6 Pointers to help you get into Postgraduate Medicine - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

6 Pointers to help you get into Postgraduate Medicine

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Have you finished your undergraduate degree yet? Well, if you’re looking at medicine as a career, your pathway to postgraduate medicine will get you feeling excited. There are so many career opportunities waiting for you. You can get into research, specializations like Oncology, Surgery, Paediatrics, Gynaecology, etc. or even teaching and policy.

According to a survey by the Medical School, there were 21,622 students in 2018 and the numbers have increased significantly and show no sign of changing. Hence, a lot of people are pursuing their ambitions of getting into medicine.

However, undergraduate degrees are very different from their postgraduate equivalent, particularly in the case of medicine. To some extent, it may seem like a different ball game altogether as there is a proper jump in difficulty. When you were filling out your applications for your undergraduate degree, it seemed like a herculean task for you, right?

Well, applications for undergraduate degrees will seem like child’s play compared to the complex and difficult road to postgraduate medicine. No one is trying to scare you away – it’s important to be well-informed and prepared before making a career decision.

If you have already made up your mind, let’s try to find out how you can chart your year and plan your approach when applying for Postgraduate Medicine.

1. Make Sure this is what You want to do in Life

Medicine is a serious and life-long undertaking that demands much but gives equally in return. It requires constant training throughout your career and exposes you to demanding workplaces and the realities of disease and illness.

There should be a passion in you, which will drive you and allow you to work sustainably and thrive under these difficult conditions to enjoy the most rewarding aspects of this pathway. A thirst for knowledge and constant curiosity will serve you well, as does an interest in biology and the study of the complex human body. There must be an underlying zeal that pushes you from within.

It’s not just the career either – The application process is no trivial matter, with various entry exams, such as the GAMSAT exam. Some students prepare for almost a year for this exam and there are countless hurdles and challenges. You need to have the right mindset, preparation and perseverance to get through any entrance exams and subsequent interviews and applications.

2. The Preparation is the Key to cracking the exam

Entrance exams are all about hard work and preparation, and then turning that preparation into action during the exam as well. There are a lot of ways in which you can prepare for the exam. Start with subject books and keep detailed notes as you start working through practice exams.

A good example of an entrance exam would be the GAMSAT exam. There are dedicated education consultants like GradReady which can offer great insight and preparation strategies that have been tried and tested by 1000s of students. This can allow you to focus your study and ensure that you have all the things you need in one place.

It’s worth mentioning that it’s always a good idea to start your preparation earlier rather than later to allow you the time to adapt your approach – Some students start their preparation almost a year out from the exam.

Try newer methods of preparation as well – go for podcasts, engage with people in dialogue, and read up on both sides of the current and polemic issues. All this combined will prepare you for the D-day.

3. Keep yourself busy

Preparation can often feel overwhelming when there is so much of it – This is why a preparation timeline is key to avoid the last-minute rush and a lot of all-nighters. Keeping your cool and structuring your study is an absolute necessity. So, the best advice, which you can get right now is to plan out your goals and timelines clearly with specific milestones and tasks.

If you start slacking off early, you may face a lot of problems – A timeline should help with this. Keep a scheduled day and organise your study in smaller batches. You have to ensure that you also have enough time to chill. When you prepare a schedule for the day, keep the things you like in mind – reading books, listening to music, playing some games, investing time in watching movies, and making time for it in the schedule.

With this approach, you will be productive and your mind will also be wired to get the right preparation for the examination.

4. Let’s discuss the elephant in the room – The GAMSAT exam.

Entrance exams often give students nightmares – they’re no doubt tough and they can be extremely draining. The GAMSAT exam is a classic example of a marathon rather than a sprint, with the exam taking up to 6 hours! Well, people have a lot of approaches, when it comes to taking GAMSAT, but the main thing is to prepare yourself mentally to be able to perform for this amount of time.

Being realistic and learning from your failures is also important – It’s an unfortunate fact that most students end up sitting the entrance exams more than once and if the results don’t go your way, it’s an opportunity to learn and reflect from the experience rather than feeling dejected and giving everything up..

Managing expectations while appearing and preparing for this exam is a must. If you end up not getting the desired marks in the first attempt, remind yourself that it is not the end and that you will learn and perform better next time.

5. You can take GAMSAT more than once!

Yes, you have read it right. You can take the GAMSAT exam as many times as you’d like. However, learning from each attempt is a must. You cannot afford to make the same mistakes over and over again, and realize that this is not for you.

So, how to go about it? You have to keep in mind that no one talks about the number of attempts you have taken in medical school. Still, people will talk about if you have gotten into a medical school or not.

So, what should you do? Give your best in the first attempt and check your progress. If you clear it with flying colors, that’s awesome. If not, find the areas where you lacked and prepare for it so that next time, you pass with flying colors.

6. You should not be choosy, at all.

People think the specific medical school you go to matters a lot and will shape your career. However, it is not the only thing that matters. Most medical schools have the same curriculum and style of teaching. What actually matters are the dedication you have for studies in that medical school.

A lot of other things like house residency, fellowship, and research matters, cam make a big impact on your career.

If you’re seriously thinking about applying for postgraduate medicine, hopefully, this article helps put you on the right path – best of luck to all you future doctors!

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Prince Kapoor

Prince Kapoor is a seasoned Marketing Analyst and Blogger. With his skills, he has been helping fellow marketers and brands worldwide Contact the author.

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