The road to medical school is not an easy one. While it may not be quite comparable with actually completing a medical education, it still requires a significant amount of effort and talent. There are not any short cuts available. There are certain steps that every future doctor must undergo before they can even begin to the education necessary to start his or her career. The following is an examination of the path to medical school and some of the best ways to build your resume in order to gain acceptance to the school of your choice.
School: One cannot simply go from high school to medical school. A bachelor’s degree is an absolute must. However, the undergraduate major can vary.
Students with all types of bachelor’s degrees are accepted at medical universities across the country (or world) every year. But this is not to say that all undergraduate majors are created equal – at least not for medical school purposes. Degrees in sciences (specifically biology) will not only look good to an admissions officer, but will also help prepare the student for some of the first year work that is to come. Having a strong understanding of biology and human anatomy will definitely give the student a leg up on the student who comes in a bit more raw compared to the competition. Regardless of the actual degree path that a student is aiming for, if he or she is harboring thoughts of possibly attending med school someday, it cannot be emphasized enough that they should take as many science classes as possible. If the elective choice is between chemistry and physical education, the former will help significantly more for medical college admissions (not to understate the importance of physical education).
Certifications: These are a good way not only to impress an admissions office, but also to perform some rudimentary med school practice. While medical school takes years to complete, certifications for EMTs or CNAs (nursing assistants) can be gained in just a few months. Individuals can obtain these certificates over a summer and work part-time in these fields to both gain a better understanding of medicine and have some dynamite resume building material. In addition to these benefits, these jobs can also help a student figure out if health care is really the right field for them. Every year, medical schools get thousands of applicants who are wowed by the prestige and future income promises of becoming a doctor. Drop-out rates are quite high as a large percentage of students find that they are not a great fit for medical school after all and would prefer to go after different career endeavors.
Standardized Testing: Everybody knows about the MCAT. It is a necessity for applying to any American medical school (and a good score is a boon to any Caribbean medical school application). A good score may not always be an absolute necessity, but it certainly can help differentiate a student from fellow applicants. There are numerous practice courses and tests available – take advantage of them!