Thinking of becoming a doctor?
Have you ever considered a career in medicine, but never know what important questions to ask? The Association of American Medical Colleges tells you everything you could need to know about studying medicine and becoming a doctor.
How do I get started? What resources are available to help me?
Just thinking about becoming a doctor is an important first step on a rewarding career path. Many resources are available to help guide your decision making and planning. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
First You might already know a practising physician or a medical researcher. See if you can contact him or her to learn more about a career in medicine. Maybe a doctor who has treated you or someone in your family would be willing to spend some time talking with you about a career in medicine. Another idea is to volunteer in a medical setting where you can meet someone who will be helpful and also have the benefit of learning even more about medicine first hand.
You should begin to develop a game plan that includes establishing a solid academic record. You can do this by taking honours or advanced classes, getting good grades and involving yourself in extracurricular activities. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel overwhelmed or concerned about your progress. Also, make it a point to consult regularly with a school adviser, professor or mentor.
Put your game plan on the calendar. There are a lot of moving parts to consider when preparing for and applying to medical school, so an organised plan that lists important deadlines is necessary. Although it will be up to you to develop this plan, your adviser can review it and help fill in any missing pieces.
Take advantage of the many resources available to help your planning.
How do I know if medicine is the right career for me? What kind of person makes a good doctor?
By asking these questions, you've already shown several characteristics of a good doctor - curiosity, a desire to be the best at what you do and the motivation to challenge yourself.
Also see the article, 6 essential traits for a good doctor.
Good doctors are good communicators. They are able to truly listen to their patients, empathise and provide information about diagnosis and treatment in a way their patients will understand. Good doctors are altruistic (that is, they are always ready to put their patients' needs first). Good doctors also have a strong sense of service, of wanting to help people feel better, making health care work better, and, in many cases, giving back to their communities. Above all, good doctors are motivated by a strong sense of professionalism - they have integrity and honour and are committed to upholding medicine's timeless values.