If you are intent on becoming a doctor, you should know that there is no guaranteed way to become the best doctor. There is also no rule that states you have to go to graduate school before enrolling in medical school. However, getting your graduate degree beforehand does have some distinct advantages. Here are just a few of them.
One of the greatest skills medical students can possess is the ability to find, control, and use peer-reviewed and published medical data. This is the bedrock to making informed decisions on a clinical basis. Students entering into a graduate program before they enroll in a medical school will be exposed to, and become adept at, all of the facets of evidence-based medicine well before those who go straight to medical school. Students who complete master’s programs will sufficient knowledge in such things as epidemiology, data analysis, and biostatistics to transfer and apply it directly after entering medical school.
The process of paying for graduate school is essentially the same as paying for undergraduate school. After any avenues of free money are exhausted, apply for a private student loan to cover the remaining amount of expenses. Repayment plans can generally be tailored to be flexible for a healthy budget. One of the last things you should be worried about during graduate school is where the money is coming from and a private loan is definitely a solution for that.
Many budding medical students state that they have a desire to pursue medical research during their training. Since residency programs are highly competitive, it is a good idea to keep up with what everyone else is doing. In fact, many students are entering medical schools with research projects already in the works. This is something that is highly impressive to admissions officers. To make sure you are on the same level of playing field, you need to be prepared for this as well. Students who have completed a master’s program have already developed the skills to analyze large amounts of pertinent data and to ask questions concerning novel forms of research.
Just as with virtually all other forms of business, medical students need to network within their chosen professions. Students who have gone through a graduate program have already developed a solid network of peers that they can rely on for peer review even possible collaboration on future projects. The sooner you can develop a network, the better off you will be. When you have a pre-built peer network, it is much easier to get papers published or to gain assistance with certain types of project funding.
If you can show admissions officers that what you studied in graduate school has a direct bearing on your future medical career, then that degree acts as a huge boost to your resume. Not only does it show drive and determination, but it also displays the additional knowledge gained that others who skipped medical school may not currently possess.