aspiring physicians

5 Skills Aspiring Physicians Should Develop to Succeed in Medical School

There is no denying the fact that getting into medical school requires a stellar academic record, clinical experience, strong recommendation letters, and an impressive medical school application. Students interested in medical education must be well-prepared in advance to deal with the rigors of the medical school. Pursuing science courses, MCAT preparation, extracurricular activities, and clinical experience can help future medical students to succeed in medical school.

If you are thinking to apply for the upcoming Summer Session 2019, you need to develop some important characteristics to become a successful medical school student and an excellent future physician. Here are some valuable skills every prospective medical student should develop before applying to medical school.

Related read : How to Apply to a Medical School

Communication Skills

Effective communication skills are essential to medical practice that can help build a healthy, strong doctor-patient relationship. In order to become a better physician, you should be capable enough to engage with your patients and other healthcare staff. In fact, communication is one of the most important skills every prospective medical student should learn to increase clinical competence.

From effectively interacting with a patient to presenting a case, developing communication skills will definitely help in your medical career. Communication skills can’t be learned through science courses; you should cultivate these skills by taking part in extracurricular activities, shadowing opportunities, volunteer work and joining summer programs. These activities are mainly focused on group work that will help you get a clear insight into how to communicate with others effectively.

Remember, the ability to communicate well is a core competency for healthcare professionals. So, make sure to develop these skills before getting into a top medical university.

Time Management

Physicians are responsible for completing a variety of tasks such as seeing patients, creating treatment plans, educating residents, participating in research activities and community leadership programs. In order to stay on top of all these activities, physicians must know how to prioritize and complete tasks efficiently.

Being a medical school student, you are supposed to cover a sheer amount of material in a short period of time. You need to put your efforts, energy and hard work to stay on top of your studies. Learning how to manage your time will help you improve your academic performance and enable you to juggle assignment deadlines and personal activities outside of school.

Time management is one of the most important skills that are necessary to develop for nearly every medical school student. Being a premedical student, you can begin nurturing these skills by following some effective time management strategies. For instance, creating a study schedule or using a planner will help you to stay organized. List all your important tasks such as classes, quiz preparation, assignment, gym sessions, hobby, and other tasks.

Building strong time management skills are important for aspiring physicians to survive in medical school. Make sure to develop these skills before deciding to go to medical school. This will better prepare you to deal with coursework, clinical rotations, lab work, and other responsibilities when you are in medical school.

Collaboration Skills

Physicians should collaborate with nurses, administrative staff, technicians, surgeons, and other healthcare staff to provide the best possible patient care and treatment. They should have the capability to collaborate with various clinicians and different team members in different complex medical situations. Being a future medical student, you are advised to develop this skill by working in groups, participating in extracurricular activities and finding some research opportunities.

To be able to effectively collaborate with people of diverse backgrounds and understand your team’s perspective is important. Premedical students are advised to develop this key skill earlier in their education career.

Empathy

Today, patients are more concerned about complications of their diseases and seek doctors who understand their medical condition and devise the best possible treatment to relieve the symptoms and improve their quality of life. According to a research, “patients whose doctors listen to their concerns carefully follow their orders more obediently and are more satisfied with their treatment procedures”.

It is important for every physician to possess compassion and empathy as physicians to understand patients’ emotional needs and respond to their needs and concerns. This is why medical schools want to hire students with higher empathy levels and can provide compassionate care. They should put their best efforts to diagnose, treat, and manage medical disorders. Premedical students should cultivate empathy to become an excellent physician. Furthermore, empathetic medical students can greatly contribute to maintaining a cohesive learning environment.

Technical Skills

Medical students will gain the opportunity to perform clinical rotations in different medical specialties which help them learn the technical skills necessary to perform different clinical procedures. Students will learn different technical skills such as venipuncture, IV placement, foley catheter placement, arterial puncture, suturing lacerations, insertion, removal of IUDs, and much more during their clinical years and residency program.

Aspiring physicians are advised to learn practical skills, physical examination skills, and other routine skills such as cannulation, injection, suturing, gastric tube insertion, bladder catheterization, and much more by finding different volunteering opportunities in hospital settings such as wards, emergency department, and labs. Adding technical skills in your medical school application will set you apart from other candidates.

Related Read: How Many Medical Schools Should I Apply to

Final Thoughts

Succeeding in medical school may seem intimidating but developing these valuable skills will prepare premedical students to become a more competitive candidate. Nurturing these skills will help you in medical school, residency program and in your professional life.

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