The journey to get into medical school can be arduous. Future medical doctors are so numerous, interesting, and talented that it can be challenging to keep up with them all. If you want to pursue a medical career, you have to be determined and not be one of the pre-med students who drop out after a year or two.
Luckily, there are a few concrete actions you can take to maintain your competitive edge and increase your chances of being accepted to the medical school of your choice. As a pre-med undergraduate, following these eight tips will set you up for success!
1. Always Practice Time Management
As a pre-med student, you must develop time management skills because doing so will make adjusting to medical school much easier. Knowing the most effective ways to allot time for homework, test preparations, and other tasks is best.
In medical schools, taking shortcuts won’t work. To absorb a significant amount of knowledge quickly, you must study consistently and learn to prioritize assignments. There’s a lot of work to be done in pre-med and medical school, so make sure you schedule your time effectively.
2. Beware Of Online Discussion Boards
Online discussion boards have grown in popularity over the years as individuals from all over the world consult with one another on various subjects through them. While such platforms can be useful, pre-med students should use them cautiously.
As they prepare for medical school, some pre-med undergraduates utilize pre-med discussion sites, such as Pre-med Reddit, as an authoritative source of information. Although this platform appears to be a valuable resource for queries, there are several reasons to refrain from utilizing it.
International Medical Aid, a large non-profit group, gave four reasons why pre-med students shouldn’t use these platforms. Aside from that, they said you should rather trust sources that have been verified and provide reliable content or information.
3. Connect With Mentors
Building relationships and getting support from trusted and successful mentors is a great strategy to accelerate your performance as a pre-med undergraduate. On your route to medical school, a strong mentor can help you gain confidence, expand your knowledge, and improve your networking abilities.
It’s good to note that your mentors don’t have to be physicians or graduate doctors. They also don’t have to be of a specific age. There are various mentors, each with a particular function or purpose. It’s best to consider those who can help you grow and excel in your chosen profession.
4. Gain Medical Experiences
Many medical schools favor applicants with prior medical experience. It can help demonstrate to medical schools your dedication to the field as you invested time and resources in acquiring the necessary experience. While not required by most medical schools, it can help you stay ahead in your undergraduate career.
One way to gain experience is by joining medical mission trips. These trips are important for pre-med undergraduates as it has many benefits. Participating in at least one medical mission can push you out of your comfort zone, allow you to travel, and solidify your goal to become a doctor. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
5. Stay Up To Date With Pre-Medical Events And Announcements
You may spend days researching everything there is to know about pre-med students, medical school applications, and more. But those are the days you wouldn’t want to waste! The medical industry is constantly changing, and you need to keep up to make it easier to comprehend new trends and concepts.
To remain competitive as a pre-med student, staying informed and involved in medical industry-related activities is crucial. This includes joining pre-health groups, attending events, following pre-health advisors on social media platforms, and asking your advisers questions.
Being in the same social circles as knowledgeable individuals is an excellent way to pick up new information without actively seeking it. Engaging with students and leaders in your pre-med community can help you gain a wealth of relevant information.
6. Balance Your Extracurriculars
Obtaining high grades alone may not be sufficient for medical school admission. You may need to participate in extracurricular activities that help advance your level.
Although this might seem like additional work for you, it will benefit you in the long run. This is because participating in pre-med extracurricular activities shows your interest in the healthcare field, which is something that medical schools look into.
It’s best to remember that you shouldn’t let your extracurricular activities overwhelm you. You must understand how they can help you gain knowledge in your chosen specialty. Choose a few extracurricular activities in which you’re interested and participate in them.
7. Keep Track Of Your Journey’s Ups And Downs
Documenting your pre-med journey is a great way to plan your application to medical school ahead of time. Writing will allow you to reflect on your experiences and recall all your emotions during those times. This can help you strengthen your writing abilities and communicate with your interviewers better.
Regardless of where you are in your pre-med undergraduate career, you can start outlining your accomplishments and describing how you felt about them, how much impact they had, and any noteworthy highlights.
8. Have A Strong Support System
Nothing about being a pre-med student is simple. To get into your ideal medical school, you must spend long hours in the library studying, take rigorous classes, and forego some ‘typical college’ activities. On occasion, you may feel frustrated and overloaded.
For this reason, having a solid support system behind you is crucial. When times get rough, it’s important to have friends, family, or colleagues who can support you. Sometimes, all you need to get through the day is a warm embrace and some encouraging words.
As a pre-med student, you must stand out to be recognized by the medical school admissions board. You must have a stellar academic record, a high course load, and an impressive résumé highlighting your volunteer work, leadership roles, and research projects. Your overall academic performance should demonstrate your passion for your field.
Luckily, the tips and ways outlined above can be your key to staying ahead as a pre-med student. Just remember to stay focused on your goals and surround yourself with people who will encourage you to achieve them. And when you eventually become a doctor, looking back on this period will bring a smile to your face.