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What should I do if I want to stand out as a Pre-Med Student?

I want to be a doctor and get into a good meed school but I want to stand out in my applications

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Subject: Career question for you

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Sushanta’s Answer

1. Strive to uphold an impressive GPA in your ongoing classes, aiming for a score of 3.8 or higher out of 4.
2. Seize every opportunity you can to volunteer, as it will enrich your experiences.
3. Keep an eye towards completing the requirements of CAT exam.

Best of luck!

.... Sushanta
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Alex’s Answer

Good question - a number of my friends are now in med school or on their way out of med school.

One thing they all share in common is a serious work ethic and great grades. This is pretty baseline for getting into medical school these days. Make sure you buckle down and get good grades even if that means enlisting the help of other students to help study or getting a tutor. Getting a good score on the MCAT will help tremendously, it doesn't guarantee anything but it is a huge help. Test taking doesn't come naturally to lots of people (myself included), but studying a lot and with the help of a tutor can really improve your chances and put you in a great position to do well on the test.

Apply to lots of medical schools. There are SO many GREAT medical schools in the United States. Apply to a lot, many of my friends applied to 20-30 schools (more than they did for undergraduate studies). It is super competitive which is why this is definitely recommended. Just because you do or don't get into a "top 10" medical school does not impact your ability to be a successful doctor. It's just important that you get into ONE school that you can be happy at!

One strategy my best friend used was to take a gap year between undergraduate university to actually to medical research in a lab. This allowed him to get published in a paper and add a little extra something to his resume that ultimately helped him get into a top school. Volunteering is also a great idea because it helps give the medical school confidence that this field is something you really love and will stick with.

Lastly, find a story. Having a "why" for yourself on why you want to be in the medical field can be super helpful. If that isn't apparent right now, maybe volunteer for 6 months to a year and I can almost guarantee you'll find a story as you work in the field and create an impact on your community and on individuals.
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Erin’s Answer

My brother-in-law is currently in med school, and during our conversations, I learned that a lot of med schools really appreciate when their students have a lot of Patient Contact Hours, or time that they've personally spent in a healthcare setting. Students in his class worked as medical assistants, EMTs, patient care techs, CNAs, etc. Not only were they able to learn how things operate in the healthcare field, but they were also gaining real-life experience that they could look back on during medical school when they were learning about new conditions, diseases, and treatments.

On top of that, job shadowing can lead to some great opportunities, such as being able to observe surgeries, meet practitioners in specialized fields, and gain insight as to what schools may benefit you. There is no one better to ask for advice that someone who is already in the field that you want to enter.

Additionally, letters of recommendation. If there is a science/math professor that you had a good relationship with, or doctors/practitioners that you shadowed that you had a good relationship with, ask if they would be comfortable writing, you a letter of recommendation to add to your application. Most times, it is required, so it's a great thing to keep in mind as you go through your pre-requisites, working and job shadow experiences.
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Katherine’s Answer

Hi! First and foremost, focus on maintaining a strong academic record, particularly in science and math courses, as this forms the foundation of your application. A robust GPA is not just a number -- it's a reflection of your dedication and commitment. In addition, don't shy away from the MCAT; embrace it as a challenge worth conquering. Prepare rigorously and aim for a competitive score that truly reflects your potential. Beyond academics, remember to actively seek out opportunities to engage in relevant extracurricular activities. You could volunteer at healthcare facilities, become a part of pre-med clubs, and don't hesitate to take on leadership roles to showcase your initiative and teamwork skills.

Moreover, acquiring hands-on clinical experience is invaluable, so you should consider shadowing physicians or volunteering in healthcare settings. Reach out to your advisors and attend pre-health advisory workshops and sessions offered by your undergraduate university. Build strong relationships with professors and mentors who can write compelling letters of recommendation. Your personal statement is your chance to shine, so craft it with enthusiasm and authenticity, highlighting your motivations and the unique perspective you bring to the medical field.

Further, community involvement, leadership skills, and cultural competence all contribute to a well-rounded and compelling application. Stay committed to continuous learning, prepare diligently for interviews, and express your genuine interest in your dream schools through letters of intent. Your journey to medical school is a remarkable one filled with growth, and your enthusiasm for medicine will undoubtedly make a positive impact. Keep pushing forward, and you'll stand out as an outstanding pre-med student. All the best luck:)
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Mackenzie’s Answer

Amelia,

Standing out as a pre-med student is important because medical school admissions can be highly competitive. Admissions committees look for candidates who not only have strong academic records but also demonstrate a commitment to healthcare, compassion, and leadership. Here are some strategies to help you stand out as a pre-med student:

Maintain a Strong Academic Record:
Focus on excelling in your coursework, especially in science and math classes. A high GPA is a fundamental requirement for medical school.
Volunteer and Gain Clinical Experience:
Volunteer at healthcare facilities, clinics, or hospitals to gain hands-on experience. This shows your commitment to the field and provides insight into the healthcare environment.
Shadow Physicians:
Shadowing doctors allows you to observe their daily work and gain a better understanding of the medical profession. It also demonstrates your genuine interest in medicine.
Participate in Research:
If possible, engage in medical research projects. Research experience can be valuable and is often looked upon favorably by medical school admissions committees.
Extracurricular Activities:
Join clubs, organizations, or extracurricular activities related to healthcare, science, or community service. Consider leadership roles within these groups.
Clinical and Non-Clinical Volunteering:
In addition to clinical experience, engage in non-clinical volunteer work to demonstrate your commitment to community service and compassion.
Letters of Recommendation:
Build strong relationships with professors, mentors, and healthcare professionals who can write compelling letters of recommendation for your medical school application.
MCAT Preparation:
Prepare thoroughly for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test). Achieving a competitive MCAT score is crucial for admission.
Strong Personal Statement:
Write a compelling personal statement that highlights your passion for medicine, your experiences, and what you can contribute to the medical field.
Cultural Competency and Diversity:
Showcase your understanding of cultural competence and diversity in healthcare. Highlight any experiences that demonstrate your ability to work with diverse patient populations.
Communication Skills:
Develop strong communication skills, both written and verbal. Effective communication is essential in healthcare.
Networking:
Network with professionals in the medical field and connect with current medical students or alumni. Attend medical school fairs and informational sessions.
Commitment to Service:
Emphasize your commitment to serving others and making a positive impact on your community.
Stay Informed:
Stay updated on current healthcare issues, medical breakthroughs, and ethical considerations in medicine. Be prepared to discuss these topics in interviews.
Interview Skills:
Prepare for medical school interviews by practicing common interview questions and scenarios. Demonstrate professionalism, empathy, and your genuine desire to become a physician.
Personal Growth:
Reflect on your personal growth and experiences. Show how you've learned from challenges and setbacks.
Plan Ahead:
Start planning for medical school early. Research different medical schools, their requirements, and application timelines to ensure you meet all prerequisites.
Remember that being a well-rounded individual with a strong commitment to healthcare and a genuine desire to help others can set you apart as a pre-med student. Admissions committees value qualities like empathy, resilience, and a dedication to improving the lives of patients. Keep in mind that the journey to medical school is a marathon, not a sprint, so stay committed and continue building a strong foundation for your future in medicine.
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