So what are the top 10 reasons to go to medical school? Read on for ours…
Most doctors will give you some pretty heady reasons why they chose medicine as a career. Those reasons have probably changed from the time they decided to go pre-med in the first place, since many premeds jump headlong into the process without understanding their deep-down motivations.
It definitely helps to have things sorted out before you make the all important decision. Here are the top 10 reasons to go to medical school. After reading this, you can check out our “Top 10 reasons not to go to medical school.”
Ok, drum roll, now for the….
Top 10 Reasons To Go To Medical School
It’s something you’re passionate about.
Some people know from the time they’re very young that they want to serve people in this uniquely personal, and professional way. Others formulate their thoughts about it as they start down the pre-med path. If you can imagine yourself working closely with people to help them better their health and lives, and can’t imagine doing anything else, then you may be one of those uniquely destined for the medical profession. It helps if you possess attributes like empathy and patience, as well as a sense of joy and happiness when doing such work.
You love science.
If you don’t like science, the process of becoming a doctor will be painful and potentially disastrous. I’ve known several students who were very passionate about practicing medicine, but hated their science classes. This is an incompatible mix. You’ll be thrown into a blender at the university level where your science classes are the most important ingredient. If you think you can minimize your effort in those classes, and get pretty good grades otherwise, think again. Your science GPA is a pretty good marker of whether you’ll get accepted, and then how well you’ll do in med school.
You have plenty of time.
It takes four years of medical school, with three to seven years of residency afterwards, to become a physician. That’s 7-11 years after undergraduate studies to get to your ultimate goal. Needless to say, this requires a commitment, plus plenty of patience. Some students are dying to get out into the working world and start collecting a paycheck. Not you. You’ll be making investments in your future while practicing delayed gratification.
You love school.
Or let’s at least stipulate that you love learning. Because you’ll be in school for a long time, and during your undergraduate studies you’ll probably have to study twice as hard as some of your friends and roommates. If you love learning—in and out of the classroom—you’ll survive, and perhaps enjoy the pre-med path as well as med school.
You want a career ripe with opportunities.
There will always be a need for doctors. Depending on the specialty you choose in medical school, you’ll have options to serve in a diverse number of ways. Once you choose your specialty, the number of opportunities shrinks, but there is still a need for good doctors worldwide. Whether in academia, public policy or medical practice, you can find a position that suits your talents and needs.
You want a job that’s stable and secure.
For some, this is #1 on the list of “Top 10 reasons to go to medical school!” As stated in #5 above, there will always be a need for good doctors. This stands in contrast to other careers where young people are graduating from college and finding a lack of opportunity. For the most part, if you study hard and finish a residency, your services will be in demand. You may need to relocate to find ideal opportunities, but doctors can always find a place to practice their trade.
You want the respect and status that comes with being a physician.
The hard work and sacrifice of becoming a doctor does have a payoff in the long run. People respect the training and work that get doctors to where they are. They are viewed with esteem and respect, and in general they are seen as dignified members of the community. It doesn’t come easily, but it is a very satisfying reason many physicians pursue a medical career and stay in it.
You want to continue to learn.
As a practicing physician in almost any specialty or discipline, you’ll be expected to stay on the cutting edge of the profession. By collaborating with research hospitals, participating in research studies and taking ongoing continuing education courses, you’ll continue your love of medicine and all things medical by expanding your knowledge base and experience base throughout your career.
You like working with a team.
In most medical settings, you’ll have the opportunity to work closely with other medical professionals to get the job done. From the ER to the operating room to private practice, the field of medicine is rife with partnering and teamwork opportunities. You’ll have a chance to rub shoulders with smart, hard-working, dedicated colleagues in your day-to-day work.
You want to make a good living.
Finally, being a doctor will likely bring financial rewards. These rewards can be overstated, given all the years a medical student foregoes a salary while taking on monstrous school loans. But doctors in specialties from family practice to surgery, radiology to cardiology, while being paid significantly different amounts, are able to carve out a good living. Your specialty, region and type of practice will dictate the specific dollar amounts, but being a doctor should be, and usually is, a good financial choice.
So, those are our Top 10 reasons to go to medical school! Check out our post on the “Top 10 reasons not to go to medical school.”
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