Each year, thousands of students apply for med schools with only half of them making it through the fact being, medical schools are very competitive, the national acceptance rate is 43% according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Here are 9 tips to help you prepare:
Here is the plain text of the Infographic for a few of our readers who have requested it
Know What You’re Getting Into
Being a pre-med is time-consuming and challenging, you’ll be occupied with tough courses in math, chemistry, physics, biology, and English, and will also have to take part in extra-curricular, which will have a significant impact on your application. Shadowing, research, volunteering, and maybe sports too are some common premed extracurriculars that will keep you occupied most of the time. Be prepared to make sacrifices.
Start Planning Early
Once you’ve decided on medicine as a career path, plan all your activities early on. Try to create a balance between your studies and extra-curricular, decide when to start with volunteering or shadowing, build your CV, look for summer research internships, etc.
Major in What You’re Interested
As a matter of fact, medical schools don’t care what you studied as an undergrad as long as you meet their minimum requirements. So, go ahead and major in whatever you like, music, history, biology, maths, etc. Generally, the prerequisites to apply for medical schools include organic and inorganic chemistry with labs, biology, physics, and English composition.
Work on Research Projects
This is your chance to shine; undergrad research projects look pretty well on CVs. Most med schools want students who are interested in research. This will also help give you an opportunity to know your professors, which will eventually ease the recommendation part.
Consider Volunteering At a Hospital
There are a lot of volunteer programs for pre-med students out there, you just need to look in the right place. If you’ve decided to volunteer at a local hospital during the freshman year, make sure you’re prepared for that beforehand. You can even find a bunch of non-clinical volunteering options, free medical services which will demonstrate your willingness to pay it forward. Investing your time for serving others will definitely pay off.
A great way to get an insight into the work-life of a doctor is to shadow them. Many pre-meds shadow healthcare professionals in more than one specialty just to get an idea of their routine and responsibilities. There are a number of ways to find medical professionals who will let you tag along and observe. You can start off by reaching out to hospital departments or individual doctors via emails or call to check about their shadowing policies.
Apply To Multiple Schools
Increase your odds by applying to multiple med schools and make sure you properly research each one and complete the prerequisites accordingly. It’s OK if you didn’t get accepted into your dream school, there are some amazing med schools in the country, so you don’t need to keep yourself restricted.
Interact With Your Professors
It’s always fruitful to interact with your professors and ask them for suggestions for your future because when you apply for a med school you’ll need someone (not a prerequisite for most schools, but looks great on application) to vouch for you, preferably a college professor with a Ph.D.
Spare Time for Yourself and Hobbies
While it’s good to be dedicated, burying yourself into books and schoolwork is not sensible at all. Try to take some time off studies every now, have some time spare for your hobbies just to relax. Hobbies like exercise, painting, cooking, or playing any instrument can help you boost your brainpower.