Deciding what to put on your CAO can be extremely daunting. Personally, it took me months and lots of research and thought to finally make that decision. Here are a few of the ways I went about deciding whether medicine was right for me or not:
1. Talk to those in the know
I was lucky to be given the phone numbers of friends of friends and colleagues of relatives who had just recently completed med school and were beginning to embark on various careers in medicine. Listening to their first hand experiences and being able to ask questions about med school and receive honest answers really helped in my decision making. If at all possible, talk to as many med students or past med students as you can to hear first-hand about the course and career.
Make sure to look in-depth at the medicine course content over the 5 or 6 years. This information is available on the respective college websites, even though it can be difficult to find. However, it’s really important that you have a general idea of what you’re setting yourself up for.
3. Career Guidance
Some of you may have amazing career guidance facilities in school that you should definitely avail of. If not, there are a great deal of independent career guidance counsellors out there that you can arrange one on one meetings with. It’s really important that you talk to someone neutral, who instead of pushing you in one direction or another guides you. They will help you to make your own decision and choose the right direction for you.
4. Focus on you
As I said, it’s important when it comes to college courses that you make the right choice for you. Don’t allow other factors to unduly affect your big decision – for example, what others think you should or shouldn’t do, or what other family members or friends are planning on doing. At the end of the day you know yourself better than anyone else does and you know what you are best suited for.
5. Vocation, not just a course
For a course such as medicine, it’s very important not just to focus on the course itself but to keep in mind the career at the end. Medicine is in essence a vocation so you must make sure that what interests you is the career at the end, and not just the course.