Med School Diaries

How To Know If Medical School Is For You

If you have doubts about entering medical school, I have two suggestions: first, is that you strive to have at least a picture of what medicine has in store. This is where you try asking med students or doctors that you know about what studying medicine is like or you can read blogs and articles about what med school is like all over the internet. Looking at medical documentaries can also be helpful in finding out if there is anything that triggers a spark in you towards medicine. You can also visit hospitals and catch a glimpse of what doctors do. If you find yourself wanting (or not wanting) to be in that field for the rest of your life, you are good to go. If you find yourself attracted but somewhat unsure, then my second suggestion would be is that you give it a try.

One thing I realized is that med school has a way of revealing who you are and what you want (or do not want). I wrote many times before how uncertain I was about being in med school and failing exams were not at all helpful at diminishing my doubts but now I am in the second semester of my first year and while my doubts and questions have not been silenced, they sure have lessened and become less persistent than they were the previous semester. One thing I have become sure of though is this: I want to become useful in the society and being a doctor is one way of serving and helping people.

I know that this advice is not practical considering that med school is not cheap nor is it easy. It is an investment in a lot of aspects: time, energy, effort, money, resources, etc. And it is an investment that isn’t guaranteed unless you finish it to the end. Nevertheless, I am convinced that nothing beats the experience of actually being there and finding out for yourself if it is the path you really want to follow to the end. If it is, you persevere no matter the difficulty. You study hard. You work hard. You put up a good fight because you know that in the end, all those exhausting days and sleepless nights will pay off. If it is not, do not belittle yourself. Stand up, dust yourself clean, and try something else. Not everyone is called to be a doctor- who knows, you might actually be destined for some other profession. If you are like me who sees medicine as a noble profession and a means of being able to help others and you find it difficult to let go for those reasons, a friend of mine once corrected me by saying, are you implying that other professions are not noble? Whatever profession we have, we are capable of helping other people if we desire so. (n.v.) And he is right. While being a doctor allows audience and multiple opportunities to serve a wide range of people, we can still be equally useful in other professions as long as we make ourselves available.

Ultimately, the decision to go for medicine lies on one’s willingness to persevere despite whatever difficulty. I will say it again: medical school is not easy. Being a doctor is a huge responsibility. Demands are high. The stakes are high. But as I have heard and been told over and over again (and am learning for myself as a med student), it is worth it and if you give it your all, you will make it.


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