Steps to becoming a doctor
I got to community college and intend on transferring to UCLA to do biochemistry as my premed degree. How can I make myself a more competitive applicant? #college #doctor #premed #medical #medicine #communitycollege
Good examples would be: intramural sports, cultural clubs, hobby-related clubs. This will allow you to stand out and shows that you're a human being outside of medicine. Obviously you will still need to do shadowing, scribing, healthcare volunteer and/or scientific research as well too.
If your college has teaching opportunities (lab assistant or junior instructor), that would be great as it shows leadership skills in addition to the ability to teach others. As a physician our unwritten duty is to teach our patients but also our staff and the next generation of physicians as well.
With transferring from a community college, you'll have to take a few extra upper level courses (in addition to the usual) to compete with the students that started off at university. This will balance you out in terms of academic competition. For example, premed students, university started or not, always end up taking extra science courses outside of the minimum requirements (biochemistry, zoology, microbiology, pathology, physical chemistry, evolutionary biology, human physiology, etc). You will have to do this in addition to a few more if you took your general science (gen chem, gen bio, gen physics, ochm, psychology, sociology) courses during your years at community college. This is due to those general courses acting as filter courses.
MCAT is obviously a huge factor too, I would recommend taking this after you've at least taken your general premed prereqs during a lighter quarter/semester. Its a hard test that serves only one function -- filter. You have to learn how to take the test as it doesn't test you directly on your knowledge of general sciences. I would def consider a prep book (princeton, examkrackers, kaplan), prep courses not so much unless you learn well in classrooms.
Also, keep in mind that there are other careers in healthcare field outside of medicine such as pharmacy , physical therapy and dental. There are also careers outside of healthcare too. Explore your options and find yourself, thats what college is all about.
If medicine is your way, there are three paths you can take. Domestic MD, Domestic DO or International MD.
Domestic MD is the typical route. Domestic DO is a bit different, same prereqs and everything but a tad bit easier to get in, you learn an extra 200 hours of manual manipulation techniques (PT and chiro stuff) in addition to everything MDs learn, competitive residency (dermatology, plastics) are harder to get into compared to domestic MD but everything else is essentially fair game. International MD is very easy to get in but it is hard to graduate as they have a high fail rate and residencies are harder to get into compared to domestic medical graduates (MD or DO)
Hope this helps,
Dr. Nguyen DO
Pick a major that interests you so you don't mind devoting a majority of your hours to studying. You will need to get good grades in college in order to apply for medical school. At the medical school I attended, the average GPA is reported to be 3.85, so even one or two B's can hurt your chances of acceptance.
Aside from this, any major is acceptable as long as you complete the prerequisite courses.
Try to find opportunities to pursue research.
Volunteer at your local hospital or low-income clinic. Ask physicians, PAs or other clinical providers if you can shadow them.
During college study for and complete the MCAT. Devote an entire summer to studying for the MCAT and consider paying for a prep course if you can afford it.
My son used MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2019-2020: Online + Book + 3 Practice Tests (Kaplan Test Prep) Kaplan Test Prep
It was about $140 and he achieved his goal score.
Apply to medical schools during your last year of college.
Medical school takes 4 years to complete.
After medical school physicians complete a residency for additional training. These can last 3-6 years and are sometimes followed by an additional year or two of fellowship subspecialty training.
Wayne recommends the following next steps:
Wayne recommends the following next steps: