Become a doctor? Truth about medical studies and the profession

The profession of doctor was and is mostly highly regarded in society. The image of the "demigods in white" has still not completely disappeared from the minds of the population in 2020. Medical students are often ascribed extremely high cognitive abilities, and thus the job of a doctor is often perceived as a dream job. Contrary to this expectation, many trained professionals advise against studying and point out the downsides of the profession: long, inflexible services, too little patient contact, too much bureaucracy! Maybe you have even asked yourself whether you can even manage to study and whether you should become a doctor at all. We'll answer all these questions in this article.

Am I qualified to study medicine?
This question is not so easy to answer, because you have to look at it from several angles. First of all, you have to show the university to which you are applying that you are "suitable". The university decides this in the application process.

Once you have received one of the highly coveted study places, then you have to find out how hard-working and stress-resistant you are. However, all these points do not take into account your personal character and interpersonal skills. Here, too, it is important to find out how good you really are at dealing with people.

At the end of your training, you will be a doctor, which ultimately involves lifelong training, a lot of responsibility and perfect time management. We deliberately leave out the financial aspect in this article, as we are convinced that salary should not have a primary influence on the motivation to study.

The application hurdle
To study medicine, you first have to apply. Sounds easier than it is. Since 2020, there has been a revised application procedure that has drastically changed the chances of getting a place at university. During the application phase, you will have to decide which quota you want to apply for:


"Can I make it through medical school?" - The truth about studying medicine
Assuming you have made it into medical school, what do you need to get through? Below we have compiled a small list of qualities that are important for a positive course of studies:

Stress tolerance
During the first two years of medical school (especially in the standard degree programme), you are literally "flooded" with knowledge. Over the years, new content is added over and over again. However, old content is rarely removed from the catalogue of learning objectives. This often leads to a feeling of being overwhelmed. Therefore, you should definitely not lose touch in the first two years (pre-clinic)! The examinations are usually timed once or twice a week in the form of oral tests. In addition, there are some written exams. However, this can vary from university to university.

How intelligent do I have to be to study?
As you can see from our list above, we do not consider "intelligence" (cognitive abilities) to be one of the most important qualities for studying medicine. In general, if you pass the entrance exams, you will have all the necessary qualifications for medical school. Some science exams may even be easier! It is much more important to be able to withstand the pressure of the lecturers and to always find an answer to the question "Why am I doing all this to myself? This may sound tough at first, but it's definitely doable if you have your sights set on your goal - don't worry! So if you want to study medicine, you don't necessarily have to be an exceptional talent.

How good do I have to be at memorising?
A common cliché is that medical students have to memorise just about everything. In fact, you simply have to memorise many things without much context in order to be able to create a basic foundation of knowledge. But don't worry: practice makes perfect! Above all, diligence is required here. That's why we didn't put the attribute "memorability" on our list of the most important qualities.

What does a good Abitur say about the ability to study?
Applicants often discuss this question. The frustration is great if, for example, you don't get a place at university with an Abitur of 2.0, even though you want to become a doctor out of deep conviction. In fact, the Abitur says relatively little about the intelligence or cognitive abilities of the graduate. Nevertheless, a certain ambition and diligence, i.e. a work ethic, can tend to be deduced. However, there are also various other factors that additionally influence the grade point average (e.g. teachers, life situation, etc.).

Some school leavers at this age do not yet know what they want to do later in life and therefore do not try hard at school. Others are generally so-called "late bloomers" and only realise far too late how important a good Abitur can be in terms of career choice. In summary, qualities such as diligence, willpower and stamina still rank higher in the order when the sole aim is to successfully complete one's studies.


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