Common Experiences in the Lives of Pre-Med Students
The ultimate goal for pre-medical students is to get past the admission committees and secure a place in their desired medical school. Students in this phase of life undergo several experiences that lay the foundation for a great career. From spending ample time on MCAT training on the weekends to making volunteer activities a part of their routine, pre-med students must make some crucial decisions during this stage of their life.
Listed here are some of the common experiences and critical decision points that go into shaping the attitude, approach, and future of a pre-med student.
- Choosing the right pre-med major
General convention says that biology and chemistry are the most significant majors that can prepare a student for a great career. However, statistics show that only 63% of students with these majors are accepted into medical schools. The admissions committee is not highly influenced by the choice of the pre-med major. This implies that there are no additional points awarded for choosing a difficult pre-med major. While pre-med students are often advised to choose biology-related majors in order to ease their MCAT preparations, students with unrelated majors, like engineering and sociology, have succeeded as well. College is a good time and place to explore one's interests as time may not permit such flexibility later on in life.
- Gaining ample clinical experience
Quite often, pre-medical students are disappointed with their clinical opportunities in a hospital or a physician's office. While their expectations may focus on gaining direct patient experience, their duties are more often limited to managing paperwork, monitoring stock supplies, and delivering meals. This, however, does not make the experience less worthwhile. Spending time in a hospital environment is an experience itself, which mentally prepares the student to thrive in such a demanding environment. As a dedicated pre-med, students must spend their valuable time interacting with nurses, lab technicians, and occupational therapists to understand the bigger picture of healthcare delivery.
- Preparing for the MCAT
Pre-med students' GPA and MCAT scores are the two most important factors that determine their journey into medical school. MCAT preparation becomes a second full-time job into the already-busy life of a pre-med student. Experts recommend taking a MCAT prep course on the weekends to ease the pressure of multitasking during the week.
- Volunteer experience adds value
Community service is yet another box that must be checked by pre-med students despite their overwhelming schedules. Campaigning for public health, tutoring, and working with charities are some of the common practices that pre-med students often opt to participate in to showcase their skills including team building, leadership, and people management. Volunteering to foster community growth is certainly a way to make a medical application stand out.
Choosing the right major, preparing for the MCAT, gaining clinical experience, and volunteering are all activities that define the life of a pre-med student. Due to their hectic schedules, pre-med students must be sufficient at planning and must be dedicated in order to achieve their medical dreams.