The medical career is a demanding one and requires commitments. While many high school students may like to major in the pre-med programs, there are a lot of uncertainties that may arise in the process.
Ranging from understanding the best pre-med programs, wanting to know if medicine is their true calling, to wanting to know what is entailed in high-school summer medical programs, makes the process overwhelming.
In this regard, we will explore useful insights that can help high school students prepare for medical careers.
1. Early Preparation is a Step in the Right Direction
Planning for pre-med while still in high school is not a waste of time. You can do so by attending medical summer camp programs and learning about various career opportunities in the field of medicine. While these preparations allow you to know if you’re cut for a career in medicine, they also look great on your high school resume and will act as an added advantage on your med college application.
More importantly, you should start early to familiarize yourself with medical content and what to expect when you join. A good place to get such information is by exploring the USMLE Preparation Courses guide.
2. Know if Medicine is the Right Career Choice for you
Medicine and surgery may look cool when watching the TV series “The Good Doctor.” But before making the big step, see if your answers meet the response criteria for the five questions set by Medical School Headquarters that satisfy the conditions of a good medicine career candidate.
According to the organization, a good med candidate should:
- Have a sense of leadership
- Have the passion to improve the lives of others through health
- Be able to rise above intellectual challenges
- Be driven by the desire to conduct surgery
- Like a variety of careers in medical line
Always remember never join the career line as a result of pressure from parents, peers, or influence from your favorite TV show.
3. Understand Hurdles Medical Students Face in their First Year
Since medical careers involve dealing with human beings, the first year is never simple. For instance, anatomy which is one of the courses during the first year, involves interacting with dead bodies during practical lessons—not the nicest fact to know.
More importantly, there is a series of challenging exams to take such as USMLE 1 and USMLE 2. USMLE Step 1 is the first amongst a series of exams required for earning medical licensure in the US. It involves a computer-generated test and covers diseases, modes of therapy, and principles and mechanisms of health.
On the other hand, USMLE 2, is a nine-hour-long multiple-choice test required in the next phase of earning medical licensure in the US.
4. Learn More about Medical Careers
In the US, The Association of American Medical Colleges (AMCC), offers a comprehensive guide on different certified medical careers from different colleges. It is, therefore, imperative to understand the different careers in this line and try to find out what suits you best.
You also get to interact with amazing stories about different people’s journeys in different medical careers on the fact sheet. More importantly, shadowing medical professionals, attending the local health professional week, and being part of the high school summer medical program can help you learn a lot.
5. Understand the Requirements if you Want to go Straight to Pre-Med Out of High School
You have always wanted to be a doctor. But what do you do if you want to go straight to pre-med college out of high school? The first and crucial step is considering a BS-MD program in College. This program is a combination of medical and graduate school and it takes 7 years. At the end of your course, you graduate with both BS and MD degrees.
While the requirements may vary from program to program, the system guarantees you a direct entry to medical school. The programs are very competitive.
Besides, you need to be good at pre-med-majors in high school. The right courses to take include:
- Math (statistics and calculus)
More importantly, great grades on IB courses and AP honors is a great plus.
Before you Leave
Medical careers are prestigious and require a lot of sacrifices. If you want a career in this line, you should start preparing early.
Always remember failing to plan is planning to fail.