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Is medicine the right career for you?

Becoming a physician is not right for everyone. Take time to consider the mental, emotional and educational elements necessary to become a medical doctor.

The Physician's Path

A career in medicine may not be for everyone. Below are some general guidelines to help you decide if medical school is right for you:


  • Can you commit to long hours of studying for many years?
  • Do you handle stress well?


  • Do you have the stamina for 10 years or more of long hours of exhausting, intense training?


  • Are you motivated by helping and serving people in all walks of life?
  • Are you prepared to sacrifice your social and family life for your chosen career?


  • Can you afford the high costs?
  • Or are you prepared to accumulate debt up to $200,000 before you start your medical career?


  • Are your grades good enough to get into medical school?
  • Can you maintain your academic achievement?

If you answered yes to the questions above, you may be a good candidate for medical school. Additionally, consider volunteering or working in a variety of health care settings to have a better understanding of the health care delivery system and your desire to be a part of it.

Prepare Now

The rigors of a medical school curriculum are well-known, so it's important to challenge yourself academically in high school. College prep courses, along with a solid foundation in math and the natural and physical sciences, will prepare you for the required college courses for medical school.

To be a well-rounded applicant, we also recommend additional liberal arts courses in English, computer science, history and a foreign language. Also, participate in extracurricular activities at your school. These activities can help you develop important communication, leadership and time-management skills.

Choosing a College

There are a number of public and private undergraduate schools with curricula and resources to prepare you for medical school, and choosing the right institution is an important decision. Consult independent college guide books and make formal visits to college campuses through their admissions offices. Discuss each option with your parents and guidance counselor to get their perspectives.

What to look for in an undergraduate institution:

  • Choose a college that offers an undergraduate major that will provide you with a satisfying career should you not gain admission to medical school right away, or at all.
  • Select a college with an overall solid academic reputation. Find out if it is strong in the sciences and if it has good laboratory facilities.
  • Check to see if the school has a premedical adviser who can provide you with academic guidance and information on medical schools.
  • Find a school that fits both your academic and social needs.

For additional information, visit

KU's Commitment to Diversity

KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
School of Medicine
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160