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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
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Becoming a doctor: Where to start?

I want to become a doctor but I'm not sure where to start. Any advice on the most important steps I should take in high school to prepare for a career in medicine? What should I be focusing on in terms of classes or extracurriculars?

6 months ago

It's excellent that you're already considering your future career and taking the necessary steps to prepare for it during high school. In order to increase your chances of ultimately being accepted to a good medical school and pursuing your dreams, you should focus on the following areas:

1. Academics: Enroll in advanced science and math courses, such as AP Chemistry, AP Biology, AP Physics, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics. These subjects will not only provide the foundation for college-level science studies but also demonstrate your commitment to and aptitude for the field, which help you illustrate your passion for medicine when applying to college.

2. Standardized Tests: Aim for high scores on the SAT or ACT. Even though many colleges are now test-optional, many of the schools that will best prepare you for medical school are highly selective, and thus you'll want to give yourself as many gold stars as you can to maximize your chances of acceptance.

3. Extracurriculars: Develop a set of Tier 2 or Tier 3 extracurriculars (if you want to read more about extracurricular tiers, check out CollegeVine's blog post on this topic: https://blog.collegevine.com/breaking-down-the-4-tiers-of-extracurricular-activities) that demonstrate your interest in medicine, such as participating in healthcare-related volunteering programs, research internships, science clubs, or membership in a pre-med club. Ideally, consider taking on a leadership role in at least one of these activities. You can find a list of programs and internships to consider getting involved with during your summers on CollegeVine's blog: https://blog.collegevine.com/medical-internships-for-high-school-students/.

4. Healthcare Exposure: Gain some exposure to the medical field by shadowing doctors, volunteering in hospitals or clinics, or participating in medical-focused summer programs. Not only will these experiences help you gain insight into the daily life of a doctor, but they'll also make your application more appealing to colleges.

5. Networking: Nurture connections with your science teachers, mentors in healthcare, and others involved in the field. These individuals can provide you with guidance, advice, and potentially recommendation letters when applying to college.

6. College Selection: Research colleges with strong pre-med programs, or even consider looking into early assurance, BS/MD programs which allow undergraduates to secure a spot in medical school contingent on maintaining certain academic standards. CollegeVine's blog contains further information about these programs, if you aren't already familiar with them: https://blog.collegevine.com/pros-and-cons-of-a-bsmd-program. Whether or not you shoot for a BS/MD program, a rigorous undergraduate education is essential to prepare you for the MCAT and medical school admissions.

Remember, while it's essential to maintain a strong focus on your academics and medical-related experiences, it's also crucial to have a well-rounded high school experience. Colleges value students who bring diverse perspectives and are involved in various activities, so don't be afraid to pursue other interests of yours as well. Good luck as you pursue your dream of becoming a doctor!

6 months ago

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