What I Wish I Knew Before I Became a Doctor


It felt like yesterday that I was a pre-med
in college and eager to begin the journey of becoming a doctor. Now that I have my M.D., I’d like to share
with you some realities that you may not be aware of. These are the things I wish I knew before
I became a doctor. What’s going on guys, Dr. Jubbal, MedSchoolInsiders.com. First, I’ll start by saying medical school is awesome. In some ways, I even enjoyed it more than
college. One of the many rewarding aspects of medical
school is the amount of fascinating information you’ll learn about the human body. It’s a lot of information to go through
in just four years. You’ll likely hit the peak of your medical
knowledge after taking Step 2CK at the end of your third year, after which it’s all
downhill. In your fourth year, you’ll begin specializing
towards the field you want to pursue. Your knowledge will no longer be broad, but
rather will become more specialized to your field of choice. From broad and shallow to narrow and deep. That’s how your knowledge shifts. Number two, Nurses Can Be Your Best Friend, or
Worst Enemy I’m lucky in that I never (at least to my
knowledge) got on the bad side of any nurses, but I’ve seen multiple colleagues and classmates
who have. As a medical student and resident, nurses
can be your best friend. While nurses won’t have more medical knowledge
than you, they often have much more experience. And when you’re new to clinical rotations
or just starting residency, that’s something that you lack. Stay on their good side and you’ll be glad
you did — whether that’s helping catch your mistakes or choosing not to page you
over silly insignificant matters, they can make your life much easier. On the other hand, if you’re on their bad
side, expect to be paged incessantly about trivial matters, and don’t be surprised
if they make you look bad. Number three, People Skills Are a Must, Including
Public Speaking As it is for many, public speaking was one
of my greatest fears. I took comfort in the fact that as a doctor,
I wouldn’t have to speak in front of large audiences. Right? Actually, public speaking, and multiple other social
skills, are necessary to be a leader of the medical team and an effective physician. If you despise public speaking, don’t worry,
I once did as well. But I overcame my fear of public speaking,
and even grew to enjoy it, during my time in medical school. The details of that journey will be posted
in a separate video on my personal YouTube channel. Link in the description below. After entering the medical field, I’ve spoken
in front of hundreds of attending plastic surgeons when presenting my research at conferences. This is arguably the scariest of my public
speaking experiences, since surgeon personalities are not the most forgiving. It’s not just research conferences, though. You’ll also have to effectively convey information in a variety of other situations, like
group learning situations, or among the medical team, which you will lead as a physician,
and also when teaching colleagues or students during didactic time. Number four, Not All Specialties Are Created Equal
One of the beautiful things about medicine is the diversity of the field. You have to go through medical school to become
either a plastic surgeon or a pathologist, and everything between. For this reason, medicine is highly flexible
and most people can find a specialty they love that is suited to their personality. That being said, some specialties will have significant impacts on your life outside of
the hospital. For example, surgical specialties make it
difficult to live a balanced life, particularly if you go into something like neurosurgery
or trauma. Expect long and unpredictable hours. On the other hand, some specialties have shift work, making your hours clearly defined, like emergency medicine Other specialties like
primary care have more standard and predictable working hours. Even as a medical student, prior to entering a specialized residency, the specialty you
intend to match into will dictate your lifestyle. To have a shot at matching into a solid plastic
surgery program, I had to try much harder than my colleagues going into other specialties. That meant I needed to target the top grades
in all my rotations, top scores on my Step and shelf exams, and publish as many research
articles as possible. Living a balanced life was a challenge. I had two friends in medical school who were
beasts in the gym. They spent 2 hours lifting each day, and both
entered and even had podium finishes in bodybuilding competitions. Both were also set on entering orthopedic
surgery (big surprise, right?), but their dedication to fitness was difficult to balance
with the time and effort required to be a top student. In the end, neither was competitive enough
for a field like ortho, and they matched into family medicine and ophthalmology, both of
which are substantially less competitive. I go over which specialties are the hardest
to get into in my top 5 most competitive specialties video. Number five, You’ll Never View Death and Suffering
the Same Again It’s a privilege caring for people in their
darkest and most trying hours. A reality of that situation is dealing with
death. It will be tough on you, and it will be tough
on the families. There’s a silver lining, though, in your
experience dealing with death. Earlier this year in 2019, my grandmother
passed. While I was sad, I had a unique perspective
as a physician. From experiencing deaths in the hospital,
to discussing these issues in my medical school small groups, to reading books like When Breath Becomes Air and Being Mortal,
I had a more mature and realistic experience of life and death. Too many patients die in scary hospital rooms
under traumatic conditions in order to extend life at all costs, even at the cost of their
quality of life. When my grandmother passed at the age of 89,
she was in the comfort of her own home, surrounded by her family and loved ones. She passed peacefully in her sleep, and because
she was DNR, there was no CPR, and no broken ribs, and much less suffering. She lived a good life, and she passed in the
best way possible. Before becoming a doctor, it would not have
been natural for me to have this perspective. And number six, You Still Won’t Know the Answer to
a Lot of Common Questions It’s impressive how much knowledge of the
human body we have amassed in modern medicine. This ties in to the first point — it’s
truly awe inspiring how much you’ll learn in medical school, and yet still realize you’ve
only scratched the surface. At the same time, it’s also amazing how
much we don’t know. You’ll receive countless questions from
non-medical people that you won’t know the answer to. Contrary to what the public thinks, doctors
(and modern medicine) don’t know everything about the human body. As you’ve seen on my personal channel,
I have Crohn’s disease. Even for a question as simple as “what is
the best diet for someone with my condition?” we don’t have an answer. I’ve been experimenting with different options,
from plant based, to gluten free, to the specific carbohydrate diet, and many more. The key point is this: Medicine contains much more gray area than
black and white. You’ll note that true experts speak in the gray area and acknowledge
the limitations of current medical research. Rather, it is the ignorant that speak in absolutes. Take diet for example. There are die hard fans of ketogenic diets,
paleo diets, vegan or plant-based diets, and many more. A true expert on nutrition, and someone who
has critically examined the literature, will tell you that there’s a great deal of conflicting
data, and that the research in nutrition is plagued with problems that obscure the truth. But check out the YouTube comments and you’ll
find countless emotionally charged keyboard warriors that claim to know better. If you enjoyed this video, you should also
watch two additional videos. The first is the Perks of Becoming a Doctor,
and the second is Do Not Go to Medical School (If This is You). If you’re currently a pre-med or a medical
student, Med School Insiders has the resources and services that will strengthen your application
and maximize your odds of gaining acceptance to a medical school or residency program. We don’t believe in cookie cutter approaches,
and that’s why we have over a 99% satisfaction rate. As you guys know, I’m a huge proponent of
optimizing systems to produce repeatable and desirable results. We’ve painstakingly optimized our own systems
over several months of development, and our results speak for themselves. Check out MedSchoolInsiders.com to learn more. Thank you all so much for watching. If you enjoyed the video, let me know when
a thumbs up, and comment down below if you have any questions. New videos every Saturday morning, so hit
subscribe if you have not already, and make sure you have the notification bell enabled. Much love to you all, and I will see you guys
in that next one.

100 thoughts on “What I Wish I Knew Before I Became a Doctor

  • On the point of never viewing death the same again, is it important to not get to emotional or close to a patient, or is that wrong?

  • When people are young they like bicycles. Lesser toys. Higher sports bike. Then motor cycle. Then auto. Then cars. Then high end cars. Some bus. Some lorry. Old Harley Davidson. . . Doctors ambulance. Full featured function operation theater on wheels. Know-how of remote medical care possibly.. including quick work with local medicinal plants derivative.. Three is a good number to start with.

  • Hey i am a student at college of applied studies and community service (public college) . I always had and still have a dream of studying in medical feild however i know the college that i study in has a great future and I still have 3 more years to finish my studies . I think i'll graduate at the age of 24 . I am planning to save up and study in a private medical college so please support me ❤

  • Hi Dr J, do you have any suggestions on how medical students can increase their publications? Is it via letters and case reports mainly? Thanks a lot!

  • "when breath becomes air" . man. . . if that book doesn't make u cry till ur raw in the face, not sure what will

  • This was interesting insight. I wish there were more doctors who knew about Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. It’s difficult making decisions about my health without guidance from the medical community and scary to observe my body deteriorating without a treatment in sight.

  • Wait!!
    So is it like you can take any major and the Apply for mcat and then get good scores, the you can go in med school??
    Because I wanna be a psychiatrist, that means I can keep psychology as my major and then mcat or I'll end up being a psychologist???

  • My mom is a nurse for 15 years already and basically she has the worst enemies, and when they had a test she calles her friends and they didnt know any questions on the test and they all found a website with answers lmao and they kept calling each other and sharing answers

  • I had to break up with my girlfriend because she's a doctor. She barely had time for me. I wish her the best though! I mean, she's amazing; she saves lives!

  • The 6th one is a point I understood already but I dislike the fact that my relatives put all their faith in a doctor on their health.

  • Unpredictable working hours is something that scares me most , i love routines , wake up at same time, work out at same time , study at same time . This keeps my overthinking and anxiety in order , I don’t want go to work at 3 am and stay threr for 36 hours , i want standart 9 to 5 job

  • To my colleagues and the new generation in the comments announcing their medical school acceptance, congratulations, but also please, please remember your humility upon getting your license. Excluding myself I’ve only seen a handful of doctors treat nurses with respect. Because nurses and other hospital staff are so hardworking, our jobs are actually made a lot easier than what they used to be. It actually seriously pisses me off to see how arrogant so many doctors can be. While we have worked hard to get where we are that does not give us any right to look down on others. I wish Med schools start adding that to their course list. I personally find many nurses to be far more hardworking than us during a daily shift, despite the fact that they do not get the same level of respect we get. The treatment they receive doesn’t make any sense. As we progress in our career we’re going to receive a lot of attention and status. Please do not let that affect the way you treat others, both hospital staff and your friends/families. At the end of the day, you are first and foremost a human. Please never forget the humility you were born with.

  • I’m in 7th grade and I’m thinking of being a pediatrician! I’m excited but nervous because who knows what the future will hold

  • I find it weird that someone would have to go to med school to have that perspective on death. Ever since I was a kid that's the way I always felt. The only family member who I cried for when they died was my grandpa and it wasn't because I was sad, but rather I was 8 years old and felt it was disrespectful to not cry for him, so I forced myself to. After that, even right after being told someone died I would get over it within a few minutes and think about how their life progressed and if they lived a life that was worth living. The answer so far has always been yes

  • Wait…this guy is saying medical school is not like medical college. What? I thought those 2 were the same thingsz just with diff names

  • I’m an ICU Nurse.

    Your portrayal of nurses is not completely representative of all nurses. You are portraying nurses as being vindictive. If a physician and I don’t see eye to eye, or they are lacking professionalism – I am NOT going to burden with constant pages or make them look bad, that is just petty.

    Essentially my goal is the patient… I do not have a personal agenda and I’m not at work to be vindictive or torture medical students.

    I’m sorry if you witnessed your colleagues experiencing that with nurses. I want to be an NP, and I hope that I can work with a team of people with a common goal… the patient!

  • All the doctors I’ve met or visited were completely arrogant jerks, but the old school family doctors of my childhood, that used to be kind and human, with impressive clinical eye, by far comparing with current modern times doctors. Period.

  • As a nurse, i am offended and will page residents insatiably. Mwhahahaha. I could gossip you to other allied on how you flirt with these cute patients relative. 😂😂

  • Im in my senior year of high school and I want to be a doctor but my drawback is that I’m very bad at chemistry,so is there a lot I need to know in med school?how deep does it go? I’m interested in becoming a ER doctor

  • Never had I seen nurses page doctors for no reason. There is no enjoyment in calling physicians. Honestly, being nice to a nurse shouldn't just be because of the benefits you listed, isn't it just common human decency to be nice to others? It boggles my mind to see physicians talk to nurses with such disrespect. Are nurses not people? Will you only care and be nice when the person is a patient? Nurses, PAs, janitors, or anyone in the hospital are people that one day becomes a patient, will you throw things at them and yell at them the same way then?

  • I clicked on this video because I recognized the Powtoon software, and just wanted to say your presentation is fantastic! I've made several powtoons for class presentations, but yours is super professional and extremely well made.

  • I've been in combat, and not I'm looking to save lives cuz I realized I dont want to take anymore, I want to dedicate my life to medical care.

  • Hi, I have chrohnes disease as well and it’s a really tough thing to deal with from the methotrexate shots to all the medicine. Glad to know other people can do what I want to with the same thing. I’m trying to go to med-school and hopefully find something I enjoy, i am not sure what that is but maybe understanding the field will help. I appreciate the videos.

  • When I graduate, I won't be practicing medicine. This path I took has burned me out and I'm not sacrificing my sanity for a profession where you are treated like garbage, indoctrinated that sacrificing everything for the patient is good, and where only the top 1% can actually earn what people think a doctor should be earning. For anyone who thinks they should go to med school, I urge you to stay away. Not having a family, not having a hobby, barely being able to afford luxuries, being constantly sleep deprived is the norm among doctors. Only a few specialties live in glamour.

  • I've actually worked with a handful of nurses who did have more medical knowledge than the physicians they worked with: both residents and attendings. Typically though, these are the types of nurses that belong to like 5-7 nursing organizations and do research and have worked in everything from physical rehabilitation, to med surg, to telemetry to every type of ICU there is (from NICU, PICU to Burn ICU to Mechanical Circulatory Support ICU).

  • Not to be morbid but I hear Doctors have the highest level of suicide. I imagine the stress and dealing with parients dying asnd the guilt trip some families (and you) lay on you can take it's toll.

  • I wanted to be a doctor at one point, good pay, interesting job and easy emigration out of Ireland, I was considering South Africa or America, but I realised I was probably too stupid and decided to follow a software career, sadly my emigration options are shit, only Eu and japan 🙁.

  • Hi, I would just like to know, are you a religious person or are you a worshiper at the altar of science? If so, how does it affect you as a doctor?

  • Most people are actually more comfortable around nurses than Doctors. This is also true of NPs and PAs as they seem more humble and receptive to patient concerns, while Doctors are forced to juggle many tasks, leaving their bedside manner lacking.

    In fact many professional Doctorates (Au.D., D.P.M., PsyD) suffer from this, even if their education level exceeds that of MD or DOs (Research doctorates suffer from this backlash, when their education is 7+ graduate level education in a specialized field such as Virology or Microbiology).

    This is why I wasn't shocked when my wife's NP actually asked that her new employer offer my wife a position as her personal charge nurse and yes, my wife immediately accepted.

  • Lol I was a CNA and I came out of a patient's room to having my chief nurse rip on a doctor's ass for yelling at one of the RN's. Ufffff that doc was red.

  • "You have to go through medical school to become either a Plastic Surgeon or a Pathologist and everything in between."
    I never knew clowns needed to go to med school.

    The real question is… which specialty is closer to the clown? You'll never know…

  • I want to be a doctor
    When i grow up
    I hope i'll be😢😧😥
    i'm asian
    My family said
    JUST BE A TEACHER
    (Cuz my Mother is a Teacher)
    But still
    I want to be a doctor
    Even though i'm not that smart or intelligent
    And even if i don't have any rewards…..
    I still want to be a doctor
    Well I HOPE.

  • Im a nutritionist and im pissed at some health professionals who think they know better but havent studied or didnt get a degree in nutrition. So much information is wrong and people tend to believe it. Doctors who refer patients to nutritionists are a plus. People think nutritionists are just cooks at hospitals but the reality is we say and give the diet appropriate for each disease and food shouldnt be underestimated because food is medicine too. All these meds wont work if ur diet is wrong

  • Im 17 and im so excited to become a neurosurgeon, the brain is such a fascinating organ in the body. I can't wait for medical school after my undergrad

  • I’m 14 and I really want to become a doctor idk which kind yet. I really just always wanted to work at a hospital. My gpa is only 3.0 I really want to bring it up to a 4.0 but I’m like really dumb I’m good at everything except math. I try so hard but I’m scared that if I do not make it.

  • In my experience, if you make an enemy with a nurse, they're not going to punish you, but they also may not do you any favors. If you collaborate with, support, or defend a nurse, he or she will have your back and go the extra mile for you.

  • What is the tacnic requer to develop during your medical school before and after getting into medical school?????
    Plz answer this question for me

  • 00:26 You Learn a Lot, and Forget a Lot
    01:11 Nurses Can Be Your Best Friend, or Worst Enemy
    02:07 People Skills are a Must, Including Public Speaking
    03:14 Not All Specialties are Created Equal
    05:19 You'll Never View Death and Suffering the Same Again
    06:38 You Still Won't Know the Answer to a Lot of Common Questions

    As always, time stamps in the description.

  • Lol as a nurse this nurse-resident tension nonsense is such a pet peeve. We are all on the same team and we can’t do our jobs without each other. We have different skill sets and pressures but the patient always comes first. Sometimes nurses can be petty, sometimes residents can be on a high horse. It’s so toxic and not helpful. Everyone needs to be better and demand excellence from themselves. I think most of this tension comes from a lack of understanding of each others roles, responsibilities and pressures. It’s nonsense when I hear nurses page the residents at 0300 for a melatonin order for a patient, and I know stuff like that happens because I see it all the time. Just want to share an example of when these toxic working relationships can effect patients:
    I had a resident who though of himself as Mr. Mcdreamy and would go around to patients and the nurses flirting and not just focusing on doing his job well and being a team player. He really came in to the unit with a heir about him and his white coat and was super flashy about it all. Anyways I called him because I had a osteosarcoma patient with lung mets who had absent breath sounds on the left lung field. Vitally totally stable, looked well, the only change in his vitals was that his SpO2 was 94% and it’s usually closer to 96-98%. On room air, stable heart rate. I noticed some deviation of the trachea to the right. He also had a reflexive dry cough when turning onto his side. I couldn’t assess how he did with exertion as he was bed bound second to the location of his sarcoma in the legs and he was on bedrest. Denied any shortness of breath, etc. Anyways called this resident and said we need a CXR I think he probably has a pneumothorax. Based on his history of lung Mets, his clinical presentation I’d say he has one although he looks well and looks to be compensating really well too. Anyways I had to go above him because he didn’t believe me as a nurse, that I could make these conclusions. He ordered an NP swab for the cough (eye roll). Anyways I went above his head and escalated it to his more senior resident who ordered a chest X-ray right away because we have a good working relationship (I don’t do this very often, I’d prefer to advocate and build that relationship with who I’m calling but I was getting no where with Mcdreamy after two phone calls). Anyways did at STAR CXR and the patient had a massive pneumothorax. Radiology called mcdreamy stat with the results and even called me to ask how the patient was. Thoracics put in a CT and reinflated the lung. Ended up needing pleurodesis a few times to try and fuse the pleural layers. If I had given up on escalating care and just written “MD aware” of findings from my assessment then the patient would have been without a chest tube for a while given his ability to compensate so well. I could have easily just been done with dealing with Mcdreamys attitude and let it affect my patient. Just a note: not writing this to make it seem like I’m so much better than him by any means, we have a good working relationship now and I think we both walked out of that scenario with a better understanding of what we as a team could improve on. I better understood his pressure of having to justify to his seniors why he ordered a chest X-ray for a vitally stable patient he didn’t assess himself. And we didn’t have the relationship where he felt he could fully get behind and support my clinical skills, maybe because he gets silly calls from nurses sometimes about melatonin. It’s hard to say fully, but at the end of the day the patient got the care he needed and we both walked away with a better working relationship.
    Anyways my point is that we need to work together, listen, ask questions, and put ego aside. We are all under our own pressures, all have our own scopes of practice but we are all 100% here to care for our patients and all rely on each other to do that job well.

  • As a graduate nurse, I have been encouraged to page doctors for any deviations or changes with the patients' care, just so we can "cover" ourselves from professional liability, e.g. paging to let the doctor know that the pt refused "frusemide", and knowing that the doctor wont be able to help you with that sounds unnecessary but from a nursing perspective can get us into trouble from management. I also feel the nursing profession in general carries a heavy amount of responsibility, compared to doctors- example, it would be the nurse's fault for giving a patient potassium replacements that they no longer need, and instead, becomes dangerously hyperkaelemic. It would all be wrong to say that the responsibility lies with the doctor, as they are after all, the people who have prescribed this medication. Unless it is otherwise escalated to the doctor for an order to be ceased, the responsibility will fall back on the nurse even though it was the doctor's mistake in the first place.

    Long story short, we page doctors for what we think are important, although it may be overlooked as unimportant sometimes, it is only to cover our license, not to make doctor's work life harder.

  • I live in a state where two RN's declare a death, and frankly I have NEVER seen a doctor around when a patient dies. That's the nurse's job. I one time walked in just after a patient died, and a doctor happened to show up and he declared that the patient was doing SO MUCH BETTER. The nurse (me) said, "That's because he is dead. Would you like to declare the death?" He didn't want to and said the nurses could do it and walked off. They might consult with the patient's family about hospice choices, but are not actually there when the patient dies usually.

  • Better read My Medical -Legal Back Pages, Publisher Archway. Bryce Sterling nom de plume, if you are thinking about going into medicine, getting married as a doctor. Realize that medicine will be nothing like what you think it is, until it's too late for a lot of you. The dark side of medicine and the pitfalls. A very depressing, long and brutal book based entirely on actual events in KY and later in NC. Funny you mentioned bodybuilding. I won a few building contests while in medical school, as I didn't know what to do after being college captain and winning regional college wrestling championship, but I suspect due to insecurities and maybe some narcissistic tendencies, (but none were ever identified during my divorce psych evals. pushed by my treacherous physician ex-wife who had traits of being histrionic, narcissistic, and hedonistic.) I went on to a "career" in orthopedic surgery. Suspended by the KY Board of Medical Licensure, career ruined by a righteous medical board, for an operating room nurse's premeditated act of misconduct, directing an unauthorized tech to select and draw up meds resulting in a patient death from a lethal injection. I was unaware this prohibited transfer of duty had occurred behind my back. I now hate medicine as much as I do sports. A medical "colleague" who stabbed me in the back in NC had this to say about physicians: "Doctors are not nice people." How true . A high number of narcissists and sociopaths, almost as many as in the legal profession. And finally, the best line by a nephrologist in MS, my last stand in medicine, "Physicians have given away their profession."

    The nurses resent the doctors' status for the most part, and constantly lurk as assassins. But even worse, your own physician spouse, lawyers, and other physicians can be your worst enemies, and most certainly the hospital administrator and the state medical boards. There is a high percentage of sociopaths in medicine as well as law.
    Don't want to type too much because my Google reviews have all been shadowbanned and I suspect YouTube, owned by Google, may scrub this as well.

  • You don't speak to a group huge like a class population (around 20 and 30 people), right?
    You speak to a group that is around 3-10 persons or maybe 5 and more, is that it?

  • Decisions are sadists, suckers, and fools. Con artists and nothing more. Time to wake up out of the Dark Ages.

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