Key Things To Know Before Starting A Career in Medicine

Medicine is one of the most popular careers across the world. The journey to becoming a doctor typically starts with gaining an MBBS degree. However, the medical career is not an easy one – whether you pursue medical studies abroad or in India. In this post, Sarah Saker will talk about the key things you need to know before you start your career in medicine.


6 Things You Need to Know Before Starting Your Medical Career


By Sarah Saker



If someone were to make a list of essential jobs, doctors and nurses would probably fall on that list. It’s hard to imagine society fully functioning without the help of medical professionals to keep us all safe and sound.


Many people aspire to end up in the medical field, but it is certainly a long, difficult, and tough road. If you are thinking about pursuing medicine as your career, you should read this essential list first.


It’s a Lot of Schooling


Even though you might be aware of the potential educational commitments, it’s worth reviewing them. The average individual will spend about 12 years of education and training before being able to walk into a hospital as an official doctor.


First, you will have to go through four years of undergrad. Most pre-med students choose something that will help them with their medical school application, such as biology, chemistry, life sciences, medical humanities, or some other degree. It is worth noting that it’s not necessary at all to have a science-based undergraduate degree but definitely encouraged.


After finishing your undergraduate career, you’ll have to make sure you’re all studied up for the MCAT, the exam before entering medical school. Upon passing the MCAT, you’ll be admitted.


Once in medical school, you’ll have about four more years of education before you start residency. You’ll finally be earning money, albeit very little, and working in a hospital full-time.


After completing the residency, there may be more board examinations or even more training depending on the specialties.


It’s Not Cheap


The majority of education after finishing high school is expensive. Undergraduate is a beast all in itself and that’s even before medical school.


The majority of medical school students finished with about $190,000 in debt and 25% of those finished with over $200,000 in debt. Even though doctor salaries are high, it still takes people years to pay off those loans.


Be sure you have a plan in place for once you finish, or you may be stuck in a debt cave for good. Read 4 Alternative Ways for Parents to Pay for College Tuition.


It’s in High Demand


Finally, some good news!


Even though doctors are one of the most sought after professions in the world, there is still a high-demand and lack of doctors. With a world population that continues to live longer and longer, there simply won’t be enough doctors to keep up with the demand over the next few decades.


That means you’ll probably have a pretty short job search but doesn’t mean you should jump at any chance that’s thrown your way. Make sure to take the time whenever you reach the job search bridge.


It’s Becoming a Women-Dominated Field


For the majority of recent history, men dominated the medical field, especially with the role of doctors. That is quickly changing.


For just the second time since the year 2000, there were more women than men attending medical school. This trend is set to continue and while the gap was noticeably small this year, many experts believe it will widen over time.


Even though more and more women are signing up to be doctors, the majority of leadership positions are held by men. The number of women in leadership positions tapers off around the age of 40 and the difference is staggering.


It’s a High-Stress Job


Taking a look through a list of jobs with the most amount of stress, many medical professions are dotting the list.


There are two reasons for such a high-stress environment. The first being the nature of work. Depending on the type of medical profession, there are plenty of times where you may have to bring horrible news to someone or be in charge of someone’s life. Having that happen time after time again is stressful to even the most steadfast of people.


The second reason is the work schedule. Many people in the medical fieldwork long, hard hours with little breaks. This is especially true in residency where 24-hour shifts are quite common. Read more on why it’s difficult to be a doctor.


You Need Plenty of Motivation


Taking the above list into account, you need to have plenty of motivation when it comes to a medical career. It’s not going to be easy going through 12 years of schooling and training before your first job.


Even though it’s high stress and incredibly expensive, the job is also incredibly rewarding. If you like working and helping people, then there’s not a better job you could find.


You might also like to read 12 Insider Insights about Pursuing a Career in Medicine and Best Alternate Careers and Courses after MBBS.




About Sarah Saker: Sarah is a freelance writer and small business coach living in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

She loves writing and helping small businesses set up processes for customer support and growth, and working on creative marketing messaging.




Featured Image Source: India Today


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