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Pre-Med: How To Prepare And Your Career Options

March 16, 2023
By AdmissionSight
Medical students sitting and talking at the university

Pre-Med: How To Prepare And Your Career Options

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in medicine, then you’ve likely heard of pre-med. Pre-med is an educational track that prepares students for medical school and ultimately, a career in medicine. In this blog post, we’ll explore what this is, what it entails, and what you can expect if you choose to pursue this path.

What is pre-med?

What is pre-med? Pre-med is a term used to describe a set of coursework that is typically required before applying to medical school. This coursework is designed to give students a strong foundation in the sciences, as well as critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are necessary for a career in medicine.

Pre-med courses usually include biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. These courses are often more challenging than other undergraduate courses, as they require a strong understanding of complex concepts and a significant amount of memorization.

In addition to coursework, pre-med students are expected to participate in extracurricular activities that demonstrate their interest in medicine. This might include volunteering at a hospital, shadowing a doctor, or participating in research.

What does pre-med entail?

What does pre-med entail? This track can vary depending on the institution and the student’s goals. However, there are some common elements that most students can expect to encounter.

Five medical students wearing scrubs as they walk inside the lobby of a medical school

First, the courses are often rigorous and demanding. Students are expected to have a strong foundation in the sciences, as well as excellent study skills and time management abilities. The coursework will typically involve a significant amount of reading, writing, and problem-solving, as well as laboratory work.

Second, the students are expected to maintain a high GPA. Medical schools typically have very competitive admissions processes, and a strong GPA is essential for getting into the school of your choice. This means that the students must be diligent in their studies and take their coursework seriously.

Third, students are expected to participate in extracurricular activities that demonstrate their interest in medicine. This might include volunteering at a hospital or clinic, shadowing a doctor, participating in research, or joining a club.

What can you expect as a pre-med student?

What can you expect as a pre-med student? As a student in this track, you can expect a challenging and demanding educational experience. You will need to be highly motivated, disciplined, and focused on your studies if you want to succeed. However, there are many rewards to pursuing a career in medicine, including the satisfaction of helping others and the potential for a lucrative and fulfilling career.

In addition to the academic demands of pre-med, you can also expect to face stiff competition for admission to medical school. Medical schools are highly selective, and they receive far more applications than they can accommodate. This means that you will need to have a strong academic record, excellent extracurricular activities, and a compelling personal statement to be considered for admission.

Finally, as a student, you can expect to spend a significant amount of time and money preparing for medical school. This might include taking prep courses for the MCAT, paying for medical school applications, and traveling to interviews.

How to prepare for pre-med?

How to prepare for pre-med? Preparing for this requires a significant amount of dedication and hard work. Here are some steps you can take to prepare for a pre-med track:

Choose the right major: While there is no specific major required for pre-med, you’ll need a strong foundation in the sciences. Common majors for pre-med students include biology, chemistry, biochemistry, or physics. Consider talking with an advisor to help you choose the right major for you.

Take challenging courses: Medical schools typically look for applicants who have taken challenging courses. Make sure to take courses that will challenge you and demonstrate your academic ability. This may include advanced coursework in biology, chemistry, or physics.

Focus on your GPA: A strong GPA is essential for getting into medical school. Aim for a GPA of 3.5 or higher to be competitive. Make sure to study hard and take your coursework seriously.

A female med student looking into her laptop while 2 more med students are studying at the desks behind her

Gain experience in healthcare: Medical schools want to see that you have experience in healthcare settings. Consider volunteering at a hospital, clinic, or other healthcare facilities. Shadowing a physician can also be a great way to gain experience.

Participate in extracurricular activities: Medical schools want to see that you’re a well-rounded individual. Participate in extracurricular activities that demonstrate your interests and passions. This may include volunteering, research, or joining a club.

Prepare for the MCAT: The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized test that is required for admission to medical school. Start preparing for the MCAT early, and consider taking a prep course to help you do your best.

Build strong relationships with the faculty: Strong letters of recommendation are essential for getting into medical school. Build strong relationships with your professors, and consider doing research or independent study with them.

Stay informed about the medical field: Keep up to date with current events in the medical field. Read medical journals and stay informed about new medical breakthroughs.

Careers with a pre-med degree

While many students pursue pre-med as a track to medical school, there are a variety of careers available to those with a pre-med degree. Such degree typically includes a strong foundation in the sciences, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, which can be valuable in many fields. Here are some of the careers with this degree that you might consider:

Research Scientist: With this degree, you may have a strong foundation in laboratory research and data analysis, which can be useful in research roles. Many research positions require advanced degrees, but some entry-level positions may be available in academic or private research labs.

Physician Assistant: Physician assistants work alongside physicians and surgeons, providing medical care to patients. They may diagnose illnesses, order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, and assist with surgery. While physician assistants do not have the same level of responsibility as physicians, they can still make a significant impact on patients’ lives.

Public Health Specialist: Public health specialists work to promote and protect the health of individuals and communities. They may work on health policy, conduct research, or work to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. With a pre-med degree, you may have a strong foundation in the sciences, which can be valuable in public health research roles.

Medical Writer: Medical writers create content for a variety of audiences, from healthcare professionals to patients. They may write articles, blog posts, or educational materials on a variety of health topics. With a pre-med degree, you may have a strong understanding of medical terminology and a foundation in scientific writing.

Medical Sales Representative: Medical sales representatives sell medical equipment, devices, and pharmaceuticals to healthcare providers. With a pre-med degree, you may have a strong understanding of the medical industry, which can be useful in a sales role.

four doctors looking at the camera

These are just a few examples of careers that someone with a pre-med degree might consider. With a strong foundation in the sciences and critical thinking skills, the possibilities are endless.

Learn more about college by consulting with college admissions specialists like the ones found here in AdmissionSight. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process to get accepted to the top universities in the world. Feel free to set up an appointment today to book your initial consultation.

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