From the time you get into high school, the pressure is put on you as to what you’re going to do with your life. You have counselors asking and trying to point you in the right direction and then you have college campus tours to see where you want to go… you go through all of that to still not know exactly what you want to do.
Well, now the time has come for you to go to college. You’ve finally made the decision of where you want to go to school but now you face the issue of what do you want to study. In your mind, you’ve come to the realization that you want to study medicine but there’s still that doubt in your mind on whether or not healthcare is right for you?
It’s a common concern to have in the medical field. This is when you want to draw from your experiences in healthcare and figure out what inspired you to make that decision in the first place. But with all things taken into consideration, going to medical school will be one of the biggest decisions you will ever make and it’s not something to take lightly.
If you have made that important decision to commit to pursuing a career in medicine, then there are a few questions you need to ask yourself first.
Do I Meet the Requirements to Get Accepted Into Medical School?
In case you didn’t know, medical school is a big deal and there is a high demand to get in. That means that a lot of things need to be in order. You will need to have:
- Exceptional grades
- A high MCAT score
- An extensive amount of volunteer services can be accounted for.
- Good references from professors and other important people in your life.
There are lots of students who aspire to be doctors but medical schools can only accept so many students. The American Association of Medical Colleges shows data where only 41% of medical school students got enrolled… so that just goes to show you that it’s not easy to get in and in order to get in, you really need to have all your ducks in a row.
Will I Be Okay With Waiting to Start Practicing?
Well, if you choose to become a doctor, you won’t have a choice but to wait because becoming a doctor is a long process, and it’s that long process that separates the strong from the weak. You could call yourself a professional student in a sense!
You would have 4 years of undergrad, 4 years in medical school, and then 3 to 7 years of residency… and possibly a few more years after that if you have a specialty! It’s not until all of those years of education and hands-on training are complete that you will be able to practice medicine as a doctor.
The great thing is that once you are able to practice, you won’t have any issues finding a job because there are now tools available to help doctors find jobs. This job searching platform cuts out the scrolling page after page of positions that don’t apply to you like typical job boards… now doctors are able to search according to their specialty.
Can I Afford Medical School?
Paying for college, in general, is expensive… but paying for medical school can get really expensive. You’ll already have accumulated a substantial amount of debt from undergrad but once you get into medical school, you can multiply that debt times 10!
Now, once you actually graduate and get all of your licenses, you will make a very substantial amount of money, with a salary ranging from $200,000 to over $500,000… it just depends on what your specialty is.
To go along with affording medical school financially, you also want to ask yourself if you can afford medical school personally. When you make the decision to go to medical school, you are making a heavy financial commitment as well as dedicating your time too. You can use an online student loan calculator to help you estimate how much you’ll be paying each month so you can better prepare for your upcoming bills.
Medical school can and will eat into your social life, family time, and even your alone time. Because the medical field is so demanding and jam-packed with information, you will be spending a lot of time studying for tests and exams. It’s a sacrifice you’ll have to make in order to be a successful doctor one day.