The medical profession is about diagnosing and treating human ailments, making it an outstanding choice for people who want to do good in the world. Medical school is a long and dedicated journey, though; the fact that it requires a minimum of four years should indicate how enthusiastic you should be about medicine before choosing this career path. Typically, the first two years of med school are spent in classroom study, leaving the final two or three years for practical patient care in clinical settings.

If you’ve been considering med school, we hope the following pointers will give you enough to think about to finalize your decision:

Valuable for the Rest of Your Life

There are many higher education courses that may not prove to be specifically valuable to your career. Medicine however, is unique in that your education will serve you throughout your lifetime. You get to apply your education practically; whatever area you specialise in will become a field of study that you will learn about for the rest of your life.

Opportunities for Personal Development & Friendships

Contrary to the notion of constant study, students tend to become better medical practitioners if they are allowed time to participate in non-academic activities. Med students are encouraged to take part in sports and cultural pursuits in order to ensure they’re happy, high functioning people who are capable of interacting efficiently with patients and colleagues. Thanks to medicine attracting dedicated students, you’ll also get the chance to build strong bonds with like-minded individuals. Medicine then, isn't just all work and no play.

Pass or Fail Grading System

You don’t have to worry about being compared to your peers as is common with other disciplines—medicine is one of the few subjects that’s generally judged on a pass or fail system. When studying medicine, the first two pre-clinical years count towards your BSc classification, but following this, your exams will generally be marked simply as pass or fail, which should prevent unfair comparison.

Incredible Prospects

Within six months of leaving medical school, you will find yourself in professional level employment. All you have to do is pass your degree and you’ll find yourself at least in the position of ‘foundation doctor’, which is a stable launchpad for your medical career. The fact that you will make a positive difference in numerous patients’ lives throughout your career is a great reason to choose medicine.

The Salary

Medicine offers great monetary compensation. For example, an orthopedic specialist can earn a salary of USD 421,000. A family physician however, can earn USD 195,000, which may be considerably less, but is still a high salary for a career that is considered incredibly rewarding. If you are someone who is not too concerned about a high salary, you may be glad to know that according to the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2014, the happiest people in the medical world are family physicians, who cite long term relationships with patients as a reason.

Medical Science is a Universal Skill

Medical science is a skill that translates across the world. Not only is the study applicable to in any country, medicine is also a profession that’s constantly in demand, as there are always people worldwide in need of medical care.

White Coats

Finally, you’ll get to be a part of the ‘white coat’ community. Med students are often united in their enthusiasm to wear the traditional white coat and do so with pride. For medical professionals, the white coat is often a personal representation of the oath they take in service to humanity and it evokes a sense of fellowship with other practitioners.

We’ve got more great content for you! Check out our blogs Stay Healthy, Stay Happy, The Expat Education, and Where Are Today’s Int’l Students Studying?

About the Author: As well as being a published author, Dan Petley has worked in the education sector supporting students with emotional and behavioural difficulties, a role that has required him to mentor students in choosing a suitable career path and applying to the correct courses.