Most students know at a very young age that they want to become doctors. No matter what type of doctor you want to be, however, you must attend medical school to earn your MD title. But as many may already know, there is keen competition among medical school applicants. To increase your chances of acceptance, there are several things you can do as an undergraduate aside from making high marks in all your classes. Continue reading below to find out what these things are.
The first thing that needs to be said is that contrary to popular belief, you do not have to major as pre-med student in order to be accepted into medical school. In fact, some schools don’t even offer pre-med as a real major. As long as you take all the pre-requisite courses as electives, you should be ok. With that said, you can pursue any major that interests you. This is because medical school admission officers are known to accept all majors, including fashion design and business majors. Why? Because admission officers are looking for applicants that not only excel in the sciences, but who are also very personable and knowledgeable about other industries—a trait that every great doctor needs to possess.
But if you have already decided you want to pursue medical school and you want to study a subject that is not directly related to the medical field, you should immediately investigate your medical school of choice and its pre-requisite courses as early as possible ( preferably during your very first semester of college). This is so you can properly fit in your pre-requisite classes into your schedule and so that you can meet all medical school application deadlines. With that said, while individual medical school prerequisite courses may vary, you can usually expect the following: one year of biology with laboratory: one year of organic chemistry with laboratory; one year of organic chemistry with laboratory ; one year of physics; one year of English; one semester of calculus; one semester of biochemistry; and one semester of anatomy.
It’s also a good idea to get involved in extracurricular actives on campus to display your leadership and social skills. You don’t necessarily have to join a medical or science-related organization, but it can be very beneficial to show admission officers your dedicated and interest in the field. The last and most important feat to tackle is to prepare for your MCAT. It is extremely important to get a high score in this vital exam which will test your knowledge in the sciences and verbal and writing skills. Experts suggest taking your MCAT near the end of your junior year. Be aware that the MCAT is only administered twice a year: once in April and once in August. So schedule appropriately.