Getting Into Med School
Start writing a post

I think the majority of people would agree that being on the pre-med track in college is very challenging. Every time someone hears that I am a biochemistry major on the pre-med track, their eyes widen and only one thing comes out of their mouths: "I'm sorry."

Medical schools are rough with their application process so it's no wonder why students are always stressed and try to do everything they can to liven up their resumes and prepare for the MCAT, resulting in social suicide in college. There is just never enough time in the day to do the things you desire and attend all classes, study, and complete all of the assignments. Here is a little list of things you should do as an undergraduate pre-med student to stay on task and be a successful applicant.

1. Study hard

Everybody knows that med schools prefer 4.0 GPAs and that you basically cannot get below an A- in any of your classes if you want to succeed. Although this is true, you can still allow a little room for mistakes—ones you can crawl back from. It's alright to do poorly on a quiz or two but don't make it a habit. Study hard and study every day. Come up with strategies that work best for you such as index cards or outlines. No one will cut you slack, especially in those tough biology and chemistry courses—so do what you have to do to be the best version of yourself every day.

2. Go to office hours

I'm sure you've heard this a million times (because I sure have) but that's only because this is truly important. Professors have office hours for a reason—they are there to answer all of your questions, but most importantly to get to know you better. When senior year comes around, who do you think will write the most relevant recommendation letters? The best one will most likely come from that one biochemistry professor who has established extraordinary research, written a book or two, and maybe even taught at a med school before. You want to be recognized by THAT professor, and not just as a student who took the course and got an A.

3. Do research 

Experience is key in medicine. Not only is research good for your personal knowledge but having your name out there will give you a better shot in future research positions that may relate more to your exact career. This is where professors' office hours come in handy, too—don't be afraid to ask them if they have room in their lab once you get to know them. Don't be afraid to search through the database of the professors at your school and find the ones whose research you genuinely like. Email them and let them know you're interested because it's very rare that a position will randomly be offered TO you. Most importantly, don't be afraid of rejection; keep trying.

4. Get involved

Getting involved on campus will alleviate your stress, help you find new friends, and allow you to make many connections. Surely, your campus has medical-related clubs and organizations—go out to a few of their general body meetings! You can learn a lot about careers in medicine, volunteer at different places, and maybe even get clinical hours. However, also try to join clubs that have nothing to do with medicine; you need to let loose and just have a good time making friendship bracelets or playing volleyball.

5. Read books

You want to be a sophisticated, intelligent, and empathetic applicant when applying to medical schools. Your vocabulary and memory will improve and expand with more reading, correlating to better writing skills and concentration. Writing those personal essays, resumes, and attending interviews will come with ease if you're constantly improving yourself by reading books, whether they are scientific or are romcoms.

6. Watch lectures/TED Talks

Same point as reading, except you're getting knowledge on interesting topics that will help you in your career and are getting to know people who are famous in the science world.

7. Get certified

Take an EMT class, become CPR or CPT certified—it will help you in your future career in medicine and will look good on applications! Try to find opportunities on campus where these things will get provided for free.

8. Go to advising

Make use of the staff on campus—they're here to help you. If you aren't certain what course you should take next or how to go about your minor, or anything else related to your pre-med track, go to your advisor. Sometimes it's nice and less stressful to have a conversation with somebody who doesn't have anything to do with your grades.

9. Know the MCAT

One of the most important tests in your life, the one that decides your future in medicine—nothing to stress about, right? People go about studying for the MCAT in different ways but I personally think that somewhere in your sophomore year you should begin reviewing your notes from previous biology and chemistry classes. Don't leave all of the studying for the week before your exam; this isn't just another bio exam. Additionally, know exactly what will be on the test—the number of questions, the type of questions, and the amount of time you need to spend on each one. Take as many practice tests as you can in a test environment—keep preparing until you're nauseous.

10. Cry it out

Breakdowns are okay. No one said being pre-med is easy. It's stressful and requires a lot out of you, so if you cannot contain all of your hatred towards that organic chemistry class, cry it out. If you are overwhelmed by all of the studying, cry it out. If you're just having a bad day because your poli sci friends are hanging out without you, cry it out.

11. Have a backup plan

If we're being honest, less than half of medical school applicants actually get into medical school. It's one of the most competitive fields and even if you're really good, there will always be better—not necessarily more intelligent—but somebody with more lab experience, a better story, a higher MCAT score, etc. Don't give up on your dreams but do have a backup job/career that you're interested in. Make sure you can fall back on your major and do something with it if med school doesn't work out.

12. Get rest 

Don't forget to take care of yourself in this long journey—get sleep, stay hydrated, and have fun, because today is the youngest you'll ever be.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

23 Pandemic-Approved Date Ideas That'll Send Sparks Flying From Six Feet Apart

There's a safe way to date right now and yes, it includes masks.

140113

While some people would rather opt out of dating altogether during the pandemic so they don't have to wear a mask on a first date, others are choosing to listen to both guidelines and their heart in order to find love during the time of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Should you be one of the individuals welcoming romance right now, there are pandemic-approved dates you can go on that still adhere to guidelines (and yes, you'll have to wear a mask).

Keep Reading... Show less

I didn't believe the notification when it came through to my phone: Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died from complications due to cancer.

Keep Reading... Show less

In our patriarchal society, men hide from their feelings, but toxic masculinity is literally killing men. They swallow the pain and move on so that they can look, feel, and act "tough."

But, strength is derived from asking for help and voicing your struggle and, trust me, working on your mental health is one hell of a struggle. The real way to "man up" is to acknowledge the downfalls in unjust societal norms. Mental health problems do not mean that a man is weak, they are neurologically-based disorders that require professional treatment.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

11 Things Your Boyfriend Should Do Before He Drops $499 On A PS5

Let's start with spending less time gaming and more time with you.

7736

Scrolling through Twitter this week had me rolling on the floor laughing as I read some of the hilarious tweets from ladies who, whether in a relationship or not, shared reactions to the news that PlayStation 5 is on its way

As this "buy your boyfriend a PS5" joke takes off across the internet, let's just say, there are a few things your BF should be doing before dropping $499 on the new gaming system — or, if the tweets are real for some, before you buy it for him as a gift.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Sorry, But 'I Don’t Care About Politics' Is Not A Valid Excuse For NOT Voting

The younger generation of voters is so crucial to the upcoming election because our vote is going to shape the world that we are about to enter as adults.

30539

When I ask my friends if they are voting this term most of them respond with "no" followed by an explanation of "I don't care enough," "It doesn't affect me," or "I don't keep up with politics," etc. I get it, as a college student I know that there are many other things to be concerned about like school, relationships, work, and friends. I also understand that keeping up with politics can seem like trying to keep up with an over-exaggerated reality show that has way too many seasons. Not to mention most news stations and websites are biased so it's hard to decipher if what you hear is true or fake.

However, despite all of this annoyance, as the next generation of Americans, we have to remember that we owe it to ourselves, our families, and to our futures to care.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tasia Sli

Tasia Sli and Anna Yang met in quintessential New York fashion at a chic rooftop event, inquisitive Yale grad Anna gravitating towards model/entrepreneur Tasia.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Anna Hernández-Buces

"Do you have big parties on Cinco de Mayo?"

Keep Reading... Show less

Two of my favorite things in life are reading and books. Obviously, they go hand-in-hand. In my life, I've realized that there is nothing better than learning about the current world or getting fully immersed in another world. Reading can inspire, teach, and entertain you.

For me, the feeling of opening a book and smelling that fresh book smell can't compete with anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less

Expecting mother and wife to singer/songwriter John Legend may have accidentally slipped up and revealed the gender of her and Legend's third baby today on her Instagram story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

20 Books About Latin And Hispanic Heritage Absolutely Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf

Any ally of the community needs to be reading these incredible reads.

9729

I go through phases when it comes to what I like to read. I am typically reading two books at any given time: one serious nonfiction and one escapist fiction novel to have on hand and open up depending on my mood.

What remains consistent, however, amongst most of my fellow bibliophiles is a desire to try new and different authors and genres. I, as an Indian woman, have been partial to reading books written by fellow Indian and Desi writers since I first got a library card.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Asked 46 Women What They Thought About The Term 'Plus-Size', And Here's What They Had To Say

It's 2020, where change is inevitable and norms are not only questioned, but challenged.

5131

We live in a world where it's become customary to push boundaries, break rules, and question standards upheld by society. Though try as we might, some of these standards are harder to conquer than others — body image is one of the top contenders.

For years, the body positivity movement has pushed for the acceptance of all marginalized body types not represented or celebrated in the media. Recently, we've gotten better at appreciating and accepting all body types, but one thing that's still lingering is the stigma of body image in the fashion industry — more specifically, the term "plus-size."

Keep Reading... Show less
Netflix

Many popular TV shows are holding off premiers until spring, so most people are relying on their television subscriptions to get them through a socially distant fall semester.

Thankfully, Netflix was busy filming this past year because there is a ton of new original content coming in the near future. From mysteries to romances, here are some of the best new shows you have to check out this year:

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Taylor Swift Sang 'betty' At The ACMs And It Was The Perfect First Live 'folklore' Performance

I guarantee that Inez is spreading rumors about how fire this performance was.

4228
CBS

The Academy of Country Music Awards were last night and the performances were wonderful, but Taylor Swift's live version of "betty" from her newest album "folklore" really took the cake for me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Reasons I Unfollowed All The Fitness Influencers On My Instagram Feed

I don't need to feel bad about myself because of who I follow on social media.

2842

Throughout quarantine, something that a lot of us picked up on was working out. With all the free time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to work on that "dream bod" you've been wanting for years, or to just feel good about yourself.

A common way to stay motivated and keep yourself on-task is to follow fitness influencers on various platforms. For some people, yes, this can be a healthy and helpful way to keep your drive. In other cases, however, this can do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments