Is a Health Career Right for You?

Though the knowledge you gain is essential to your medical education, “being premed” is much different than practicing medicine. The same is true for veterinary medicine or any other health profession. Plenty of people get frustrated by the long hours of study and requirements that may seem unrelated to treating patients. Don’t let that stop you.

You probably already know that medical students and physicians work extremely hard (much harder than premeds). The first two years of medical school, dental school, or veterinary school are primarily very rigorous science courses.

To figure out if you really want to become a physician, dentist, or occupational therapist, talk with doctors and other health professionals, or get a job or internship in a healthcare setting. If your research confirms that a career in health is worth the sacrifices, if you can tolerate hard work, pressure and time constraints and have a good head for science, you could have what it takes to be an excellent health professional. 

What If I’m Not a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident?

Unfortunately, it will be harder for you to get accepted to medical school in the U.S. if you do not have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency. These lists of medical, osteopathic and dental schools and their policies regarding international applicants can give you an idea of where to apply. Even those that admit international applicants do so in very small numbers.

Talk to your advisor about your options. Since your odds of getting accepted to medical school in the U.S. are so limited, be sure to ask about applying to international schools.