Your high school years are one of the most important chunks of your early life. They said that these years are when you make lifelong friends, pivotal life decisions, and initial career choices. With that said, it is very important to start figuring out the right path for you as early as high school. And if you’re thinking about getting into med school, then you should really start preparing now.
Why? Because high school prepares you for college, and college prepares you for med school. The decisions you make as early as now would create a chain reaction, where one small move could ultimately lead you to either getting into med school or not. And while this is obviously not the only factor that affects your chances of becoming a doctor, it would certainly help you be on top of at least half of the hundreds of thousands of aspiring doctors each year.
So, What Should Be Your Gameplan?
Collaborate With Your School.
Talk to your high school’s guidance counselor and tell them about your intent regarding going into med school. Ask them about available resources, references, and materials that would help you learn as much about the field as you can at this time.
Get their recommendations about which offered subjects or courses would be possible for you to take. You’ll most likely need to strengthen your knowledge in science courses like biology, chemistry, and physics so, check on your school’s syllabus and see if you can take advanced classes or even extra classes if necessary.
If you think you need extra assistance with school work, you can also ask your school if they know any credible tutoring centers like On Track Learning that could help you get your grades up or higher.
You should also ask them about recommendations regarding top colleges that you can keep your eye on. Also do your own research and see which colleges produce the most number of med school applicants that actually get into med school. Know what requirements those colleges have, research the top 5% or 10% SAT/ ACT scores for those colleges, and do your best to meet them.
Do The Extra Mile.
Since med schools check applicants’ background and character profile, make sure that you do your best to be involved in your community as early as now.
During your breaks or free time, try to participate in volunteer services at your local hospital, care centers, clinics, etc. If you want to show your dedication and passion towards this, you should start showing it as early as high school. This would not only serve as proof that you were exposed to the medical field at such a young age, it would also help you analyze if you do want to become a doctor or not.
Work For It. Literally.
If you’re at the age where you can’t work just yet, try going for certifications like the CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant). If you can work, try getting a part-time job or a summer gig at a health care facility. This way, you can actually start building your resume and experience.
Remember, everyone else who’s applying to med school probably have almost the same level of educational background that you have. What’s going to give you a clear advantage is the level of practical experience and knowledge that only you have. So get as many certifications as you can, and don’t sleep on opportunities that would help you build a stronger profile.
Now, this tip is both an educational and motivational move. If you know anyone who is an actual doctor, check if you can work for them, or ask if they can be your mentor. Get a firsthand account of what it’s really like out there in the field and get a closer look at what your life is going to be once you successfully get into medical school.
What Else Can You Do?
Get ready to bring in your A game. To up your chances of getting into the medical field, you will need to have a high GPA throughout high school. You would also need to do well on tests and standardized exams, which means a lot of hard work and sleepless nights. As I have already implied above, having good grades in high school ups your chances into getting into a good college. Therefore, getting into a good college ups your chances into getting into a better medical school. See how that chain reaction works now?
Ultimately, the biggest factor that would get you ready for med school is, well, you. How you actively condition yourself to stay focused and determined all throughout the long journey is something that only you can do. Whether you’re in high school, college, or whatnot, your internal drive is the most important thing that matters.
So, if I can give you one last piece of advice, it would be to stay motivated, keep on pushing yourself, and always remember why you’re doing all of that in the first place.