.
The number of candidates applying to medical school exceeds the number of available places, which means that the recruitment procedure needs to be fair and relevant. Nevertheless, even within one country, there are wide deviations when it comes to recruiting and selecting medical students.
There are things that a medical school applicant should consider before pursuing a medical career and it should also be for the right reason.
1. Know Your Motivation
How do you hope to benefit from this? Did you grow up in a family that valued their abilities? Do you have a strong interest in math and science? Are past professional experiences inspiring? Are you motivated solely by money? What motivates you? Answering these questions will help you understand the reason why you want to pursue a medical career.
A medical career is extremely rewarding but can be stressful as well. This profession requires great commitment, hard work, and endurance.
If you’re considering healthcare because of someone you care deeply or trust, like your family, you’re welcome to do that. You just have to make sure that your goals and the objectives that you set are compatible with theirs. Ultimately, you’ll have to live with the decisions that you make. Knowing your motives beforehand will help keep you persevering until later.
2. Commitment to Public Service
Medicine is a service-oriented field, which tends to attract students who want to contribute to their community. However, not every student feels a need to contribute so much to society. Therefore, students must first examine whether a career in medicine is something that they see themselves even in the long term.
An inclination to care about the individual will enable one to look beyond the strain and strenuous working hours of a job, leading to a rewarding and fulfilling career. It’s imperative to emphasize that you must place your desires behind your decision to seek a healthcare vocation. You should feel great about your decision if your family and friends support you, but try to stay true to your decision! It’s recommended you read some resources about the different fields of medicine which can either be Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). You should choose which among them best suits you.
3. Financial Implications
There’s no way around the fact that it’s costly to study and train for most healthcare occupations. Buying a healthcare-related education may seem like a solid investment, but there are many hidden costs.
Financing for your medical tuition isn’t an easy feat. If you’re lucky enough, you may have financial support from family or perhaps you can invest early in life and acquire an educational plan. You could also make the most of the tuition fee discount programs offered in your chosen university. If you’re thinking about applying to study for a healthcare profession, you’re required to be prepared financially.
Is there at least one of your living expenses to be funded by student loans? Are you planning to work and study? Are you planning to avail a scholarship? Consider assessing your finances and see how to go about all the medical education fees.
Healthcare degrees aren’t just financially demanding but usually take an enormous amount of work and dedication. Are you dedicated to finishing your degree course regardless of your motivation for pursuing a healthcare career?
4. Long Years of Education
Education is an essential component when entering the field of medicine. You’ll have to undergo four years for an undergraduate program first and foremost. Next, you’ll be enrolled in medical school which will take about four years. Then, for residency, it’ll take another three to seven years, including training. Hence, being a doctor takes an average of 14 years of school time and residency training, and other jobs take at least 6–8 years to become educated for. The time it takes to become educated enough to apply for an appointment must be reflected in the calculations.
Some graduates choose to specialize in their careers in their 30s. The profession has always required these professionals to constantly learn, evolving their practices as technology developments become the field.
5. Specification of Study
What are you passionate about? A medical career can provide an outlet for you, no matter what your area of interest is. Nurses or doctors are among the professions you may have already considered. Those who are interested in cardiology can work as a cardiologist, cardiac technician, or cardiovascular nurse, for example. You may be a great pediatrician if you love to work with kids.
Within each medical field, a wide array of jobs and specialties are available for students of any education level, from a high school diploma to a master’s degree. When you finally start your profession as a doctor, you may apply practical ways to attract new patients to your office and begin to spread word of mouth through your excellent medical service and commitment.
6. Career Plans
What kind of environment would you find the most comfortable? Which do you think will offer you the most excellent chance of success? It’s probably not a good idea to be a surgeon or a nurse if hospitals seem too big or too cold. Hospice care can be depressing for those who are prone to depression. Many patients spend their last days in that kind of setting.
In case you feel uncomfortable dealing with people, you may enjoy working in a laboratory or even as a pathologist. These job positions will appeal to you if you’d rather not have direct contact with patients and people. You might consider military jobs, ship jobs, or maybe even submarine jobs. When you finally understand what environment you feel most comfortable working in, it’ll make an impact on your choice of specialization.
7. Assessment of Strengths and Skills
Every medical care job requires different skill sets. Doctors also need to have critical traits. However, some common attributes must be present in every health care occupation at some level. A strong work ethic, good interpersonal skills, and technical or mathematic capabilities are essential for most roles. Your patient’s well-being and the quality of their health may depend on how you perform your work. Consequently, most medical jobs require great responsibility and maturity.
Healthcare professionals must learn continuously because the industry is constantly evolving with new technology, new procedures, emerging medications, and even new ailments.
A good rule of thumb is to consider what your ideal lifestyle would look like shortly and compare that with the healthcare professions’ reality. Do you have a suitable work schedule for long hours? Would you be willing to relocate for a job? You can consider the above factors before investing your time or money into obtaining any healthcare qualification.
It’s a rewarding and challenging career to pursue. Students will find themselves in a field that offers excellent opportunities for personal development and professional development. To understand whether this will be a good fit for a student, research is required, so introspection is crucial.