Are you ready to do what it takes to become a doctor? If you have already completed a pre-med program during college, then you already have a good idea of what your lifestyle will be like for the next four years, provided you gain acceptance to a med school. There are plenty of dues to pay along the way for the many thousands who desire the financial freedom that comes with being an MD.
Even after getting a college diploma, you’ll face the infamously difficult MCAT examination, getting into a four-year med school, paying for your education, doing an internship, and deciding whether to work alone or with a larger practice. All things that fall under the larger, broader question of should you become a doctor and go to med school. A typical doctor’s life indeed is one of prestige and few financial worries. It’s also a fact that the road includes plenty of mental and physical challenges. Here are details about what it takes to get that MD after your name.
The Doctor’s Life
Prepare For The MCAT Exam
Take an MCAT (medical-school admission test) prep course and make a strict schedule for the duration. Most working doctors rely on these intensive review sessions to help them put all their knowledge into perspective, memorize key pieces of information, and psychologically prepare for the admission process and med school coursework.
Choose Medical Schools Carefully
Do extensive research and consult with professional advisors about which four-year programs are best for you. Consider applying to several to maximize your chances for a successful application. It’s important to remember that not all programs are alike, so focus on those that cater to your interests.
Deal With Financing ASAP
Med school is not cheap. Programs last four years, and per semester charges are high even at second and third-tier institutions. Fortunately, future physicians can apply for education loans via private lenders to cover all the associated expenses with this specialized training. When you’re studying to become an MD, there’s no time to worry about finances. That’s just one reason schools advise the newly enrolled to take care of the money question far in advance. The science, labs, and other coursework demands are huge for future doctors. Using a private lender who can offer flexible terms and competitive rates is a smart way to deal with financing.
Apply To Multiple Internship Programs
In your fourth year, set time aside to apply to at least three internship programs that appeal to you and that you have a good chance of getting into. Here, it’s vital to consult with your school’s guidance counselors to fully understand what’s available and which programs are best suited for your skills and specialty. You can also get a first-hand look at the things different offices are doing to support their staff and determine what appeals to you and what does not.
Go Solo Or Join An Established Practice
Once your internship comes to an end, it’s time to make another major decision of whether to put up a solo operation or work with an established team of physicians. The majority of newly minted MDs opt for the latter. Most solo practitioners spend at least a few years initially working for a large practice to gain experience. Plus, setting up a one-person practice entails significant expenses upfront that most new doctors can’t afford.