The medical profession demands a lot more years in school than the average career, and medical schools don’t let just anyone into their ranks. This is especially true of the big schools whose names alone can get you hired to the hospital of your choice, and they look for more than just a perfect MCAT score when they’re deciding whom to let in and whom to put on the endless waiting list.
So if you’re planning on an educational path that ends with med school, or if you’re helping your child plan for a future in the field of medicine, here are three steps that can improve the odds of getting accepted by a medical school.
1. Do Lots Of Volunteer Work
Volunteer work shows both the ability to work with others in a professional setting and a dedication to a cause that goes beyond money. It’s also a way to get a head start on learning the ins and outs of the medical profession. Volunteering can begin during high school, and good places to volunteer include free clinics, hospices, and hospitals. Even if you’re only allowed to wash dishes at first, medical schools will take note of your dedication and work ethic.
2. Don’t Stress Over The Premed Choice
Once you get to the internship and residency point in your career, your med school choice will be the only one that matters, and the med schools don’t care too much about where you are for your undergraduate years, either. In fact, recent revisions in the MCAT have made it easier for unconventional college students to get a good score, and the field of medicine in general has been looking for new physicians from more diverse backgrounds.
As such, you should look for a premed college which has all the prerequisites you need and which will let you get the stellar grades the top medical schools like to see. You don’t even need to major in biology or chemistry unless you want to. Also, don’t take on a class load so heavy that you have to stop volunteering.
3. Get Organized Before The Final Stretch
When the time comes to start the process of applying to med schools, you should already have a plan for what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it. Find a good premed advisor and take MCAT preparation courses and practice tests. Write at least two entrance essays, and remember that the entrance committee has read thousands of “perfect” essays and prefer a unique voice to empty flattery. And most important of all, schedule yourself some personal time so you won’t burn out at the worst possible moment.
Later, once you’re at the point where you’re looking for a good teaching hospital or clinic, try to find one which uses professional scribes to help with the paperwork. ProScribe and our sister services offer medical administrative assistants who can fill out insurance forms, type up prescription records, transcribe test results, and otherwise deal with the busywork of medicine so that physicians and interns alike can spend their time on their patients. Scribes can increase productivity and profits, increase job satisfaction, and decrease burnout rates no matter where they’re placed.