It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to become a qualified medical doctor. The medical field requires more education and training than most professions, and aspiring doctors have to spend a lot of money to undergo the required training to fulfill their ambitions. Those who have gained the qualifications to become a doctor will have a highly rewarding career. Other than great financial rewards, medical professional also get a sense of fulfillment by helping other people.
Step 1: Choosing to Become a Doctor
Those who wish to become doctors have to understand the true commitment that is required to pursue their ambitions. Education and training for doctors can take many years. Most doctors only begin their practice when they are in their late 20s, because they have to go to medical school and do residency after they graduate from college. Aspiring doctors should be prepared to sacrifice their time to focus on their career. To be a successful doctor, one needs to have a love for learning, especially subjects that are related to medicine. He or she also needs to have a desire to help other people. The main responsibility of a doctor is to help people; money should not be the main motivating factor for those who decide to pursue a career as a doctor.
Step 2: What to Do in High School?
Those who have the ambition to become a doctor can start preparing themselves when they are in high school. It is important for them to have a good general education, so that they will do well in their SAT. This will help them gain admission to good colleges. Since medical education requires profound knowledge of the sciences, it is recommended that they opt for a full high school science curriculum. They should take biology, chemistry, and physics, as well as mathematics classes for four years. Whenever possible, they should try to get involved in activities that give them a real-world experience of medical practice. One way to do this is to become a volunteer at a local hospital.
Step 3: What to Do as a College Undergraduate?
When they are choosing a college, aspiring doctors should consider certain factors. These factors include academic reputation, tuition fees, location, the availability of pre-medical programs, and the quality of the faculty and facilities. It is a good idea to choose a college that has its own medical school. While college life can be fun and exciting, it is important that students learn how to balance work and play. Some courses in college can be difficult, and those who fail to do well in college may not be able to get into medical school. One major decision that students have to make while they are in college is to select a major. Although biology or health sciences are the most common undergraduate major among medical students, medical schools also accept students with other majors as well.
Step 4: How to Pick the Right Medical School?
It is important that aspiring doctors get a good MCAT score, because it will give them more options when they are selecting medical schools. They have to make sure that the schools they choose offer courses in the kind of medicine that they wish to practice. They should apply to a number of top medical schools, such as Harvard, John Hopkins, and Duke, as well as a few middle-tier and lower-tier medical schools. Medical school applicants should also consider the tuition fees and location of the medical schools of their choice. If they choose a school that is too expensive, they may have a difficult time trying to complete their education. Those who are budget-constrained can opt for medical schools that are available in their vicinities, so that they can save on accommodation and transportation expenses.
Step 5: Meeting the Requirements of Medical School
A good GPA is one of the most important requirements for getting into medical school. When college undergraduates apply to medical schools, they will be asked to show their GPAs for both science and non-science subjects, as well as overall GPAs. Most medical school students have overall GPAs of more than 3.5. In order to get into medical schools, students have to study several courses for at least one year. These courses include biology with lab, organic chemistry with lab, inorganic chemistry with lab, and English. Some medical schools also require one year of calculus or biochemistry. Lastly, medical school applicants have to do well in their MCAT.
Step 6: Essential Tips for Surviving Medical School
Studying in a medical school is very challenging. It requires a lot of patience and determination, as well as exceptional time management skills. It is essential for students to attend lectures regularly and keep themselves updated with the latest lessons. They should make sure that they do not fall behind, because catching up is often very difficult in medical school. Many students have to resort to cramming just before their tests, but cramming is not a good way to study, because crammed material is usually forgotten easily. It is recommended that medical students devote several hours a day to make sure that they understand lessons that are taught in their lectures. Nonetheless, they should also take a break occasionally, so that they can relieve stress and improve their focus.
Step 7: Doing Your Residency
A residency is a training program that all medical students have to undergo before they practice, and it lasts for three years or more. Throughout the duration of the residency, they will take part in certain activities that will give them hands-on medical experience. Residency usually takes place in a medical facility, and students have to observe and perform medical duties that are related to their specialties, as well as attend lectures and conferences. Typically, a day in residency begins early in the morning, with the trainee doctors checking diagnostic test results and performing “rounds”. When they are doing their “rounds”, they will explain diagnostic tests and suggest treatments to patients. Doctors in residency are also responsible for ordering physical exams for newly admitted patients, as well as prescribing medications.
A career as a doctor is a lifetime commitment. Doctors have to make personal sacrifices and act responsibly towards their patients at all times. While it takes a lot of time, effort, and perseverance to become a medical doctor, those who succeed in this endeavor will be respected figures anywhere in the world.
- Choosing to Become a Doctor: This article provides excellent advice for those who are contemplating to pursue a career as a doctor.
- Pre-Medicine Programs: Suggestions of undergraduate programs that aspiring doctors can take to prepare for medical school.
- Selecting a Medical School: Helpful tips on how to select a medical school.
- Preparing for Medical School: Qualifications and personality traits required for entering medical school.
- MCAT Test Advice: This web page contains great advice for students who are taking the MCAT.
- Residency Planning: Useful suggestions for planning medical residency.
- Doctor Profession FAQ: Frequently asked questions about the doctor profession.