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Pursuing a career in medicine requires a specific type of conviction that spreads roots from childhood. Whether watching medical-themed shows on the television or reading everything you can about medicine, you gravitated around this as a central theme.
Photo by Jonathan Daniels on Unsplash
And now that you are a college-bound individual who has their sights set on becoming a doctor, you likely have a lot of questions and what to excel right from the get-go. If this sounds like you, keep reading for practical tips you can start following now.
Take Your Grades Seriously
As expected, your grades will make or break your future career. You must have heard stories of people toiling away, seeking to perfect their grades. Those aren’t merely legends or lore, but actual stories of individuals who have made it. Hard work is still the only sure-fire way to success. You need to adapt to have 4.0 as your standard. The more consistent you are with your grades, the higher your chances of success. If retaking certain classes that you already excel in means higher grades, go for it and get the grades.
However, you should be wary of your limitations. Burnouts are common. Overzealous students often try to cram their schedules with as many activities as possible, only to realize that as the year progresses, they keep falling behind. Take care when you are devising your study plan. Know your strengths and weaknesses, and your strategy should leverage your strengths to balance out your faults.
Get Some Experienced Help
Every class, subject, or professor has a secret that you do not know. Getting someone to mentor you through this can help. When you’re a freshman, there is nothing called too much help if the help you receive is from a senior, a professor, or a professional; your chances of success multiply.
These are the guys who have walked the same path before you. Being well aware of the pitfalls one should avoid, a good mentor gives you practical tips and pointers such as which class or professor would help you the most.
Start Thinking About The MCAT Now
Eventually, you will have to tackle the MCAT to realize your dream of being in the medical profession. Multiple sources such as preparatory institutions, professors, and medical professionals agree that the earlier you start your preparation, the better. There is nothing called too soon when preparing for the single most crucial exam of your career.
Preparation doesn’t necessarily mean studying right away. However, you should start thinking about the MCAT prerequisites.
Your pre-med advisor should be on deck as your best friend, helping you make informed decisions and plugging holes in your inquiry. Make your groundwork reliable, so when it’s time for the plunge, you have a springboard already made for you.
Rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty is one of the best ways to bridge the gap between the theoretical and the practical. Get into volunteering or associate yourself with medical-related organizations and activities.
Shadowing professionals allows you to understand what awaits you on the other side. Seek out professionals who are willing to let you tag along. Just a few minutes might prove to be more beneficial than hours of classroom and library studies.
Now is the time when you need to start building your network. The connections you make here will probably last a lifetime, helping you along the way. Besides giving you invaluable experience, you gain a preview of what the medical world will be like when you are ready to enter it.
However, circling back to your strengths and weaknesses, do not overdo it. You only go to college once. You likely want time to unwind as well. Cramming the brain will only result in overload with less than desirable results.
Be prudent when choosing activities beyond your curriculum. Have fun while learning, because these first few years are your first steps towards the world you see for yourself.
Staying On Track
College is a time when your life changes. It is the pivot point that will shape your future. Sacrificing everything for the sake of higher grades may have effects contrary to your expectations.
Being a pre-med student will test your organizational skills as well as time management. However, keep in mind that burying yourself in books and pushing yourself to absorb more than you can handle is not how to go about your freshman year. Instead, it should be the time that allows you to get your footing right even if you falter initially.
Thanks this was so helpful! Do you have any tips for pre meds during covid?
I’m really looking to be a doctor and as an aspiring med student this is really helpful! Thanks! Meg – whatmegmeans.wordpress.com
Someone very close to me is studying to become a doctor. I will certainly share this post with him! 🙂