If you are exploring the idea of a future in medicine, then there are several things you need to know before you apply to medical school.
1. Take the Right Classes as an Undergrad
You need to take certain classes as an undergraduate student. You will need at least one year of biology that includes time spent in the lab. You will also need at least one year of inorganic chemistry. You should plan on taking a minimum of eight hours of physics that require lab work. These skills are vital to becoming a doctor, and a large number of admittance-test questions deal with their content. Taking a biochemistry course can help you score better on the test.
You also need at least 24 hours in humanities. Philosophy, religion, communication, art, music, and literature are all possibilities. Some colleges require undergraduate English courses, but regardless, these courses enhance your ability to think critically. Taking a foreign language class broadens your opportunities, and can help you score better on the new test. With recent changes to the MCAT, you also need to take a sociology and psychology class to prove that you are ready to work with all demographics. You may also want to consider taking a medical anthropology or medical history class to understand the history of medicine. Doctors use a lot of math skills in their practice so you will need to take upper-level math courses, like calculus or statistics.
2. Study, Prepare and Take the Eight-hour MCAT
The MCAT is given about 14 times per year at Prometric Testing Centers around the United States. This standard computerized test requires you to prove that you can reason and analyze a variety of situations. You will also be tested on biological and biochemical foundations, chemistry, and foundations of behavior. In order to register for this vital exam that you should take during your junior or senior year, go to the American Medical Association website.
It is essential that you spend at least 12 weeks preparing for the exam. Investing in suitable study materials is crucial for you to be successful. You need to know your strengths and weaknesses so that you can prepare adequately. Most students find it beneficial to take many pretests and to sign up for a study course. You do not want to overlook the importance of this exam to your goal of becoming a doctor.
3. Submit Your Medical School Application
There are more students who want to be doctors than spots available in medical schools. Therefore, you must get your application submitted as early as possible as students are admitted on a rolling basis. A single application allows you to apply to the AMCAS (for MD admissions), TMDSAS (for Texas Medical Schools), AACOMAS (for DO admissions).
Your primary application requires you to submit several different statements that you will want to prepare along with your transcripts and your MCAT scores carefully. You will need to write statements about your most meaningful experiences, challenges that you have overcome, your motivation to become a doctor, and any personal challenges that you have overcome and a person who you have a relationship with who has inspired you. You also will need to submit letters of recommendation.
After your initial application has been accepted, then you will need to complete a secondary application if they are thinking about accepting you. You will need to complete a variety of essays on assigned topics. You will also need to complete a personal interview that usually occurs between September and February of your senior year.
These three tips are just some of the things you need to know to help you get into medical school. Do not overlook any step that it takes to get admitted to medical school. Make sure you polish each step to the best of your ability so that you can get into the school of your dreams.