Getting into med school is hard, and if you have been paying attention for the past few years, you will notice that it has apparently been getting harder.
Since the past few years, the acceptance rate of med schools has been falling to a new level every admission cycle. As more people apply to med schools, there is only a certain number that are accepted each year. This leaves hundreds of aspiring medical students being forced to either re-apply in the next cycle or to give up their dream of becoming a doctor.
So, what can you do to avoid a similar fate? What are the things that will get you accepted into the top med schools?
We asked med students from the best medical institutes around the US what they would do in their pre-med years that helped them get to where they are today. Here is what they had to say when we asked them about how to get into med school.
Get to know the journey ahead
The most popular advice that med students had for pre-meds was to truly understand what they were signing up for by applying to med school. This includes finding answers to questions like how long is medical school as well as what lies beyond graduation.
Getting to know the medical education pathway is essential because it guides you if you are really up for the journey or not. With the increasing drop-out ratio from med schools, it has become quite a concern for medical school acceptance committees. Knowing what lies ahead and having a plan for the future will heavily play in your favor during med school interviews.
Figure out reasons to embark on this journey
Once you know the road to become a doctor, you must evaluate yourself for the challenges of the journey. For this, you need to look into what drives you.
It is quite common to start to burn out and feel like quitting during med school. At multiple points during this journey, you will want to give in and drop the hat. Remembering your reasons for taking up this challenging degree is the one thing that will help you stay motivated in these moments.
Besides, “Why do you want to be a doctor?” is also one of the most common questions that you will hear during your med school interviews. It is important that you have a clear and honest answer to that question.
Get research and clinical experience
Having research or clinical experience is not only a big plus point when you are trying to get into med school, it also gives you an edge over your peers as a medical student. These are the projects that you will be expected to take part in regularly during your life in med school and beyond. Having a taste of it already will give you a headstart as opposed to those without these experiences starting from square one.
Get used to studying
If you have looked into the medical education pathway, you will know the amount of studying that is involved in becoming a doctor. One of the best pieces of advice you can receive as a pre-med student is to start working on a study routine now.
As you get accepted into med school and start your first year, you soon realize that this is not like studying for your pre-med years. And with the sheer amount of syllabus that needs to be covered, it’s not long before you are left struggling to keep up. To make the transition from pre-med to medical student easier on yourself, ease yourself into a studying routine fit for a med student. Doing this will also boost your pre-med GPA and make it much easier for you to get into med school.
Prepare the perfect application
Finally, after adding everything to your application, it’s time to actually fill those forms. While preparing the perfect application, always double check that if you are meeting all the prerequisites or not.
You will be surprised to know exactly how many med school applications are thrown out every year because they are incomplete. Check twice if it follows all the guidelines mentioned in the process, and be absolutely sure that you are not leaving anything.
The Final Word
A medical student’s journey is a long and arduous one, and it requires you to have a clear vision of the future before you embark on it. These five points will not only increase your chances of getting into the medical school of your choice, but also help you in planning your life post graduation.