Is a Career in Medicine Right for You? — Medical School & Residency
Consider Educational Expenses
The national average debt for medical students is more than $100,000, and the cost of tuition continues to rise. While medical education is expensive, it is an investment with a rewarding career and an above average income. If you choose a career in primary care, there are many loan forgiveness and loan repayment program options available. Ninety percent of medical school students incur some type of student loans to finance their education.
To learn more about paying off debt from student loans, visit the Debt Management section, where you can download and print a guide to use as reference throughout medical school.
Expect to Be Challenged
Medical school admissions committees are looking for students who will be able to keep up with the coursework. Most medical students agree that the amount of material required during the first two years of pre-clinical study is exponentially higher than the workload during undergraduate school. During the third and fourth (clinical) years, there are also physical and psychological demands made by very long hours, hard work, and interaction with patients. Bottom line: It takes a highly motivated individual to pursue a career in medicine.
“What if I’m not sure about a career in medicine?”
If you have doubts, you should always keep your options open. Medicine is not for everyone. Choosing to pursue a career in medicine for prestige or financial rewards will likely be disappointing, as most physicians find that medicine is a vocation that requires a commitment to service, lifelong learning and the dedication to practice competently and compassionately.
The decision whether to stay on a pre-medical track can usually be deferred through the first two years of college without loss of credit when changing majors. This will give you time to gather as much information as possible about what medicine has to offer.