The medical field is a very rewarding career. Medical professionals have one of the most rewarding jobs where they get to help people every day. In addition to that perk, you also have many different paths in medicine to choose from, almost all doctors are paid extremely well, and you’ll have good job security because people are always going to need doctors. Though the path to becoming a physician may be hard, it is also very competitive, so it’s important that you’re successful from the beginning.
Your education, especially your undergraduate studies and beyond, is going to be very important when it comes to pursuing a career in the field of medicine. While many undergraduate students enroll in a pre-med program, it isn’t always necessary (or feasible) to do so. Just be sure to take several courses in the natural sciences, such as biology and physics. It’s also important to make sure that you’re getting good grades— in these science courses especially. In order to be accepted into an accredited medical school, it is necessary to receive good grades in undergrad.
While your success in undergrad is important, don’t forget about being successful in medical school. It’s important to stay on top of your studies, but it is just as important to schedule some time for yourself, whether it’s just to relax, exercise, or to take some time to hang out with friends.
Volunteering and Shadowing
Medical schools (and practices) are also fond of volunteer work, as they look for students and candidates who have a background in medicine that goes beyond schoolwork. Pre-med courses may offer some level of hands-on experience, but if you are unable to major in pre-med, then it’s even more important to look for volunteer opportunities. Nursing homes and crisis centers are two good places to look into volunteer work. Volunteering also gives you the advantage of learning about the evolving world of health. You can learn a lot more information outside of your normal courses, especially if you’re not enrolled in a pre-med program.
Shadowing is another way to gain some valuable experience in the medical field. Although this may be hard to do outside of a pre-med program, actual medical programs allow their students to shadow doctors and other health professionals. Also, developing a professional relationship with your professors can be helpful, as they are likely connected directly or indirectly to someone in the medical field.
Once you’ve completed undergrad, medical school, and your residency, it’s time to apply for a job! The most important thing to remember when applying is to make sure that you have a well-written and professional CV (Curriculum Vitae) or resume. A well-organized, well-formatted, and easy-to-read resume/CV can be one of the deciding factors of whether or not you’ll be called for an interview. This is the very first impression that the interviewer will have of you, so it’s imperative that you take the time to format it correctly and not rush through it.
When it comes to interviewing, many of the same things can be said about an interview for any job (i.e., dress appropriately, arrive early, etc.). It’s also a good idea to have a list of questions to ask the interviewer, as there’s almost always a time where they’ll ask if you have any questions. Some questions to ask at your interview can include:
- Why do you feel the need to hire another physician?
- How many patients can I expect to see each day?
- What is a typical day like at this practice?
- What would your current physicians say is the best part about working here?
If you’re an aspiring physician, no matter what level you’re currently at, make sure to always put your best foot forward. You will have some tough days, but don’t let those days discourage you. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help if you need it. Part of being successful is knowing when to ask for help.
Featured Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash