Why You Should Blog as a Pre-Med or Medical Student

I started The Hero Complex when I had some free time towards the end of 2010. My then-girlfriend was studying abroad, school was winding down for the semester, and I needed something to occupy my mind and time. I knew that MCAT studying was quickly approaching, and so I wanted something that would keep me "accountable."  At first, things didn't work out exactly how I had planned (as you all know when school/studying gets tough, writing blog posts is the first thing to go). However, once I did really well on the MCAT, I thought that I had something useful to offer to the pre-med community. And now that I am in medical school I can write about even more. This blog has been pretty amazing to me. Now I am inviting you all to start your own pre-med blog. As I mentioned, it took me awhile before I got serious about the whole writing thing, but I finally purchased my own domain name in February of 2012. With the help of a friend (thanks Brad!), and plenty of time spent reading online I can honestly say I have brought this website up to a level I never thought possible. I love interacting with my readers and writing helpful posts, but blogging as a premed or medical student can have other benefits, like getting you into medical school in the first place.

For instance Ryan Nguyen who blogs at WhiteCoatDO says that:

For each of my five interviews, blogging and social media were topics of discussion for at least 5-10 minutes (most interviews lasted around 30 minutes). As a topic I probably knew a little more about than my interviewer, blogging was something I could discuss with relative ease...In the sea of tens of thousands of applicants, blogging provided a unique way for my application to stick out beyond the usual GPA/MCAT/extracurriculars criteria.

I also recently read a great article with 5 reasons that blogging could help you land your next job. I think this easily applies to getting into medical school or residency as well. My personal favorite excerpt from that article:

It keeps you current — and sharp: Blogging will not only keep your knowledge current, but it will also keep your skills sharp as you create cool new content for your readers on a consistent basis. It can also help you stand out as a career expert in your industry.

Blogging regularly also helps develop your writing skills. There are few fields that require as much writing and communication as medicine. Here is an amazing article by Dr. Michael Kirsch entitled "Why More Physicians Should Write." Writing is such a valuable skill to have. I know that my abilities have greatly improved over the last couple of years, immensely. Perhaps I will be the next Atul Gawande or write my own book one day. For that reason alone, creating The Hero Complex has been worth it.

Writing a blog also keeps me accountable. This blog constantly reminds me how much there is to learn or how much work goes into achieving a great MCAT or Step 1 score. Being able to help out students with the MCAT is a thrill, and I want to be able to do the same after I take my boards.

The most attractive reason why blogging as a pre-med or medical student is worthwhile is probably the possibility of making some money. However, this is also the most difficult goal to achieve. My blog is currently mildly successful, but if I look at the time I put into writing/research/maintaining the site I make well below minimum wage. However, it is possible to make a bit of spending money for yourself and that is really exciting.