Even for those who dream of being a doctor, attending medical school can often feel like a daunting prospect. It is physically, emotionally, and mentally taxing. Taking on the demands of learning to be a doctor and saving people’s lives is no small task. It is also, for those up to it, tremendously rewarding.
That last part is something that Ethan Smallwood wants to hit home. The 21-year-old UK med student and Instagram influencer is going to be launching a YouTube channel on that very subject in September 2019.
“Medicine was an easy career to choose,” says Smallwood. “Even in school, I’d always loved science; I was fascinated by how the human body was so complex. Becoming a doctor is such a rewarding profession; being able to help vulnerable and sick patients every day and improve their quality of life is such a privilege.”
Ethan Smallwood has been lucky, but he also believes that anyone willing and hard-working enough can get to where he has. “There are thousands and thousands of people out there with the smarts, talent, and passion for becoming doctors,” he says. “But so many of the requirements for getting into and excelling in med school can feel more than a bit intimidating. If you don’t already have a support system or someone out there to show you the ropes, it can feel easy to get turned off or just decide that it’s not for you.”
In the past few years, Ethan has worked hard to demystify medical school and medicine in general. His Instagram feed, on top of showing his wide travels from New York to Bangkok, also focuses on embracing medicine for those hoping to go into it, as well as laypeople and patients alike.
‘The Student Doctor’ is his soon to be launched YouTube channel, which will be dedicated to further exploring these themes. On his YouTube channel, Smallwood plans to talk in-depth about the common and not so common challenges faced by med students. It is still somewhat rare to see a med student providing these kinds of insights to the world at large. A few celebrities and practicing doctors have set out to try and make medicine more accessible, but there is something very different about ‘The Student Doctor’s’ approach.
“The world will always need doctors,” says Smallwood. “Going into the profession involves a really tough and long training process, and I think a lot of people considering medical school don’t know where to turn for help or are afraid even to ask to begin with. There aren’t many places, or any really, that can tell you what you need, or help make the right decisions, or just make things less of a mystery in the field. I think that needs to change.”