So, a couple weeks ago I was accepted into medical school and I couldn’t be more excited! I applied to two osteopathic medical schools and this was my first choice so I’m more than glad to finally have my path set.
But… if you had asked me when I started college (3 1/2 years ago) if I wanted to be a doctor, I probably would’ve looked at you like you were crazy. Long story short, I’m not one of those people that has lived their whole life wanting to become a doctor. I always excelled at the humanities (english, history, art, etc) and didn’t think science or math was for me!
So how’d I get into medicine? I took a physics class my senior year in high school and LOVED it. Weird. And when it came to pick classes for college, I decided to major in Biology! I had loved my anatomy and biology classes but didn’t think I was “smart” enough to do science. I always did well in those classes, but it took more effort than humanities classes… So here’s truth #1: You don’t have to be naturally gifted in math and science to go to medical school. Yes, it’ll help a lot if you are, but just because you’re not “good” at something doesn’t mean you can’t love it and want to do it.
I always thought that it wasn’t fair for teachers and parents to say, “You can do whatever you set your mind to.” Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s an extremely important concept for kids and young people to understand – but that’s the easy part.
You see, you really can do whatever you set your mind to. I didn’t believe that until I proved it to myself time and time again. But the real challenge lies in figuring out what you believe is worth setting your mind to. That is where it gets hard.
So, the first step in figuring out if medical school is right for you is taking medical school completely off the table and thinking a little deeper into what makes you, you. No, this isn’t easy and probably won’t come in a minute or even a couple days. But figuring out what you truly love and what you believe is worth your time will take you the full 9 yards to your dream career.
My formula for figuring this out (because us science nerds love formulas) :
[What you love] + [Contribution to a Greater Cause] = Success
For example, for me this was
[I love learning about the human body and want to know everything]
+ [The opportunity to make a significant difference in the health of my patients]
= Enough motivation to keep going when times are hard.
Because inevitably there are going to be days when you are so burnt out from studying and you might want to say screw knowledge and learning. And that’s when the second part of the equation kicks in! Telling yourself you have to do it for something greater than yourself and what you personally want will get you through those really tough times.
Lastly, it’s also helpful to consider other careers and decide why or why not they wouldn’t be right for you. If you like helping other people, why not become a nurse or a social worker? If you love nutrition and exercise, why not become a dietician? What about being a physician is unique and worth your time and effort?
Let me know if this helped! 🙂 How did you decide that medical school was right for you?! Did you consider other careers?