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Read this before you apply for medschool!

So you want to be a doctor? I mean, are you sure? It pays well, but if it’s your best plan to get rich, let me be honest with you, shift gears now. I’m not going to sugar coat anything here. It is not just a job. It is a calling.

It will require sacrifices, huge ones for that matter. And as you might have seen in the news in the coronavirus pandemic, it is a profession that can even take your life. I do not want to scare you, I am just telling the truth. Not everyone is wired to be a doctor, but if you think you are read on.

As medical students, we live and breathe medicine. Learning is not even a joke. This is not like math wherein if you have the formula, you can derive the solution. This is about learning tons of information that you will most likely forget but still you must read because every decision you have to make must be based on pure facts. But here are just some that you will learn:

1. You will learn how to power read.

At first, you will be overwhelmed with how much you have to read. After a year, you’ll get better at it and then it will not be an issue anymore. Reading very technical material will be a part of your life. Tip: if you hate reading, don’t go to medschool because it will be a nightmare. But if you keep in mind that those difficult to digest material will someday save someone’s life, it will feel like an honor, to be given the opportunity, calling and resources to learn this overwhelming but noble discipline. It doesn’t get easier, but every day, you get more equipped for that task.


2. You’ll have your own learning style.

That’s it. If you’re like me, I’m one of those people who can absorb information at five in the morning so even if I slept late, I wake up extra early to catch my brain’s most receptive hour. And besides you can do self care early in the morning, that’s why I LOVE IT. I feel so productive even before classes. To be honest, there are days when I feel like I can’t do this shit anymore, that I can go back to my travel days, but at the end of the day I get proud of every single improvement. You will learn how to be the most efficient you.

3. You’ll know what kind of person you are.

You’ll be surprised with how much you can change. I used to be an extroverted and loud person. But I noticed that I like staying in my own universe. I discovered that I am not a life of a party person. I go straight home after class or do my errands during free time. I hate small talk and I get overwhelmed by spending too much time with a lot of people. I love my classmates and friends dearly, but it turns out that recharging my social batteries is good for my soul. Your personality will reveal itself to you and it’s fucking awesome. You will change, and it’s okay. Change is necessary for growth.

4. You may know what you want in a partner.

Gone were the days when you have the time to date and get to know potential partners. The bulk of work in medschool will make you think about what type of person will fit your life, or if you want to have one. Getting in, I was okay with being single, because I want to focus on the work and not be side tracked by love and feelings. But I guess the universe played its tricks, I now have a partner who fits my opinionated personality and understands that medicine comes first. You will need a partner who will understand and be okay with cancelled plans and a hectic schedule. You will need someone who supports you and believes in you so much more than yourself. But if you are happy as a single, badass, independent woman, you go girl.

5. You will find your tribe.

Don’t worry about not having friends because you will find weirdos who are kind of like you and will be there for you. Trust me. In medschool having authentic friends are essential. You will need them and they will need you. You can’t survive medical school by just thinking about yourself. Saving lives is a team effort. You will need to learn how to work with people, and you will have angels that will back you up especially when the workload is too overwhelming.

6. You will learn to schedule your joy.

Fun time is a must. Since you will climb this rocky mountain, rest and unwinding is necessary. Do not fall into the trap of constant hustle. You must pause! Without breaks, your brain will tire and you might burn out. I make studying a priority, but I also schedule birthdays, girls night out, date nights and self care day. Do not be a slave of medicine. It is a part of you but it’s not all of you.

7. You will learn that every moment is precious, that life itself, is a miracle.

Learning every possible thing that could go wrong in the human body is not good for our anxiety. However, if you try to reframe this thought, you might realize that, life is something to be grateful for. There are diseases that can kill you in a blink of an eye, but there you are, still kicking life’s ass. Every second is a blessing. Every moment counts.

8. You will be an expert in failing and getting back up.

I am not a genius. I don’t learn material quickly. I am just a hardworker. I have failed exams countless times, but I still manage to get back up. You will learn that failure just points you to the right direction. In medical school, there is less grieving time for failures. You need to have a fast move on rate. You will learn how to keep going despite low scores and failures. You will learn how to focus on getting back up, rather than dwelling on what you can’t change. That is where the real magic happens.

9. You will learn humility and acceptance.

In medical school, there is always someone who’s better than you. You can’t know everything and it is scary to assume that you already know everything. You will learn to accept that you are still in training. The amount of skills and knowledge that I do not know humbles me and it makes me realize that no matter how much I read, I can’t know everything, and it is okay. I accept that I am human and I do have limitations but I can still try to be a better student than yesterday. And maybe, that is enough.

10. You will be extra brave.

Medicine is just a part of life. There will be birthdays, celebrations, and other milestones. But there will be heartaches outside school. It might be a break up with a significant other, a health issue, a sickness in the family, or worse, the death of someone you loved so dear. Medschool is hard by itself, but life, might just play its worst trick on you. Therefore, you must learn how to proceed, despite anything, amidst the chaos and shards of your shattered heart. You will be brave. You might think you couldn’t keep on doing this exhausting medical training, but you will. Whatever heartache you experience while studying hopefully, makes you a more compassionate and competent doctor.


I still have so many years of training ahead, but so far, I am proud.

By Katey

Hi, I'm Katey, a medical student, writer, teacher, and biologist. This is where I write the lessons that I've learned during my adventures. Hit follow to get my latest tips, life updates, and even poetry. If you want to live a life with passion and purpose then you have come to the right place. Keep on shining.

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