i just came from Ghana i just came to the states new york to be exact i'm currently in the 10th grade
i want to go into medicine i need help figuring out what to do to get into college.
Hey there @lenox! Welcome to the US!
Firstly, your guidance counselor is a great resource to ask about specific courses or extracurriculars your school offers that would be geared towards your interests in medicine. Try to schedule some time to talk with her and see if you can choose classes or activities that are science based and would showcase your interest in science.
What you can do on top of that is to try and steer your course selections of your junior year classes towards more science based courses. For example, I know that I’m am going into medicine too, and thus, for my junior and senior years of high school, I took almost all the Advanced Placement (the high level courses) of science classes that I could, which included AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, and Anatomy and Physiology. Even if colleges don’t always specifically look for these classes when accepting students, this coursework will help you once you actually enter college and are preparing to apply to medical school.
Taking a lot of science courses also comes in handy when applying to college, and especially if you are considering any BS/MD programs, which are programs in college that combine your undergraduate years (your first four years of college that earn you a bachelor’s degree) and your medical school years. Those programs will most likely guarantee you a spot at a certain medical school if you keep your undergraduate grades up, so I would definitely recommend applying once time comes. But I digress: do take a lot of science courses and form good relationships with the teachers because when you apply to college, you’ll want recommendation letters from them that demonstrate your passion and love for science.
Also, if you aren’t already, join some clubs at your school. If there is a science league at your school, join it even if you aren’t the top student in your science classes. This will be a great way to motivate yourself to learn about science outside of your regular classes, and will demonstrate to colleges when you apply that you are serious about science. To get into college in general, you also don’t have to limit yourself to just science related activities. Try a debate club to improve your public speaking, or maybe even a sport (track and field or cross country are probably the simplest to join as an upperclassman who hasn't done sports yet). Showcase to colleges that you are well-rounded and super involved at your school!
Since you are currently a sophomore, you also have two more summers that you can take advantage of. Shadowing is something you should definitely consider doing. This would be a good time to contact your guidance counselor to see if she or he knows of any organizations or physician alumni that would allow you to shadow them. Also reach out to family and friends to see if they know of any doctors who would allow you to accompany them during work. Shadowing a doctor shows your interest in medicine to colleges, and also allows you to see into the professional life of a physicians, so it’s a win-win situation.
Also during the summer, you can try applying to volunteer programs at hospitals. They should be local hospitals, and you can just visit their website to see if they accept high school volunteers. If you can’t find volunteering opportunities at hospitals as they are sometimes hard to be accepted into, that’s fine! Try volunteering at a local animal shelter or food bank; anywhere that allows you to volunteer so that you can demonstrate your compassion and caring to colleges!
In addition to volunteer programs, mass email college professors from colleges and universities near you who do research to see if they are willing to take on a high school student as an intern or volunteer this or next summer. Just draft an email template introducing yourself briefly and touching upon the parts of their research you find interesting, and then politely but concisely ask if they are willing to take on an unpaid intern or volunteer this summer. You can also try to apply to high school research programs that allow you opportunities to do research. Applying to do research through a program just eliminates a lot of the guess-work and mass emailing. Try both ways, however. This is really time consuming, but research looks super good to college admissions officers.
I think what is most important despite all of this, however, are still your grades and SAT or ACT scores. Maintaining a high GPA and score a decent SAT or ACT score in addition to taking the right classes, having great letters of recommendation, doing research, volunteering, and shadowing will definitely get you where you want to be!
Good luck in all your future endeavors!
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