Are you good enough to be a medical student & practitioner in the future?
By John Louca
(UK Admissions Consultant at The Edge Learning Center)
We often hear people speak about the qualities necessary to become a doctor. Whilst there are many skills required to be a great doctor, they do not necessarily look the same in each person. Moreover, each doctor is different and as with all people, all have their different strengths and weaknesses. This is important to understand before we delve into the characteristics to be a competent medical student and doctor. We need to understand our own strengths and weaknesses, so we can use the former to our advantage and work on the latter. This article is by no means a comprehensive list, but rather a few traits that I believe anyone would benefit from having.
Persistence is a universally valuable trait. It benefits everyone from the prodigiously talented to the unequivocally hopeless. It enables people to do things beyond their ability and helps promotes personal growth. This is all good and well, but the question still remains as to what persistence looks like? It is the ability to fail repeatedly and still endeavour to succeed. Persistence doesn’t make things easier, but it gets things done. It is important to remember the big picture when trying to be persistent. Does the short-term difficulty or failure warrant giving up on the bigger picture, whatever it may be.
Humility. This may seem a rather surprising trait to be appear on a list like this, but humility is key for anyone in the medical profession. Teaching arrogance is hard. An important aspect of medicine is always learning and improving oneself. It is a continued journey of development and one which no doctor ever finishes. Humility lets us improve from our mistakes and ultimately become better doctors and medical students. No one is infallible and I can say with absolute confidence that anyone reading this will make mistakes in the future. Being able to learn from those mistakes makes us safer and better doctors. Be humble. Stay teachable.
A nose for brilliance
A nose for brilliance is an important, if underappreciated quality. Medicine is still primarily taught as a mentorship model. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than the relationship between a consultant and their registrar (or between attending and resident if you are from the US). Medicine is such a broad field with a seemingly limitless supply of fascinating subspecialties and niche topics. Finding a mentor, whether it be in clinical work or research is massively beneficial. By far the most valuable thing in this mentor is not how successful they are, but rather their desire to pass on their knowledge and teach the next generation. From my experience I have often found that the mentors keen on teaching are the most brilliant of all. I can confidently say that without the many excellent mentors I have been fortunate enough to have that I would not be in the position I am today.
In addition to these 3 skills, there are of course important traits like being a good team player, having good communication skills and good leadership qualities, however these are well known and commonly spoken about already, hence they are not discussed further.
What makes you stand out when applying to medical school? Schedule a complimentary 30-min consultation with John now to seek some expert advice!
About The Edge
Established in 2008, The Edge Learning Center has grown into a premier one-stop provider of educational services for Grade 7 through Grade 12, targeting students who intend to pursue overseas education. Our three departments – Academic Tutoring, Test Preparation, and Admissions Consulting – offer a broad range of educational services spanning from SAT and IB Test Prep to colleges and boarding schools application counseling. The Edge Learning Center operates in multiple regions including Hong Kong, China, and Vietnam.