Making the decision to go to medical school is one of the most crucial decisions you’ll ever make in your life. You need to know what type of school is the best fit for your goals and what to expect before going to medical school. Continue reading to learn 5 things you must know before you attend medical school.
1. Your major has no effect on your chances of admission into med school.
Many prospective students enter college with no real clue about what they want to do for a living. The truth of the matter is that unless you’ve known what you want to do for some time, you’re not likely to find out in the summer between graduating from high school and beginning college in the fall.
One thing that all students interested in attending medical school should know is that your major doesn’t affect your chances of getting accepted into med school. Even if you started college wanting to be a poet and got a degree in liberal arts or philosophy, you may still be able to get into medical school.
2. It’s better to focus on a few schools you would like to attend than applying to a bunch of them.
When it comes to getting into medical school, “playing the odds” isn’t the best strategy. Some people believe that the more applications you submit, then your yesses or likelihood of getting A yes will increase. However, when applying to medical schools, you should employ the quality of over quantity model.
The key thing is that you don’t want to attend just any medical school—you want to attend the one that’s the best fit for you. Using U.S. News-backed rankings and factors such as prestige and tuition, websites such as ValueColleges.com help prospective students optimize their college search. Value Colleges takes into consideration the experience of current students, the success of past students, and World Report rankings to compile data to aid your decision.
When you can pinpoint the schools that are the best fit for you, then you can concentrate on nailing the application process for those schools. The more fine-tuned your approach to each school is, then the more impressive your resume and applications will look.
3. You will have moments of doubt.
Medical school will be a test the likes of which you’ve never faced in your academic life. When you enter medical school, you will be embarking on a journey of which you can only imagine the rigors.
You will be tested and pushed to your limits on a regular basis, and you will be faced with moments of doubt. In those moments, it will be crucial for you to remember what made you want to become a doctor in the first place. As long as you can remember your “why,” then you’ll be able to find the motivation to keep pushing until you walk the stage to get your degree.
4. Find spaces on and around the campus where you can do self-care.
Becoming a doctor is about promoting health and helping others to achieve wellness. To be an effective healthcare worker, you must be healthy yourself—mentally, physically, and spiritually.
You will need regular reprieves from the pressures that come with excelling in the medical field. Look for places on and off-campus where you can indulge in self-care. Consider taking up yoga or pilates. Join a gym. Find a scenic path where you can go biking. Get weekly massages. Indulge your senses every once in a while! Care for yourself the way you seek to care for others.
5. Medical can be as fun as you allow.
Medical school will teach you a lot more than just how to practice medicine. You will learn a great deal of patience, but you will also learn how to make the most of seemingly fleeting “light” moments.
Don’t get so caught up in studying that you forget to make friends and make memories with your friends. Sharing common struggles with your med school classmates will bring you closer together.
There will be inside jokes that only those who you’ve done labs with will understand. You will make lifelong bonds in medical school that may even help you along the way in your career.