Should you apply to medical school? Is a career as a doctor for you? Sure there are lots of pluses to being a doctor, first and foremost the prestige - you get to be called "Doctor" and everyone knows that you're the best of the best because not only did you get into medical school, but you finished. But there it takes more to succeed in medical school than simply a desire to be called "Doctor." Is medical school and a career in medicine for you?
- Are you prepared to consistently keep long hours?
- Can you manage high levels of stress over a long period? Exam-related stress? Saving-live-related stress?
- Are you prepared to deal with the potential for malpractice suits? Do you know how much malpractice insurance costs and who will be responsible for it when you are a practicing physician?
- Do you have the motivation to remain dedicated over years of education and training?
- Can you afford tuition? Living expenses? Note that education debt will likely run well over $100,000 and often to $200,000 for medical school alone, not including any debt related to obtaining an undergraduate degree.
- Are you prepared to sacrifice the time, sleep, and social life needed to succeed?
- Do you love science?
- Are you squeamish?
- Can you afford the time? You likely will not graduate medical school until 26-27 years of age, assuming that you enter straight out of college. Then you will enter three years of internship and residency. After residency, some doctors focus on a particular specialty. Plan on continuing your training well into your 30s.
Know what you're getting into. Medical school (and residency) isn't like Grey's Anatomy
. You will work hard - lots of studying, long hours, and often it will not be fun. A career as a doctor can be exhausting, stressful, and yet amazingly rewarding. If you have a strong desire to learn medical science, as well as to help, as well as academic, social, and organizational skills, a career in medicine might be for you.