Medical students need mentors

by Berry Pierre

As I was browsing one of my favorite sites, Student Doctor, it hit me that a lot of the pre-medical students have no clue how to go about removing the prefix from their title.

This is a problem that I know of very well because I was in their same position when I was an undergraduate. Growing up I knew that I wanted to be a doctor but had no idea about how to go about and do it. I wasn’t fortunate enough to have any relatives or friends in the field so I just assumed get good grades and I would be on my way.

It wasn’t until a chance encounter in the FSU career center with Mrs. Anderson, who was the advisor for the pre-med organization that I actually began to have any sense of mentorship in pursuit to this career. I tell undergrad students all the time I would not be in the position I am in now without that organization. I was so lost in the darkness of becoming a doctor that I had no clue how much help I would need. I believe that the same is still true today 4 years later for our undergrads.

Questions like these are repeatedly asked:

  • How important are grades?
  • Does failing a class mean no more medical school? (I can assure you it doesn’t)
  • Do you know of physicians I can shadow?
  • What to say during an interview?

I know that I wasn’t the only medical student who needed that mentorship to help get them to where they are today but it seems like many of us who worked so hard to get through the door forgot to keep it open for those coming after us.

Please believe that the need to have a mentor may have begun before we became medical students but it continues all the way through our careers. Just like we expect someone to be there when we need professional advice let us make sure that we are there to help those behind us.

Berry Pierre is a medical student who blogs at Dr. Pierre’s Blog.

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