Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Through Admissions to Medical School
College application is one of the most destiny-shaping decisions of a young person. It’s really vital to know why you apply and understand what it takes to finish what you are about to start.
Here we will share a few tips that you might need before (and while) applying to a medical college in hope that this will help you figure out which way to go and what you sincerely want.
1. Do I admire learning?
This is the question that, you might think, has nothing at all to do with medicine. But think once more: if every doctor has to lead a lifestyle of research, constantly seeking for new knowledge and revelation, would you enjoy it?
Because if not, why would you do anything that doesn’t bring pleasure and sense of achievement into your life? Otherwise, this is just a waste of time and occupying the place that could belong to a professional who loves to learn.
This is true, learning never stops when you graduate from college or get your prestigious certificate. A doctor is somebody who gladly dedicates their life to the chase after knowledge and new challenges. Medicine is a dynamic science, and it’s not uncommon to have to relearn concepts when material previously learned in medical school is later proven to be incorrect.
2. What are my personal reasons behind applying?
Before picking a professional path, make sure you examine the real reasons for your choice. Often and widely, young people are chasing reputable jobs just to take a higher place in society or gain recognition. This reason is weak since, first of all, you will need to sweat a lot before getting at least a little famous, and, secondly, this doesn’t guarantee you will love the job.
What is more, chasing a career only for power and money is fairly ineffective. Doctor Beddingfiled even called it ‘career suicide’. Good earnings are an essential part of every profession but if you mostly follow the medical path for becoming rich, you’re in trouble.
Another hazardous pitfall among the reasons for applying to medical college is doing it to earn someone’s approval. This often happens in families of generational doctors who sincerely hope their children will make the same career.
Still, doing it for the sake of your parents’ satisfaction or just to continue the age-old tradition won’t make you motivated for long. In the end, we choose professions not because we fear disapproval from the side of people, even those close to us. Doing it for yourself and the people whom you can help is the only right reason to become a doctor. So, if you pursue being useful to the society you live in or to deepen your scientific awareness in the chosen sphere, you nailed it.
3. Does the medical career fit into your lifestyle and are there spheres you can change to make it fit?
No matter what branch of medicine you choose, be ready that the years of studies will be the busiest ones in your entire life. Tons of research, significant exams, busy weekends. In medicine, you will often face the choice to sacrifice your time for entertainment for quality study, volunteering, or medical practice. In every profession, you have a price to pay. The only question is ‘Are you willing to?’
It is perfect if your career goals coincide with your plan for life and you are ready to spend your twenties and thirties on building this career. Still, you have to think wider and consider the overall plan for your adult life and ask yourself:
- When do you plan to get married?
- Will your spouse be ready to support your decision and go with you?
- Where do you want to reside after graduation?
Are you okay making a pause in your medical practice when you have children? Questions like these are not always easy to deal with but they immensely help you to understand the route for the next decade of your life and imagine what it is going to look like if you choose medicine.
4. Do you have enough patience to get the profession or start it over again?
If you’re looking in the medical direction, be prepared that obtaining a qualification can take nearly 10 years of training. Four years of undergraduate studies can seem a long time if you’re 16 but are you ready for 4-7 years more, depending on the specialization?
All of this takes time and endurance. It also takes optimism when you will look at your non-medical peers and realize that they already have one or two degrees while you are just in the process of getting your first one. Here you see that the only motivation that will carry you through is the love for a medical profession and a desire to make the world healthier. If you are willing to take small steps and devote more than 10 years of your life to studies (or even more if you choose to change specifications) because you love it, you’re good to go.
5. Are your grades strong enough for medical school?
It’s not a secret that medical colleges demand outstanding academic performance including:
- High grades in sciences.
- Higher than average MCAT scores.
- Having references from professors and other influential people who know you well.
The GPA (grade point average) for being accepted to a medical college must be at least 3.7, according to the study of applicants to American medical schools. You are also required some solid volunteering experience and, as a default demand, a flawless admission essay plus a personal statement.
6. Will you afford medical college?
As the last but not the least consideration, the financial side can be quite a serious factor in making a decision. We rate it as the last point on our list primarily because if you’ve got all other questions answered and are motivated by the right things, finance issues are not a huge obstacle to your dream.
However, you have to take a sober look at your financial condition and the one of your family because big loans haven’t made anyone happier yet.
Medical school requires big investments. So, make sure you learn about all possible ways to take loans without collecting massive debts and find the ways to pay this loan comfortably.
Be prepared that during your studies you most certainly won’t be able to make a living because of your tight college schedule. So, think up front whether you can afford having no income and being a full-time medical student for such a long time.
Another significant ‘cost’ medical students often pay for getting into medicine is their personal life. Apart from spending much time on studies and later, on work, many doctors are unable to spend enough time with their spouses, elderly parents, and young children, and often find themselves lonely or get divorced which doesn’t add up to their personal wellbeing.
The final verdict belongs to you alone since your career choice is fully within your power. Just don’t make rush decisions. Consider these important aspects that we described above, ask yourself vital questions, and be honest about it. Remember that the world needs more doctors who love what they do, have compassion on people, and live their dream. Will you be one of those?
Angela Philips is a blogger at TopsWriting, an essay review website. She is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. In her free time, she enjoys reading as well as crocheting.