Consideration #1: Do I Really Want To Be A Doctor? (Even If It Doesn’t Make Me Rich?)
It used to be when your parents asked you: “What do you want to be — a doctor or a lawyer?” that whatever answer you gave would ensure you an extremely successful financial future. Because of certain economic realities we face today, the medical profession is no longer the giant cash cow parents once credited it to be (and many doctors will probably tell you it never was to begin with.) Therefore, if you have begun to think about applying to and going to medical school, you should really be doing it because of a passion for the field.
Consideration #2: Dermatology or Epidemiology: What Area of Medicine Do I Want To Specialize In?
Of course, you will have time to figure this out in medical school as well, but you will be the most informed applicant you can be by doing some of this thinking up front. Medical schools are like any other kind of school: even the best ones are stronger in some areas of medicine than they are in others. Therefore, it’s worth your time to spend some time thinking about what area of medicine you would like to practice in. If you want to be a pediatrician, apply to the schools that are the best in pediatrics; if you want to be an oncologist, seek out those schools that have the best reputation for education young doctors in this area.
Consideration #3: How Will I Get Into The Best Medical School In My Area of Interest?
Be the best pre-med student in your area of interest. If you are in undergrad reading this, there is no time like the present to start getting your prerequisite classes out of the way to qualify for medical school. Also, the more homework you do outside the classroom on the schools that you’ll be applying to, the better your application will be.
Consideration #4: Where Do I Want To Live After I Get My Medical Degree?
While the school that specializes in the area of medicine you want to practice should probably win the day in terms of where you decide to attend, you should also think about where you’ll want to live after you get out of school as well. Much of your medical training will be hands-on, and so you might meet and develop relationships with your future patients as a medical student if you attend a school located in a place that you intend to make your home. Also, you will have to take and pass state medical licensing exams, which will be easier to prepare for when you are studying in the same state that you hope to be licensed in.