Becoming a doctor is a dream for many people when they’re children. But as they get older, many people can start to look at the reality of being a doctor and consider other paths instead. However, if you’re still interested in becoming a doctor, you might have what it takes to make it. Qualifying and getting your license is something that takes many years, but putting in the effort and dedication pays off in the end. There are many ways you can really make a difference as a doctor and lots of career paths for you to choose. If you want to be a doctor, you should think about how to create a plan or path that you can follow.
Decide If Being a Doctor Is Right For You
Firstly, you need to make sure that being a doctor is the right choice for you. Even if you decide that it is now, there’s still a chance you might change your mind later. Being a doctor is a hugely demanding job, and qualifying certainly isn’t easy either. You need to be able to recognize what it takes to be a doctor, including not just the academic ability but also the communication skills, the confidence and the ability to work under pressure. Doing plenty of research can help you to work out if being a doctor is right for you. You can try talking to doctors, reading or even watching documentaries.
Get a Bachelor’s Degree (If You Haven’t Already)
In the US, you usually need to have a bachelor’s degree before you can go to medical school. You may already have one, in which case you perhaps won’t need to think about this step. While there isn’t necessarily a particular degree that you have to have, some people choose pre-med or another related major, which can help you when applying to medical school. You should also consider any science requirements that you need to complete during your undergraduate degree. You will often need a year’s experience in chemistry, biology and physics.
Volunteer or Get Work Experience in Health-related Fields
While considering your path through school, it can also be helpful to get some experience under your belt. This is something you might want to consider doing while doing your undergraduate degree. Once you start medical school, it could be a struggle to find time to do anything else. You could seek out volunteering experiences, which might be at home or abroad. You can also see if you can find any work experience opportunities, which you might find through your college. Relevant experience can help with your applications to medical school and show that you’re serious about your goals.
Look at Medical Schools
When it’s time to look at medical schools, there are various options to consider. A few won’t require a bachelor’s degree, but the vast majority do. You’ll need to take the MCAT exam and get familiar with how to apply to medical school. When you’re considering where to go, it’s worth looking at schools in the Caribbean. Applying for medical school in the Caribbean can mean you can get your degree there, then complete your residency in the US or Canada. You might be able to save money, perhaps increase your chances of acceptance, and spend your time studying somewhere beautiful.
There are many different specialisms that you can consider if you want to be a doctor. It’s not necessarily something you will decide before you’ve applied for medical school, but it is worth considering. It could help you during your applications or while you’re looking for work experience. It can even be useful if you’re deciding whether being a doctor is really the right choice for you. It might help you picture what being a doctor would really look like, from the environment you will be working in to what sort of people you might work with.
Have a Plan for Medical School
If you do get into medical school, there’s no getting around the fact that it will be tough. It’s a lot of work, and it only gets more difficult as you get closer to really becoming a doctor. Having a plan for how you’re going to approach it and how you’re going to perform well while at school can help you to start off on the right foot.
It takes time and effort to become a doctor, as well as talent, knowledge and skill. If it’s what you want to do, it’s useful to envision what your next few years might look like.