Pursuing a career in medicine is at the top of many young students’ minds. The industry has many opportunities, it is noble, and the pay is well above average. But what deters most of these dreams is the fact that becoming a medical practitioner takes lots of dedication, is expensive, and not anywhere near the list of the easiest things to do. That is why many opt for the shorter, cheaper, but rewarding career path of being medical assistants.
The Short Path: Becoming a Medical Assistant.
Basically, medical assistants are medical professionals who know a little of everything within the industry. They can diagnose some mild medical problems, perform minor surgeries, attend to outpatients, schedule appointments, file medical records, and any other job that the medical field throws at them. However, MAs do not have any specialty.
As an MA, you will get the chance to work in any medical facility from the smallest facility in a refugee camp to big hospitals in major cities of the world. The good news, in this case, is that with a bachelor’s degree in any field, you can pursue a 2-year course in the medical field and you will be set to start your career in the job. Science degree holders are a little bit privileged in this regard but anyone else can join.
Other people opt to undertake life coaching training and then establish their private coaching practice. With this certification, you can still find your way into the medical field as a therapist or life counselor. That’s if you consider therapy diagnosis of a stressed out, depressed mind.
The Longer Path: Joining Medical School.
The longer path involves spending long hours in class, passing through many steps, and eventually getting your certification. Some of these steps include:
- Pre-med or Bachelor of Science degree
Most doctors start their careers in the medical field by attaining either a pre-med degree or a science-related degree. As a rule of thumb, doctors need to be good in mathematics, chemistry, and biology. Having an undergraduate degree or a diploma in other related fields- finance, critical thinking, etc.- is an added advantage.
- Acquiring a medicine-related job
If you currently work as a medical assistant or any other medicine-related job, then you stand a good chance of gaining admission to a recognized medical school. Other jobs include working as a PA to a senior doctor, a receptionist in a hospital, or a volunteer in a nursing home. Becoming a medical translator is also rewarding as it is in huge demand. These jobs go to show how passionate you are towards medicine.
- Medical college admission test
This test is done over secure computers that are found in MCAT testing centers. The test fundamentally tests you on how good you are in the sciences and relevant humanities. All you need to do is register for the test on the Medical College Admission Test website and then wait for a call-up. In order to increase your chances of passing this exam, you may need to come up with an online study plan beforehand and create a study strategy for success.
- Medical school
If you pass the MCAT tests, you are enrolled in a medical school where you work your socks off for at least 3 years. It is worth noting that no one is entitled to a chance in any medical school and the authority to enroll students is with the school’s management board and administrators.
Within your course of study in the medical school, you will be introduced to key medical specialties e.g. pharmacology and physiology. You will have enough exposure to help you choose the specialty that you would love to pursue after college. You will need to work hard for the grades because failure isn’t entertained in this field.
If you pass well in your college grades and graduate from medical school, you will be enrolled in a medical facility for your residency. Most residencies take at least three years. You will be pretty much like a doctor and you will be allowed to perform the duties that your medical school scorecard permits you to do. Senior doctors within your specialty will assess your suitability to serve as a fully-fledged doctor before they recommend you for certification.
- Becoming a doctor
With the recommendation of your supervising senior, you are allowed to take the medical licensing exam. It is only after passing the said exam that you are allowed to start practicing either in public hospitals or as a private practice.