Before getting into medical school, students have to excel at pre-med. It is important to stay on track and keep your grades up since they will determine the medical school you will be accepted into. Finding free medicine lectures, studying hard, avoiding bad influences, and researching good study tips can all help you master your courses without too many late-night cram sessions. The following are seven excellent study tips that can help you beef up your medical school application.
Plan Your Course Load Around Your Intended Medical School Reqs
Every medical school has different prerequisite requirements. If you want to get accepted, you need to make sure you complete all of their requirements. Your pre-med school also likely has its own set of standards so you need to make sure you navigate through both of these requirements over four years. If you make a plan from the start of your pre-med career you won’t be scrambling to fit into classes near the end of your career.
Think Outside of Science
While it’s true that science is the backbone of your medical degree, you don’t have to major strictly in a science field to get accepted into a med school. Med schools are aware of the benefits of students who have a varied background, and a liberal arts education can help you stand out among the applicant pool. Therefore, while you need to knock out prereqs like biology and chemistry, don’t be afraid to have some fun with your class choices. Medical schools look at your transcripts, MCAT scores, and extracurriculars when making their decisions.
Don’t Waste Your Time
Steering back to the prereqs, when you fill out your intended pathway for the next four years don’t procrastinate hitting the major classes. A lot of people stick them towards the end of their degree thinking that may help them stay a bit fresher, but this isn’t always the wiser. You can also listen to free medicine lectures to refresh once you get closer to the MCATs. There are a lot of online lecture websites that allow you to listen to a wide variety of free medicine lectures that can give you the upper edge on the MCATs and USMLE Step 1 (the two most difficult exams). If you knock out our prereqs early you can spend your junior and senior semesters taking electives, adding a second major or minor, or even traveling abroad. However, you would need a USMLE Step 1 preparation course to help you pass the exam as it can get really difficult.
Explore Medical Fields
Speaking of not wasting time, you should plan your electives wisely to give you some exposure in the field you hope to specialize in once you reach medical school. For instance, an OB-GYN prospect may want to take some human sexuality or gender studies seminars. A pediatrics prospect might find child psychology to be interesting. If you don’t know what specialty you want yet, listen to a variety of free medicine lectures to see if something resonates with you.
Medical schools heavily lean on your GPA to decide if you are a good match or not. While your transcript matters, it does not matter as much as your GPA. In addition, your science GPA and your overall GPA are considered so you can’t slack off in other classes and expect your science performance to carry you. Make sure you are splitting your study time between all classes and study smart instead of for long periods.
Maintain a Professional Image
In the age of social media, what you do now can follow you for the rest of your life. No one wants a doctor who won a chugging contest at the university frat, and most medical schools don’t either. Make sure to keep your personal life and your social media clean so that the only thing potential medical schools find when they search the internet is a professional image.
Experience Life Outside the Classroom
Finally, out of all these study tips, remember that you are still a person outside of the educational system. Pre-med can be stressful, but you have to take care of yourself to make it through. Don’t be afraid to relax some, and take advantage of opportunities to see medical workers in action by working as a volunteer at your local hospital or a paid worker. This experience also might help pad your resume when it comes time to apply for med school.