So, You Want To Be a Doctor…

See, Speak, Hear no evil monkeys

While many may, as a child, dream of being a doctor when they grow up, few actually do.  While many high school students intend to study “pre-med” once enrolled in college, few stay the course. While many college students intend to apply to medical school, only some do. And, of those select few, on average nationwide, only 7% are admitted in any given school year. 

So, you want to be a doctor? 

“Why?” is the essential question to ask before commencing with the twelve-ish year quest of medical training, comprising undergraduate and graduate educations, then medical residency. Effective doctors who “Do No Harm” in trying to heal the sick must have confidence in an inherent ability to practice medicine, not fake it until you make it by gaming the medical education industry.  

So, what is a doctor? 

As doctors spend their days amidst the scientific and emotional complexity of human illness and sometimes death, understanding one’s mettle and capacity to objectively, yet compassionately assist others who are suffering is essential. Thus, developing the capacity to help others who are suffering, while understanding one’s own limits, can be just as essential as gaining the technical know-how to diagnose another’s disease. 

For medical school applicants, combing through one’s life experiences to define, then articulate their character as well as communicate their vision for serving others in such a vulnerable state is a tall order. 

So, how do wannabe doctors confirm their penchant to be a doctor? 

The application process is a perfect opportunity to validate one’s hypothesis of, “I am a doctor”, particularly during the intensive, self-reflective personal statement writing process. As every med school candidate’s personal statement thesis is: “I am a doctor, so admit me to your medical school”, in the body paragraphs, students present evidence in the form of examples from a student’s lifetime to “prove” one’s thesis and, hence, aptitude for being an effective practitioner of the healing arts.  

Furthermore, prior to the application process, high school and college students can volunteer, shadow, and/or interview doctors or any other healthcare professionals. Some sample questions can include: why they became a doctor or other healthcare professional, what advice would they have given themselves at the beginning of their training in healthcare, and why.  

Potential doctors who will dedicate 11-15 years training, between undergraduate college, medical school and residency, plus possibly more years training in a specialty, would be wise to consider the commitment they’re making, as well as how they, given their aptitude, align with the qualities of an effective doctor who will then help, not harm those that suffer. 

To learn more about how Creative Marbles Consultancy’s educational experts collaboratively advise medical school candidates in drafting personal statements while confirming their motivation to be a doctor, contact us

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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