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Is Being a Doctor Worth It? – Pitfalls Awaiting You In Med School

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Becoming a physician is a huge commitment in terms of time, effort, and money. How can you know if you’re making an informed decision about your life path?

Updated: February 13, 2023
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Excellent pay, prestige, and the opportunity to save lives: there’s no doubt about the rewards of being a doctor. However, even with record-breaking numbers of applicants to med school, being a doctor isn’t for everybody. Even your willingness and phrase “I want to be a doctor” are the things that don’t determine your doctoral success. Becoming a physician is a huge commitment in terms of time, effort, and money. Of course, you can ask medical school personal statement editing services to help you with the admission process, however, how can you know if you’re making an informed decision about your life path? Read this guide to help you decide whether or not the med school is the right choice for you.

What You Should Know Before Going to Med School

1. Know that being a doctor isn’t the only great medical profession out there

Being a doctor is tough. You may not need to become an MD or DO in order to achieve your goals. On the clinical side, becoming a Physician’s Assistant or a Nurse Practitioner might be the better way to put you where you want to be in terms of both salary and patient contact. On the research side, you might be better off pursuing a PhD. If your main focus is in doing the benchwork that will ultimately translate to the bedside of best practices for patients, you might not need to invest in med school and residencies.

2. Get everyone else out of your head

Is being a doctor your goal? Or your parent’s goal? Why do you want to be a doctor? Was this an idea you formed as a child but haven’t reevaluated now that you’re an adult? Do you come from a ‘physician family’ and never really considered other careers? Of course, there’s nothing wrong with continuing a family tradition of being physicians or choosing a career that will please others as well as yourself. However, when you genuinely reflect on your talents and goals, is med school what you really want?

Questions to the Expert
Mary S.
Professional Essay Editor. Education: MA, Stanford University. Experience: 4 years. Member of EssayEdge team.
Hire Mary S.
Is it worth trying to get into med school?
Mary S.
A medical school applicant should consider academic strengths, finances, family responsibilities, and controversial medical issues. If you have a dream to become a doctor, you should understand that you will not only devote many years to undergraduate pre-med, medical school, internship and residency, but you will also devote your professional life to this. Weigh the pros and cons and then decide.
What are the disadvantages of being a medical doctor?
Mary S.
Responsibility for the health of others can be ethically and emotionally onerous. Medical doctors often sacrifice their free time, rest, and family life. Medical doctors face patient suffering and death, which can become a heavy burden.
Which type of doctor is best?
Mary S.
The answer will depend on several factors. Your own interests should guide you. Do you want to specialise in paediatrics and work with children? Or, are you drawn to helping individuals suffering from psychiatric disorders? Or, are you interested public health? Medicine is a vast field. It is as complex and fascinating as human life. If you mean the best medical specialties according to the highest-paid rate, then neurosurgery, orthopedic, and thoracic surgery are on this list. But if you are searching for less competitive specializations, then family medicine will fit this requirement.

3. Understand the commitment

The great news is that the vast majority of entrants into medical school do, indeed, eventually graduate. However, it may take longer than you think. For multiple reasons, med school students are taking longer to graduate from medical school. While this is mainly for the positive reason for pursuing research activities, know that you might be in school longer than you had anticipated. Next, depending on which speciality you choose, you’ll need to complete a residency. It isn’t enough to determine something like “I want to be a doctor because…” You have to concentrate on your future career and goals. If you are pursuing a subspecialty, you will need to complete a fellowship. The time commitment is massive, so know what you’re facing.

4. Expect debt

Sadly, this is the reality of attending medical school today. Depending on the resource quoting the numbers, the median debt for med school graduates is about $170,000. Although this is completely manageable for physicians who are interested in well-paying specialities, it can create difficulties if you are interested in specialities such as primary care or paediatrics. Therefore, you will need to be realistic about your likely debt to income ratio. Attending a private school may not be your best bet when there is a more affordable public school option.

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5. Realize there are a lot of great med schools out there

Harvard and Johns Hopkins are outstanding options, but there are excellent medical schools across the world. Many states have premiere medical schools in their public universities, and states tend to favour their own in the application process. Therefore, you might want to take a stronger look at the Health Science Centers in your home state.

Also, different schools place different emphasis on research and clinical practice. Are you looking for a school that emphasizes one more than the other? One that has a good balance of both? Look beyond the brand names and find the school that will provide you with the atmosphere and training that you want.

Once you’re confident in your decision to go to med school, then finding the right place to spend the next few years of your life becomes the top priority. No medical school is easy. Therefore, taking the time to research a variety of schools and find the right match for your personal and professional goals can make med school much more rewarding.

A childhood dream isn’t the reason to become a doctor, right? The setbacks of a physician’s profession mentioned here prove this point of view. Having the desire isn’t enough to be enrolled; you also need to submit a well-done essay and cover letter to be accepted. If you doubt the quality of your writing, send us your cover letter for editing and proofreading.

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