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How hard is it to be a doctor

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Suzanne’s Answer

That's a very fair question, Kayla, since it is a big commitment to become a doctor and it's something you want to know as much about as possible before you actually start medical school. As a retired doctor, I would say the short answer to your question is "it's pretty hard work for most people". That doesn't mean it's impossible by any means but it does mean you'll want to be as ready as possible for taking this on. The best chance of success in medical training (which, by the way, is four years of medical school after graduation from college followed by at least 3 years of paid residency) is to be as well prepared as you can be. You will want to be sure in high school that you talk to your guidance counselor and are on a pre-college program. Try to take biology, chemistry and get through trigonometry in high school. If you need academic support to improve your grades, as many of us do, be sure to speak up and talk to your teachers and counselor. Extra tutoring may be available. Then in college, speak to the pre-med or pre-health care advisor as soon as you can to be sure that you are taking all the pre-med classes required by medical schools. Try to get exposed to various healthcare careers by volunteering, getting a job such as a nurse's aid and, when it's possible again after the pandemic, "shadow" a doctor to see what the work actually involves. The thing is, although the process of becoming a doctor is hard (and the work as a doctor can also be demanding) it can be a wonderful way to help people and really make a difference in people's lives. So all the hard work can be worth it!
There are also many other career paths in health care work, so be sure to consider other options, too as you make your career decisions.

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Samantha’s Answer

Hi Kayla,
This is such a good question when looking into this field. I am a current medical student and I can tell you that getting to where I am at currently was not easy work. It was giving up some fun events to study, working extremely hard in college and after with different experiences and so much more. However, I can say that although there are many tiring, difficult days of me asking if this was the correct path, there are many more days where I love what I am doing. The whole saying "do something you love and you will never work a day in your life," really applies here. I would say that if you are interested in science and medicine take some classes and dedicate yourself to some research in the field, if you continue to like it continue to pursue it. Nothing in life will be easy but if you truly love medicine the battle to be a doctor is totally worth it. Here is an example of what had to happen for me to get where I am at.

First in college I made sure to be in a pre-medical tract so I could take all the appropriate classes to apply to medical school. Those classes were difficult and included long study hours and commitment (biochemistry, general chemistry, physics, biology, anatomy, english, psychology etc.). Next during college I made sure to volunteer, get involved in clubs (especially medical clubs to listen to guest speakers in the field). You have to really dedicate yourself to studying for a big test known as the MCAT, which is an entrance exam needed to apply. This exam is a big one and will take months of preparation and dedication to study. After college, I continued to work in the emergency room for experience while getting my Masters in Biomedicine. All of this alone was a lot of work and time consuming. Now in medical school I study from 7am-9pm while being involved in my community and school community. After medical school you will have to apply to residency of your choosing. Then finally all that hard work, dedication, commitment will pay off and you will be a physician. It is a difficult route but anyone who puts their mind to it will achieve it.

You got this no matter what obstacle comes your way. Just keep doing your best.

Hope this helps, goodluck!
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