If you believe you have the passion and ambition to succeed in a medical career, here are 12 tips on how to prepare for this important life goal.
Get an insight
Studying medicine is no walk in the park. To get a proper insight into what it’s really like, speak to current students, medical professionals and guidance counsellors.
Find the right path
The medical field is wide and varied. There will be specialisms that you will be familiar with, like surgery and primary care, and others that you may know less about like ophthalmology. It’s a good idea to do your research on all your possible career paths, so that you have a good idea of where you want to end up.
Find out how you can qualify
You should read college advice for future doctors in order to establish what educational path you must take before you can qualify. Generally, medical students will complete an undergraduate degree and four years in medical school. They must also complete several years of residency training before they are fully qualified. There are other routes, however, so do your research.
You will want to enroll in the best institution that you possibly can. But this will depend on your location, financial situation, educational background and many other factors. Do your research to find the best colleges and schools for you.
Be prepared to study (hard!)
You will need excellent grades in order to be granted admission on to a medical undergraduate course and into med school. You should get into the habit of studying hard as soon as possible.
Be prepared for the studying to continue
Medicine is a serious course, and so you must be prepared to work hard for the duration of your educational career. There is a huge amount of reading to be done, lectures to attend and tests to ace.
Keep in the know
The field of medicine is always changing. It is a good idea before and throughout your medical education to keep up to date with new developments. There are a number of journals, books and websites that will help with this.
Try to get some experience
Medically-related experience will look great on your application, so try to seek out some volunteer positions. Even helping an unwell relative or friend will show drive and passion.
Source good references
Ask teachers, employers and others who know you and your strengths well to provide character references for your application.
Start your application early
The application forms can require a lot of work, so do start on them as early as you can so that you have ample time to organize everything you need.
Prepare well for your interview
Interviews for places on medical academic programs can be difficult and competitive and it’s not always easy to know what to expect. Speak to current medical students and guidance counsellors for help and practice your presentation with friends and family.
If you have the drive and ambition, you will get there. If you experience a setback, take a deep breath, pick yourself up and carry on towards your ultimate goal.