1. Have clear reasons why you want to go into medicine

In every medical school interview, interviewers will ask, “Why do you want to become a doctor?” Simply put, if you don’t know how to answer this question, you will not be accepted. If you don’t have concrete and impassioned reasons, you will lack the motivation and discipline to do what it takes to get there. Lastly, without the proper inspiration to pursue medicine, you may be stuck in a job you hate after years of school and training. Do some soul searching and ask yourself why you want to become a doctor so badly.

2. Be realistic about a career in medicine

Being a physician will indeed be great, but please do not have an over glorified view of medicine. The daily grind of a doctor is just like the daily grind of any other profession, it will be filled with grueling work and strenuous frustration. The field of medicine is not innocent and pure. It is tainted with politics and quarrels. You will lose precious patients and make stupid mistakes that could ruin or even end peoples’ lives. Being a doctor will not bring ultimate fulfillment to your life and, on the flipside, not becoming a doctor does not mean your life is a failure.

3. Know what you are getting yourself into

You have to do your homework when it comes to learning about getting into medical school and becoming a physician. Do online research to understand what you have to do to become a doctor and how long it will take. So many premeds have no idea what they are doing and are blindly taking classes and doing extracurricular activities. Be well informed. It takes a long time to be a doctor and you will be a doctor for a long time. Know what you are getting yourself into.

4. Study hard. Study smart

I have mentioned this previously but please study effectively and diligently. Your four years in college could quite literally determine the rest of your life. It would be terrible to be unable to fulfill your dream of becoming a doctor because you slacked off during your college years. Don’t let shortsightedness prevent you from having a great future in medicine.

5. Build character

Doctors are supposed to be healers who handle life and death, but they are also leaders. Many work with extremely desperate people. You would want your doctor to be a man or woman of integrity, intelligence, compassion, and diligence. As you prepare for medical school, don’t just build up your resume, but build your character. Grow as an individual. You’re not just doing it so you can become a good doctor; you are doing it to better serve this world.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ProspectiveDoctor. Follow ProspectiveDoctor on Twitter @ProspectiveDr

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Edward Chang

Edward Chang is the Co-founder and Director of Operations of ProspectiveDoctor.com. He graduated from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and is currently a urology resident at the University of Washington. He also attended UCLA as an undergraduate, graduating with a major in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. If you are interested in contributing to ProspectiveDoctor.com, please contact him at edwardchang@prospectivedoctor.com. Follow him on Twitter @EdwardChangMD and Prospective Doctor @ProspectiveDr.

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