Monday, June 24, 2013

So You’re Thinking About Becoming a Doctor

First of all, how sure are you about wanting to be a doctor? Before you start worrying about how you’ll do on the MCAT or how to finance medical school, I'd start by trying to decide whether you really want to be a doctor.

It’s been said that if you're deciding between medicine and something else, choose something else—and I agree. I think you should only go into medicine if it's your calling. That doesn't mean you should already know, it just means that now is the time to find out how much you really love it.

The best way to figure that out, in my opinion, is to shadow a doctor. You can ask any doctor you know whether they let students shadow. This includes your personal doctors—I shadowed my Ob/Gyn!

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What is shadowing? Basically, you follow a doctor around all day, observe everything they do, and ask all the questions you can think of. Ideally you'd shadow a doctor over a period of time, instead of as a one-off situation. That way you really get to know them and feel comfortable asking more questions about the lifestyle, what they do/don't enjoy about medicine, etc.

Look out for an upcoming post on shadowing tips: what to wear, how to treat patients, what to ask, how to impress the doc, and how to get a rec letter out of it.

As always, please leave comments & ask questions!

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