Training to be a doctor is a big commitment. It takes a lot of time, effort, and education costs to get the required training that turns you into a competent doctor. Before you start, you should consider some things first. Here you’ll find a list of the considerations that every med student should have before starting a career in healthcare.
We’re assuming you’ve already asked the first question – “why should I be a doctor?” Once you have that figured out, our list covers some of the more practical concerns that a med student should have.
What Kind of Doctor Are You?
There are many kinds of doctors within the healthcare field, each with its own specializations. Doctors can work as general practitioners, work on care wards, or work in emergency medicine where every minute counts. These are all different roles that can be described with the word “doctor.”
Doctors can also specialize in certain body parts and bodily functions. A day in the life of a cardiologist is different from a day in the life of a urologist, after all. People will have different tolerances for what they can handle, so choose the qualifications that can get you a job as the certain kind of doctor that you want.
Fortunately for you, foundational qualifications for becoming a doctor are typically the same. This means you can decide later on if you’re not sure of specializations yet, but it’s better to know before you start.
Where is the Training Coming From?
Education doesn’t come cheap nowadays, especially when you’re training to become a doctor. To start, you’ll need to know which training courses, diplomas, and degrees are required to achieve the status of a medical doctor in your home country. In most cases, you will need several qualifications, so it’s more of a pathway that will take years to progress through.
Such an investment of time and money isn’t to be taken lightly. That’s why you should rationalize why you want to be a doctor and get into the field for the right reasons, so you don’t waste other people’s resources and your own.
Financing education will be more or less difficult depending on where you are. While some will have the cash to finance an education, not everybody is so fortunate. In those cases, it may be possible to apply for student loans and other assistance options that are designed to take the burden off of young students who are interested in a healthcare profession but don’t have the cash to pay for the education.
Becoming a doctor can pay well too, so student loans for healthcare tend to get paid off easily. That said, the money alone shouldn’t be the motivation to become a doctor.
Do You Have The Right Temperament?
Knowing why you want to go into healthcare as a doctor is one thing but it helps to have the right temperament. You should have the right skills and the right mindset to work a high-pressure job that comes with many emotional and empathetic stressors. Those who cannot remain professional while emotional or struggle with empathizing with others may have trouble when working as a doctor.
This is where you need to be honest with yourself since it’s much harder to change personality traits that are inherent to who you are as a person. Of course, it also depends on what kind of doctor you want to be.
Can You Follow Schedules?
You’re going to need schedules a lot when studying and when you become a doctor. It’s much harder to cram for exams in the healthcare field, so you’ll need a proper schedule to study properly. You can’t cut corners in medical school. Then, when you become a doctor, you’ll have to follow rigorous schedules to do your job effectively.
Can You Switch Off?
Becoming a doctor takes a lot of education and work, so it may appeal to the workaholics out there. While workaholics can still do good work, it’s not a good long-term strategy to obsess over your job, especially if it’s a stressful job in healthcare.
You should be able to switch off, to find time for relaxation and the pursuit of hobbies that interest you. By adopting a well-rounded lifestyle that balances work with the rest of your life, you’ll stay motivated and won’t get burnt out from your future job. Try to spend time with family and friends as often as you can.