The 10 Commandments of the Pre-med

Originally posted May 7th, 2014

Being pre-med is a little like being part of really weird religion. We have specific rituals we must complete so that we might ascend to a higher plane (aka getting into med school). And no one quiet gets it unless they themselves are pre-med too. So here are some commandments* to follow while we try to get into paradise (or is it hell?).

1.       I am pre-med, I believe in myself

If you want to become a doctor, this is not only the first thing, but the most important thing. The minute you completely stop believing you can reach your goals is the moment you won’t achieve them.

2.       Thou shall not follow nonsense

False prophets so to speak. If you heard a rumor about something or hear people talking up a storm about a class but something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Do your research, but also trust your gut. Don’t go along with something just because everyone else is.

3.       Thou shall not take thine classes in vain

If you are pre-med you should know how important your classes are. Don’t take advantage of them and actually learn the material even if the teacher sucks or you might not get as high of a grade because you took the harder class.

4.       Remember all exam dates

These are the pre-med scared times, so it would behoove you to keep track of them. You should also know the dates when applications open, deadlines end and any events you have are obligated to go to.

5.       Thou shall honor thine mother and father and all instructors

Respecting parents once you’re in college? Slightly easier than high school. Respecting all your professors? Sometimes really easy, sometimes you plan an axe murder in class. BUT they are still experts in their field and willing to instruct. You don’t have to like them, you just can’t fly off the handle at them. You should take action if the problem extends beyond obnoxiousness.

6.       Thou shall not medically touch any person

You are not a doctor. You are not even a medical student yet. You have no right or responsibility to try to diagnose or “aid” anyone unless you are specially trained to do so (phlebotomist, CPR certified, etc.). You’ll get there one day, stay smart and safe.

7.       You shall not receive grades immorally  

There are some times in college when it is sooo tempting to cheat. For pre-meds though, college isn’t the end of the road for us. We aren’t just trying to make it through. We’re here to learn the tools we need to be successful doctors, and cheating is counterproductive. Plus, it is not worth it to get caught. Rather get a crap grade than be kicked out of school.

8.       Thou shall not steal or be deceitful

This goes right along with cheating, but also with lying about grades, class material or stealing shit off the internet. What’s the point of doing those things? Because it certainly doesn’t make you any better at anything.

9.       Thou shall not slander others

It happens to the best of us, where we totally shit talk people. It’s not the end of the world, but you probably shouldn’t tarnish anyone’s reputation, intended or otherwise. You also should not be verbally abusing people and bringing them down.

10.   Thou shall not covet what other achieve

Admiration is a good thing. It can help you set your own goals. Seething jealousy over other is bad. It will only drive you crazy when you compare yourself to others and want what they have. Most of them earned the things they have. No one get a gold star for free in medicine.

*These are based off the Judaic translations of the 10 commandments, pretty much in order with 3 dos and 7 don’t. I am only familiar with that version, but got creative with the old English.

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