By: Helen Voelker
Lately, a lot of students have been saying, “I want to go to medical school. What should I major in so I have the best chances of being accepted?”
So, we reached out to academic counselors who have a medical school specialty and this is what we learned:
Your major in undergrad is NOT what is most important. Studying what you’re passionate about it.
Study what you’re passionate about, not what will “increase your chances,” because no single major will increase your chances. It’s what you do with what you choose. The prerequisite classes are all they require. Medical schools love students who choose their major to get a broad-based liberal arts education during undergrad so they can learn about the world before entering the highly specialized medical education.
However, if you love science and therefore want to major in a science, then you should. When majoring in a science keep in mind that more and more medical schools are looking for students who study engineering (of any sort!). This is good news because if you decide to change direction and not go to medical school you will still have plenty of employment opportunities. Now you may be thinking, “If medical schools don’t care about my major, what do they care about?”
Med schools want to look at what else you did during your undergrad career.
Have you pursued research opportunities or had job shadowing experiences? Do you have exposure to trauma through ER volunteering or EMT work? Do you volunteer at a local hospital? These are the types of experiences that medical schools are looking for and will boost your chances of acceptance.
They want students with a passion for medicine.
It’s important that you are able to prove your passion for medicine through extracurricular activities, interviews etc. The road to becoming any kind of doctor is a long one and is not for everyone. Med schools know that you will only make it through because of your passion for medicine and helping others. The way that you prove this is up to you, but make sure that during your undergraduate career you take steps so that down the road your passion is obvious!
They want students with a high GPA and high MCAT scores.
This should not come as a shocker! It’s important that your GPA is high and that you excel in the prerequisite courses. This makes it even more important that you like your major so you can do well. Also, when studying for the MCAT make sure you check out the three-month MCAT study calendar.
There ya have it, guys! Applying to med school is no cake walk, but follow these tips to help increase your chances of getting in.