Years of commitment, planning, diligence, consistency, fortitude, patience, and a great deal of effort is what it takes to prepare for pre-med in high school.
The path to becoming a doctor is a marathon, not a sprint, as someone once said. Before you may enroll in medical school in the US, you must first get a bachelor’s degree and complete a pre-med (also known as pre-medical) course (after clearing the MCAT).
We’ll talk about ways to get ready for pre-med while you’re still in high school in this article.
What Is A Pre-Med?
Pre-med is a track rather than a major. As long as both your major requirements and requirements for medical school are accomplished by graduation, you are free to choose your major.
An extremely common and very competitive profession choice is medicine. You must go to medical school and finish a residency to become a doctor, in addition to overcoming challenging undergraduate academic requirements.
Tips For High School Students While Preparing For Pre-Med
Building a pre-med profile doesn’t have to wait till you are through with high school. Showing undergraduate admissions officers your enthusiasm for medicine and your career goals now will help you stand out as a candidate.
For high school students preparing for pre-med, consider the following advice:
- Start Early
It’s not too early to consider pre-medicine in high school. The rationale is that medical schools will be seeking applicants with a clear commitment to medicine because getting accepted into medical school is notoriously tough.
Academic preparation, job exploration, participation in summer bioscience or medical program, and the development of a comprehensive profile are all options. These preparations will not only assist you in determining whether a future in medicine is the best fit for you, but they will also look fantastic on your high school CV and result in favorable answers from the universities to which you apply.
When you start college, you want to be well-prepared for pre-med and have already started acquiring the information and abilities required to be an excellent pre-med student.
- Take Classes to Prepare for Pre-Med
Although some allow AP credits earned in high school to meet some entrance requirements, med schools won’t look at your high school grades when they assess your application. However, colleges will, so you shouldn’t slack off in high school.
If you want to specialize in medicine, take the college course instead of the AP credit. In addition to improving your pre-med admissions application, this college-level course will get you ready for the MCAT and medical school courses.
It’s crucial to perform well in your high school courses. Your best institutions’ pre-med programs will accept you, and it will also help you develop the discipline and knowledge required to succeed in college when your grades truly do count for medical school. It will be much simpler to achieve high marks in college if you have a history of doing well in high school.
- Gather Real-world Experiences
The ability to set up, conduct, and analyze research or experiments is something you will learn through lab work, which is crucial and, dare I say, necessary. Additionally, this will be useful for entrance exams like the MCAT. In addition, it will be very beneficial for you if you can fit in courses in biochemistry, biotechnology, human physiology, etc.
The most spectacular research is done by students in university labs, but accessing these facilities as a high school student is difficult. Even doing our research at your high school is amazing if you can’t find research at a lab.
Becoming a doctor’s or physician’s assistant
By shadowing a working doctor, you can have a clear understanding of what it’s like to be one. Because of this, there are minimal requirements for shadowing hours at many medical schools in North America. This can vary greatly amongst schools; some ask for 12–24 hours, while others ask for more than 75.
There are several schools (especially in Canada) that don’t demand any shadowing time. Some institutions assert that, regardless of shadowing requirements, applicants might become more competitive during the admissions process by gaining experience.
Usually, you’ll have to set up possibilities for shadowing yourself. Half-day or full-day sessions can be scheduled for shadowing (typically from four to eight hours). It might be scheduled for a single event or spread out across several days.
- Attend summer programs and boot camps in medicine and bioscience.
You will get the chance to work with medical professionals as well as gain exposure to the field of medicine through these programs. Medical summer programs for high school students provide opportunities for education both within and outside of the classroom. Many offer practical lab instruction.
Students can learn more about the medical sector through summer programs offered by universities. For high school students, several hospitals also provide summer internships or research opportunities.
If you’re considering summer medical programs, think about who will be instructing the courses and whether there will be chances for you to work in a lab or perhaps conduct your research.
- Build Essential Skills
Apart from looking at your GPA, pre-med and medical programs do require certain skill sets. Make sure the institute is aware of your strengths and skill sets that you can contribute if you want to come off as a good applicant.
The field of healthcare itself is fairly diverse. People in the sector are expected to possess a variety of skills at different levels. Therefore, be careful to conduct adequate study and demonstrate the skills required at the level of your choice.
- Participate in Volunteering
Volunteering in a hospital is the best extracurricular activity to engage in if you want to get ready for pre-med. Students who have been devoted to the study of medicine for several years are what medical schools are seeking.
You might not personally provide any medical care while volunteering. But because you’ll be in a hospital and dealing with people, it’ll offer you the clearest understanding of what being a doctor is like. This will allow you to see doctors and other medical professionals to learn more about medicine.
Volunteering at a nearby hospital, private clinic, diagnostic facility, or just about any other place where people are in need is one of the simplest and most popular methods to demonstrate this interest.
- Try to get the best SAT/ACT score you can
It would be a good idea to begin your preparations early and finish the SAT/ACT as soon as you can. That would provide you with some extra time in the future.
The key to passing these standardized tests is simply understanding the tactics and repeatedly using them. While some students understand the techniques quickly, others take longer.
Skills And Knowledge Needed To Prepare For Pre-Med In High School
Excelling in pre-medicine can help you impress medical schools when the time comes to apply and convince them that you are an excellent prospect. You should therefore consider how to be a strong pre-med candidate as well as a strong candidate for medical school when you are still in high school.
The following are skills and knowledge needed to prepare for pre-med in high school;
- Social and behavioral characteristics
- Communication and professionalism
- Talents in mathematics, integration, and conceptual thinking
- Possibility for academic excellence life experiences
- Getting ready for classes in college
- Gaining practical experience in medical school
- Displaying character traits that medical students and professionals find appealing
Suggested Subjects To Prepare For Pre-Med While In High School
- World History
- American Literature
- French/Spanish/Arabic I
Tips And Techniques For Pre-Med Subject Combination In High School
- Utilize AP, IB, and advanced courses to build a solid academic foundation.
Since you’ll be taking numerous biology and chemistry classes in college, taking AP Biology and/or AP Chemistry is among your best options. Since almost all medical schools have a physics prerequisite as well, AP Physics is also helpful.
- To be a competitive applicant, try to take six to eight AP classes: The majority of students enroll in 3 AP courses in both their junior and senior years. But if you’re truly up for the challenge, go ahead and take four in a single year.
- Make sure you enroll in all three science courses: biology, chemistry, and physics.
Do you have any plans to attend medical school soon? Do you want to know what you can do right away to get ready and improve your chances of getting accepted? It’s never too early to consider your job goals and make plans for how to get there.
This is why we have provided information on how to get ready for pre-med while still in high school.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Should I Study In Preparation For Medical School?
- Pre-med route programs frequently cover topics in general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and biology. Additionally, advanced pre-Masters cover subjects like anatomy. Math classes are also included in more specialized specializations.
Which Pre-Med Course Is The Simplest?
- Physical science majors account for 8.83% of all applicants and have a higher-than-average acceptance rate of 47.8%. This makes physical sciences your best pre-med option if you’re interested in those fields.
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