The Reward of Working and Being a Medical Student

Jul 29, 2019 by Sivakumar Ravishankar

It’s a known fact. Medical school can be challenging, but ultimately rewarding in the end. Every year of medical school has its own challenges and each year of learning builds from the previous year. We are managing so much just being medical students, but the question is how do we succeed in medical school as well as support ourselves during our time in medical school? What makes this rewarding and worth the time, stress, and energy? 

Becoming a doctor is a passion of mine and my dream career and I could not think of doing anything else. I find many concepts in medicine to be interesting and evolving through research, evidence based practice, and integration of technology to create a safe practice. I feel being a doctor is rewarding as I know that every day when I get up, I know I am making a difference in a person's life. For me, I could not think of a more rewarding career than the career that I choose to undertake. 

Being a paramedic and medical student.

I have a background being a paramedic and therefore work part time to support myself through medical school. I believe the two, medical school and being a paramedic, compliment each other well and help me successfully progress through my medical program. As a paramedic, the lessons and skills acquired were focused on injuries that had already occurred and providing a solution to the problem. In the simplest terms, the objective was to “fix and transport.” The lessons learned here helped me to become  a good paramedic, but I wanted to achieve more, likely similar to many of you reading this, and decided to pursue medicine. 

Now, after starting medical school, I can use the knowledge and skills gained from being a paramedic and apply them regularly. This experience helps me to perform a comprehensive assessment: looking as social aspects, environmental contributions, consider more vast diagnosis, and expand on my patient assessment skills. I also think about what issues to prioritize and even write out a plan for managing the patient in my electronic ambulance documentation form. Being a paramedic and medical student helps me recollect and apply the knowledge and skills attained in medical school to my time at work and also integrate well within the hospital setting. Each of these tasks attribute to the success of the other. While it’s tough being a student and working, I’ve found a way to seamlessly integrate both, and I think you might too. 

How can this apply to your own success?

We all have different experiences, achieved various goals along the way, and have different strengths. Therefore, I suggest finding things that make you unique and using it to your advantage to support yourself  through medical school. I am sure we can all think of at least one way. Also, working in these other work settings outside of the classroom can be a positive and rewarding experience. While good practice and a strong application of what you’re learning in medical school is important, constantly being in a medical setting may not be what works best for you. For example, perhaps you are passionate about music and giving music lessons helps you earn money and stimulates a different part of your brain. 

The driving factor for me being a medical student and working at the same time is that I know I am making a difference every day and I find that to be very rewarding for me. Not only am  I am able to able to apply the knowledge gained in medical school in managing my patients but also feel that the transition of care to be far better between prehospital and hospital and therefore creating a positive outcome to my patients. As I also enjoy teaching, I am able to better educate my patients on their medical conditions and as well be a positive support to my fellow peers at work and at school. The values of osmosis - have each other back; reach further; open your arms are the words that reach out to me every day when I read from osmosis and is also a driving factor for my success. 

We are all in medical school because we want to help people. If each day we are able to help one person, whether related to medicine or something different,  that would lead us to make a difference in 365 people’s lives. One person for each day of the year leading to a lifetime of impact. 

As a quick recap…

I can best summarize the meaning of all this in an old Chinese proverb, “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a small fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.” We are all in the right path of seeking happiness and every day forward is a step closer in achieving the goal of being a successful doctor. 

About Sivakumar

Siv is a third year medical student at Oceania School of Medicine. He is most interested in anesthetics, emergency medicine and intensivist. Siv was originally born in India but spent the last 12 years in Australia. When he is not studying or working, much of his time is dedicated to hobbies such as tennis, cricket, hike and rock climbing.