My brain was not built for science. Instead it was built for sports knowledge and trivial facts about the Civil War, pirates (don’t ask) and movie quotes. My wife makes up for my lack of science based knowledge which is a good balance in our relationship. For any pre med students or anyone thinking of entering into med school I want to give you a list of observation I have noticed in med students I hang around and what it takes to get that white coat. So here it goes….
1. A strange nerdy passion for science. (I don’t have it like I said but you really have to get excited about all the different areas you will be covering and have a real thirst to learn because your nose will be in many books…I mean a lot)
2. Passion for people. Why are you becoming a doctor? Money? I hope not. You really have to love helping others and it will give you great satisfaction at the end of the day.
3. Coffee (just kidding but seriously you will)
4. Competitive mindset. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen my wife and her friends push themselves to beat one another on their test. Having a mind set that you want to do well and not just get by will go a long way trust me.
5. Rigorous study habits. If you think you studied a lot in undergrad you haven’t seen nothing yet. (Anybody get the BTO reference? Anyone? Ok moving on) If you have a day where you study 6 or 7 hours you got off easy or you aren’t trying hard enough. Late nights, all nighters, and long periods staring at books and a computer screen listening to lectures will be in your future.
6. Sacrifice. A some point you are going to have to sacrifice the bulk of your social life and much of your social activities.
7. Tough skin. You might have educators and doctors who yell or criticize you at times but it is a learning process and you have to learn to not take it personal.
8. Check your ego. You may have been the top student in the past or think you know everything about everything but you will be mistaken.
9. Flexible. Your hands should be able to touch the floor when you bend down. No I am kidding. I mean things are in constant flux and you will have to adjust to different doctors, environments and teaching styles.
10. Humor. You gotta laugh. Life is too short and you will lose your mind if you don’t find the humor in having 3 tests in one week.
I hope I didn’t scare anyone off. What do I know the closet I have been to being a med student was watching a marathon of Scrubs reruns.