If you are finishing high school or college, you’re probably considering your career options. Committing to a vocation right now might prove to be a daunting task, especially when it’s one that requires you to undergo significant training.
That said, many people across the world dream of becoming a doctor for their entire lives. After all, you get to help people, have an impact on your community, and make a good living. What’s not to love, right?
But do you know what it is like pursuing a career in medicine? The best way to find out would be to become a doctor.
However, before you do that, here are five things worth considering as you work your way towards becoming a doctor.
#1 You’ll Have To Take The MCAT
If you intend to become a doctor, you will have to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) as you near the end of your bachelor’s degree. The MCAT is a standardized, multiple-choice exam that helps medical school admissions offices judge your problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge of natural, behavioral, and social science concepts.
Typically, the content areas covered by MCAT include general chemistry, organic chemistry, general biology, biochemistry, physics, psychology, and sociology. A grueling test, the MCAT lasts for over 7.5 hours and is conducted around 25 times per year between January and September.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, only around 41 percent of the applicants who sought admission for the year 2018 to 2019 were enrolled.
If you wish to become a doctor, you will have to find out the registration dates for the MCAT and register early to get your first-choice location, time, and date. Students planning to go to medical schools are eligible to take MCAT up to three times a year. Additionally, you have to take the MCAT a year before you intend to start medical school.
To crack the MCAT, you should spend at least three to five months or around 300 to 350 hours studying the subjects.
#2 You Need To Do Pre-Med… for The Most Part
After reading the first point, you should understand how important it is to have a strong knowledge across many sciences to crack the MCAT.
You can gain knowledge about all the content areas tested in MCAT by sticking to a pre-med course of undergraduate education. However, this doesn’t mean that only taking lab classes will help you get admission to medical school.
Medical schools aren’t really concerned about you majoring in liberal arts and other classes. Taking outside classes can help broaden your knowledge and worldliness—always a good thing. All you must do is take sufficient pre-medical classes as an undergraduate that will give you higher chances of cracking the MCAT.
Furthermore, knocking out your pre-med requirements in your first few years will also allow you to take more electives or even study abroad. You will also be able to take more classes that will help you learn more in-depth about the field of medicine you want to focus on.
#3 Get Your Study Habits Locked In
A large lot of studying is the key to getting into the med school as well as finally becoming a doctor. Thus, even before you take the MCAT, you will have to develop healthy studying habits and skills along with your formal knowledge.
You can achieve this by finding out productivity hacks, apps, or even study routines that will help enhance the way you learn.
#4 Don’t Go It Alone
Competition is an integral part of becoming a doctor. The game begins right during the time you register for the MCAT. However, never alienate everyone else amidst your constant struggle of getting into an excellent medical school and graduating toward the top of your class.
Go about making friends, both inside and outside the program. From both an academic and a social standpoint, this will help you achieve greater success, balanced life, and keep you mentally fulfilled.
#5 Choose The Right Medical School
Lastly, getting into the right medical school is also highly important as the environment and methodologies used can significantly impact your evolution as a doctor. You’ll want to choose a school that has a style and emphasis on things that appeal to you.
Nonetheless, aiming for just the top medical school is never the best approach. Instead, make a list of medical schools you are interested in joining, and talk with the students there to get their real opinion on the school.
Also, consider the location of the medical school. You most likely won’t want to choose a school that is slightly better-ranked but far from all your friends and family.
Finally, ensure that your medical school aligns with your values, interests, and academic goals.
Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Doctor?
Pursuing a career in medicine is not a cakewalk. There are many challenges associated with becoming a doctor, but there are abundant rewards too.
So, if it is your dream to become a doctor, go for it, work hard, and you will succeed.