Have you ever stopped to think how fascinated we are with medical students? This seems to be an occupation that holds a great deal of interest for many people. Think of the number of television shows that have centered on medical centers and the people that work in them. Each decade there is a hit television show that features medical personnel as the main characters. Through the years the characters and plots have changed, but the core theme is still medical centers and the daily issues employees face. There are several cable television shows that follow medical students in emergency rooms of large metropolitan hospitals.
In real life medical students also peak our interests. People still go out of their way to mention if their relatives are studying to be a doctor. Even in the era of an equal number of males and females going into the medical profession, there are still mother’s that are so proud if their daughter is going to marry a doctor. The esteem that goes with the medical profession seems to have withstood over the course of time.
Medical students do have a grueling education process. The training that they go through is exhausting. Many students get little or no sleep during their internship and residency years. The meager salary during this time rarely covers the expense of their education.
There is an association for medical students that provides support. Students are encouraged to join the association to help find residency placements as well as fellowship opportunities. Fellowships are grants for students that help them get into certain areas of expertise. The fellowships are paid out as wages, much like work study for under graduate courses. Because they are paid for work completed the money from the fellowships does not have to be repaid. There are times when the medical students are hired through fellowships and then through grant writing are able to create a position for themselves. This is especially true for students that are interested in doing medical research.
All medical students are required to do a rotation through the different areas of medical practice. This exposure to the different fields of study helps the students decide which particular area they are most interested in. The majority of students do choose to specialize, rather than becoming a general practitioner. The medical students that choose a specialty area may have to spend additional time as a resident. Medical students in the specialist areas are usually severely in debt by the time they have completed their education. Due to this they will at times agree to practice medicine in certain geographical areas in exchange for financial help for their education. This is a program where a group from a rural area will raise funds for the student’s education in exchange for several years of service once the student has become a doctor.