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What's the pre-med pathway like?

Hey everyone! As a high school junior thinking about going pre-med in college, I'm curious about the entire process from undergrad to medical school. Can anyone give me a rundown of what the pathway looks like and what to expect?

6 months ago

Hello! The pre-med pathway can be broken down into a few main stages: undergraduate preparation, medical school application, medical school attendance, and residencies. Here's an overview of what to expect at each stage:

1. Undergraduate preparation: Pre-med is not a major, but rather a set of courses you'll need to complete as part of your undergraduate education. This typically includes classes in biology, chemistry, physics, math, and sometimes psychology. You'll need to maintain a strong GPA and get involved in extracurriculars related to healthcare, such as volunteering at a hospital, shadowing a physician, or participating in research. It's also essential to choose a major that interests you and allows you to excel academically; medical schools don't have a preference for specific majors.

2. Medical school application: In your junior year, you'll need to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), a standardized exam that tests your knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, and critical analysis skills. You'll also need to obtain strong letters of recommendation from professors, ideally in the sciences. The application process includes preparing a personal statement and filling out the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application. During this time, apply to medical schools that match your interests, values, and goals.

3. Medical school attendance: Medical school typically takes four years to complete. The first two years are focused on pre-clinical coursework, such as anatomy, biochemistry, and pharmacology. In your third and fourth years, you'll partake in clinical rotations in various medical specialties (e.g., surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics) to gain practical experience and determine the area you would like to specialize in.

4. Residencies: After graduating from medical school, you'll enter a residency program in your chosen specialty, which can last 3-7 years, depending on the field. This is a period of intensive on-the-job training, during which you'll work under the supervision of attending physicians.

As you progress through your pre-med journey, it's crucial to seek out mentorship from professors, advisors, and physicians, and to continually reassess your interests and goals within medicine. Keep an open mind and be prepared to adapt as you gain more experience and exposure to the field. Good luck!

6 months ago

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