10 Reasons Not to be a Doctor

1. Don’t become a doctor if you are in it for the money.
Money is the biggest factor that leads people to pursue the field of medicine. Whenever a girl looks for a guy to go out with, a physician is whom she seeks most of the time. Money is power; and people have this false notion that being doctor will equal money which will further equal happiness. Money should not be the driving factor if you want to be a physician. If you tell the medical school you want to be a doctor because you want to be rich, they’ll just slap you and kick you out. No they won’t slap you but they will reject you without question.

2. Don’t become a doctor if you are lazy.
Any doctor or any student doctor will tell you that it takes a lot of dedication to be a physician. Those who are lazy will not be able to cope with the strenuous workload that medical schools demand. In my undergrad years I was laid back; however, when it comes to getting something done with full focus I would do it without any distractions. In medical school I had to turn up the notch on my study habits to keep up with the amount of materials my instructors throw at me.

3. Don’t become a doctor if you are not discipline in studying.
This was a problem in undergrad for me. I can stay still and focus on many things but when it comes to studying it was hard. I forced myself to stay seated and focused and after a while I got used to it. It takes time to get into the study phase; and when I started medical school it took me about 3 months to fully change my study habits. Now, I study practically every single day.

4. Don’t become a doctor if you study only by memorizing.
They’ll tell you that med school is all about memorizing. The answer is no, it’s about understanding medical concepts. The biggest topic to understand is Physiology and it deals with little memorization with more focus on understanding how things work in the body on cellular level.

5. Don’t become a doctor if you hate seeing blood.
My dad is an engineer and he told me he didn’t want to be a doctor because he wants to stay away from blood. A lot of my peers in undergrad had the same reason to choose a field other than medicine. To me blood is blood as long as it’s not from a virus-infected person. If the sight of blood scares you then I suggest you avoid medicine because you will have to use needles and blood will be in your view.

6. Don’t become a doctor if you have to have 8 hours of sleep every night.
Majority of the time a medical student will get a maximum of 5 hours of sleep. One of the hardest thing about medical school is not the studying part, but sacrificing the sleep.

7. Don’t become a doctor if you are not a people person.
If you are just book smart and you hate people then you may reconsider studying medicine. Doctors have contact with patients all the time whether it’s by phone or by person. In clinical clerkship as a student doctor you will be exposed to all sorts of patients from various backgrounds and if you can’t get along with different people then look elsewhere for a career.  And if you are a racist, you definately should not be a doctor beause you have to treat a person regardless of the person’s age, sex, language, skin color, origin, ethnicity, legal status, sex orientation; you have to do it because it’s the law.

8. Don’t become a doctor if cannot bend your ego.
In rotations if a nurse says you’re wrong then you’re wrong regardless of if you really are wrong. Nurses have more experiences and you’re fresh out of medical school without ay clinical experiences so it’s better to lower your ego and listen to the nurses because you’re not a full doctor yet.

9. Don’t become a doctor if you are not a team player.
In medical school students help each other. Medical schools promote peer-to-peer help and they do their best to enforce it. For example, the grading system in Yale and other medical schools abandoned the numeral and letter grading system to eliminate competition in classes. Instead, they introduced the pass/fail system which eliminates the cutthroat ways the medical students practice among each other to get a top place in their classes.

10. Don’t become a doctor if you can’t suffer.
An important question you should ask yourself before becoming a doctor is, can you suffer physically, mentally, or emotionally? I am in Bonaire, I struggle from time to time every week walking in the hot sun sweating and dehydrating. In America, medical students struggle like me in eating habits; there are times when I can’t even cook so I have to eat Ramen Noodles or a can of beans which are not satisfying. I eat it because I’m going against time, time that I can use to study.

Mistakes of MD1

In this post I would like to point out my mistakes from MD1; I learned lessons which I learned through experience while staying in Bonaire.

Room Mates
The people who I roomed it were not the people who they claimed to be. The Chicago office does a good job in pairing people, but once you live with them then it’s whole new story. People who I roomed with talked about studying and getting serious, but after a month or so, they got caught up with island parties. Not only that, I had stay with sport fanatics, who would keep up with scores the night before the exams. I’m not saying I’m perfect; I have my flaws of paranoia which pissed them off. I met my roommates on Bonaire so, I had to deal with them. One thing you’ll learn, never room with your friends, because you will loose friendship with them.

Showing Desperation
In Bonaire, my roommates showed desperation in getting a place to stay. For that, the landlord charged 3 times the normal price for rent. Never show desperation to the landlords, because they don’t care that you’re a student with limited money; they’ll do their best to suck out all the money out of you and leave you stranded. However, I’m sure it’s the same anywhere else in the world, but this relates to Bonaire only.

Don’t Wait for Anything or Anyone
In Bonaire, you would think people are laid back, which is true, but you shouldn’t be laid back. You’re a foreigner, and a student; therefore, don’t ever wait till last minute to do anything because you may suffer for it. If a payment is due at a certain date, don’t worry about any grace period, just pay it off ASAP.
Voice Recorder
I should’ve gotten this in MD1 semester. A voice recorder helps a lot if you loose attention in class. A lot of these teachers have monotone voices, so it’s easy to get distracted with some other thought in your head. When you’re in school from 8 AM to 5 PM, you will be tired and you will miss important things that the instructors tell you.

SJSM vs. Xavier

Which school should you go to?
This is a question I see over and over again in medical school forums. SJSM and Xavier are walking distance from each other. The Xavier campus is literally right behind the SJSM Anatomy lab. And students from both schools come together and do events.

Both Xavier and SJSM students will tell you that when it comes to aesthetics and the administration of the school, Xavier is way better. Xavier medical school helps their students with immigration and finding a place to stay. SJSM students have a lot of trouble deal with when it comes to immigration; few SJSM students do transfer to Xavier because of that. And Xavier medical school classes are over 50% smaller than SJSM, with a maximum of 25 students per class. But why do SJSM have more students? The answer is that Xavier has been around for few years and SJSM has been around for 10 years. Therefore, SJSM has more accreditation than Xavier. As for immigration, most SJSM students don’t even apply for residency, they just get a re-entry permit when they need to visit family, and then they finish basic sciences and leave without getting any residency.

I recently found out that one Xavier student, who finished basic sciences, is going back to finish his pre-medicine before taking the USMLE Step 1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but they may check your pre-medicine classes when applying for residency. SJSM however is very strict in class credits; they actually sent a student back to complete a class to get the credit in order to start MD1.

Another reason SJSM has more students than Xavier is because the tuition is over a $1000 cheaper per semester. So, which school should you go to? It’s totally up to you. But whichever school you choose make sure you complete your pre-medicine requirements.

Pre-Medicine Courses
Organic Chemistry (1 Year with Labs)*
Biology (1 Year with Labs)*
General Chemistry (1 year with labs)*
General Physics (1 year with labs)*
Biochemistry
Calculus 1
Classes with the * are core pre-medicine classes that all medical school requires.  The other classes varies from one medical school to another.