When I started out this blog, I deliberately geared it towards young pre-meds or high school students who thought they wanted to be pre-meds in the future. Over the past year, a variety of people, including people who were already in the medical field starting reading it, and that felt so gratifying. The fact that a young high school teenager like me could reach out to such a vast crowd was quite amazing! However, the aim of this blog post is to commence thought-provoking questions in students who aim to be MDs or Doctors of Medicine in the future.
So it’s 2015, and the Medical School Admissions process has changed dramatically. They no longer want robots that could solve an organic chemistry equation in 30 seconds, or rocket scientists who can develop ground-breaking technology, although that would be neat. They want students who KNOW what they WANT to do with their medical school education! Even though this sounds painfully obvious, there are numerous students I see apply each year, in hopes to get in, not for themselves but for their parents, or simply for the label of being a physician. At the end of the day though, you want to be able to look at yourself and say, “Wow, I am actually ecstatic to be who I am..” So, the underlying question is, “What do you want to do with your MD?” I haven’t been through the medical school admissions process myself, but from what i have researched and read upon, medical schools will be interested in knowing what an applicant wants to offer to the school, or any institution, hospital, or country for that matter. Of course it is crucial for the applicant to be well-rounded, but it all comes down to what you are going to give back to the community, if you even intend to!
Here is a list of ideas I came up with for what I would do with my MD:
1) Doctors Without Borders – If you’re a person who doesn’t mind taking a few risks to save dozens of lives on the field in different countries, this is suitable for you. Also, if you’re interested in using your expertise to serve the purpose of helping others through a humanitarian cause, or simply love traveling, you may want to check it out. Although this job is not as easy as I make it sound, people have done it successfully! Here is a link to the kind of health care professionals this organization looks for : http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/work-us/work-field/who-we-need
2) UN Volunteers – UNV is a great organization associated with the United Nations that recruits volunteers from different areas of health care to help combat diseases in developing countries and help out with preventive measures and workshops. This kind of work builds up strong experience so when you apply for a UN Medical Officer position or some other high-rank job within the UN Medical realm, it can come in handy. Here is a link to the UNV page: http://www.unv.org/en/about-us.html. Here is the general UN Career Page: https://careers.un.org/lbw/home.aspx?viewtype=SC.
3) UNICEF – Here’s another humanitarian organization that hires professionals such as medical doctors to serve domestically, or internationally: http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/index_careers.html.
4) Community Events – No matter where you live, there are doctors almost everywhere that are willing to offer free medical services to the poor or the uninsured. See if that fits your niche.
5) Writing Health Policies – This can’t be done without additional training such as aquiring an MHA or Masters of Health Administration, but it can be a rewarding career! After all, if you were assigned to write health policies for a developing country, or even the United States, that would be a huge responsibility and a gratifying one as well.
Although some of these prospects mays seem out of reach for you, there is still SO MUCH out there that you could possibly delve into. The number of possibilities within the field of medicine itself is amazing! This may not even be an eighth of them, but I hope this article serves to motivate you to think about what it is that you would do with your medical degree, if you were to pursue it!