With so much demand for nurses, physicians, and other medical personnel, it's a wise career move to consider a major that will get you into these programs. If becoming a doctor is your choice, you are embarking on a rewarding path. It's also a challenging one.
During your time as an undergraduate, you will need to concentrate on some things that will help you to have the best chance at not only admission to medical school but also the best chance at succeeding there. Here are some of the most important ones.
Think MCAT Right Away
As soon as you choose to go into medicine, you should be making plans for getting the best possible score on the Medical College Admission Test. This test measures your ability to be successful in a medical school, and without a good score on it, you will never get the chance to become a doctor.
Apart from working hard in the classes related to the MCAT–biology, chemistry, and so forth–you need to get into a preparation program. Next Step Test Prep will get you a good idea of what to expect from the test, guiding you in what you need to study in order to make the best use of your preparation time.
Be Prepared To Plunge Right In
Once you've made it in, you're just getting started. Things will happen fast! Medical school moves fast. You will have patient contact right away, and you will need to absorb everything that you see and hear. Learn to be a good listener. Practice your observation skills. Make sure your senses are keen; you should visit your eye doctor and have a good hearing exam before things get started so that if there is a deficiency, you can address it before it starts putting you behind.
Condition yourself to be assertive and to be able to back up your statements. If an instructor asks your opinion, think carefully before stating it, but then be ready to stand your ground. They will quiz you aggressively, trying to determine if you know what you are talking about or if you just made a lucky guess. Don't assume that being questioned means you're wrong!
There are a lot of reasons to do this. First, a medical student works notoriously long hours. If you are in poor cardiovascular condition, or if you are carrying extra weight, it will be very difficult for you. You should make time during your off hours to exercise and stay in shape. Not only will that make it physically easier for you to attend to your duties, but you will also be more mentally sharp.
Consider your immune system. Make sure you've had relevant vaccinations, and use good handwashing habits. You will be exposed to countless germs; do everything you can, not to let them infect you.
Be sure to eat right. Medical school is hectic, and you'll work long hours. You will find yourself scarfing down whatever meal is available during the brief time you have for eating. Plan ahead and bring healthier food items so that you aren't living on fast food or vending machine offerings.
Maintain Good Mental Health
There is plenty of stress in medical school. On top of keeping your bills paid and getting good grades, you also have to concern yourself with the health of your patients. Looking down the road at a lifetime of doing this type of work day in and day out can be intimidating.
Take some time to relax. Use relaxation techniques to help clear your mind and refocus your energy. Find a hobby that is very different from medicine so that you can rebuild your energy and take a break from your day's work. The better you do at this, the better you will do at your work.
Medicine is an important and well-respected field. But that high regard isn't driven by anything but hard work, high stress, and long hours. In order to survive and thrive in those conditions, you have to give your path to and through medical school the same attention you want to give your patients someday.
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