What to consider before becoming a Premed

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Being premed is one of the first steps to becoming a doctor. Whether you a high school student or already in college and are thinking of switching to premed, there are several things you should consider doing to be successful.

Premed Prep in High School

Although you may think it is a little early, you can start to prepare for premed in high school. Early preparation for premed can have both benefits and drawbacks. For instance, early prep work can increase your chances of getting accepted into the premed program of your choice. On the other hand, if you have every step planned out, you may not be open to other ideas. Try to maintain a balance between working towards your goals and staying open minded.

A few things you can do, which can be helpful before you become premed, but can also be beneficial for anyone includes the following:

Do volunteer work: Gaining some experience in a hospital, medical clinic or with an ambulance company can be a great way to determine if a career in medicine is something you think you want to pursue. Although some healthcare facilities may require volunteers to be age 18, many will allow high school students to volunteer in some capacity.

Take science classes: If you plan to apply to med school, you will be required to take various types of science classes. Taking science classes including biology, anatomy and chemistry will help prepare you for college level classes.

Maintain good grades: Premed programs can be competitive, and med school can be even more difficult to get into. The higher your grades, the better off you will be. Even if you end up deciding against medical school, good grades will be beneficial in whatever you choose to do.

Consider your major: Think about what you plan to major in during college. Medical schools do not require a specific major in college. You can major in anything that interests you. Before you commit to a science major, consider your options and interests.

Premed as an Undergrad

If you are already in college and have decided you want to apply to med school, there are some things you need to do to stay on track.

Ask yourself why you want to be a doctor: Before you invest all the time and money into medical school, be sure it is what you want. There are a lot of careers in the medical field to choose from, and a doctor is only one. It can be a great career choice, but it is not for everyone. Be honest with yourself, and take your time to figure out if it is what you really want.

Meet with your premed advisor: A premed advisor at your school can review your transcript and determine what science classes you may still need to take. Your premed advisor can also help you navigate the medical school application process.

Shadow a doctor: Shadowing a physician is a good way to get an idea of what a doctor does on a day to day basis. Your premed advisor may be able to set up a shadowing experience.

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