From the Aztecs to the Greeks to the Ancient Egyptians, the medical field has long been regarded as one of the more respectable professions. Even today, med school graduates are largely considered among the best and the brightest and, due to the grueling nature of the work, medical students are also looked at as some of the hardest working. What specifically does medical school entail? How does one go about becoming a doctor? This is a quick rundown on what you can expect.
What Do You Need to Get into Med School?
Just getting accepted into medical school can be quite the slog. Completed post-secondary classes in Biology, Chemistry, English, and Physics will be needed at a minimum so you can apply for Medicine School as a 3rd year student. Since admissions are so intense, however, most applicants will have to complete a full science degree in order to get in. Besides stellar grades in these classes, however, there’s also the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Covering areas like Physical and Biological Sciences as well as Verbal Reasoning skills, this test is how schools will decide whether or not you’re medical student material. As I'm sure you will, make sure to study and prepare for this exam. Taking practice tests can also help you perform better on the actual test. It’ll also reflect better on your application if you have spent some time volunteering in hospitals or clinics. Sign up now to get that experience on your application!
Selecting a Med School
Simply because medical school is incredibly competitive, you may not necessarily have the luxury of being able to choose your school. Even if you’re the ideal student, you just never know what’s going on with the committee. So as a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to apply to every medical school you can get an application form for. That being said, in evaluating schools you want to look for a supportive network as well as a thriving campus. You’ll appreciate those friends you’ve made when you’re faced with all-nighters and stressful labs.
Once You're There
So with the help of your excellent interviewing skills you’ve impressed the committee and made it into medical school. What happens next? Medical school itself typically takes 4 years. It’s divided evenly with a combination of book work as well as clinical work. However, it doesn’t end there. In order to be licensed to practice, you’ll have to go through what’s known as a medical residency. During your residency you get to put everything you’ve learned at medical school into practice. To become a general practitioner you have to spend at least 1 year in residency. If you’re planning to become a surgeon or to specialize in another area, the residency stage will take longer.
What about the Money?
Medical school debts are an issue that students need to have settled in their minds before applying. Since this is largely full-time study, a solid financing plan is much more important for med students. The average cost can go into the tens of thousands per year in tuition alone. You’ll want to consult with your academic advisor or financial aid office of the school to see what kind of scholarships, grants, and student loans are available.
Job Expectations Coming Out of Med School
Although pay is largely determined based on a combination of experience and area of specialization, medicine is a degree that’s well-recognized for its job security and its high pay grade. Simply because of how in-demand doctors always are, it's easy to find work no matter where you go. It's all up to you. The best part? This is a profession that has been around for thousands of years without showing any signs of slowing down. A medical career offers prospective students a great opportunity to dedicate their careers towards helping other people. It’s also a practical degree that virtually guarantees that you’ll always have a job. Med school may require a commitment, but the hard work definitely pays off.