Year after year, thousands of students graduate medical school one goal: become a doctor. Grad school is one element of the role, and the rest is yet to come. Are you ready for blood, guts and tears? You better be or else your career is going to circle the drain quite quickly.
Of course, a newbie has got to get their chance first, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Hospitals may be short staffed, but only people who aren’t risks are allowed entry. Plus, the demand is high too and that lowers the odds.
To strike it rich, you need to understand the tricks of the trade. Break a leg, as they say.
Pick A Niche
Always do what you enjoy, that way you’ll never wake up and think “what has my life become?” However, there are lots of specializations in the healthcare sector and choosing one isn’t straightforward. For the people who merely want to be in the trade, it doesn’t matter which ward is the best. It’s all about learning the skills, seeing patients and doing some good in the world. Picking a niche specialization such as otorhinolaryngology increases the chances of finding a job. And, there may be more scope for career progression, as well as more money depending on funding.
Practice Until It’s Perfect
One reason graduates are looked down on is their lack of real-world experience. No tutors ever say this in college, but book smarts only go so far. Even in medicine, there is a need for practical skills and common sense. You may know how to diagnose an illness, but can you switch on the OEC 9600 C-arm without a manual? Seriously, this is a major consideration because doctors can’t waste time playing with machines. Therefore, as well as practicing theory, it’s essential to focus on the practical element too, from bedside manner to equipment.
Not on the ward; in college. The key to getting a good job after school is a reference, and the one an employer will use is the residency. Work experience isn’t a guarantee, however, because teachers have a big role to play. They may take you aside and say they have found you a place, but what they mean is they have vouched for you as a person. People won’t put their reputation on the line unless there is a level of trust. Not turning up to seminars and lectures is a sure-fire way to get rejected.
Before you can begin, there are extra tests which are mandatory for anyone wanting to practice medicine. It goes without saying they need completing before applying. Yes, some establishments may accept you on the premise that you will pass, but it’s unlikely. After all, there could be plenty of grads with the same skills and experience who have the qualifications. Exams change based on the state, so research which ones you need to pass to become a full-fledged physician.
Are you cut out for a life of hard work, no sleep and occasional gratification?
Walter G. is a software engineer with over 10 years of professional experience. When he isn't blogging or being a CTO he enjoys coding randomly complex things that he hopes many people will get a chance to use one day.