Is A Career In Medicine Right For Me?

Thursday, April 30, 2020

A career in medicine is a big decision to make. Working in medicine, whether as a doctor, surgeon, nurse, or any other medical career, is a demanding but ultimately very rewarding career choice. Before deciding on this path, you should do some careful research. Here’s how to make the best decision for you. 

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Make A List Of Options

If you’re considering a career in medicine, there’s a lot of different options. You could be a dentist, a doctor a nurse, a paramedic, or a physiotherapist. If you’re interested in science, you might prefer a career that involves a certain amount of research, such as diagnostics or developing medical treatment options. If you think you would be more interested in supporting people in the communities, a role in charity might be a good option for you. 

Make a big list of all the options and see if any of them jump out at you, either as a definite no or as something that really appeals to you. When you have a shortlist, you can research these options in more detail, with guides like this article on the difference between nursing and being a doctor. 

Create A Timeline

Think about other decisions you’ve made about your studies. How did you approach these decisions? What influenced you? What worked well about these decisions, and what didn’t work out? In hindsight, would you change anything about the way you made these decisions? Using this analysis, create a timeline to help you make this big decision. 

Think About Yourself

You need to think about the kind of person you are to make sure a career in medicine is for you. Start by thinking about how you like to spend your time. What do you like doing? Spend some time thinking about what will get the best out of you and bring you the most satisfaction. 

What are you good at? Are you naturally very organized? Do you have great skills in time management and teamwork? You’ll need those if you’re going to have a successful career in medicine. If you’re interested in dentistry, then you’ll need to be good at science and have a lot of manual dexterity. 

Think about the feedback you’ve got from others about what your skills and strengths are. What do friends, family, teachers, and former bosses say about you and what you’re good at? Having this kind of feedback can really help you to decide if you have a future in the world of medicine.

What matters to you most? Is it important to you have responsibility or variety? Is it important for you to work with others? Do you need a good work-life balance? You’ll need to know this if you’re going to pick the right path, in medicine or otherwise. 

Try and do some research into what a typical day in the role you’re considering might be like. Does this sound like a day you would enjoy? Would you be satisfied with a role like this? Would that typical day be good or bad for you? 

Research Your Options

When you have narrowed down a few options, do some more in-depth research. Find out what the entry requirements are the options you’re thinking about, and find out what training you will need. Don’t rely on these requirements to decide though, and be careful not to get stuck in a research rut. You could get overwhelmed with details and information! 

Try to attend events like career fairs and open days. Go to these events with questions prepared so you can get some answers to help you make the right decision about your career. You could also friends and family for the input if you value their opinion. What do they think about medicine as a career for you? 

Try and arrange some work experience or an opportunity to shadow someone in the medical path you’re thinking about. This can help you understand your potential future role better. Try to take any opportunity you can to understand what might be involved in the role you think you might like. 

Take Notes

After all this research, you’re going to have lots of information. This can get overwhelming, and there’ll be a lot of thoughts in your head that you need to get straight. You’re making an important decision, so you need to straighten all this information out. Jot down some notes on paper to help you get all the thoughts you have in an organized fashion. 

Make An Action Plan

Set some actions to help you make progress on your thoughts about your future career in medicine. 

Look at all the information you have, and organize it to help you make better sense of it. You can use this more organized information to help you decide. 

When you’ve made a choice, prioritize what you need to do and by when. This could include things like work experience, training courses, or application deadlines. Set reminders on your phone or add these dates in your calendar to keep your goals on track. You can use this to monitor the progress you make too. 

Tell people about your action plan. If your loved ones know about your goals, they can provide encouragement and support, as well as providing you with some accountability. If people know and are asking how you’re getting on, it’s harder to let your goals slide. Go over and amend your actions as you progress, so you can adjust your action plan to meet new goals. 

If you take a structured approach to decide on and plan for your future career, you can make a detailed plan to help you get there. You’ll also know that you did everything that you possibly could to make investing all that time worth-while. You’ll be able to make a properly informed decision and get the right steps in place to help you succeed. If you think medicine is for you, put the work in to get the career you want.

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