The ambition to become a medical doctor is a goal that must be steadfastly followed. Medical school itself, with its demands on one’s physical and mental abilities, may already be too stressful for many. The end of it, however, is still not the end of the road for some.
If you want to be part of the medical community, you still have to apply to medical school. Medical schools will be looking at your GPA and your personality when you apply. Even if your grades are not as high as most top medical schools in the country require, give yourself points by completing requirements that are needed. These requirements include credits in the natural sciences and the social sciences. You will also need to submit a personal statement. If you have observed examples of personal statements written for medical schools, they give accounts of community involvement or other instances that support your medical school bid. These examples of personal statements will also shed light to characteristics needed in order to become a fully-fledged doctor.
Being in medical school
When already in medical school, be prepared for long hours of studying. The first two years are mostly spent inside the classrooms, listening to lectures, and being exposed to the basic disciplines of medicine such as human anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, pathology, and medical ethics.
Many students, especially those who did not major in the sciences in college, have difficulties in subjects like biochemistry and pathology, so having a rich background in the sciences is essential. It is also much difficult to cram in medical school, so you do have to keep up for every lesson. Second year may already find some students experiencing burn-outs while third year becomes a temporary reprieve because it is more clinical than theoretical. Many medical students in their first and second year pull all-nighters to study for an exam. These years are also the time when being sociable becomes a plus factor because many medical students join study groups so that they can perform in their exams better.
At this stage of their medical training, medical students begin making supervised rounds in hospital wards. However, your responsibilities also increase when you reach fourth year because you will be have surgical rotations.
The difficulties of becoming a full-fledged doctor
The road to become a full-fledged doctor is very long and stressful. You need to have a bachelor’s degree, which usually takes 4 years, to enroll into medical school. Then, after four intensive years in medical school, you have to take three more years of residency (at the very least) to earn a specialization. Residency is much more difficult than the already stressful medical school because you will put your knowledge to practical use while earning several hours of sleep debt every night you are on-call. The number of years of residency will depend on the specialization, which can range from 3 to 7 years. If you still want to get a higher rank or receive more specialized training, you have to go through a fellowship after your residency, which can last for two to three years.
Rewards and challenges
The challenges are not over after you become a full-fledged doctor. You still have to go through regular stressful situations and may get sued for malpractice. However, if you love your job and do well in your specialization, the financial reward may be as high as more than a million dollars annually. Of course, there are also specializations that can only reward you around $100,000 annually. To earn more, you need to choose more complicated specializations such as neurosurgery.
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