At an early age, you might already be dreaming of becoming a doctor. Now that you are a few years closer to your dream, you might wonder what preparation you should do for medical school.
While working on completing your undergraduate education, you will realize the importance of time little by little. You have to deal with many application requirements necessary for applying to programs. Even in the middle of the interview season, you have to keep up with your studies.
In this post, I give you valuable tips on how you can confidently enter life in medical school. So, let’s get started!
What is a Medical School?
First, let’s understand what a medical school is. A medical school is a higher education institution dedicated to providing education and training for individuals aspiring to become medical professionals, including doctors, surgeons, or researchers. In these institutions, students undergo a comprehensive learning experience involving lectures, laboratories, and clinical rotations to enhance their medical knowledge and practical skills.
When you enroll in a reputable medical school, you’ll quickly discover that it upholds uncompromising standards and utilizes the very best resources available. This includes the incorporation of advanced technologies such as state-of-the-art machines and cutting-edge teaching tools. Moreover, these institutions prioritize providing the Best scrubs for nurses and other healthcare graduates. The main reason behind investing in high-quality equipment and attire is that medical schools want to foster excellence and prepare students for success in the healthcare field.
Get Medical Experience
While admission committees do not expect you to have actual experience in the field, they still want to know that you are taking the effort and time to get familiar with what your future job looks like. For such a thing, job shadowing with medical professionals is an excellent way to get medical experience.
Besides job shadowing, becoming a Certified Nurse Assistant helps get some medical experience. You can take up some CNA Classes if you want to get into this role. You can also try becoming a hospital scribe or a volunteer emergency medical technician.
Practice Good Study Habits
Doctors often tell applicants that medical school is more difficult compared to undergraduate education. That is why determining how you can best learn new materials is critical. It indicates a easier transition to medical school.
You can evaluate which learning methods work well for you. Then, ensure to stick with them. Once you develop solid study habits, there is a big chance that you will perform well during your medical school and set the stage for a successful career in the future.
Do Not Buy All the Medical School Textbooks
In most cases, medical schools recommend particular textbooks that will help the students with their studies. Beware that most of these textbooks are expensive. So, do not bother buying all of them.
During the next few months, you will receive enough materials for your learning, such as practice questions, tutorials, and lecture notes. What’s more, you can take advantage of the textbook’s free online copies from the university’s online portal. That way, you can save yourself from spending a significant amount of money on learning materials.
Be Serious About Medical Admission Test (MCAT)
MCAT is one of the daunting medical school requirements. When medical schools review the applications, they scrutinize the scores of the MCAT. This means you should take it seriously. So, ensure to begin studying as early as possible. Also, in some countries like the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, they have the UCAT exams instead of MCAT. So based on the region that you reside, you may want to put in all your efforts and brace yourself to give 100% to the exam. (For those preparing for UCAT, take a look at this “A UCAT Guide“, if interested)
The moment you finally made up your mind that you want to apply to medical school, it is also the time that you should start your MCAT preparation. During the summer break, you can dedicate your time and energy to prepare. That way, you have a better chance of getting great results.
Do Some Research Projects
You can showcase your hands-on science knowledge by getting some undergraduate research experience. Many medical schools look for students interested in research as it reflects their interest in the field.
Aside from the college-based research programs, summer offerings like undergrad research programs are also helpful.
Choose Your Major Wisely
Grades might not be everything when entering medical school, but they are extremely essential. Ensure to pick a field of study you think will yield a competitive grade point average (GPA).
The recommended GPA for Doctor of Naturopathic is 3.4, for Doctors of Osteopathy is 3.5, and for Medical Doctors is 3.7. Meanwhile, you need to do well in both science and cumulative GPA, classes like math, physics, chemistry, and biology.
Send Application to Multiple Schools
Do not put all your hopes in one medical school. You can do some research on every school that caught your interest. Beware that each school has unique application requirements, so you have to determine those.
If you did make it to your dream school, don’t feel bad. It only means that there is a school that is really meant for you. Plus, sometimes, it does not matter which school you attend because it is your dream to lead you to the path you want to finish.
If you feel anxious about the preparation process, you are not alone. Many people also experience worry, fear, excitement, or motivation as they prepare for medical school. Take advantage of the tips above, and you can boost your preparation.