If you want to go to medical school, the preparation can begin as early as high school to know what college and undergraduate program you wish to pursue. Let’s discuss how you can prepare for a career in medicine as soon as possible.
- Make Good Use of Your Time in Undergrad
The fundamental elements recommended for a pre-medical education are biology and chemistry to give you a fundamental understanding of the framework of life and chemistry of the body. Mathematics such as algebra, calculus, and statistics will also provide a proper groundwork for deciphering charts, medical statistics, and determining proper dosage for an individual. Maintaining a grade point average at or above 3.5 is also preferred.
Your degree does not have to be in a science field, although it will give you a foundation. You may also consider taking courses in psychology and sociology to provide you with a better understanding of how to treat the whole person.
Schools look for well-rounded and passionate students. Try to find an extracurricular, student group, or volunteer program that supports something you believe in or helps people. Doing this not only looks excellent on your application but will connect you to resources in your community.
- Take the MCAT During Undergrad
So what is the MCAT? The Medical College Admission Test is a computer-based standardized examination for prospective medical students that was developed and overseen by the Association of American Medical Colleges. The test is administered around 14 times a year at Prometric Testing Centers. It is best to allocate 12 weeks to study before the test and spend between two to three hours a day studying.
The test covers physical and biological sciences as well as verbal reasoning. A new section was added in 2015 for psychology and sociology. This section was added to determine if the student has the aptitude and understanding needed to deliver medical services across many cultures and sociological groups. It was added due to rapidly changing demographics in many parts of the United States.
- Find the Right Medical School for You and Apply
It’s important to consider which medical school will fit your personal needs best. Consider your priorities and whether you’d like to be close to home, avoid certain climates or If you’ll have access to financial aid. Take a tour of the school and talk to students to ask them what the classroom environment is like. Consider if you learn best in a competitive or collaborative environment. Taking into account the student to faculty ratio can also be essential to your learning.
Submit your application for entry as early as possible and include personal information that makes you a unique and compelling candidate. List any achievements or outstanding work you have done, volunteer experience, hardships you have overcome, or inspirational mentors.
After your application is reviewed, it will either be accepted or rejected. If it is accepted, you will be invited to the campus to begin the interview process.
With this information, you will be well on your way to starting a career in the medical profession. It takes many years to achieve, but starting early is the best policy.