How to get into Medical school
Lets start with the basics of how to get into medical school
The first thing you need to do is ask yourself, am I sure I want to be a doctor?
Are you prepared to put in hundreds and hundreds of hours in preparation to achieve your goal? If your looking for a way to impress a guy or girl, let me assure you there are much easier ways.
Are you ready to sacrifice some of the best years of your life? How will you respond when you're stuck overnight in the hospital for a 28 call when all of your friends are going out of town doing something fun? After eight years of higher education are you going to be okay with the fact your friend who got a two-year associate's degree is making more money than you?
For most premeds it doesn't make any difference. They have their minds made up for a variety of reasons, good or bad, and are determined to become a doctor. So lets move on...
Step One: Enter a Bachelors Degree Program
Unlike medical education in other countries. In the United States it is a requirement that all pre-med students obtain a bachelors degree or higher before starting medical school. Note this degree does not have to be relevant to medicine necessarily, provided that you have taken the prerequisite courses. The required prerequisite courses differ for each medical school. However they universally require courses such as English, biology, organic chemistry and upper level math.
Step Two: Get Good Grades
A high GPA can be one of your biggest assets towards applying to medical school. If you've already started off on the bad foot don't worry there are programs available to help improve your GPA and even specials master programs you can obtain which can overshadow a poor undergraduate showing. For specific strategies and ways to improve your GPA please explore the rest of the site
Step Three: Put Together Some Awesome Activities
Activities can include anything from volunteering, to membership in a national organization, or even relevant paid employment. Given the current economy, many admissions committees give a lot of credit toward students that have paid employment during school. This is not a requirement though. Ideally, you could find a job where you can make some money and be exposed to the medical field. This typically overshadows simple hospital volunteering. It is better to have a few meaningful long-term activities than dozens of short one-time volunteering events. Spending an afternoon at the soup kitchen may seem like a good idea but this is dramatically inadequate for applying to medical school. At the other extreme end of the spectrum, I've spoken with premed applicants who have legitimately altered the health care system in developing counties who are still worried about getting in. You don't have to change the world but you should appear like you're trying.
Step 4: Research
It doesn't matter if you love research or hate research, you need to suck it up and get something done. The field doesn't really matter, but it's better if it's something related to biology or health science. Publications are NOT a necessity but they do look good. The best way to go about this is to try to find a project that you are at least somewhat interested in. Being interested in the project will significantly increase your chances of completing it, and you might even have fun. If you're good enough at what you do they might even offer to pay you.
Step 5: Destroy the MCAT
There's no secret to doing well on the MCAT; you need to study. Study like is a full-time job and take it seriously. This website will be a huge asset to you if you continue to choose this pathway.
Step 6: Apply
For MD medical school applications the AMCAS system is used. This is one centralized application that you can send to as many schools you want. This is actually extremely useful because to apply to the recommended 20+ schools you will not have to submit 20+ separate applications. A key portion of this application includes a personal statement which this website focuses on. It also includes a list of your activities, GPA, MCAT score, awards, honors and any disciplinary actions the university may have taken against you. Once you complete your primary application, if you are past the initial screen which is usually based heavily upon your GPA and MCAT score, then you will be offered a secondary application. Second applications typically involve more essay writing. But don't worry a lot of them are very similar and you can double count your essays. Secondaries usually also charge yet another fee, so have a little bit of extra money ready if possible.
Step 7: The Interview
Typically once you've been given an interview the school has determined that your application is set for admission. For most students the interview does more harm than good. This is an excellent opportunity to be red flagged and rejected. It is quite difficult to interview so well that they decided to take you despite a less than competitive application. Please note this is different than the standard a job interview, and traditional business interviewing techniques are not applicable.
Step 8: Party while you still can!
Throw an awesome party for all of your friends and family for their help. Have as much fun as you possible can because now the real work begins.