It’s good to have clear signs that you’re heading down the right path. Read on for 9 telltale signs you should continue on:
1. You’re willing to retake Organic Chemistry.
Organic chemistry is arguably the hardest class you’ll take as an undergraduate pre-med student. For some, organic chemistry understandably marks the end of their pre-med careers. Not only acknowledging, but also accepting, the possibility that you may have to repeat organic chemistry is a huge step towards continuing your pre-med career.
2. You don’t hit the ground after seeing blood.
“After fainting a few times, I knew it wasn’t right for me,” says one of our staff members, formerly on the pre-med track. A bloody wound can indeed be shocking and frightful at first, but almost any health professional will tell you that they grew accustomed to the sight of gushing blood. It is impossible to work in a medical setting without ever encountering blood, whether it be neatly contained in a vial or sprawled across the floor. So if the smell and sight of blood persistently elicits nausea and fainting from you, pre-med may not be right for you.
3. Money isn’t your only motivation.
Sure, the six-figure paychecks are an incentive to cram that biology and chemistry into your brains, but any student fit to be on the pre-med track ultimately chooses to become a physician in order to, as cliché as this phrase may be, help other people. Pre-med students identify with the humanitarian element of the medical professions; for them, the money is just a really nice perk.
4. You’re still looking for more internships after you’ve spent the past year performing meaningless grunt work at a clinic.
Internships are crucial to the pre-med experience, giving you a first hand look at a physician’s work life. But sometimes they aren’t all too exciting. Considering your limited knowledge of the sciences and medicine, your internship supervisor may delegate paperwork and other office tasks to you in the interests of their own convenience. Dedicated pre-med students not only carry out this work in hopes of extracting some bits of useful information, but also look for more internships that are hopefully more engaging and hands-on.
5. You dream of seeing your name etched in a copper plate, followed by the letters M and D.
And that’s the only dream you have. If choosing a medical career over another profession is a brain-racking decision, chances are you’ll be miserable before and after you wear that white coat for the first time. The steps to becoming a doctor are arduous, and you’ll always doubt whether becoming a writer wasn’t the better path for you.
6. You’re more likely to think, “I hope he’s well enough to let me draw another vial of blood” than “I hope he doesn’t infect me”
Health professionals are supposed to help the sick recover their health. Even when equipped with knowledge of infectious diseases, doctors can’t be of much help if they’re scared of their patients. If you often avoid and fear people who you think may be sick, reconsider entering the medical professions.
7. You’ve been reading about the Ebola outbreak.
It’s easy to doubt a pre-med student who says he has a passion for medicine but who knows nothing about the ongoing Ebola health crisis. Passion transcends the hours of your lecture class; it cannot be taught. To have a genuine interest in medicine is to read an article you saw in the newspaper about Ebola or watch a documentary about mental health because you want to, not because someone told you to do so. Sure you are able to learn the skills to become a doctor, but a lack of passion can ultimately be detrimental.