How Medical Students Can Advance Their Careers

asleep studying

As a medical student, there has never been a better time to get a jumpstart on your career. Graduating from medical school certainly is a long journey, although the amount of information physicians and specialists must learn during this time is significant. To jumpstart your medical career before graduation, apply a few of the following ideas to your life. Using one or more of the ideas from this list can secure your professional development in the coming years.

Attend Medical Workshops & Conferences

Medical students (and practicing healthcare providers) often learn information regarding new medications, medical techniques, and research through workshops and conferences. Workshops and conferences take place worldwide, usually in major cities, throughout the year. 

Students benefit from the information taught in workshops and classes since they can use it as a study aid and after their medical careers begin to provide more efficient care to patients.

Medical students meet new people within the medical industry at these events, giving them an excellent means of networking with like-minded professionals.

Publish Your Expertise and Research

Medical students often write and publish research articles and case reports. Doing this showcases a student’s expertise in the medical field. The reports can give students potential advancement opportunities as they become more competitive applicants.

Volunteer Your Time

Volunteering time may seem limited for a medical student with a jam-packed agenda. However, devoting time to volunteer activities as it becomes available provides students with excellent benefits. First, volunteering at hospitals, clinics, and similar locations ensures you make a difference in your community and the lives of people who need your services the most. 

Secondly, volunteer opportunities while attending medical school can provide you with helpful knowledge, hands-on experience, and networking connections, all tools important when you begin your medical career.

We should also mention that volunteer work looks phenomenal on a resume. Employers feel good when they see a resume complete with volunteer-earned skills. Volunteering feels good since you help those who need it the most.

Seek Out Mentorship

Mentorship is another idea medical students can use to enhance their knowledge of medicine from those who know best: medical professionals. Seeking mentorship provides knowledge, insight, guidance, and support when it is appreciated the most, making the challenges of medical school easier. 

Mentors can provide medical students with information regarding employment opportunities and ensure they are well-prepared to begin their journey as physicians.

Excel on Your Medical Exams

Medical students must pass several exams before earning a medical license, including the COMLEX and SHELF exams. Each exam is difficult, designed to test the student’s knowledge and critical thinking skills. Exams are timed and contain as many as 200 questions. Students often hire tutors from to provide personalized study help due to the complexity of the tests.

medical students hospital

Scoring well on these exams is necessary for medical students who plan to specialize in certain fields. Some employers may also consider exam scores as part of their hiring process. High scores highlight your competence in real-life scenarios and your knowledge and capabilities in the medical field.

Join Professional Organizations

The American College of Physicians and the American Medical Association are two organizations that medical students can join to gain access to networking opportunities, valuable resources, and a host of professional development tools. Many medical experts consider professional organizations a key element in their future career paths.

Additional Training

Medical students may advance their careers by taking additional training, offered both in classrooms and through public health programs, internships, research programs, and more. 

Medical students often take medical specialty courses while attending medical school. Many also complete public health program courses. When you attend additional training, you gain insight into the medical field that allows you to treat a broader range of people and highlight your medical knowledge and expertise.

Take Care of Yourself

Neglecting yourself happens from time to time, especially to busy medical students who often spend as many as 10 hours daily studying for exams. Even though life is busy and what you are doing is important, taking care of yourself is equally necessary. If you dont get enough sleep, dont eat nutritiously, or suffer from mental defects, your cognitive functioning can also suffer.

A few ways to take care of yourself as a medical student include:

  • Practice Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness, such as yoga or meditation, can help you better yourself and your relationships with other people. It can also help ease anxiety, develop more compassion and empathy for others, and bring self-awareness your way.
  • Sleep! Get more sleep every single night. The American Sleep Association (ASA) recommends adults sleep at least eight hours per night. Ensure you catch your ZZZs, since a lack of sleep impacts your memory, reasoning, decision-making abilities, and even your mood and energy levels.
  • Eat a balanced diet: A balanced diet can significantly impact academic performance and overall success now and as you start your journey as a physician or specialist. Improved concentration and focus, improved memory, and other benefits await after implementing healthy foods into your diet.  
  • Reduce Stress: Stress can affect your physical and mental health, the information you likely know already. Although reducing stress is easier said than done when you’re a busy medical student, doing so is imperative for your well-being. Prioritize your mental health, find ways to destress, and ensure you can manage stress effectively so it does not get the best of you.  

When you take care of yourself, you’ll excel in your classes, during residency, and when you begin working as a physician in the very near future. You’ll have more energy, a better mood, and retain the information you learn much easier. Use the above ideas and ensure self-care is a top priority.

The Bottom Line

Advancing yourself as a medical student is possible when you apply dedication, expertise, and the tips above. Although challenging, the significant rewards make the hard work worth the effort. Be sure to utilize some of the above ideas during medical school to advance yourself and your future medical career.