The journey to become a physician is an extremely long route. In order to be a physician, typically, you must complete high school, earn a four year bachelor degree in undergrad, complete four years of medical school, and then finish up 3-5 years of residency. We’re looking at about 30 years before students can become official doctors, that is without considering any breaks or gap years.
In order to stay on top of my journey, I decided to create a Medical Journey Journal. I absolutely love planning ahead. In this journal, I separate the journal into three sections: Pre-Med, Medical School, and Residency. Whenever, I find some important tips or information, I would write them down in this journal. I highly recommend students to create a journal that details education and life plans.
I use a very inexpensive composition notebook as my journal. Composition notebooks are well bounded, which make sure that none of my papers would fall out and avoid uncomfortable writing, unlike spiral notebooks.
I applied two Avery Multiuse Ultra tabs labeled: Medical School and Residency. These Avery tabs are extremely durable and makes finding my different sections easier.
In the front cover of my notebook, I taped on some business cards that I received from my college advisers and some medical school advisers/specialists.
In this section, I firstly list off all my shadowing, volunteering, and experiences I have accomplished thus far so that I can refer back to when I write up resumes. I also have lists of possible shadowing, volunteering, and internships taped in for future references. Then, I have a list of goals that I would like to accomplish before entering medical school.
Following, I have the MCAT specifications. In the next pages, I have requirements necessary to complete my biochemistry/pre-med major as well as graduating with honors. Additionally, I have some prerequisites for pharmacy as my back up plan.
Next, I have a diagram of different types of loans, scholarship information, and financial aids that may be useful for my undergrad study.
At the end, I note all of my classes, grades, and awards I received for each semester. This allows me to keep on track with my GPA goals.
For the medical school section, I noted some studying books and aids people have suggested to use to prepare for important exams and rotations.
I also listed medical school application cycles and essay tips.
Following, I noted some medical schools that I’m interested in and the requirements that they have.
Finally, I left some place for tips and information that would help me during my rotations.
In the residency section, I listed some common interview questions and some questions specific to certain specialties. I also wrote a brief list of responsibilities that each specialty cover.
At the end of the section, I listed some financial planning that I should be looking into during residency to pay off my undergrad/medical school debts. I listed four of the federal income-driven repayment plans and tips for public service loan forgiveness, income-adjusted payment, and refinancing medical school loans. Physician signing bonus and state repayment programs were suggested in repayment plans. I also listed some insurances that I may need such as disability insurance, life insurance, and umbrella liability insurance.
On the back cover, I created a small pocket made from scrapbook paper. In the pocket, I keep paper awards, transcripts, and other important papers.
I’m still at the very beginning of this journey as a Pre-Med. I believe that I will refer back to this journal frequently throughout this next decade. Please let me know if you decide to create one yourself and the things you might want to add into your journal!