Medical school is highly competitive, so if you know that you want to pursue a career in medicine, beginning to prepare in high school will put you at an advantage over the rest of your peers. Early preparation can consist of focusing your high school education in the sciences, while also working or volunteering part-time among medical professionals. Tutoring and test prep can also help prepare high school students for pursuing med school by raising test scores.
Considering these different options and choosing what preparation works best for you will not only help you get into medical school when the time comes, but it will also help you succeed once you’re in.
1. Take advantage of tutoring and test-prep services.
Excelling in standardized tests is a key factor for high school students interested in attending medical school. Doing well on the ACT and SAT will ensure admission to a competitive university with a recognized pre-med program. Since everyone’s study habits are different, test preparation varies among students. However, tutors are a smart investment as they can provide a significant amount of help and advice regarding test prep. Since standardized exams are essentially a skills test, a tutor can provide advice and training materials that can dramatically increase test scores.
Students in the New York area can search for a professional tutor at www.zinc.nyc. Zinc tutors allow students to work at their own pace while developing a strong skill set to conquer the ACT and SAT. For students who are seriously contemplating medical school and want to have an advantage over their competition, Zinc is an excellent opportunity to increase performance on exams.
2. Take relevant courses.
Most high schools offer a variety of scientific and mathematic courses, so any student who is interested in a medical career should take advantage of these courses. School guidance counselors will likely be able to provide a list of relevant courses that pre-med students should take during their undergraduate career, so getting ahead of these courses in high school will put you at an advantage and help prepare you for topics that will likely reappear in medical school.
Advanced Placement (AP) science courses are also highly recommended for students who are interested in pursuing a medical career. Not only do AP courses challenge students, but they put students at an advantage when applying to college. Students who do exceptionally well in their AP courses will likely receive college credit, allowing them to take advantage of pre-med programs by surpassing basic courses and diving into more challenging ones.
High school students can also take an online course in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) certification. By receiving an ACLS certification, high schoolers will increase their advantage over other applicants while also gaining valuable medical knowledge. After receiving the initial ACLS certification, students can take future courses in ACLS recertification if their medical career requires them to do so.
3. Gain experience in the medical field.
Shadowing doctors and volunteering at a local hospital is a great way to gain experience in the medical field. This step allows high school students to see firsthand what it is like to work among medical professionals. There are also plenty of volunteer opportunities through the American Heart Association, which include working at AHA fundraisers as well as taking and sharing courses in CPR. Involvement with the AHA will expose students to important aspects of the medical field and will provide plenty of learning opportunities.
4. Receive an EMT/Paramedic certification.
Receiving an emergency medical technician certification in high school allows students to begin their medical careers upon graduation. Serving in these fields requires students to have CPR certification and ACLS training. Gaining experience as an EMT or paramedic can be beneficial for students interested in pursuing med school by providing extensive exposure to the medical field.
5. Research undergraduate institutions with pre-med options.
Since high school students can’t matriculate directly into medical school, it is important to attend an undergraduate university with a strong pre-med program. By researching and visiting various universities, students can assess which programs will best meet their needs and help them achieve their goal of attending medical school.