Should You Go to Med School? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

Are you thinking about becoming a medical doctor? Although this can be a great option for some individuals, others might find themselves better suited for other careers. Here are five questions to ask yourself if you’re thinking about going to med school. 

  1. “Am I a good test taker?” 

If you’re thinking of becoming a doctor, there are a lot of exams — before, during, and after medical school. Before you even get accepted into med school, you’ll need to pass the MCAT exam.

During med school itself, you will face numerous exams. In fact, you’ll likely take hundreds of exams before graduation. These include pre-clinical subject exams and clinical/shelf exams. 

All doctors must pass the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) in order to obtain licensure to legally work in America. This three-part exam can be taken during and after med school. You’ll also need to take specialty-specific exams. For example, gynecologists will need to take the OBGYN written boards and oral exam. 

  1. “Am I willing to devote the time it takes to become a doctor?” 

If you want to earn a medical degree, it’s important to understand that it will take a significant amount of time to become a doctor.  

In addition to completing a four-year degree in pre-med or a related program, you will also need to attend med school for four years and complete a 3 – 9 year residency before you become a licensed physician. Depending on the specialty and any sub-specialties, it may require additional training and certifications.

In general, it takes a physician an average of 10 to 14 years to become a fully licensed doctor. While there’s no doubt that being a doctor can be rewarding, it’s important to take this into consideration. 

  1. “Do I like to help people?” 

One of the main benefits of being a doctor is having the ability to help people. From evaluating and assessing to diagnosing and treating patients, you will have the opportunity to change the lives of your patients.

Physicians work in so many areas of medicine, and many of them are not without challenges. Some doctors deal with patients who are diagnosed with cancer, organ failure, or other deadly or difficult diseases on a regular basis. It’s important for a doctor to offer compassion to his or her patients during these hard parts of life. 

The best candidates for med school are kind, caring, and compassionate individuals who have a genuine desire to help others. This career can be deeply gratifying for the right person. 

  1. “Do I want a financially rewarding career?” 

If you’re looking for a career that offers financial stability, then look no further. As of 2021, physicians and surgeons earned an average annual salary of $208,000. This equates to $100 per hour. This makes it one of the highest-earning careers. It’s not advisable to enter this career solely for the money. But many find it reassuring to know that the years spent in school, the grueling hours spent in residency programs, and the hours spent studying for exams will all pay off in the end. 

  1. “Do I want to change the world of medicine?” 

Some doctors choose to devote their entire careers to researching a certain area of disease or medicine. Without these doctors, there wouldn’t be much understanding of the majority of diseases out there and many conditions wouldn’t have cures or treatment options. You could take part in this research and change the lives of thousands – or even millions – of people. 

These are just five questions to ask yourself if you’re thinking about attending med school. While it can be an ideal option for many students, it’s not the best fit for everyone. Taking these factors into consideration can help you determine if becoming a physician is the right option for you.