Another requested blog has asked me to dig deep and think about things that I wish I had known before I started out the long process of applying to medical school. But for me, with all the research I had done over many years, I didn’t end up having anything that I didn’t already know was to arise in the process.
The thing with applying to medical school, is that you know what you are getting yourself in for and so hence, if medicine really is what you want, there should be no shock and nothing you wish you had known before hand. Like they say, ‘preparation is key’.
That being said, I know that not everyone starts out knowing that they want to study medicine and so in these cases, there will be things that you wish you had known before applying!!
For instance, understanding that the process is a long and hard one, with little room for error and a need to have the determination to succeed are factors that I often hear people discussing when their application goes amiss or they are worried about not getting in. With the right preparation and appreciation for the process, you should know that the path will be hard, and thus have the skills and knowledge to overcome any obstacles that may be thrown your way.
Additionally, there are those completely out of the loop of medicine that don’t realise the journey to becoming a Doctor doesn’t end when you graduate, but instead continues for the rest of your life with teaching and exams for all the years to follow – medicine is every changing and never stands still.
There are the applicants that don’t take notice of how difficult the admissions tests actually are, and that although it may not seem like it, there are definitely ways to revise for such to ensure you get the outcome you desire.
I am sure that the list of things people wish they had known before applying to medical school could go on, but as an applicant that was well aware of the road to such there is little I can offer from this blog. I always knew medicine was the life for me, so I was always that one step ahead on making sure I knew what was required of me.
I expected and thrived in the long days revising for my UKCAT, the hundreds of hours I put into volunteering and work experience, and the hard work I needed to keep up to achieve the grades. I knew the sacrifices I had to make and was more than prepared to make them. That is the difference between applicants that have things they wished they had known before applying and those that don’t. Make sure you pick which side you want to be on carefully!