As a pre-med mentor, I have always been asked about my own journey to medical school. I know that I have shared my path but I wanted to go in depth about my top 3 “secrets” that I wish I knew before applying.
- Take some time off for yourself: I definitely took time off but during those two years I was both working and taking night classes to complete a post-bachelor program (basically taking introductory medical school courses to improve my GPA). Although the long nights and early mornings paid off, I wish that I had taken a few months to travel or binge watch Netflix.
- Your personal statement and community service matter: One of the main pieces of advice I give my pre-med students is to research the schools they want to go to and find a way to relate how their personal journey fits with that institution’s mission statement. For example, my school is very community service oriented and because I had done a lot of that during college, I talked about it in both my personal statement and interview. Trust me, the school is not only choosing you, but you are also choosing the school.
- Figure out your way of learning early on: This.is.so.important. I took all of college to figure out how to study. I still think I am figuring it out but I have a better grasp on it going into my third year of medical school. If you figure out what type of learner you are you can apply it to your MCAT studying and future medical school courses to get those amazing scores! How can do you do that? Meet with your academic advisor, mentor, or even counselors at your prospective medical school. Everyone is always happy to help.
I hope that these top secrets either validate what you have been doing as a pre-med or shed some light on unanswered feelings that you may have. Trust me, I know what a tough time it is to wonder where you will end up, if you will get in, and how you will handle it all. But remember that you have made it this far, the rest will all come together eventually.