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5 Biggest Myths About The Medical Journey

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You hear a lot of scary “truths” before going to medical school. 

Some were bold-faced lies. Others were right on the money. 

Today I’m going to break down the biggest myths & misconceptions I was made to believe early in the medical journey, including: 

  • The lifestyle myth of medicine
  • How much you’re really expected to know
  • The true importance of grades
  • How much time you really spend doing medicine
  • And the truth about making money as a doctor 

1. Your Life Will Get Easier As A Doctor

Medical school is hard. Long hours of learning and tests. So the expectation would be that your life would only get smoother after all this schooling right? 

Not exactly. 

While you’re not spending hours studying a day or constantly prepping for an exam – there will always be things keeping you busy as a doctor. 

You may have long clinical hours, and additional admin responsibilities, and don’t forget the added time needed for your family, home, etc. 

Your busy time will just shift but it never goes away. 

So it’s important now to understand how to best manage your time (and keep protected time for yourself) so you can continuously navigate the hecticness. (I show you how here)

2. You Are Expected To Know Everything

This one never goes away. But the further you are into the journey the more aware you are of this myth. 

There’s simply too much to know to know it all. 

In fact medicine is less about having all the knowledge and more about knowing what you need to know, where to find the missing details, and how to apply it to your patient. 

So while you may need to know everything for your exam – it likely ends there.

But on the flip side – one of my biggest regrets in medical school was not collecting the helpful analogies, connections, and pearls I learned along the way. 

I would have instead begun collecting a learning system using a tool like Notion to help keep all that information in one place (again I show you how here). 

3. Focus On Getting Good Grades

Grades are important. Let’s get that out of the way. 

But they’re not enough. 

The medical journey is arranged to be a constant competition and comparison between yourself and your peers. 

You have to set yourself apart constantly. Medical school. Residency. Fellowship, Your first job. 

So you can’t rely simply on your grades to separate yourself from the pack.

You need experiences and the right people in your corner. 

This is why I talk so much about building a resume with a story and depth. 

Focus on reflecting on the experiences you’ve already done, ask what you’ve liked, and then ask what other experiences could help you do more of what you liked. 

The more you do this the more specific your interests and experiences will be. And thus it’ll be easier to tell a story of “I liked this which led me to …. and this is how I got here.”

P.S. All of my strategies for creating a great med school CV are here.

4. Time Allocation Of Medicine

This is a big one for me. 

No one truly breaks down the time spent on patient care vs. other things as a doctor. 

For example – when I was an internal medicine hospitalist – here’s the breakdown of the time spent per patient.

  • 10 minutes pre-charting on notes and labs
  • 10 minutes seeing the patient, doing an exam, discussing the plan for the day
  • 10-20 minutes speaking to social workers, consultants, etc. for that patient
  • 30-60 minutes writing notes and documentation
  • 20-30 minutes following up on labs, talking to nurses about changes to plans etc. 

So in one day that’s about 1-2 hours per patient (obviously this varies per pt and specialty) with about 10 minutes talking to the actual patient. The rest is behind the scenes. 

Now the rest of the time is still spent on taking care of the patient but the lack of “face time” vs. documentation and background clinical work isn’t talked about enough. 

5. You Will Make A Lot Of Money As A Doctor

I love to talk about money since it’s so taboo across the field. 

You will do financially well as a doctor. A 6-figure income with good job security allows for that. 

But will you be “rich rich” having access to all the luxuries money can buy – no. 

So if that’s your aspiration – medicine isn’t the best path to get you there. 

As of this writing about 30 years old and still have two years of fellowship left before I return to a 6 figure income (I spent 1 year making good money as a hospitalist). 

My peers on the other end have been making good money since their mid-20s and have 5-7+ years on me with better lifestyles, vacation time, and stress levels than myself. 

I enjoy what I do so it’s fine but there’s a clear disconnect between the salary amount and the time it takes to get there.

Hope you enjoyed this breakdown of the most common myths and misconceptions about medicine.

Let me know in the comments what you think and if you have other myths that should be added to this list!

If you found this post helpful – be sure to share it with anyone that may also find it useful! It’s the best way to support my content. 

Until next time my friends…

Lakshya Trivedi, M.D.

Whenever you’re ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

1. The Med School Handbook:  Join thousands of other students who have taken advantage of the hundreds of FREE tips & strategies I wish I were given on the first day of medical school to crush it with less stress. 

2. The Med School BlueprintJoin the hundreds of students who have used our A-Z blueprint and playbook for EVERY phase of the medical journey so you can start to see grades like these. 

3. Med Ignite Study ProgramGet personalized help to create the perfect study system for yourself so you can see better grades ASAP on your medical journey & see results like these. 

4. Learn the one study strategy that saved my grades in medical school here (viewed by more than a million students like you). 

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