Another message I wanted to share, something I think is really important for anyone interested in medical school:
Why "wanting to help people" is not a good enough reason for medical school
If you are reading this thread, presumably you are interested in becoming a doctor. But why?
Before you read on any further, I'd like you to spend a few minutes reflecting on the question: "why do you want to do medicine?"
It's a short yet challenging and important question. It's important because every medical school is going to ask you this question, whether on an application or in an interview. More importantly, medicine is not a walk in the park - unless you know why you are interested in medicine, you may end up realizing it is not everything you hoped for.
The difficult thing about a career in medicine is the ambiguity. In all seriousness, ask yourself, how much do you really know what medicine is about? What a doctor does everyday?
For myself and many of my peers, we had no frickin clue what it meant to be a doctor. I shadowed here and there, which I'm sure many of you have done as well. But until you actually have to do what a doctor does (and believe me, we don't even do this until the 3rd year of medical school when we start our clinical rotations), it's hard to know what type of medicine you would want to do, and perhaps, even whether medicine as a whole is right for you. C'est la vie I guess.
But I digress. So why do you want to do medicine? I mean, until you actually do it, your personal reasons are all you have to go by, so let's get back to that. While there are many (valid reasons), including "I am interested in medical sciences", "I like having a respected, well-paying job" (the one that no one admits to but is true), etc. probably the most common reason people admit to is "I want to help people".
Now don't get me wrong, if you tell me you want to do medicine because you want to help people, I believe you. I don't doubt it at all. I'm glad so many people want to make a positive difference in the world. But if this is your only or primary reasons, you should step back and reflect on that.
There are many great professions that "help" people. In fact, most professions, no matter how great or small, "help" people in some way. Teachers help students learn and master material. Social workers can really help and change the lives of vulnerable clients. Scientists can help find new and better ways for us to live our lives. In health care, nurses play a crucial role in helping to cure illness and maintain human health.
It's not a matter of whether you want to help people. The bigger question is to ask yourself how you want to help people. Because we all help people in our own, but often different ways.
You need to ask yourself "how do doctors specifically help people, and do I want to help people that way?"
I encourage all premeds to search for the answer to that question. Read, talk to people, do whatever it takes. If you find the answer to this question and you still want to do medicine, then go for it. If you can answer yes to that question, medicine may be a very rewarding profession for you. If your answer is no, then perhaps it is time to think whether an alternate career would be more rewarding for you.
Believe me, it is not an easy question, but I believe it is one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself before dedicating yourself to medicine.