Becoming a doctor has the potential to extremely lonely. It also provides opportunities to make amazing life-long friendships, don’t get me wrong! But here is how the path to becoming a doctor goes. First, you have to go to college to get an undergraduate degree. Although admission standard to get into college are getting stricter, no one would argue that there is a lot more flexibility as to where you go when it comes to college. If you were lucky enough to start on the pre-med track from year 1…you might be able to get in all your classes and take the MCAT soon enough to apply the summer after junior year in hopes to go to medical school straight out of college. If not, that means a post-bach program or get a job until you get into medical school.
Next, the medical school part. Extremely competitive. On top of that, there are far less medical schools than there are colleges…so you can’t be as picky when it comes to where you want to go. If being a doctor is your passion, you pack up your bags and move. Now you are in. The moving doesn’t stop. You will probably have to move somewhere when you start rotations (or at least have away rotations that are pretty far away). Fourth-year you are basically living out of your suitcase. From audition rotations to residency interviews all over the country…you are on your own. Then residency comes and you have to move again! And this time, unlike medical school where you might get multiple acceptance and get to choose…a computer chooses where you go for residency. You get to put in your top choices and residency directors get to do the same…but a computer ultimately runs an algorithm and places you in a residency.
The bottom line is: be prepared to do a lot of moving around and being on your own in medical school. This definitely has ups and downs. Moving around and exploring new places is so much fun! But having a support system is extremely important. None the less, at the end of the day, you put in the work, you did what you needed to do you, and you will be a doctor.