I’ve decided to write this article because I’ve seen a lot of people studying medicine for all the wrong reasons and struggling along. I’m not saying that under no condition should you study medicine if you find yourself in any of these reasons, but you probably should at least reconsider. After all, you’re choosing a lifelong career path and it would be a shame if you found out it’s not what you want and enjoy halfway down the road.
If the only reason you’re studying medicine is because your family wants you to and not out of your own interest and desire to help people then medicine won’t make you happy. No matter what your family says your career has to be your choice. This is something you’ll be doing for the major part of your life so make sure it’s something you love and enjoy. Most of those who study medicine because their parents forced them to, become bitter doctors that don’t care about their patients as much as they should. Make sure you’re not choosing medicine because your parents told you/expect you to but because it’s something that interests you and you enjoy.
You're not a people person
If you decide to study medicine, your final career is not yet fully determined. You can still choose to work in a laboratory or for some pharmaceutical company instead of practicing medicine, but to graduate, you’ll still have to deal with all kinds of people on a daily basis.
Becoming a practicing doctor means having to work with people for your entire career. Not so rarely people get tired of waiting, don’t like the way you drew their blood, or just have a bad day and it’s a big chance they’ll take it out on you. I’ve witnessed a few times when people yelled at a doctor or a nurse because they had to wait a little longer than expected because of the more urgent patients coming in. They were calling them names, sometimes they can even get violent (not as often, but I’ve heard of a few cases although there should be none).
Of course, not all patients are like that, most of them are nice and understanding but it still takes a lot of patience and people skills to get through the day. But before you become a doctor you’ll be enduring with patients daily as a student and sometimes they get cranky when you tell them you’re (just) a student and can be very impolite as they don’t understand how important it is for students to be able to learn practical skills. Again, not all of the patients are like that, but those are the ones you really need to be able to deal with and to not be mean to them even though they are to you.
Doctors’ salary differs from country to country but I think that in most countries doctors have above the average salary. If you’re thinking of studying medicine for that reason only you’re doing a huge mistake. In my country, doctors get an above-average salary but still not as much that it would be worth it if medicine isn’t something you love. Other people’s lives are in your hands and working hours aren’t so good, especially now during corona crisis, when our emergency doctors are barely standing. You have to realize you’ll be working weekends, holidays, night shifts and that it will usually be longer than 8 hours. You won’t have as much time, for your friends and family. If you’re only choosing medicine for the money, you should seriously reconsider whether everything that comes with it is worth the money.
Lack of discipline and organization
If you have a perfect memory, this won’t be a problem because you won’t spend much time studying but there still are papers to write. The amount of information required to remember is a lot to take on and in some cases unsuccessful if you don’t organize your time properly. For the majority of subjects, a week is not enough time to learn everything. You also have to keep in mind that you are supposed to remember 80 or 90% of the information you had to learn. In order to successfully pass your exams and keep up with other school work, you have to be able to organize your time properly. it’s best to make a schedule and try sticking to it as much as you can. If you’re not able to study for sometimes several hours a day or at least work hard when you have to maybe medicine isn’t your best choice.
You don't work well under pressure
You’ll be under tons of pressure during med school and while working as a doctor. How you handle stress and pressure can determine how skilled of a doctor you’ll become. Some people tend to freeze under pressure which is not a good thing if you’re in an operating room and have to work fast and make important decisions in order to save a patients’ life. Emotional pressure during med school can completely drain you so it’s important that you know how to manage that and learn how to use the stress to your advantage rather than let stress take every atom of energy and motivation you have.