If I understand it correctly, Poles go into med school basically at age 18,
18/19. Remember that Poles go to high school a year longer than Americans.
Right, but is an 18-year-old ready to make such a decision? Becoming a doctor is a long serious process.
Mostly their parents make that decission ;) Many students have a parent who is a doctor and put a pressure on children to become one. Of course there are also students who are not from medical family backgound (and the person I know is one of them).
I think generally the decission process of a person who has no a doctor parent looks like that:
a kid is in high school, likes biology, is quite good in chemistry and physics. Those less ambitious apply for biology etc. those who are ambitious and have top marks and like challenges apply to medical academy because it's prestigious.
Those who aren't sure drop out within a year. You must remember that first year is a kind of selection of candidates.