Around this time of year, most senior premeds are about to pull their hair out.

Managing a difficult course load is stressful by itself, but for the premed, coursework accounts for only part of the dilemma.’ This is the time when the serious applicant must balance schoolwork with tedious applications and entrance exams.

Applying to medical school is a difficult, expensive, and time-consuming endeavor.’ The usual applicant begins his/her trek freshman year by enrolling in general chemistry and biology classes.’ As time progresses, the motivated premed must also suffer the pains of organic chemistry and physics.’

Why all of this coursework?’ ‘ To prepare for the MCAT, the Medical College Admission Test.’ In the meantime, the serious applicant must also engage in extracurricular activities, research, and acquire clinical exposure.’ One would think the worst is over, but next comes the application and interview process.’ Only when the acceptance letter arrives, if it arrives, does the ardent premed breathe a sigh of relief.But, he or she awaits at least another 4 years of school and training.

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So why go through all of this, one might ask.’ Aside from the studying, preparing, and long sleepless nights, a physician experiences some of the greatest moments of life.’ Bearing witness to a human birth, saving an innocent victim of violence, watching an individual recover from cancer’#133;These are the reasons that motivate someone to painstakingly pursue a career in medicine.’

As a physician, you are a diverse individual.’ You are a victim’#146;s hope, a fighter’#146;s mentor, and a dying individual’#146;s guide.’ Medicine offers more insight into human nature than any other discipline.’ Backed by the power of science, the physician is a patient’#146;s connection to the healing process. Medicine is an ancient and intriguing art that has engaged human minds for centuries.

So, if you are a student aspiring to become a physician, don’#146;t be overwhelmed by the harsh coursework or the long hours at the library.’ Rather, focus on the meaning of what you are attempting to achieve.’ Remind yourself of what you aspire to become, remind yourself of the joys of life and the sadness of death. Remind yourself that your sacrifices may save someone’#146;s life, and that your negligences may cost someone their life.’ Remind yourself that your education

and your experiences will one day help you reach a summit.’

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And when you stand on that peak, the world will make more sense and you will understand your place better than anyone else.’ A physician is the ultimate philanthropist, placing the life of another before his or her own.’ If these thoughts comfort you and make your journey worthwhile, then you know that your true destiny lies in helping others.

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