Pursuing a medical degree is not for the fainthearted. The dedication you have to put and the costs you have to pay will discourage you from following the path if you are not really decided on it. A medical degree is typically lengthy, challenging and demanding. You must have absolute confidence in your abilities, clarity in your commitment to the profession, and a longing to positively impact people’s lives. But if you are one of those people with passion and zeal to get what you want, achieving this fete is extremely satisfying.
Students who should follow this path are those who love the sciences and want to use it to make a difference in the society. These two elements are the most important factors that will keep you going and help you stay motivated in your pursuit. Remember, it takes years of training before you become a certified doctor.
Being accepted into medical school is a challenge in itself. The intake is unsurprisingly competitive and only students with excellent grades, especially in science subjects are considered for a position in medical schools. Your scores in biology and chemistry must be very impressive by any standards.
A hardworking student who has found his way into a top medical school will not be intimidated by the demands of pursuing a medical degree. The demands will be many (both emotionally and intellectually), not to mention the rigorous and protracted workload. Nevertheless, a determined medical student is probably used to being at their best always to achieve excellence.
What You Will Learn Pursuing A Medical Degree
When you get admitted into your preferred medical school, you will be allowed to specialize in a medicine division of your choosing. Throughout your degree course, you will be taught practical skills that will give you the ability to deal with complex medical procedures. You will also be taught how to interact with patients and their families as well as friends. In fact, top medical schools value these ‘people skills’ so much that they have been made a very key focus of any of the medicine courses you can pursue. For numerous times, you will get a chance to observe and interact with medical practitioners as part of getting to know how things happen in practice and the challenges you will find in the field.
Different countries have varied structures of medical degree programmes. There are of course some similarities, but it is possible to find some certifications you may get in a certain country are not recognized in another. The need to carefully choose the medical school to attain your degree cannot be overstated. Consider the countries you intend to work in and what qualifications you need to have to be allowed to practice medicine in those countries.
Specialize In an Area of Your Choice
You can choose from many options which area in medicine you intend to pursue. At the beginning of your course however, you will be started off with a more general teaching of medicine. You will learn the human biology, be introduced to different clinical procedures and medical solutions, and be taught the principles revolving processes of diseases. As you move forward in the course, you might specialize in one of the following areas:
1. General Practice
Most patients have their first doctor-to-patient encounter through a general practitioner (GP). General practice largely involves consultations with patients. General practitioners give a whole range of care in a given society. They are able to deal with an array of problems; from physical to social and even psychological problems. It is therefore important that a general practitioner be versed with information about different medical problems and give solutions quickly and with certainty.
Those medical practitioners who have specialized in pediatrics deal with children. They provide children with effective and sensitive treatment. General pediatricians are the most common. They have to be conversant with a wide range of medical conditions affecting children. There are also others in this field who have specialized in child psychiatry; others in primary care; and others in dealing with certain conditions like epilepsy or diabetes.
This area of specialization deals with inducing unconsciousness and making someone’s sensations numb to pain among other issues. Anesthetics specialists do form an important part of a surgical team in any hospital. They also develop treatments for relieving chronic pain. You can specialize further into treating certain conditions or pain management and so on. To be a medical practitioner in this area, you must have a hands-on understanding of pharmacology and physiology.
4. Gynaecology and Obstetrics
This area of specialization deals with caring for pregnant women, their pregnancies and the management of specific issues and diseases unique to women. Most of the medical practitioners that you will come across in gynaecology and obstetrics are generalists. There is however those who may have specialized in reproductive medicine and materno-foetal medicine among other fields. Gynaecologists work closely with surgeons when they are operating on women with conditions in their abdominal regions.
This area of specialization deals with the eyes and the surgical issues thereof. Specialists here deal with cataracts, trauma, congenital eye problems, diabetic eye disease and so forth. This field is very extensive and the number of sub-specializations which a medical degree student can pursue is quite numerous.
This area of specialization involves the use of varied forms of imaging expertise that includes radiography, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) for diagnosing and treating patients. Radiology plays a vital role in accurately diagnosing conditions and diseases in their early stages of development. Radiologists are very useful in identifying sources of disease and reducing the likelihood of the disease spreading further.
Some of the key skills and expertise you acquire in medical school include:
- Research skills
- Working in a team
- IT skills
- Analysis of different information types
- Interpreting and using statistical information
- Professional communication
- Identifying and solving problems
- Ability to look at issues in various perspectives
The medical degree you will acquire will have prepared you for many different situations in life. Becoming a medical professional will give you a chance to serve your community even as your dream of becoming a doctor becomes a reality.