Going through the pre-med process and medical school is rigorous. A pre-med must have good grades, a solid GPA, hours of clinical experience, leadership positions, extracurricular involvement, and still be expected to stand out of the crowd. And that does not stop once you reach medical school. No wonder the rates of stress and burnout can be high among people who choose medicine as a career. Thus, where is the motivation to succeed? Of course, a pre-med might say that their passion for medicine, desire to help others, or other interests are their motivation. However, sometimes it can be hard to feel motivated when spending hours studying for the big Organic Chemistry test or months for the seven and a half hour long MCAT. It can be difficult to keep going when there seems to be no end in sight.

What’s the remedy for the lack of motivation? As future doctors, pre-meds should find their “treatments.” Some may find the cure by doing activities non-related to medicine such as spending time with friends or taking up a hobby. Others may simply immerse themselves in more work to finish the assignment rather than leave it hanging. To help my fellow pre-meds, I have provided a link to a video featuring NFL football player Giavanni Ruffin and motivational speaker Eric Thomas that may prove to be highly inspiring to anyone who needs that extra ounce of motivation.

Takeaway Points:

  1. Determination – “You will never be successful until I don’t have to give you a dime to do it.” Being a doctor is something you wholeheartedly want to pursue regardless of the added benefits like money and fame. It is a dream that you do not want to give up – something that will keep you going after the years of hard work.
  2. Sacrifice – “If you’re going to be successful, you gotta be willing to give up sleep.” On the one hand, pre-meds can maintain a balance between medicine and sleep, food, and other aspects of their lives. However, Eric Thomas is talking about the sacrifices to achieve your dream. Since being a doctor is your goal, you must be willing to devote significant portions of your time and energy for your medical career and find ways to manage your time effectively.
  3. Will – “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” In other words, if you truly want to be a doctor, you will work with all your heart and soul to become a successful doctor. Like Eric Thomas said, the dream of being a doctor must be something you want, not sort of want without fully knowing and putting in all the hard work needed as a doctor.

On a final note, I first saw this video when a doctor came to speak to a group of pre-meds at my university about the pre-med process and how to prepare for it. She said that she watched this video before every major exam in medical school, which kept her motivated as she became an intern at a prestigious Chicago hospital and then was accepted to one of the top dermatology residency programs in the U.S. To us, she advised that the next time we have a test, think about the patients who are waiting for our diagnosis, medications, and expertise. It’s about saving lives.