Planning Ahead For a Career in Medicine

July 16, 2013

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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If you’ve discovered your passion for medicine while you are still in high school, now is the time to start preparing for it. Starting early will give you that all important head start as you go up against thousands of other students all hoping to get admission into medical school.

So where do you begin?

Choose Your Courses Carefully 

A good place to start is by taking AP courses, especially in the sciences. This will help you to discover if you are going to enjoy studying Biology and Chemistry to such an extreme level. Also, if you do exceptionally well in these pre-college academics, you could get the opportunity to go straight into advanced science courses in several college programs. Find out what the ideal academic program is and plan your high school and graduate courses to fulfill those requirements.

A Gap Medics mentor explaining a procedure whilst treating a patient.  

Explore The Medical School Scene And Scope Out Potential College Majors

Every year, far too many students apply to far too few seats in medical school, so getting admission can be tough. To increase your chances, start researching the different medical schools and check admission requirements and formalities as early as possible – while you are still in high school if you can. Set up a meeting with the admissions officer and get advice on which college majors will help you to succeed in getting admission into a pre-med program.

Don’t limit yourself in your choice of medical schools at this stage. Find out all you can about the admission requirements in several different schools. Every medical school will have different evaluation criteria and you never know where you may strike a chord. 


Seek Out Work Experience in the US 

In the medical profession, practical experience ranks as highly as theoretical knowledge. Interview officers are usually intrigued when they see an application with practical work experience mentioned, and they will want to call you in for the interview to know some more about your experience.

GapMedics students on their hospital work experience placement in Tanzania

Look for opportunities to get work experience in the field by scoring a summer job with your family physician or through volunteer work at a local hospital. Not only could this experience help you get into medical school but it will also help you decide if a college degree program related to medicine is really for you.


Seek Out Work Experience Abroad

With a slew of legalities, other formalities and red tape, you will more likely than not find that it is almost impossible to get an opportunity to gain work experience in the US that is going to truly benefit you. Don’t give up though. There are several placement organizations that can help you get work experience abroad. The medical exposure you get on a foreign placement in a developing country beats any work experience you can hope to get back home. Not only will it help you reaffirm your passion for medicine but it will also add valuable brownie points to your medical school application.