Tips for Starting Your Medical Career

A medical career is rewarding and admirable but can also be very intense and draining. Make sure you are well prepared when you start your journey into your new career and do all the research required.

1. Get the Right Education

The first step towards your new role is to get the relevant qualifications. Do you need a medical degree or just a relevant bachelor’s degree? Do you need to carry out a specialised degree program like a doctor of physical therapy degree program or a nurse practitioner degree? Decide where, when and how you want to study. Make sure you can fund your studies and are prepared for the large time commitment that will be required of you.

2. Ask Questions

During your studies or on the job, or whilst you are volunteering, ask questions. This is the best way to learn. No one is expecting you to know everything from day one and your peers will be more than happy to help and share their wisdom. Asking questions lets people know you are eager to learn and are a team player. If you’re still in school, questions are a must regardless of the program you’re in. Whether you’re in medical school or pursuing a masters of public health, you have to ask questions to be sure that you’ll be prepared for anything your future job throws at you.

3. Do not ever fake knowing something

Healthcare positions are not something where you can “wing it”. Plenty of jobs allow for a little bit of “fake it ‘til you make it” but this is definitely not the case when working in the medical field! If you do not know something, speak up. If you embark on a new task and find that you are having doubts, speak up. If you initially say you can do something but lose your confidence, speak up. Do not be ashamed of not knowing something. Chances are that your co-workers and superiors are expecting you to know nothing! They will keep their expectations low for new starters in such a specialised field.

4. Grow a Thick Skin

In any medical career, there are going to be tough days and you need to be thick-skinned. Every professional role has an element of stress involved, but this is tenfold with a medical role because you have other people’s health in your hands. You may have to deal with unruly patients or cases that affect you personally. You may find these things difficult at first and gradually become accustomed to them but try from day one not to take things too much to heart.

5. Avoid Gossip

Workplace gossip has no place in any professional environment but especially in the field of medicine. Engaging in gossip can have disastrous consequences for your career, causing interpersonal problems that end up involving more and more people. Getting involved in the gossip might seem like a great way to connect with colleagues and make new friends but it is not worth it! These kinds of careers require you to have a great deal of trustworthiness about yourself and the breaking down of professional relationships will have a knock-on effect on the relationships you have with your patients.

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