Interested in going to medical school but have no idea where to begin? Don’t panic if you don’t know what to do next, because you’re not alone. Here are a few hints that might help get you on the right path.
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Step 1: Seek out a pre-professional advisor.
UMBC’s Pre-Medical Advisor is Ms. Roelke, who can help anyone struggling to get onto the right path to apply to medical school.
Step 2: Be aware of the course requirements.
You do not need to be a science major to apply to medical school! You do, however, need to fulfill the core requirements in order to be considered a strong applicant for medical schools.
Step 3: Join the Pre-Medical Society!
We are one of the largest student organizations on campus. To get involved, simply attend one of our meetings and add yourself to the listserv to receive weekly updates from our secretary. We have guest speakers come to our meetings frequently, and we provide information on how to strengthen your application to medical school.
Step 4: Mix it up – Don’t forget about the extracurriculars!
Besides the obvious – a strong GPA and a good MCAT score – medical schools like to see that you are involved in other things. Here are a few examples:
Volunteer work: Volunteering is a very important part of your pre-medical career. Medical schools love it! You do not have to do science-related volunteer work if you can’t stand the idea of cleaning up and organizing the hospital stock room. You can assist students at a local elementary school, work with citizens with special needs, or get creative. Visit the Shriver Center for more information. They really do help!
Research: Experience in a research lab looks great on a resume. Even if you think research isn’t something for you it is still great to do because it shows medical schools that you are capable of critical thinking and problem-solving. Visit the websites for the UMBC department of biological sciences or the department of chemistry, and read about the research some of the faculty does. Maybe you’ll find something you’re interested in. It doesn’t hurt to look, and some of these researchers may give you internship credit (or even pay you)! Just email the professors you like to conduct research with.
Shadowing: Follow a doctor or two around for a few weeks. Some of them may even let you see their surgeries! It shows admissions officers that you have seen what it is like to be a doctor and are still interested. If you want a great opportunity to shadow in China click here!
Student organizations: Join another student organization. UMBC offers a variety of student organizations, whether it be a cultural club or a Greek organization. Go out to Involvement Fest at the beginning of each semester and see what interests you.
Get creative: Medical schools will love anything that sets you apart from others. For example, not all of us Pre-Medders are science majors.
Keep in mind that the more effort you put into whatever you are doing, the more you will get out of it.
Step 5: The MCAT. Ugh.
Take an MCAT prep course. This isn’t a mandatory thing but may be very helpful for some depending on your needs. However, this could be a waste of money for others who only need help in certain topics and an entire course wouldn’t be beneficial. You can find some prep courses with Princeton Review, Kaplan, Examkrakers and many more! Pick whatever you feel has most to offer YOU.
Step 6: Apply to medical school.
For more information on the application process, please visit the official pre-professional advising website.
Other Helpful Resources: