It’s Never Too Early To Lay The Groundwork For A Career In Healthcare

Eye-opening hospital work experience
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Michaela poses with a newborn and fellow Gap Medics students at Iringa Regional Hospital If being a doctor is all you’ve ever thought about there are several things you can do to ensure that when the time comes you will succeed in getting admission into a medical school of your choice. It’s never too early to start. It’s important to keep in mind that medicine is a highly competitive stream and the earlier you start working towards your goal, the better your chances of success.

Here are a few things you can do to pave the way towards getting admission into med school.

Make Smart Choices In School

If you’ve set your mind about pursuing a career in medicine, choose your courses so that you will have a very strong application for medical school. Take as many subjects as possible from the sciences and study hard to obtain a high GPA. While academics are not the sole determining factor for admissions, they are a key factor. So get some advice from your career advisor, choose the right combination of subjects and work on keeping your scores above average.

Start Researching Medical Schools

Choosing the right medical school is crucial and the only way to make an informed decision is to research the different learning institutions in, around and beyond your area. Don’t limit yourself by geographical boundaries. What is important is to look for a school that offers you what you are looking for in terms of coursework, teaching methods, facilities and financial help.  Starting early gives you a lot of advantages. For example if the school of your choice has a specific requirement that entails doing an additional course, you have sufficient time to do it.

Explore Opportunities To Get Valuable Work Experience At Home & Abroad

This is a profession where practical experience makes a world of a difference. Reading about obstetrics, palliative care or emergency medicine is vastly different from being on the scene and dealing with these situations first hand. Are you really up to the task? The only way to be sure is by getting sufficient clinical experiences. First hand work experience will help you understand medicine better and answer any questions about whether you are making the right career choice. It’s far better to figure this out before investing a whole lot of time and money applying to med school.

Here are some ideas for getting work experience:

  • Inquireat a local clinic if they will allow you to shadow a physician. If not, check if you can help out with a clerical or administrative area that allows you to observe from afar.
  • Check out the websites of hospitals in your neighbourhood and ask if they have any physician shadowing programmes. If there’s nothing mentioned, call the hospital and ask anyway. Not all hospitals have these opportunities listed on their website.
  • Sign up for a medical placement in a developing country. These placements offer valuable insight about practicing medicine in resource poor settings.

A mentor in obstetrics and gynecology guiding one of our students in Tanzania

If you decide that this field is the right one for you, your work experiences will serve as an invaluable asset when you are applying to medical school. Med school authorities always give preference to students who have had practical work experience.

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