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How to know if med-school is right for me?

I'm currently a college freshman Biology major on the pre-med track and I hear quite a lot about med school and the rigorousness of it and it makes me wonder whether it's the right fit for me. How do I figure out if it's for me I don't have passions for any career either. #college #career #major

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Lindsay’s Answer

Hi Sameer,

I was in the same boat! I think the best thing you can do is to shadow and work. Shadowing doctors in different specialties is the best exposure in my opinion. You get to see their day to day work as well as ask any questions. When you shadow, a lot of doctors will be pretty casual and will let you ask whatever you want. They'll also answer questions about medical school, residency, and work after residency. If you're curious, you can ask why they chose medicine and why they chose that specific specialty! Those are some of my go to questions (: You really do get a chance to learn a lot when you shadow, so I'd highly recommend it! IYou also make a lot of connections by shadowing, so if you do end up pursuing medicine, you can get a great letter of rec out of it!
Another thing you can do is work. A lot of pre-med students work as medical scribes. Not only do you get to interact with the doctor, but you also get to watch them do physical exams and learn how to chart. You could also look into medical assisting. I'm not sure how it is for most locations, but I did a working interview as a medical assistant and worked closely with the doctor, so you could have the same experience! I think it's a really good learning opportunity, but your relationship with the doctor is definitely more professional. I personally was able to figure out what career path was right for me just by shadowing, but I think working alongside doctors will also help you get insight into the field. (: Elva is right in that volunteering is a great way to get into a hospital, but I don't think it'll help you connect with doctors and see what they do. A lot of hospital volunteering is reading, knitting, etc. for different populations, so you're more focused on helping the patients rather than understanding the field of medicine. If you can, definitely connect with students who are in medical school right now. The outcome is important, but understanding the process to get there is also equally important!

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M. Cristina’s Answer

I agree with the other folks who have suggested that you shadow or volunteer to see if the work environment is a good match. Now is a great time to take advantage of these opportunities! Nobody expects you to know exactly what you want to do at this age; now is the time to gather information and find out what you want for your own future.

I also recommend talking to people in the medical field, not just MDs, and ask them questions about their educational background, schedule, work-life balance, and work conditions. You may find that being an MD is perfect for you! Or you might realize that a different role within the healthcare field is a better match. Look into:
- Nursing
- Physician Assistant
- Physical Therapist
- Occupational Therapist
- Medical researcher

I'm definitely missing some options. This is also where your faculty advisor(s) can help you out. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask questions!

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Elva’s Answer

I would recommend you talk to others who are majoring in medicine as well as talk to doctors. You can also volunteer in a hospital and see if it is right for you. It is a challenging profession, but not impossible.