There is a multitude of factors that could be pushing you towards choosing careers in medicine. This will be one of the biggest decisions you make in your life and you will be living with the result of that decision for a lifetime to come. So, no pressure.
It is going to take you between 8 and 15 years of study and graft to get you to where you want to go. It is going to cost a lot of money. There are going to be lots of ups and downs along the way, so you need to make sure you have considered as many factors as possible.
In this article, we’re going to take you through 7 important things to consider before you make your choice. You need to think about not only medicine but things that may influence your choices within medicine. That journey begins here.
1. What Is Driving You?
Studying medicine is a big commitment. Before you take the plunge, it is wise to honestly examine your motives. What is it that is driving you in this pursuit?
Is it the desire for a high income and a prestigious career? Do you want the admiration and respect of others, including those in your family? There is nothing wrong with those motivations per se.
However, you will need a serious drive that will keep pushing you forward despite challenges and setbacks. Is this decision going to primarily please you, or please others? It is a personal decision and you must do it for you, after all, you’re the one who will have to do the work.
2. Choosing Careers – Lifestyle Requirements
When you mention lifestyle, what is it that comes to mind? Nice house and a big car? Think less about the financial rewards and more about the routine of life that medicine requires.
You will likely work long hours and under stressful conditions. How will this fit with your sense of work-life balance? How does medicine, as a career, fit with your other goals in life?
3. Show Me the Money
If this heading makes you think of the 1996 movie, Jerry Maguire, you’re likely thinking about what will be your earning potential. However, a related consideration is how much is this education going to cost, and where will the money come from?
Are you prepared to live with considerable debt, as you begin your career? The cost of medical education could be as high as $100,000. Consider applying for a scholarship because if you are successful, it could save you thousands of dollars.
4. Location, Location, Location
This has nothing to do with choosing real estate. Think now, about where you would like to work. That doesn’t just mean where in the country but what kind of setting would you like to work in?
How do you feel about being based in a big city hospital? Would you prefer a small-town medical practice?
Would you like a job that is peripatetic and allows you to be on the move? These factors will impact your lifestyle, stress levels, and income, so give them some careful thought.
5. Find Your Passion Within Medicine
To stick with medicine, you will need to find something you love doing within the industry. There is a vast range of specialties you could get involved in. How will you know which one you’ll love?
Don’t wait for medical school or for being an intern. You can volunteer at your hospital to work with patients with different disorders, you can speak with medical professionals and ask them about their experience.
You can work as a medical scriber and get closer to the frontline experience of many doctors. Don’t be afraid to ask what it was that influenced them to choose that particular specialty. Be sure to do your research by checking educational providers like IMBC.
6. Honest Self Examination
Even if you have the best motives for going into medicine, it is beneficial to think about your personality, your strengths, and your weaknesses and how this relates to your career. Choose a medical career that plays to your strengths.
For example, if you love children, you could consider pediatrics. If you identify weaknesses in your personality, then what can you do about that now. Can you develop the positive qualities you need?
7. Support Network
Research shows that a consistent cause of medical students dropping out is a lack of support. They feel socially isolated and depressed. Will you have the support you need mentally, emotionally, and physically to successfully hold the course to graduation and beyond?
Talk about this honestly with your family, peers, and close friends. The truth is, even though you will be the one doing the work, you’re not likely to make it if you try to go it alone. Think about the support network you will need, and who will help provide it.
This sounds like the beginning of a joke. You don’t want your decision in choosing careers in medicine to end up being a joke. If you consider the 7 factors outlined in this article, then you will make a well-informed and balanced decision.
Remember, medicine isn’t the only option in the healthcare field. Keep your mind open to other possibilities as you develop your education and career trajectory.
The most important thing will be a long-lasting, satisfying career that gives you the happiness you deserve. Check out other articles on our site that prompt your educational curiosity.