You’ve decided to go to medical school, but there’s one thing standing between you and your future career: actually getting into medical school. Being accepted into this type of program is one of the hardest things to accomplish. But there are certain things you need to do if you want to stand out from the crowd during the application process.
The competition surrounding medical school is very fierce, so you’ll need to be at the top of your game. The medical field, despite being a very rewarding profession, isn’t for the faint of heart. You need to be a critical thinker and ready for anything. You also need to be committed, even before you’re accepted into med school. In this article, we’ll be going over what you need to know before getting into medical school.
Don’t Wait Until You Graduate
Newcomers to the medical field often think that they must graduate from college before being eligible to apply. However, something that should be noted is how long the application process takes. That said, applying as early as possible is a great way for you to snag a spot in the school you’re interested in. Since medical school is very competitive, applying at the last minute can lead to you being denied because there’s no space.
Grades Aren’t Everything
Ideally, you want to get the best grades possible. This will show your dedication and are a perfect fit in the medical sector. However, grades aren’t all you need; medical schools gauge their applicants by what kind of person they are. You want to present yourself as a well-rounded person. The admissions committee want to see their applicants take an active part in their career. Here are a few ways to do so:
- Volunteering at hospitals and clinics
- Being a part of internships
- Taking part in an apprenticeship
- Being proactive in your extracurriculars
In addition, you need to show you already have pre-established life skills, like critical thinking and analysis, being a team player, and having good communication skills. You should be an empathetic listener, which is a key skill to providing quality medical care.
Be Prepared for the Costs
Medicine is one of the most expensive sectors you could ever partake in, and for good reason. Because we’re talking about a field where people’s lives are at stake, you’ll need to learn all you can and get as much experience as possible. However, this is typically barred by the cost. The cost of a medical degree varies, however, it’s usually quite expensive. This is on top of the cost of your college degree that you need to earn prior to applying. Despite the price, there are ways around them; you don’t have to go into debt for your education.
If you’re looking to wait until you’re in your master’s program, then you already have an opportunity to think about how you’ll pay back your loans. After you graduate, you can think about refinancing. Taking advantage of NaviRefi student loan refinancing is a way to consolidate all of your educational debt into a lower payment with lower interest rates. Once approved, you can focus on paying off your loan while working in the medical field. Keep in mind that your loans must be in good standing when you apply.
Take the MCAT
MCAT is short for Medical College Admissions Test, and this is a very difficult exam. Having a strong score on this test can show the admissions office that you’re dedicated to your studies. You should familiarize yourself with average MCAT scores for every medical school before you take your test. Before you go into this exam, it’s important for you to know what you’re getting into. A lot of pressure can come from not knowing what’s in store a head of time. If pressure is known for anything, it’s making a task more daunting than it has to be. To start, this exam lasts approximately seven and a half hours. It’s a very detailed exam, so be prepared to spend most of your day at your chosen test site.
There are also over 200 questions that quiz you on various medical subjects, so make sure you study hard. And now, let’s go over what’s most important about the MCAT, which is the grading. The lowest score you can get on this exam is 118, with the max score being 528. The average score for those accepted into medical school is typically 510 +. If you don’t do as well as you’d hoped the first time, don’t worry. You can take this test up to three times in a single year. You’re allowed a total of seven attempts for the MCAT for your lifetime. If you’re wondering if the MCAT is necessary to be accepted into medical school, the answer is yes. It’s the standardized test for medical students, but it’s worth mentioning that there are a few rare exceptions. Some medical schools might not require an MCAT score.