Preparing to Apply to Medical School

Wondering if a career as a physician would be a good fit for you? Applying to medical school is a long road and it’s important to make sure that it’s right for you BEFORE you apply.  Here are a few things to think about when deciding if medicine, or any career, is the right one for you:

1. What do you love?

2. What are you good at?

3. What can you be paid for?

4. What does the world need?


Most would agree that a career as a physician comes with a reasonable salary and is definitely something the world needs.  However, is it something that you love and/or would be good at? To figure this out, you should work with pre-health advisors (available at many undergraduate institutions) as well as find a mentor in the field of medicine. Make sure this mentor is someone who has the time to get to really know you and can guide you in the right direction. After you find a mentor or two, it’s good to get involved in a wide range of opportunities that can introduce you to different aspects of healthcare such as research studies, volunteer experience with clinical patients and leadership/advocacy roles.  When choosing what kind of activities to get involved in, it’s important to remember not only to go broad but to also go deep and show how you can make an impact on the activities you are involved in.


As you continue to get to know what interests you, you should also get to know some medical schools.  Each medical school is different so explore your options to find the best fit for you.  You might want to consider whether you like a large research institution or a smaller community program; whether you prefer a curriculum in blocks or different subjects each year; or whether specific joint degree programs are offered that you may want to be a part of. After you have an idea of what kind of medical school you want to attend and you’ve completed your prerequisite courses, it’s time to complete your application.  For your application, you’ll need to work on your personal statement, get letters of recommendation from your mentors and also take the MCAT and turn in transcripts of your grades.


Overall becoming a physician takes a good amount of time, money and effort.  Before you begin this process, it’s worth making sure that this career is a good option for you.  To do that here’s a more in depth video on Preparing to Apply to Medical School from Student Doctor Network and Open Osmosis. This video will help you know what to consider when deciding whether medical school is the right path for you, find out what you will need for your application, and hear what steps you’ll need to take before starting the application process.


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