The first thing anyone notices when looking into medical professions is how everything is up to a certain standard. Anything below that isn’t good for the medical field. These high standards are imposed on med students from their first year in med school. The reason for that is so that they can get used to it and see if they can rise up to the challenge.
But why are these standards so high? The answer is simple. These med students will grow up to be doctors who treat people. Every doctor must perform at high standards. Otherwise, they risk doing more harm than good. This can result in their patient’s condition getting worse or them passing away. Unfortunately, not every patient lives to be cured of their disease, so these things do happen. However, doctors must do everything in their power to prevent it. That’s exactly why these high standards exist.
Med students aren’t doctors yet, but they will be one day, and that’s why it’s imperative for them to know what’s expected of them. They have to excel at school and during residency, and this can bring them all kinds of opportunities. So, high standards are beneficial for people in the medical field and are keeping patients safe.
Medical Profession Is a Long Journey
One of the realities about medical students’ lives is that they have to go through a lot to become doctors. Sure, they can call themselves a doctor as soon as they finish med school, but their education is far from complete. The road to becoming an actual doctor is extremely long. For example, it takes a student 6–8 years on average to acquire a Ph.D. However, it takes a med student a total of 14 years to become a doctor!
Here are some of the steps med students need to take to get their license:
- Pre-Med programs
- Master’s programs
- MCAT exam
- Medical school
- Multiple USMLEs
- PGY internship, residency, and fellowship
- Board certification
If this seems overwhelming, imagine what med students feel like. Even though med students knew what they were getting themselves into, knowing the journey can still take a toll on them.
The Society Has High Expectations on Medical Students
The life of a medical student isn’t only hard because of the years of medical school they have to go through. Med students feel a lot of pressure to perform well. This pressure is coming from their peers, loved ones, superiors, and society, in general. On one side, this is understandable because these med students are the doctors that will treat us in the future. Many people don’t have bad intentions and think they’re just trying to motivate students to do better. However, this amount of pressure can impact anyone.
Medical education is already hard enough. Students go through med school feeling like they’re constantly studying and taking exams. This is already stressful enough because nobody wants to fall behind. Add the societal pressures into the mix, and the results are often mental health deterioration.
Many students succumb to depression, but most simply experience a decline in their mental health. This makes them less motivated to study, which will make them underperform. That’s how med students end up in an unhealthy cycle that makes a lot of them drop out altogether. The best way to deal with this, though, is to focus on yourself and your studies as much as you can.
Time Management and Study-Life Balance
The sad reality of being a med student is that the majority of students don’t have social or personal lives. The school work is so overwhelming that they don’t have the time for anything else. Sure, it’s healthy and desirable to have a good study-life balance. However, it seems that isn’t possible in this case.
On the other hand, many med students prove that anything is possible with good organization and time management. They’re able to hang out with friends or even focus on their hobbies. This doesn’t take away from their focus on school. In fact, it only helps them maintain a healthy state of mind and allows them to learn more efficiently. Why? Because the best way to learn is by taking breaks when you can.
Landing a Job Isn’t Easy Either
You’d think that landing a job would be a breeze after so many years of learning. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. You aren’t in luck if you’re looking for a job in a major city. Jobs are either extremely difficult to find or don’t exist. This is because doctors usually hold their positions until they find a better opportunity or retire. But this isn’t the only factor that contributes to how fast you’ll land a job after years of education.
One of the big contributors is how well you did in med school and during residency. Also, you can’t be picky about where you work. Why do we say this? Because you could easily find a job in a rural area. These areas always need a doctor or two, and you shouldn’t immediately reject them. The reason for this is that living in rural areas has perks like lower living costs. You might not make millions working here, but you’ll make enough to live comfortably. With all of this in mind, it’s safe to assume that how easy you land a job only depends on you.
Do We Recommend the Medical Profession?
Finally, do we think pursuing a medical profession is worth it? Absolutely! We’re especially encouraging people who dream of becoming doctors one day. Of course, you need to keep in mind that the road to becoming a doctor isn’t easy. You’ll have to invest a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to come up on the other side.
Plus, you have to be flexible when finding a job. Staying in your hometown would be ideal, but you can’t let that hold you back when looking for work. As a student, you’ll learn how to adjust to any situation, and you’ll need to utilize that skill after graduating and getting your license.
Helping people is one of the noblest jobs, and those in this profession are always considered heroes.