Should I Go To Med School?
Many students exploring different career paths often wonder at some point, “Should I go to med school?” A career as a doctor can be incredibly rewarding, enabling you to make a difference in the lives of others while having a financially secure career, but this career path is not for everyone.
Understanding if you should go to medical school requires an honest assessment of your strengths and abilities, coupled with your long-term goals in life. There is no single formula for how to decide if med school is right for you, but there are several things to consider when determining if you should go to medical school.
Is Going To Med School The Right Career Path For Me?
Many times ambitious or talented students will ask their academic advisor “Should I go to med school? Should I pursue a career in medicine?” While the prestige of becoming a physician may seem appealing, there are several considerations that you should take into account when looking into the possibility of a career in medicine.
Doctors tend to spend a lot of money on their education, often graduating with significant debt. On average the total cost of medical school is $218,792. Students considering a career in medicine should also consider the financial burden they will incur to achieve their goal.
Becoming a doctor can take over a decade after you get into medical school. While medical school itself is normally only four years, residency will add an additional three to eight years after graduation, depending on the specialty. The time from entering medical school to becoming an independently practicing doctor thus takes from seven to twelve years. The time spent in residency also usually only pays a fraction of what a fully trained physician will make, which can add to the financial burden of your education.
Another thing to take into account when asking yourself “is med school for me?” is the fast-paced way of life. The lifestyle of medical students, residents, and independent doctors is very busy. Medical students have to work and study hard to succeed in school and earn the residencies they want.
After you are a doctor, you will have more control over your lifestyle by choosing a specialty. Some doctors work a more normal, 9 to 5 type of schedule, but many doctors work long hours, are on call during the night, or work shifts. You will need to carefully consider the lifestyle that you will have during medical school and residency, then as an independent doctor.
Reasons You Should Go To Med School
Given the potential difficulties of medical school and working as a doctor, should you go to medical school? The answer will vary based on the things that make you uniquely you, but there are several good reasons that someone should consider a career in medicine.
You Enjoy Helping People
Working as a physician is ultimately about helping other people and improving the quality of their lives. Going to medical school will launch you into a career where you have the ability to enhance people's lives in a way that few others can. A desire to help others is a strong motivator for those who possess it, and can greatly enhance your ability to succeed in becoming a physician.
You Enjoy Medical Science
“Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” Often attributed to Confucius, this simple quote succinctly points out that you should strive to engage in a career that you enjoy. If you enjoy the idea of working in the biomedical sciences, then a career as a physician will be more natural for you, and it may be easier for you to dedicate your time and energy towards becoming and then being a doctor.
You Want a Secure Career
Understandably, wanting a secure career that pays well is a solid reason to become a doctor. Working as a physician can pay well, and medicine is a field that has been and always will be in demand. People always suffer from health problems and need someone to help provide answers to those problems. While career security is not a bad reason to want to become a doctor, it should probably not be your sole motivator.
You Enjoy Challenges
Medical school and the career that follows are definitely challenging. Some people, however, relish the work and thought needed to overcome stiff challenges. Caring for patients and developing research and new technologies in the medical field is full of challenges for those who enjoy problem solving.
Should You Go to Medical School?
If you have ever found yourself wondering, “Should I go to med school?”, then we are here to help! Our professional advisers can provide resources to help you understand the benefits and challenges of medical school and evaluate them based on your personal situation.
American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) has been helping to train the next generation of physicians for over four decades and is dedicated to enabling successful students to achieve their dream of becoming medical doctors. We invite you to learn more about what AUC offers and how we can help you realize your long-term goals.