Medical school misconception

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For some people, becoming a doctor is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. For others, they decide to become a physician at some point during their undergrad studies. But regardless of when you make the decision to pursue a career in medicine, there are some misconceptions about both getting accepted into med school and being a medical student. 

Michaela poses with a newborn and fellow Gap Medics students at Iringa Regional Hospital Misconceptions About Getting Into Med School

There are a lot of misconceptions about getting into medical school. It is helpful to determine what is true and what is fiction before you submit your medical school applications.

Misconception:  You can easily transfer from on offshore med school to one in the US, if you don’t get in at first.

Some students who do not get into a US medical school apply to schools offshore. They hope to complete a year then apply and transfer to a school in the United States. The reality is it can be difficult to transfer to a U.S. medical school after starting a program offshore. A seat would have to become available during your sophomore year, which means someone would have to quit. Although this can happen, you better not count on it.

Misconception: If you don’t have an outstanding grade point average, it’s game over.

Grades matter, but they are not the only factor considered. Scoring well on the MCATS, clinical experience and strong letters of recommendation are also helpful. The bottom line is, don’t give up if your grades are not stellar.

Misconception: If you take more than four years to finish your degree you look weak to med schools.

The reality is if your grades are good and you took an extra year to complete your undergrad studies, it may not matter. But if you take ten years to earn your bachelor’s degree, that may be another story.  

Misconceptions About Being a Medical Student

There are also misconceptions about being a medical student, such as the following:

Misconception: The best students make the best doctors:

A student may do well in class and get high grades, but that does not necessarily translate into being the best doctor. Lots of factors determine who will be a good physician including communication skills, attitude and demeanor. If you are not number one in your class, you can still be a great doctor.     

Misconception: You will have no time to do anything once you are a med student.

It is true you will be busy. But every second of every day will not involve school or studying. Don’t plan on having a ton of free time. But with some organization, you can carve out a little down time for yourself.

Misconception: Teaching residents are brutal.

You may have heard horror stories about how residents treat their med students. But not all residents are the same. You may meet some who are tougher than others. But not everyone will be difficult to work with. Keep in mind, the ones who are hard on you may help make you a better doctor.

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