The First Steps To Medical School
You may find yourself reading this because you have already made the decision to go to medical school or, perhaps, this is a path that you are strongly considering.
Our goal is to outline for you what you need to do as a ‘Pre-med student’ to be a well qualified medical school applicant.
In order to do this, we will:
- Provide you with advice on the admissions process
- Introduce you to topics that future medical students may find interesting
- Give you a better picture of what you should expect in the medical field to ensure this is the right profession for you
- Provide you with resources and skills to help you succeed on the MCAT
Let's Start From the Beginning
A few terms have already been thrown around that may not be clear to all, so let's dive right into them.
Pre-med student - an undergraduate (or postbaccalaureate) student who is on the medical school ‘track’.
In most schools, unlike some other Pre-professional school programs, Pre-med is not a major, a minor, nor a type of certification. It is an independent and unique track that you will create for yourself.
You will be taking courses required for medical school, as well as participating in other activities to build a solid resume.
Pre-med activities - include, but are not limited to, volunteering, extracurricular activities, research, etc.
Some schools may have Pre-med counselors to help you formulate a plan, but a lot of the planning and seeking out of opportunities is an independent journey.
As far as academic studies go, to be ‘Pre-med’ does not require any specific major – you are free to major in anything you’d like as long as you complete a particular medical schools’ minimum matriculation requirements.
Minimum Academic Requirements- All medical schools will require both semesters of Introductory/’101’ Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Inorganic Chemistry.
Most medical schools will also require one year of English and half a year/one year of Calculus. Many schools will require other additional courses and should be researched on a per school basis.
However, not all schools are on a semester system, not all undergraduate schools have these courses available, and some medical schools will allow certain classes as substitutes for their requirements. While the classes above are the ‘golden rule’, please make sure you do your own research that is specific to your current academic institution and the medical schools to which you will apply.
That was just a quick overview of the things you'll want to know to get ready to apply to medical school. A more specific discussion of the MCAT to come next!