How can I start making connections with experienced individuals who are in the same career path that I am interested in?
I'm a senior in high school and I am interested in the medical field, specifically hoping to become a surgeon.
Get other students of the same mind and prepare together for entrance to university.
Seek advice from surgeons around you perhaps in your local hospital.
Meet with medical students and get some past questions.
Get available materials on the net to prepare you ahead.
Join online medical community and attend online programs if available. Don't forget to get a mentor, this will go a long way. All the best dear.
Complete the FAFSA asap! Apply to colleges with great science programs. Apply to scholarships (going merry is one search engine for scholarships that I like).
Select your college in may. Talk to your college advisor or docs/surgeons you know to see which major will serve you best. Work and study hard in college. Like, get all A’s if you can. Apply to med school. Study your butt off there. In all college levels, make friends (or at least make yourself known as a good hardworking honest student) and you’ll be on a great path!
Christine recommends the following next steps:
Networking as everyone has said. Try American medical student association- you can join once you’re a freshman at college. Very helpful.
Right now your best bets are Volunteering locally & joining online groups. Online you can build contacts with like minded people. Look for groups associated with schools.
Volunteering is viewed as very favorable for medical school acceptance. They look at number of hours but also longevity of service. I’d recommend volunteering at your local hospital or hospice. You can do many things & those hours of experience go along way later because you’ll be more familiar with how hospitals work. Log your hours carefully and ensure you have everything signed at the facility. You can print volunteer hours log from online if your school doesn’t have them. Make binder to collect & organize all the items you’ll need such as what you’ve done with organizations you belong to now (sports, honor society etc) & one’s you belong to in college. Those med school applications sneak up on you & it’s suddenly hard to remember every little achievement.
General pre-med advice:
If you’re a senior do your FASFA right now! The money is first come first serve. You’ll need your parents to help. They have to log in their own account after you do yours & they have to enter their info. Set a reoccurring calendar reminder for every Oct 1st. This is the day FASFA opens every year.
Ensure you join at least one extracurricular activity in college. Be active & keep proof of the organizations activities (volunteering, raising money, social justice awareness).
When do you go to your college visit? Plan ahead. Find the groups you want to talk to. Maje an appointment ahead of time with financial aid.
Look into your colleges pre med groups. Alpha Epsilon Delta society & Phi Delta Epsilon Medical fraternity are great places to start. Both are co-Ed.
Look (google) premed boot camps and internships. Pre-med Internships are considered heavily in med school acceptance and give you great opportunities to network. Do your best to do at least one internship every year. Make sure you get a recommendation letter from each one.
Choose your major wisely. Most universities have Biomedical Science majors for premed. Take advantage of the free tutors and writing clinics!
Med schools are obviously very competitive. They look for grades, difficulty of classes taken, undergraduate RESEARCH work, volunteer medical mission work (this ranks surprising high on their wants list).
And of course your MCAT. Being a great test taker & taking more difficult bio med sciences, chemistries and physics before your MCAT is very helpful. And pay for the live review course before you take it. Go twice if you’re able!
Join FASTWEB. Look for scholarships. Work with your parents to fill it out.
Good luck!! The journey to surgeon is a long one but it’s an adventure!! Enjoy!
Here are some of the things you can do to expand your network:
1. LinkedIn - If you haven't done so already, create a linkedIn profile and follow people with similar interests and who are already in your chosen field of career.
2. Leverage your existing network of family and friends and enquire if anyone has connections to people in medical field you can talk to.
3. Next time you are in your doctor's office, talk to your physician and see if you can pick their brain or maybe even talk to some of their friends to get more insider knowledge.
Hope this helps. Best of luck!