Road Map to Medical School

Road Map to Medical School

Road Map to Medical School

 

If you’re working towards medical school, you know the road to admissions is a long one and one you have to start on early. To make the journey a little easier, we’ve made a guide to help you navigate through the prep years.

High School

Focus: Build strong study habits and an impressive resume and transcript for your undergrad application.

  • Maintain a competitive GPA and take Advanced Placement courses in math and science. If available, participate in a pre-health track.
  • Create an academic plan with your high school counselor; meet regularly to make sure you’re on track. When appropriate, ask your counselor to write a recommendation letter outlining your dedication in your pursuit of a career in medicine.
  • Don’t neglect humanities courses (literature, history, foreign language, social sciences). Doctors need to have refined communication skills, often in more than one language.
  • Develop strong time management and study skills.
  • Volunteer with health-related organizations (hospitals, the American Red Cross, nursing homes, hospices, etc.).
  • Seek shadowing or intern opportunities with local health professionals, especially in the summer.
  • Join or develop a student organization that is geared toward a health professions career, such as HOSA – Future Health Professionals.

 

Undergrad – Year One

Focus: Set out on the right track, identify goals, and establish important connections.

  • Meet with your advisor to discuss enrolling in a pre-med track and taking prerequisite courses. If your college does not have a health professions advisor, view resources at the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions.
  • Maintain a competitive GPA and utilize tutoring services and study groups, when available.
  • Begin researching medical schools online and build a list of schools that pique your interest. Focus on admissions requirements and average entering student statistics (average GPA, MCAT, etc.).
  • Follow medical schools on social media and attend recruitment events and information sessions.
  • Join online mailing lists of programs of interest – this will be especially helpful in finding out about events and application fee waiver codes.
  • Get involved in pre-health organizations and extracurricular activities on campus. Keep records of your experiences for your resume and future applications.
  • Visit science faculty’s office hours to seek advice, direction, and build rapport. You will need their support on your journey!

 

Undergrad – Year Two

Focus: Build your resume and prepare for admissions tests and other requirements.

  • Discuss seeking undergraduate research positions and internship opportunities with your advisor.
  • Gain clinical experience through volunteer and community services activities.
  • Develop communication and leadership skills by obtaining a board position in pre-health clubs.
  • Get Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) practice tests and subscribe to Kaplan’s daily MCAT question.
  • Continue to:
    • Maintain a competitive GPA.
    • Build relationships with science faculty.
    • Meet with your advisor to make sure you’re on track.
    • Attend recruitment events and post-grad fairs.
    • Keep records of extracurricular activities up to date.
    • Stay involved in pre-health clubs and organizations.

 

Undergrad – Year Three – Fall Semester

Focus: Prepare for the MCAT and gather application materials.

  • Meet with your advisor about obtaining letters of recommendation.
  • Begin serious preparation for the MCAT exam, which is offered between January and September each year. Utilize the Association of American Medical College (AAMC)’s MCAT prep resources for official guidance.
  • Outline and draft your personal statement.
  • Finalize decision on which medical schools you’re applying to.

 

Undergrad – Year Three – Spring Semester

Focus: Take the MCAT and put finishing touches on application and supplemental material.

  • Take the MCAT exam.
  • Finalize personal statement by getting feedback from advisor and other mentors.
  • Obtain letters of recommendation, giving the writer 4-6 weeks notice before it’s needed.
  • Submit your application.
  • Practice interview questions. Speak to your advisor about holding a mock interview.
  • Continue to:
    • Maintain a competitive GPA.
    • Stay involved in pre-health clubs and organizations.
    • Continue to gain clinical experiences by shadowing or volunteering

 

Undergrad – Year Four

Focus: Continue to maintain competitive academics and extracurricular activities while navigating incoming admissions decisions.

  • Participate in interviews when invited.
  • Complete loan/financial assistance application.
  • Retake the MCAT, if needed.
  • Complete prerequisite coursework.
  • Consider post-application plans, whether you are accepted or not. Remember that not getting accepted to your top-choice schools doesn’t mean you’re out of options.

 

Even if you follow this guide and are a truly competitive applicant, it’s important to know there is a strong possibility that you will not be accepted to any U.S. medical school. Admission to medical schools in the United States and Canada continues to be extremely competitive with only about 40% gaining acceptance.

Some applicants who are not accepted may decide to take a gap year and apply again later or even abandon their dream of becoming a doctor altogether. But the best alternative to this situation is often attending an off-shore medical school.

While some Caribbean medical schools perpetuate the stigma of delivering a sub-par education, Trinity School of Medicine exists as an alternative that you can trust to guide you to success in becoming an MD. Trinity offers a fully-accredited education, small class sizes, accessible and knowledgeable faculty, low tuition cost, and the ability to practice anywhere in the U.S. or Canada.

Find out more about what makes Trinity different by contacting us today.