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How to become a medical student

For some, becoming a medical student is a life long dream; for others, it is an interest they develop while in college, or even after a long career. Of course becoming a medical student is only the first step in a path toward becoming a physician.
Medical Students

 Most medical students can easily explain why they made the decision to become a doctor, and for most, part of that decision is their desire to help others. In essence, a love of science and of people led them to where they are today.

If you are a high school student, although quite tempting not to, try your best to listen to your parents advice. This means studying hard, doing well in all of your classes, and staying focused on your academic goals. Keep in mind that doing well in high school will help you get into a good college, which will prepare you for medical school.

If you are a college student, you can either major in a biology degree or in a non-biology degree. It doesn’t matter except that a non-biology degree will give you exposure and more expertise in another field that interests you,  while a biology degree will better prepare you for medical school because of the required in depth study of biology and its related topics. Some choose to double major. The decision is ultimately yours. Biology and non-biology majors do equally well while in medical school, and as physicians.

Finally, stay active while in college and include activities in your portfolio that will best prepare you for medical school. Participate in extracurricular activities and volunteer work that allow you to share your blessings with others. Spend time with clinicians in shelters, hospitals, hospices, etc. to get exposure to people who are sick (can you work with sick people, can you stand the sight of blood, are you a compassionate person?) Check out the medical school in your town and see if they have programs for undergraduate students such as yourself.  Seek out opportunities to accompany or shadow physicians and other health care workers. Do research and publish your work, even if it is just an abstract submission to a conference. Get good letters of recommendations by getting to know your professors. Get involved in your community. Balance your academics, extracurricular activities, and research so that you can acquire a respectable GPA.  Be serious when you study for and take the MCAT. Finally, make sure someone in the medical field helps you with your application to medical school and the interview process.

Please share any advice you have for future medical students in the comments section below.

This is part of a series on applying to medical school.


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