Medical school isnt’ just an educational program – it’s a way of life. In order to succeed in medical school, a student must be focused and willing to devote themselves fully to the study of medicine. The path to medical school for a high school student is long and hard. Although high school grades and coursework really don’t have a direct impact on medical school admissions, there are things a high school student can do to improve the chances to making it to medical school.
Learn good study habits.
The best thing a high school student can do to improve his or her chances at getting in to medical school is to learn good study habits. Pre-medical majors in college, and medical school itself, require a high level of study discipline. You must be able to focus on the tasks that are assigned to you, even if you don’t find them particularly interesting.
Learn to study a bit everyday. The path to medical school is long and hard. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. You must learn to study a bit everyday, day after day, without too much complaining and a minimum of procrastination.
Go to College.
It doesn’t really matter what college or university you go to if you want to end up in medical school. Any legitimate four year college or university will provide the degree that you need to get in to medical school. Find a college that is a good fit for you and will provide the best educational and personal environment for you to succeed.
There is really no such thing as a “pre-med” major. Any major can be “pre-med” if you take the proper science courses that are required by medical schools. I have a BA in English, with an emphasis in creative writing, and I got in to medical school. BA, BS, English, Biology, whatever, pick what you like in college and do it WELL. It’s far more important to do well at what you choose be major in than it is to pick the “right” major. The “right” major is one that allows you to excel.
Having said all that, there are some classes that are you going to to need for a medical school application. The best way to ensure that you are taking the right science and math courses for a medical school application is to get a copy of the MSAR book from your University bookstore. It’s the Medical School Admissions Requirements book. A new edition is put out every year, and it typically costs less than $25. It’s the Bible of medical school admissions. It has detailed information about every medical school in America, including admission requirements, average GPA, costs, demographics, and a ton of other material. Don’t apply to medical school without it.
Take the MCAT.
Somewhere in the later years of college, you’re going to have to take the MCAT. This is a day long standardized exam that tests your science knowledge and writing skills. It’s the SAT for medical schools (by the way, your SAT score is irrelevant for medical school admissions). You absolutely MUST do well on this exam to have a chance at getting in to med school.
The path to medical school for high school students is long and hard. Although your performance in high school does not directly effect your ability to get in to medical school, it can lay the foundation for your future success. Plan ahead as much as you can. Good luck!