I remember coming to Benedictine as a freshman and wanting to go the pre-med route. I started taking the classes that were recommended and doing well in them. During my freshman year, I really wasn’t aware of how much more it takes to get into medical school than just studying a lot. Here are some tips if you are thinking about becoming a pre-med.
Get Involved! Medical schools want to see well-rounded candidates so make sure you join clubs when you start school. Join clubs that interest you and try to become very involved with them. If you stay involved for a while, you may be able to get an executive board position. Also, join AMSA at Benedictine. AMSA will provide you with tips for getting into med school and going through the Health Science Recommendation Committee. Medical schools like to see involvement in AMSA.
Gain experience. Medical schools also want to see a student who knows a little bit about the medical field. They recommend that you try getting your CNA or EMT certificate. That way you can work in the field a little bit and make sure it is the right fit for you. You will also be more comfortable in the healthcare field if you have experience. You can also gain experience through shadowing doctors or taking the practicum that Benedictine offers. The practicum is a class that allows you to shadow doctors and reflect on your experiences.
Don’t procrastinate. Don’t cram for tests, because you will forget the information.Try to really learn the material so that when it comes time to take the MCAT you are prepared. Really building a strong foundation in your basic chemistry and biology courses will also help you later on in your more advanced science classes.
Volunteer. Being a good physician isn’t just about knowing how to treat a person’s illness. Doctors need to have communication skills and good bed side manner, as well. Try to volunteer, and not just to put something down on your resume. Try to learn from your volunteer experiences and better yourself because of them. Service is a two way street. By volunteering, you are also gaining a lot.
Study. You need much more than a good G.P.A. to become a successful doctor, but when it comes down to it you do need knowledge. All of these extra things are important, but if you don’t put effort into your classes or do well, medical schools won’t be very interested. Make sure you manage your time so that you can study for classes and get good grades. Try to form a habit of going to the library or quiet zone in Krasa at certain times during the day. When you form a routine, it will be much harder for you to procrastinate.
Take a break. Medical school is going to be a lot harder than undergrad for all of us pre-med students, so it is important that you don’t get burned out. Make sure you save a little time for yourself and a social life. Take a small break everyday to talk to a friend or do something that relieves stress. You’ll be able to study more efficiently if you aren’t worn out everyday. After all, what is the point of working so hard if you’re not happy while doing it?
There is a lot more that goes into applying to medical school, but these are some things to keep in mind when you start school as a pre-med student. Time flies by in college, so don’t wait to get started on all of these things!