What is your mission? What are your goals? Many students enter medical school to earn the Medical Degree or a Doctor of Philosophy in one of the rigorous medical sciences, because Mom or Dad forced them. Whatever your motivation, we welcome you to the field. At this site we will arm you with the truth about the entire hierarchical experience. Mom and Dad may or may not know that medicine in the clinic or classroom is all encompassing.
I meet so many bright-eyed students who have the zeal but are uninformed about the level of commitment required to succeed. For some it is impossible to imagine a life with limited contact with the ones you love. This suspension of life’s activities can last a decade or longer depending on your ambition. Those who aspire to earn dual doctorate degrees or Master’s Degrees in public health or health care administration, can add a longer time of confinement. However, it can be done and you will survive. Through technology, many of us get our social needs met on Twitter or Facebook. This year I will save a ton of money through Facebook travel. I have seen the children and new home additions of everybody I know from second grade to professional school!
The world of medicine is incredibly competitive today, and the patients are benefiting. This year I saw several 1st year medical students in the mid-30’s. Some previously earned Master’s Degrees in the sciences while they waited to be accepted, while others worked in a variety of research settings. I even saw one in the 40’s and one in the early 50’s. This diversity in experience, educational level, and maturity is the type of variety my organization expects to create in the next set of doctors. Defining a goal within your medical career can be a daunting task with so many roads available. The popular ROAD to success is being met with competition. (The ROAD to success is an inside joke for those desiring family life or just a normal existence. R-Radiology; O-Ophthalmology, A-Anesthesiology; D – Dermatology.) In the 1980’s everyone was advised to specialize, and we listened. Hence, the shortage of primary care physicians. Choose an area in which you would work with no paycheck. I will work to heal women even if blind-folded and my hands are tied. Many mentors urge students not to choose surgery if there is an area that is equally as appealing. This discussion would not be complete if I did not mention that many areas are still dominated by men. Several boys’ clubs exist in medicine. (Gender disparity in the delivery and receipt of care will be addressed in subsequent posts.)
The American Council of Women and Diversity in Medicine, Science, and Business holds the view that it is worth the financial investment to hire a medical school admission consultant. This specialized medical professional may have graduated medical school, but decided to teach or mentor for a variety of reasons. They possess an insider’s view of the process. Other consultants have never attended medical school but were accepted; professors of medical science and others who have sat on selection committees and worked in admissions offices are also great choices for consultants. The cost of these consultants may be expensive, but is worthwhile because the competition is stiff. Parents may want to purchase these services for an aspiring medical student. The time investment is too great to risk missing out on a seat because of a poorly written personal statement. I read many reports, theses, and other communications written by clinicians and medical scientists. The writing skilld can be lacking when a person is skilled in math and science. The corpus callosum has clearly delineated the right and left brain.
Read every article and book you can read about careers in medicine, shadow a local physician or researcher, and begin to devise a plan. List your likes and dislikes, and read your thoughts periodically. New medical schools are applying for accreditation every year. Allopathic medical schools have not seen a growth spurt like this in almost 40 years. I am sure a seat exists for you.