Many people dream of being doctors since childhood but are unsure of what to expect from medical school. Some students even go as far as getting GAMSAT preparation courses. Much of the education will vary depending on the field of practice, but some things will apply to everyone who pursues that path. If you’ve ever considered becoming a physician, here are three things to know about the process.
1. The Hard Work Pays off
Becoming a doctor requires immense dedication and hard work, but that doesn’t mean you have to be like Rachel Tobin Yale, who was valedictorian of her high school and went on to study Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The amount of work required of you will depend on some degree with your chosen specialty, but regardless, you will be expected to memorize and understand a lot of information about how the human body functions so you can properly know how to address patients’ needs. The hard work pays off though — if you are passionate about the field you choose to specialize in, you will have a satisfying and rewarding career.
Becoming a successful doctor is not for the faint of heart, but that’s exactly how it should be, because everyone hopes they have a doctor who worked hard and earned the right to practice in such an important field.
2. You Might Be Surprised What You Learn
Medical school isn’t all stethoscopes and red blood cells — doctors have to learn all kinds of things. For example, you may need to learn leadership skills or how to communicate unfortunate news to families.
Or, for example, did you know that even though the bodies of adults and children are obviously largely similar, they might respond differently to medical treatments? Even for the exact same ailments, the same treatments might not work for both adults and children. For example, some medicines that cause drowsiness in adults can cause hyperactivity in children.
3. The Education Doesn’t Stop With Graduation
After becoming a qualified physician, you will continue to learn throughout your career. Typically, you will go straight into residency, which is where you will practice under the watchful eye of an experienced doctor. You may also be required to attend CME (Continuing Medical Education) events throughout your career in order to maintain your license to practice medicine — this requirement will vary by the state.
Becoming a licensed physician can be very rewarding if you’re passionate about the work, and that passion will also help you as you study and prepare. If you are willing to put in the work both during your formal schooling and throughout your education, you can become a successful doctor.