Ask any high school biology student if they ever have dreamt to be a doctor, I am sure the majority of the answers would be yes. And why not? It is an honorable profession that puts you among the highest earners among your peers. However, the journey to be a doctor is a long and arduous one. I say long, without any reservation. Students in medicine spend at least 4 years in medical college and a further 5 or more years to do their medical specialization or residency.
Entering medical school is not a stroll in the park either. It is a lot of work. In addition to having good academic grades, there are essays to write, interview sessions to attend and also, entrance examinations to prepare for.
So, how do one choose a suitable medical school?
Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right medical school:
1. Academic Reputation
Top medicine institutes often attract the most talented academia, researchers and clinician-scientists. Treating diseases and finding the right cures for ailments require diagnostic skills and an in-depth knowledge of the most current medical science. Medical students will be able to learn the latest by working closely with the best minds in the field.
2. Quality of Research
Many of today’s problems require innovative solutions. Scientific and technological improvements have allowed medical science to expand to new frontiers, resulting in new treatments. Medical schools with a strong culture in quality research have contributed tremendously to the advancement in medicine.
3. Scholarships and Financial Aids
The tuition fee for a medical course is very high. A four-year program can amount to US $160,000. This amount does not include board and lodging. It is important to look for institutions that are able to provide scholarships and financial aids for students. Students planning to study medicine should also forget about working part-time. Time is a rare commodity when you are a medical student.
4. Know More about the School
Surprisingly, many people are still getting information about the medical schools from inappropriate sources. While online forums may be a good place to start, it is difficult to ascertain if the opinions are unbiased. It is always better to speak to the admissions officers from the schools.
If you have a passion in medicine and enjoy working with patients and finding cures for diseases, a career in medicine is certainly fulfilling. It is important to plan ahead and prepare yourself well for medical school. Lastly, spend some time talking to the admissions officers from the schools, this would help you in deciding if the school is suitable for you.
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