Choosing to become a doctor is a long, but rewarding journey. These are 5 tips that I have learned post-undergraduate degree that I wish I knew before. I hope these help you on your own road to becoming a physician.
5. Don’t compare yourself
During my undergraduate career, competition was driven into our brains. Most of my classes during my freshman and sophomore years were “weed-out” classes, meaning classes meant to be extremely difficult to decrease the amount of pre-med students. I believe that friendly competition drives collaboration, but there is a fine line. It’s easy to get caught up with numbers and grades, and forget that you are MORE than just a number.
4. Create authentic relationships
You’ll meet your very best friends going through this process. Be happy for your friends. Work together to achieve your goals together. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone.
3. Remain hungry
It may be easy to get bogged down with the intensity of pre-med classes or the MCAT, but realize anything worth having takes time and effort. Realize all the hours and hours you spend by yourself at the library will pay off one day. Postponing gratification can be intense, but keep your end goal in mind.
2. Be optimistic
There will be ups and downs throughout your undergraduate career, but it is important to remember why you began this path. Practice self-care not as a reward, but as a routine. As difficult as it may seem, find time for yourself. For me, that looks like planning my week, organizing my room, or catching up with friends.
1. Build your own path
I cannot stress this point enough. Some of my fellow classmates went to medical school right after finishing their undergraduate degree. Some of my other classmates pursued research opportunities or further professional education. I decided to pursue a gap year by completing 1700 hours of service. This past year has been the most liberating, life-changing experience. Take your time on building your medical school application to showcase your talents.