Though medicine is a respected profession providing a wide choice of careers and tons of opportunities to grow, you are recommended to go through things to know before medical school if you don’t want to regret it later. Here are some of the questions to ask yourself before making your decision.
Reasons to Pursue a Medical Carer
“Why do I want to become a doctor?” This should be the first thing to consider if you think of attending medical school and becoming a doctor.
Do you truly wish to make a real difference to those who are in pain and suffering? Or are doctors’ prestige and earnings your only interest? Is medicine your dream or your parents’ dream? If not, you won’t be happy doing your job every day, you’ll be exhausted being surrounded by people in need, and sooner or later you’ll get out of the medical field. This field is really challenging and competitive – if you’re not passionate about becoming a doctor, then there’s no use in devoting your life to it.
Level of Commitment to the Medical Career
Pursuing a medical career is a long road requiring a huge time commitment, during your education and even when you work in the profession. Though some healthcare careers require short training periods, some demand several years before you can practice as a physician. You’ll have to take 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, followed by 3-7 years to complete your residency or fellowship. Are you ready for the commitment to these years of medical school?
Think about how much you can commit and sacrifice. Whether you’re willing to put all your time, effort, and money into this? Are you ready for medicine to take over your entire life? If medicine is your greatest passion, it would be fantastic. If not, would it be worth it? Remember that you cannot earn the reward if you are reluctant to pay the price.
Tuition and Income
Another consideration for aspiring doctors is financial circumstances. Do you have a significant savings amount for college? If not, would medical school be worth thousands of dollars of debt?
Applying to medical school is expensive. Your very first step – submitting the application may cost you above $170, the secondary applications cost anywhere from $50-100 for each school. Applicants also have to pay for lodging and transportation when traveling to school if asked for interviews.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, in 2019-2020, the average cost for four years of medical school attendance was $250,222 for public institutions and $330,180 for private colleges; and the average med school student graduates with a student loan debt of $200,000.
Think about whether your financial situation allows you to afford it. Are you willing to spend thousands of dollars and be in huge debt for the next few years, when you won’t be able to make a steady income?
Before applying to medical school, it is essential to take time for yourself to think thoroughly and decide on your situation, goals, and intentions. Attending medical school is not an easy path, you’d better be sure that you are mentally and physically ready, and know exactly what you are committing to. It’s better to answer the listed questions now rather than later.