Prepare While Others Dream: Setting Goals from the Top Down
What are your goals? We all have them. As a medical student, one of your biggest career goals is to become a doctor. This takes years of hard work and dedication to learning medicine and the art of patient care. That means setting goals and creating plans of action to help you achieve them. You need to prepare while others dream to stay ahead of the pack.
The actions you plan can take your future career as a physician to the next level. Some people advise setting smaller, short-term goals to get to the larger, long-term ones. But it’s best to lay out your long-term goals. Then, create short-term plans and goals that lead you to the prizes.
If your ultimate goal is to become a doctor, that goal can be broken down into shorter-term goals. We call this the Top Down Method.
These shorter-term goals could be landing the residency you’ve had your eyes on for a while now. Or maybe there’s a specific clinical placement you know would be perfect for your field of expertise.
No time for that yet? Then, break those goals down even further.
Before you get to those points, you have to complete medical school and pass the USMLE Step 1 and USMLE Step 2 CK exams. You’ll also need to get BLS and ACLS certifications to move to the next level in your future career as a physician.
And you can only go after these goals because you’ve already achieved even smaller ones. These include graduating from college, taking pre-med courses, and passing the MCAT to get into medical school.
Learning how to set goals is a tangible and manageable skill for a med student. To achieve them, you need to make use of time management and leave the art of procrastination alone.
Smart Framework for Setting Goals
When designing goals to achieve, use the SMART framework. Your goals must be precise, not vague. That way, you know exactly what you want to achieve. Then you can create a plan of action to get it done.
Make sure your goals are realistic. If not, you’ll be quickly discouraged by continuous failures.
For example, setting a goal of becoming a doctor after high school within 5 years is just unrealistic for most people. So, unless you have a serious plan of action, don’t set yourself up for failure.
Make use of time management and give yourself a realistic timetable. Follow these guidelines to succeed at implementing the SMART framework into your medical career goals.
Prepare While Others Dream: Make Dreams Reality
Dreams are the personal fantasies we think about that come from deep within us. They can become realities. But the important ones take hard work to accomplish. To fulfill your dreams as a med student, you must prepare while others dream. That’s where establishing long-term and short-term goals comes into play.
Sometimes, the goals you set for yourself don’t turn out the way you hoped. That can leave you feeling lost. When this happens, take some time to determine what went wrong.
Was the time frame unreasonable? Did you procrastinate instead of taking action? Were there issues that were out of your control?
It’s important to learn from these failures, so you do better in the future. Also, evaluate your successes too. This helps you learn the best ways to set achievable goals and execute plans to get to your prizes.
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Be Open to Asking for Help with Your Goals
The dream of becoming a doctor comes with a lot of pressure. Your stress level may rise when you try to balance your medical goals with your daily activities and family responsibilities.
However, some tools can help you de-stress. If you prepare while others dream, you’re always ready to tackle your daily tasks. This is important as you begin to face competition when applying for residencies and clinical placements.
Online Stress Test Meters
Check out these online tools that measure your stress levels. Find out just how stressed you are right now.
- Be Mindful – Test Your Stress
- Psychologist World – Online Stress Test
- Stress-O-Meter – Work, School, Home & Social Stress Tests
Getting Help with US Medical Exams
It’s okay to get help preparing for the MCAT exam. Many med school students all across the country turn to test prep companies to help them pass the USMLEs. Getting test prep help from industry experts gets you steps closer to achieving your goal of becoming a physician.
Look for local programs that teach you how to balance med student life with friends, family, and work. Take courses and find tutors that help you learn how to pass your US medical exams.
In the Atlanta, Georgia area, MedSmarter is your local go-to source for US medical exam test prep services. Prepare while others dream! Get the live, in-person tutoring you need to continue your journey of becoming a doctor. Click the link below to learn more now.