For most people, becoming a doctor is a dream that starts early in life. When you get into college and you’ve decided to reach for your dream, what will help you impress the med school admissions committee?
- Grades – You need to develop study habits that insure that your grades are over a 3.5 grade point average. This means being serious about your usage of time. You will need fun and relaxation, but studying comes first. Choose your major so that you will do well, even if it’s English Literature
- Organization – Med schools require certain prerequisite courses. The sooner you get them out of the way, the better. Discuss your curriculum with your pre-med advisor. In addition to the prerequisites, be sure to take courses that particularly interest you. If you have a passion for writing, take creative writing courses. Take courses in poetry, history, political science, music, or art. Admission committees like to see well rounded individuals.
- Extracurricular activities – Some should be related to medicine: such as working in a hospital or doctor’s office, volunteering at a hospice or a clinic. Med schools like to see some experience related to health care. But you can also do community work as a volunteer: mentoring inner city students, visiting the elderly, working with the Parks Department.
- Study for the MCAT – There are courses available online that will help you prepare for the MCAT. Start studying early and continue throughout your college years.
- Develop interview skills – Public speaking courses will help. Your college may have a Career Services office which can help.
- Develop relationships with mentors – You are going to need letters of recommendation. Try to work with a professor or doctor long enough to get to know them and for them to get to know you.
- Stand out – Try to have something different on your application. Spend a semester abroad. Work as a volunteer in an ER. Do ride-alongs with the ambulance or police. Do something unique.
When it comes to applying, send your applications to multiple schools. You’ll improve your chances of acceptance. At the interview, answer the questions honestly. Relax. The hard work is behind you.