There's a saying in cardiology—it isn't brain surgery. It's not, but you still need to have some serious brain power if you want to be a specialist. Medicine is an inexact science—meaning outcomes aren't always predictable. Here are a few points to consider when thinking about becoming a heart specialist.
- Study much? Good. Becoming a doctor means lots of studying. Becoming a specialist means lots more studying. Way more. Face it, school will end, but studying is forever.
- Pre-med is four years. Med school is four years. Residency is three to four years. Specialty is three to four years. Overnight success? That's an oxymoron.
- Costs for the first eight years of school average $180,000 (public and private schools). Residency is paid, starting at just over $50,000 (source).
- Good doctors are professional. Great doctors know how to show they care, while still being professional. In other words—you need people skills, too.
It may be difficult for doctors to relate to their patients if they've never been sick or experienced the loss of a close family member. In general, doctors see people at the very worst and the very best times of their lives. It takes a special type of person to handle that professional roller coaster.
We know your grandmother thinks you're special. So, that's a start.