I’ve been working at a company called Pinfinity for about two years. The field of business is one where guts matter just as much as brains and where the people that win in the end are the people who are willing to look far ahead into the future and be willing to ride it out through the bumps and loops that you have to go through. You have to adapt and change on the go, and when things get tough, quitting is not an option. There is a lot more in common between medical school and business than I anticipated, and I have realized that there are some things that I learned from business that I would have benefited from during college, and even into medical school.
1. Procrastination: Do not get into the habit! It is bad in college, it is worse in medical school. There at just days, I know, where getting started is the most difficult thing to do. Looking at the huge task at hand makes it easy to get overwhelmed so try by just making one tiny move in the right direction such as writing one sentence down, then one paragraph, etc. Do not look at the end, just focus on one step at a time.
2. Time management: This is of key importance to getting through medical school and those heavier courses in college. Pay attention to where you’re focusing your time. Now pay attention to the number of hours in the day that you are spending watching TV, playing video games, or looking though Facebook. You’ll be surprised how much time is wasted, and if you were to restrict that wasted time, your productivity would skyrocket.
3. Multitasking: Somebody told me once that multitasking is the best way to do multiple things wrong really quickly. Try to focus on one thing at a time, be it studying, writing, or watching TV. This will allow you to get things done efficiently and with a better end result.
4. Leadership: Medicine is leadership, no matter how you cut it. The main goal of the career is to become an attending physician, the doctor who is making all of the big decisions, caring for patients and having the responsibility of keeping the sick from getting sicker. Commonly they are asked, “What do you want to do Doctor?” with everybody expecting the next step in care from them. Developing this skill now is a great way to get ahead of the pack. Start and run groups at school, get high positions in current clubs, or excel in sports. Become a strong leader now, and it will help you greatly in your road to medicine.
5. Research: Research, both in small and large scale is a must. Being good at efficiently figuring out answers on your own, be it via reading or searching on the net, is of extreme importance. Any team will see you as a key part of it, other students will trust your judgment, and you will get respected in the wards and by your supervising physicians. In the long term, a CV that shows your interest in research as a component will always be looked highly upon, both on your medical school application and beyond.
By keeping these things in mind, making that jump into medical school won’t be as daunting as it can be.
Have any of your other life experiences taught you something about excelling in your path to medicine? Tell us about it!
Carlos Guzman is a 4th year medical student at UCLA and the VP of Content Management at Pinfinity, a company aimed at providing study materials for starting medical students and beyond. Get published now! Contact him at Carlos@pinfinity.co