A career in medicine is rewarding. However, that shouldn’t be your motivation. Your work as a physician is to help patients get better. If you don’t have the passion, you’ll give up. Read through the following steps if you’re serious about medicine and want to help people.
- Take Part in Community Service
A career medicine means that you’ll constantly care for people. Before you begin your journey to becoming a medical student, get acquainted with helping people through volunteer work and community service programs. Apply for community service programs while still in high school. If you already have experience working with communities in your current job, that’s a good start. Being in community service helps you know what it’s like to help people. From there, you’ll be in a better position to decide whether medicine is right for you.
- Get your Pre-Med Qualifications
Med schools require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. Make sure that your course meets all the pre-med requirements. A major in chemistry or biology is the best option. However, there are other options if you have already finished your undergraduate studies. You can apply for a postbaccalaureate premedical program. It will take you one or two years to complete depending on your schedule. Upon completion, you’ll be in a better position to pass the med school entry exams.
- Pass the MCAT
The third and most important step in your journey towards a career in medicine is passing the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Most medical schools consider your grades for this test because it is a good indicator of how well you’ll perform when you get admitted. The test takes 450 minutes to complete. The most favorable score for you to get into a good medical school is 500. An MCAT online course helps to prepare for the tough questions.
- Apply to a Med School
Your MCAT scores may take up to a month to be released. After the results come out, the system will send them to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). Be prepared to send at least 14 different applications to medical schools across the country. That’s because the best medical schools have a low acceptance rate. Since the competition can be stiff, sending applications to multiple medical schools will increase your chances of acceptance. Also, the application procedure may take a while; therefore, it’s best if you begin the application at least one year in advance.
- Go Through Intensive Training and Pass the Licensing Exams
Congratulations if you get accepted into medical school. Now, the real work begins. Your training will include a mix of classroom and practical lessons. Your first two years of med school will focus on theories and classroom teaching. After the two years are over, you’ll take your first licensing examination. The three-part test covers fundamental medical principles. You must pass this exam to proceed. When you get the green light to go to third year, you begin your clinical training through rotations. Those rounds will help you decide which specialty is good for you.
During your fourth year, you’ll choose your specialty. At the end of this year, you’ll do the second licensing examination to test your clinical skills. When you pass those exams, you can apply for residency and learn more about your specialty. At the end of your residency, you’ll do the final licensing examination, which will test your ability to handle patients without any supervision. After you pass, you get your license and finally become a doctor.
The path towards a career in medicine is long and hard. Therefore, you should have the right mindset if you want to make it. Pay attention to what your supervisor tells and shows you. Keep studying and you’ll eventually get there.