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Is medical school super hard?

I was just wondering because I want to be a psychiatrist but I’m not sure since I have to go to medical school for that, I’m not expecting it to be easy or anything, but I don’t know if I can handle anything like SUPER difficult lol

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Subject: Career question for you

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MARY’s Answer

Medical school is known to be challenging due to its rigorous curriculum and demanding workload. Becoming a psychiatrist requires completing medical school and then specializing in psychiatry. While it can be tough, many students find it manageable and fulfilling, especially if you're passionate about the field. It's important to be prepared for hard work and dedication, but remember that support systems, time management, and a genuine interest in the subject can help you navigate the challenges.
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Michel’s Answer

Medicine is hard in general that is true, but if it is something that you enjoy the difficult times wont be as bad. I think it is competitive more so than difficult when you look into things. A lot of grading for the entrance exam MCAT the medical exams STEP 1 and 2 have historically been graded against one another STEP 1 is now pass/fail but STEP 2 is still graded against your peers. So most people who go through an MD or DO career will pass these exams easily, but depending on how they perform will determine what they can do so people study for long periods of time to do as well as they can which is fair. I think finding a good school that holds your wellness and makes sure you are getting the training you need without extra fluff is important. It is also important to find friends in school that can help you destress and hang out. I study better if I have some breaks throughout the day and sometimes its hard for me to pull myself away from books, but I notice I learn better with small breaks.

So to answer your question. Yes medical school is hard, but it is doable for many people and if you have a passion I think that makes all the difference on how well you will perform.
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Madison’s Answer

Personally, I found medical school very tangible academically and very fun as well. Seeing yourself start to achieve your goals and getting to do the career you wanted is incredibly enjoyable. That is not to say that MANY people struggle with medical school for a large variety of reasons and that is equally ok! You just have to know when to self reflect and ask for help!
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Gregory’s Answer

Hi Elise! I can tell from your question that you are a deep thinker and very future oriented! It is a great question but on that isn't often asked too.

Congratulations on your dream to become a psychiatrist! The world currently needs and definitely will need many more psychiatrists in the future, especially those who want to work with children, teens, and their families. I am a psychiatrist and I work in a large government program where the program members often require and need psychiatric care, and I can tell you that what I say about the shortage now and then is true!

Having said that, the path is, as you know, a long one and there can and will be challenging times along the way. Psychiatrists are medical doctors first, so of course they have to get admitted to medical school and then complete medical school before they begin their on-the-job training (called residency) to become psychiatrists. Training to become a doctor and a psychiatrist does involve hard work though, just like learning to play any musical instrument to the point of being a performer does. Since I play the piano, I know how many hours I spend, and how hard I work, at practicing. But the practice of psychiatric medicine is similar too in that the more you learn, the easier it becomes, just like the piano or any musical instrument. To others who are beginning, playing a Beethoven Piano Concerto seems beyond reach, just like becoming a psychiatrist may seem, but as you progress, it doesn't seem as daunting because it isn't anymore.

So, your question asks about hard work and whether you want to work that hard. I think what you may be saying is "I can and do work hard if something means enough to me to require it". So, you need to ask yourself this question: "Does this mean enough to me for me to spend the years and effort (and money) to get it?". Take some time and think about that.

A couple of clarifying points to add: First - there are many mental health professionals, so being a psychiatrist isn't the only option open to you. All people who do talk therapy (which is a very useful and necessary form of treatment!) need to get additional training beyond college but medical school isn't required for most of them. There are many physician assistants and nurse practitioners who also have special training to work with people with psychiatric problems, and their training involves the use of medications, just like psychiatrists, but the training does not require medical school. Psychiatrists, however, are uniquely trained to handle the most complicated of psychiatric cases and are also trained to work as a team leader, since so much of health care today and in the future is delivered to people in teams. A psychiatrist is usually the head of the team. Of the team, the psychiatrist has the most extensive training and expertise of all, but like a quarterback, needs to organize the team on the field to work as a unit to win the game.

So, a second and third questions you should ask yourself is these two: "Is what interests me about being a psychiatrist the opportunity to do therapy with people who need it and have emotional or behavior problems?" or "Am I interested in being a doctor who is skilled at the practice of medicine first and then, as my specialty, I have extra skills in psychiatry so I can treat patients with many different treatments, including medication, talk therapy, and other techniques only psychiatrists are trained to use, and work with a lot of different professionals and other doctors to assure patients get the treatment they need?"

Once you reflect and answer those 3 questions I asked you to ask yourself, I hope you will have the answer to your own question!

Good luck and I am sure you will find the right place for your gifts and skills down the road, whether it is as a psychiatrist or another mental health professional!
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