Tips for Success as a Premed
So you want to be a doctor....why? You have 3 - 4 years to come up with an answer to this question and ground your desire through experiences and coursework. Answering this question is the key to your medical school application.
Create your own personal 3-5 year timeline on getting to medical school including academic and experiences. This may differ from another student's plan and that's ok...in fact that's what you want.
Gather a variety of activities and experiences...service, leadership, fun, research, study abroad...a keep a journal of all activities. Include reflection. Journal about your experiences along the way. This way you can find threads and make connections between activities. This is where a premed advisor or consultant can be of assistance to you. Newport can help you weave all of these threads into a comprehensive application that speaks to your strengths and highlights your unique qualifications and talents.
Get to know 1-2 faculty each semester. You need +/- 5 recommendations (including 2 science faculty) by the time you apply so start collecting names early. Plus, if you apply for summer research, internships or competitive programs you will need recommendations even easier so don't delay. Make connections now!
Form a study group. Each semester assemble a study group that will meet regularly to review material and study for exams. Many universities have formal centers that coordinate study groups while others leave it up to the professor, TAs, department or to individual students. Studying alone will not give you the best overall comprehension of the material. If you have mastered the material, teach others. This will prove if you really know your stuff. Now you can become a study mentor/TA yourself. (looks great on the application too!).
Visit the Career Center. The Career Center has many resources that you can take advantage of right now! Internship and work databases. Resume help. Interview practice assistance. Recommendation services.
Learn about the 15 Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students and start gathering these qualities through academics, service, work and research opportunities. Some competencies will be acquired through coursework (quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, written communication), while others through your research or clinical work (scientific inquiry, teamwork, dependability, ethical responsibility) and still others through perhaps your extracurricular, study abroad or service (cultural competence, adaptability, reliability, service). How you incorporate these qualities into your premed path is unique to you and should be embraced. Be you and the rest will follow.
Manage your stress. Be yourself. Don't give up what makes you happy, healthy and balanced. Keep playing the guitar. Keep dancing. Keep writing. Keep reading.
Suggestions and Helpful Links For Premeds
Refer to AAMC Core Competenies for Entering Medical School Students
How long are my MCAT scores good for? Medical School policies for accepting old vs. new MCAT scores
Read, Read, Read, 24+ Most Widely Read Journals in Healthcare
Like AAMC Premed on Facebook
Attend a Premed Conference
Follow Newport BLOG for current health articles