Becoming a doctor is a desirable career path for many young people, but it is safe to say that not everyone will suit working as a medical professional.
To help you work out whether you should set your sights on working life as an MD, here is a look at the signs that will suggest it is a good decision.
You are keen to study and learn
Doctors must go through extensive education and training not just in the early stages but also perpetually over the course of their careers.
This means that if you have an aptitude for studying, both in a pure research sense and in practical contexts, you will be able to thrive. Even getting into medical school requires that you pass the MCAT exam, which can be a daunting prospect in its own right, but will be made easier if you work with MCAT tutors.
You are content to work long, irregular hours
Life as a doctor is not built around the standard 9-5 template, so you will need to be happy to put in long shifts, work extra hours to make sure that patients are properly cared for, and sacrifice evenings and weekends in pursuit of your career goals.
This can take a toll on your social life, especially in the first few years of your training, although the community spirit in the medical world is all the stronger because of this, and you will find camaraderie with those who work alongside you.
You are emotionally intelligent & an effective communicator
The balance that doctors need to strike in terms of their skill set is one of scientific rigour and personal communication skills driven by emotional engagement with colleagues and patients.
Not every medical specialist has as much face time with those in their care as doctors, but whichever role you eventually head towards, you will need to be good at listening to the issues that people bring to you, as well as expressing clearly the information they need to hear in return.
It is also worth mentioning that doctors are increasingly required to be attuned to mental health issues as well as the usual physical ailments that afflict patients, and of course, good communication capabilities are especially valuable in this context.
You can take decisions proactively
When life and death hang in the balance, it is not the time for uncertainty or indecision to get in the way. This is why doctors should be comfortable bearing the huge weight of the responsibilities of diagnosis and care on their shoulders, while also being able to think quickly in a crisis and choose a path forward even if none of the options available are especially attractive.
You are a team player
Doctors never work in isolation, but instead should be considered a smaller part of a vast team of medical professionals who need to work cohesively with one another to treat their patients.
Ultimately you must decide whether becoming a doctor makes sense for you, and if you tick all the boxes then it is one of the most rewarding professions around.