What kind of experiences would you recommend the summer before senior year and the summer before college in order to get ahead for pre-med in college?
I just finished my junior year in high school and I am wondering how I should be proactive this summer. I have heard that internships and volunteering in clinics is very good if you plan to go into pre-med, but I am unsure of how to get myself out there. Both of my parents did not go into anything medical related and my father actually did not attend college, so they do not have much experience with the college process. My biggest questions are how to get into internships and volunteering opportunities as an upcoming senior. #premed #internship #medicine #college
COLLEGE ADMISSION TIMELINE FOR HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS
The college application process can seem intimidating, especially if you don't have parents or siblings who have already been through it and can offer advice. Colleges are looking for students who have not only done well but who have also challenged themselves, as they are more likely to succeed in college-level courses. College Admissions officers also take into account the level of rigor available at a your school.
Before the rigors of senior year kick in, consider using the summer months to visit a few of the schools at the top of your list. Much information can be gained from the institution’s website and online research, but students who visit prospective colleges and universities typically access the best insights – these will be of great help if you receive multiple offers and are faced with tough decisions about which one to accept.
BEFORE YOU TAKE A STEP – One way to get a leg up on all the other applicants is to apply early. It may seem premature to apply for college before your senior year is over, but trust me on this! Pick three dream schools, if you pick three dream schools instead of your one-and-only dream campus, you will be more likely to get into at least one. Once you have an idea of what colleges you’d like to apply to and their submission deadlines, get a big calendar and map out the dates for when each application needs to be submitted. that way you can pace yourself, rather than scrambling last minute over 500,000 word essays due within 24 hours. (Not that I learned this the hard way or anything).
EIGHT STEPS TO THE COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS
STEP 1.) ADVANCED PLACEMENT CLASSES – College is difficult, and Med school is even harder. For a pre-med track in college will need to study biology, chemistry, and physics, take as many challenging AP courses next year as possible. This will help prepare you for the demands of maintaining a high GPA as an undergraduate, which is one of the most important factors for maximizing your chances for acceptance on your your college admissions application.
STEP 2.) IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS – Medicine today also requires physicians to engage with their patients and the healthcare team via various communication avenues. This may include electronic medical record notes, email, social media, and, most important of all, in person. Pre-medical students should become adept at efficiently and clearly communicating verbally and in writing to prepare them for this essential component of current medical practice. If your high school has the option of writing a senior thesis or presenting a capstone project, this can help you work on communication skills as well as learning good research techniques, another important skill for pre-med undergraduates.
STEP 3.) EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES – When medical school admissions committees admit applicants, they are choosing to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into their education. It is a huge investment of time, money, and resources. They must make absolutely sure that you know exactly what they are getting into! They simply cannot risk admitting a student who doesn’t have the highest level of commitment to medicine or who doesn’t have the resilience and perseverance to make it through to the end. To demonstrate your commitment to becoming a physician, you should probably spend some time learning what it’s like to be one! Good extracurricular activities for medical school, therefore, include shadowing doctors, working as a scribe, working at a clinic, or interning at a hospital, among others.
STEP 4.) SEPTEMBER – WRITE A UNIQUE ESSAY – Depending on the number of schools to which a you intend to apply, you could find yourself writing a variety of different essays for each application. While many questions will overlap and text can be shared across essays for different schools, it’s also vitally important to ensure every essay is uniquely tailored to the individual school. you should review the essay prompts as soon as possible and spend some time outlining their answers before sitting down to write. The college admissions process is competitive, admissions officers are faced with stacks of candidate applications to sort through, so it can be an advantage to take steps to make your application stand out. Don't forget to address specific questions asked on your application, and proofread your essay for proper grammar and usage.
STEP 5.) OCTOBER – TAKE THE ACT AND/OR SAT– The standardized entrance exam a student takes is sometimes dependent on their geographic location and the region of prospective schools. The SAT has traditionally been considered the favorite of students who are excel in areas of vocabulary and writing, while the ACT appeals to students who are more analytic and scientific in their reasoning. If possible, students should try to take both in their junior year to get a sense of which exam is a better fit for them. You can't just rely on your high school knowledge, no matter how vast it may be. It takes some time to prepare! Think months, not days. So, plan ahead; score happy. Before you start to study for the SAT, buy an SAT book, flip to the back, and take an SAT practice test cold. See exactly the kind of score you'd get with no study time at all. The score you get is your baseline score. From there, you'll know exactly where you need to improve.
STEP 6.) NOVEMBER – LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATIONS – Admissions officers use letters of recommendation to learn about how other people view you. An impressive letter of recommendation can help remedy any uncertainties an admissions officer may have such as a low ACT or SAT score. Build relationships with the advisers and organization leaders that head up programs with which you're involved. These relationships will help them provide a comprehensive view of your strengths and abilities in their letters. It's also important to ask the right teachers to be your reference, since many applications will require teacher recommendations.
STEP 7.) DECEMBER – ADVANTAGES OF EARLY ADMISSIONS –Early admission is a special admission plan where you'll submit you college applications earlier in the year in exchange for early acceptance in the month of November or December. If you have a high GPA and an excellent student history, you may have a better chance of getting accepted to a selective school if you apply before the flood of applications come in. While the student can benefit, the true beneficiary is the college. By accepting high performing high school students early, they can get students to commit early and fill all of the seats left during the regular admissions period. If you have always dreamed of attending a specific school, filing an early decision plan will show your sincere commitment. You also can eliminate the stress associated with filing multiple applications during your senior year so that you have time to enjoy the activities. If you are rejected from an early decision school, you are still free to apply during the normal application timeline.
STEP 8.) MANAGE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE – Your online personas are really a wild card in the admissions process: the bottom line for you is what you post online likely won’t GET YOU INTO COLLEGE, but it just might KEEP YOU OUT. Checking up on applicants' social media profiles is becoming routine for many admissions offices around the country. Recruiters say social media helps them gain a more comprehensive picture of a candidate than a college application. Depending on how they view what they find, an applicant's web presence can make or break an offer.
Early decision and action plans may not be right for everyone. The exception Logan, you already know for certain your future plans are med school, for you this could be a good approach. Familiarize yourself with the admissions process and the restrictions. If you can make the commitment, early college admission could be right for you.
Hope this was Helpful Logan
John recommends the following next steps:
Yasemin recommends the following next steps:
If it's hard with Covid to get a volunteer position anywhere, one suggestion would be to reach out to current medical professionals to learn more about their jobs. You could use LinkedIn or family friends. While this won't be something to put directly on your resume like volunteer experience, it could help you learn a lot about the field to avoid valuable time later on. Even to learn more about an area you don't want to pursue can be very enlightening. I wish I had learned more about career opportunities by talking with people actually working in those careers when I started college.
Best of luck!
Hope this helps!
volunteer at a hospital or low income clinic
try to become a scribe
obtain EMT license
try to join a research project through your future college; e.g. the Freshman research initiative at University of Texas at Austin