Are you a Pre-Med student that needs motivation, a fire to get you working and chugging along the seemingly long road? Or, are you a student who reads lots of online articles about getting into medical school and then gets tremendously stressed out with this lingering tickle in the back of your throat? If not, is it possible that you are the type of student that reads all these articles and gets motivated but then, when the time comes to start working, loses all that fire that was just inside you and gets discombobulated? If the answer is yes to any of these questions…

Don’t Panic

I have been there, in all three realms actually. My life goal since I was a child, wearing scrubs and plastic stethoscopes, is to become a doctor someday. Although I do not imagine doing any other profession, the arduous journey ahead of me flips me upside down and trips me up all the time. After sitting on my laptop reading articles for two painful yet insightful hours about the MCAT, personal narratives, extra-curriculars, GPA, interviews and so much more, I often times find myself at a loss of where to begin. But the best way to defeat this lingering tickle is by making a schedule.

Plan It Out

Write down a schedule with all the things you need to do on a daily or weekly basis (whatever works for you) and follow that schedule religiously. This can be in a planner, on a sticky note, in a notebook, or on a scrap of a napkin you saved from dinner. However, with this task, of course, comes yet another little twist: make sure the schedule is reliable and doable. It’s the summer time, the sun is beating down, and soaking in in the water poolside or on the beach doesn’t seem like a bad idea so make sure you give yourself enough time and mental preparation to do whatever you put on your schedule. Also, give yourself breaks. Have 1 to 3 days a week designated to doing NOTHING. Yes, absolutely NOTHING.

Get A Referee

The next step is to ask a friend, family member, significant other, cat, dog, anyone really, to follow your progress and keep you on your track. On the days you’re feeling lazy and sleepy because it’s gloomy and raining outside, this is the person that will tell you to keep chugging and finish whatever you have put on your schedule. This will enforce productivity and make sure you complete whatever tasks there are you need to do. Now, the last step is to…

Stay Focused and Remind Yourself of Your Ultimate Goal

This might be the most pertinent and necessary (same meaning) aspect of the entire process. It’s important to take a deep breath, calm down and remind yourself of exactly why you wish to become a physician: exactly why you are choosing this path. This will reinforce the importance into your brain and send a message to be motivated and accomplish your ultimate goal. I am also slowly treading along this road and these steps always ensure some type of achievement. So get motivated, ignite a fire and to infinity and beyond we go!!!

Stay tuned for Puja’s next article!


Puja Singh is a 3rd year student at the University of Sciences in Philadelphia in an 8-year BS/MD program.