What Is a Medical Timeline?

A medical timeline is a detailed timeline that charts or plots the medical journey and next steps of an aspiring doctor or any specialized health professional. 

According to a 2019 article published by the Association of American Medical Colleges or AAMC, women already make up the majority of medical students in the United States. Based on the data, women comprised 50.5% of all medical students in 2019; which increased from just 46.9% back in 2015.      

Tips for Surviving Medical School

The journey to becoming a doctor is, by no means, easy or simple. Aside from the heavy academic requirements, it takes much time, investment, and effort to get through medical school. Despite the difficulties and challenges, there are simple yet powerful ways to safeguard one’s physical, mental and emotional health while attending med school.  

Have a support group. The stress and demands of academic life can take a toll on an individual. Especially in these unprecedented times of a global pandemic and the transition to remote learning, it can be challenging to adjust and keep up. If high school and college students suffer the pressure and stress of academics, medical students are relatively subjected to even more pressure. With this, it is absolutely important to form and maintain a support group that you can trust and rely on. It is good to have a support group that can help you navigate and deal with the demands of med school. It does not even have to be your family. It can be a trusted group of friends or course mates that are on the same journey as you. The plus of having a support group in the same field as you is that they can empathize with you on a very real and concrete level. Strive for balance. One of the key reminders to keep in mind when navigating medical school is to strive for or to find balance always. It can be easy to get consumed by academics and work that you end up neglecting or failing to attend to other aspects of your life. Fortunately, this is a mistake you can prevent or repair with the right proactive steps. Med school can demand a lot from an individual; so it is vital to set aside time or make time for other essential things as well. It is equally important to nurture your social, mental, and emotional health as well. As the old saying goes, balance is key. When you have balance, you are less likely to be consumed or possessed by your circumstances. Thus, always make it a point to practice moderation in all aspects, no matter how busy or preoccupied you are with medical school requirements. Establish a regular study routine. It is rare for an individual to graduate medical school on account of just pure luck or good fortune. Like law school, you can possess all the natural talent and potential there is to succeed; but without commitment and hard work, you won’t go far. With medical school, the investment is great and the workload is heavy. Diligence and hard work should go hand-in-hand. In order to keep up with the demands and requirements of med school, you need to be prepared for it. You need to establish a regular routine dedicated to study and review. Doing this can help you organize and manage your time better. The last thing you want is to be scrambling and procrastinating because of the failure to prepare or plan. Create a sustainable schedule that you can stick to so that in the process, you will be able to form good study habits.

Qualities Needed In Medical Students and Practitioners

Being in the healthcare or medical field is no walk in the park. Aside from years of training and study, the work itself is literally a matter of life and death. There are certain qualities or traits that anyone who wants to pursue a career in medicine and public ought to have. The following examples describe just some of these key qualities. 

Patience. Aspiring doctors know that the journey to becoming a licensed physician is a long one. If you want to pursue a career in medicine or public health, you need to possess the values of patience and perseverance. There will no doubt be struggles and difficulties along the road to becoming a doctor or health professional. But if you know how to exercise patience especially in the most difficult of times, you will eventually get there. It is also important to note that these are not traits that are acquired overnight. Fortunately, it can be learned and nurtured with time and effort. Patience is truly a virtue and accompanied with the right attitude and skill, not only can you survive medical school but you can actually thrive as well. Passion. Another key ingredient if you want to succeed in the field of medicine is passion. Along with patience, it is one of the most fundamental qualities you should have. Without passion for the field, it can be easy to just give up and quit when the going gets tough. Healthcare professionals including nurses, medical technologists, and non-medical staff that exhibit passion in the work they do often thrive in their places of work. Whether it is at a hospital, clinic, public health center or even a nursing home, the passion for helping others drives many committed and dedicated healthcare workers. Especially in a world gripped by a pandemic, passionate doctors, nurses and healthcare workers continuously work despite the risks, exhaustion and lack of support from their communities. Selflessness. A person can possess passion, drive and ambition but it can only be directed inwards. In other words, an individual could basically be living and striving for themselves only. But to go beyond oneself and be of service to others is at the heart of true health care. Genuine service cannot be detached from selflessness. To possess and exhibit selflessness is the highest form of service. This was manifested in the way millions of doctors and nurses around the world responded to the global pandemic. It was their selflessness, courage, and sense of duty that helped the world get back on its feet. It is not wrong to aspire for a successful and prosperous career in the medical field; but selflessness for the sake of others is key to gaining a more purposeful and fruitful career. Diligence. Another important quality medical students and practitioners ought to have is diligence and conscientiousness. This sense of responsibility must be cultivated even while still in training or during one’s pre-medicine program. The field or study of medicine and public health requires much technical knowledge and skill. Its practice must be accompanied with competence and diligence. Without these traits, the quality of healthcare may suffer as well. Patients have to rely on doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals to deliver health services with compassion and competence. Thus, it is important for anyone who wants to enter the medical field or health care sector to build and nurture a keen sense of diligence and discipline.

How to Create a Medical Timeline

To create a medical timeline, you need to do adequate research in order to properly chart your timeline. But if you are looking for ease and convenience, you can easily use any sample template from the collection above. Choose one that suits your needs and follow the instruction guide below. 

Step 1: Plan and Prepare

A medical timeline requires a bit of research and planning. Although the content of your timeline will depend on your preferences and needs, you need to gather enough information or data in order to plot the timeline. For instance, you can inquire in your med school of choice or do your own research on the internet. What are the steps or levels that medical students need to go through? What are the specifics of each level or requirements to apply for a specialization in medicine? These are the types of questions you need to explore when conducting your planning and preparation. Once you have all the data you need, you can then proceed to designing your timeline.    

Step 2: Establish a Format

A basic timeline is relatively simple to make. But for a medical timeline, you may want to modify it according to your needs. Before filling in your timeline, you must first design its structure and format. You can use a basic timeline or a Gantt chart, whatever meets your objective. By using a clear and appropriate format, you are establishing a logical flow that will enable you or the reader to better comprehend the medical timeline. If you need help with the format, you can refer to the sample medical timelines above. It will save you a lot of time and effort if you have a template as guidance or reference.  

Step 3: Plot and Chart  

Once you have established the format of your timeline, you can now begin to plot your timeline. A medical timeline is pretty universal. In a majority of cases, students take up a pre med course such as biology, health sciences, or psychology before proceeding to medicine. After entering and completing med school, a student can take a number of exams depending on their individual goals. Then if they pass their exams, most enter into residency for a couple of years. Finally, if a licensed physician or general practitioner decides to pursue a specialization, they need to undergo further training. This chronological medical timeline can be as general or specific as you need it to be. It just needs to be in proper order so it is easier to follow and understand.    

Step 4: Other Important Details 

The last step is optional, but if you want to include other relevant details in your timeline, you are free to do so. Again, as mentioned in the previous step, your medical timeline can be as specific as you want. You can incorporate related concepts or notes for each section of your timeline. These notes may be useful over the course of your study or serve as potent reminders. What matters is that you organize these details in a clear and orderly manner.  


How long is the medical school timeline?

A typical medical school timeline can range anywhere between 8-10 years. Those undergoing further training and studies in specialized medical fields can take more than 10 years to complete their training.

How long is med school after pre-med?

Medical school typically takes four years to complete. Although, it would depend on individual circumstances and preferences as well.

What is the order of medical school?

Generally, it starts with taking a pre med course, proceeding to medicine proper, undergoing residency training, and further studies or training for specializations.

The journey to becoming a licensed doctor is by no means easy. You need dedication, commitment and passion to be able to face the demands and struggles of being a health practitioner. Browse the sample templates above, select a template that meets your needs, and start crafting your own timeline today!