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Is being a doctor for me? Is there a 'right' or 'wrong' personality or set of objectives that would make medicine for me?


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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Jonathan I agree with previous answers. I think understanding if you want to pursue medicine, it takes time to really know what you love and that can be obtained through volunteering and working with patients. That being said take part in a local clinic or hospital and work with others, research in a lab and see if you like to explore the unknown and also it is important to be able to study hard in medicine, so definitely prepare for that by taking premed classes and see if you like them. It is important to handle the coursework because that is a good indicator if you do well in medical school. However, medical school goes beyond academics, as does medicine so it is important to make sure you feel comfortable working with patients and can build a strong relationship. I don't think there is a set personality to being a physician, I think it's many things such as working hard, empathy, resilience, perseverance, understanding different perspectives, cultural competence, etc. However, these will take time to discover and grow with so that's why give yourself time and just take part in volunteering and doing well in your GPA and on your MCAT. (3.7+ GPA, 508+ MCAT)

Best of luck!

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Richard’s Answer

To get into medical school and thrive during it you need to be willing to work hard and make short term sacrifices for long term satisfaction. Getting in to medical school requires good grades in college. GPA's above 3.5 and preferably above 3.8 are the norm. Medical schools also want to see volunteering, research, and clinical shadowing on the application. Succeeding during med school requires long hours studying as well.

To enjoy the practice of medicine is more complicated. There is so much variability in specialties. From the people oriented specialties like family practice to the solitary pursuits of radiology and pathology; from the hands-on surgical subspecialties to the more cerebral field of psychiatry, any personality type can find a practice that fits their needs.

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Rachel’s Answer

Sometimes knowing whether a field is right for you involves knowing exactly what goes into getting there. Being a doctor means that you will have to complete college with a bachelor’s degree as well as all of the Pre-med requirements (1 year biology, 1 year inorganic chemistry, 1 year organic chemistry + labs, physics, calculus, and biochemistry). GPA should probably be 3.5 or better (preferably >3.8). You will also have to score well on the MCAT. Once accepted to medical school, as long as you pass your classes and perform reasonably well during your four years of medical training, you can apply for a residency. General surgery requires a 5 year residency. Internal medicine is 3 years. Following that, you will likely apply for a 1-3 year fellowship. This career path requires 11+ years of school after high school but is very fulfilling and challenging work.

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Estelle’s Answer

I agree with Richard. Lots of options available in medicine. The most important aspect of being a good doctor is a commitment to your field of practice. There is not a "right or wrong" personality, but I would say that certain personality traits are very valuable in medicine. For example, patience and good communication skills are very important. Persistence and compassion are valuable traits.

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