Are you thinking of becoming a doctor? Well, to do so in this day and age can be quite the ride. This is why students must take up specific classes in school to stay ahead of the competition. You can start by selecting relevant courses in high school to complement your undergrad studies.
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you make the best decisions-
Classes to Take in High School
To boost your profile as a future pre-med student in college, you should sign up for a host of science classes such as biology and chemistry. It is advisable to take up a marine biology course since these classes teach complete dissection of animals, which further helps you study the internal parts of a body. Some high schools even offer human anatomy classes, which are incredibly beneficial when it comes to your eventual interview with your medical school administration. You can also sign up for math classes as they can help you learn problem-solving and analytical skills which is a prerequisite for most med schools. You can also consider taking up psychology classes as those can help you with learning how human behaviour affects their physical self.
However, it is important not to dismiss extracurricular activities either. The best way to prepare is to volunteer or perform community service at a medical clinic or a hospital. College admission counsellors will take into consideration your dedication and longing to help make the world a better place which can significantly pep up your application.
To boost your chances of getting into medical school, choose a major that involves working with the human body and health. Some good majors pre-med students can sign up for, are- biology, chemistry, math and nursing. It is important to note that med schools don’t require your majors to be related to the medical field, but with the sheer number of classes most med schools need, it is advisable to choose a related one. Medical schools prefer students with English and writing classes on their resumes as they showcase comprehension skills and opting for those who can be in your best interest.
Here are some additional tips to get you in your desired med school-
- Don’t slack off in your classes.
- Do your absolute best to achieve the best grades possible.
- Passing by a string isn’t going to help your cause.
- Strive for A’s in all of your classes.
It is important to remember that you can always take an extra semester of college if you need to fulfil some medical school requirements. Not everyone knows they want to be a doctor when they first enter college, and it’s just fine. All you need to do is buckle up and do your absolute best.
The Medical College Admission Test is used as an indicator to measure your performance in medical school. While the specific classes you took are looked at by medical school admission boards, their prime focus is on your MCAT scores. The test takes about seven and a half hours and focuses on the following main subjects:
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
If you want to do well on the MCAT, it’s considered best to study for at least 200 hours. You can study independently or take an MCAT prep course and must always aim for a score above 500.
Getting into Medical School
Now comes the most crucial part- getting into medical schools. There are plenty of medical schools in the United States for you to choose from; They are some much harder to get into than the others. It’s wise to apply to about ten medical schools to have a significant number of options. Candidates are required to send in a primary application which includes transcripts, personal statements and your MCAT scores. Some schools will have you send in another application which is usually an essay on why you want to go to medical school. If any of the medical schools accept your application, you’ll be invited for an interview.
The interviewers’ general focus remains around knowing how passionate you are about becoming a doctor and how confident you are about yourself. It is advisable to prep yourself up with available resources on the internet or connect with a trainer before you go in for the interview.
Medical School and Passing Your Boards
The first three years of medical school will be learning the basics and taking a lot of classroom-based courses. The fourth-year is when you decide what medical speciality you want to train in. Some specialities can take many years to learn, for instance, general surgery is five years, dermatology is four years, and neurology is four years. During that time, you’ll be required to do your residency at a teaching hospital to sharpen your skills. Once your residency is completed, you’ll be required to take your boards, which is an extensive exam to obtain your medical license. Once that’s completed, you’re ready to save the world as a doctor!