It can wear you out and empty your bank account, but most medical school graduates will tell you that the rewards of medical school outweigh the sacrifices. Interest in medical studies appears to be growing. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), medical school enrollments are increasing. With the U.S. medical community expecting a shortage of physicians in the coming years, this is a reassuring trend. If you’re planning to enroll in medical school:
1. Complete your undergraduate work at a college with a strong pre-med program. Get answers to your questions about preparing for medical school by talking to a pre-med advisor.
2. The best medical schools like to see that you’ve had first-hand experience working in the healthcare field. Take a part-time or summer job or consider volunteering at a local hospital or clinic.
3. The Medical College Admission Test is administered every April and August. Take the test in April so that you can apply early to medical school. It can increase your chances of getting accepted at top medical schools.
Consider your aspirations when picking a medical school
Look for a medical school that offers a curriculum that will help you meet your medical career goals. But also take costs, class size and location into account.
U.S. News and World Report’s medical school rankings. The magazine recently ranked The University of Washington’s UW Medicine the #1 medical school for the study of primary care medicine. Harvard Medical School was named the premiere medical school for research. For tips on getting accepted into medical school, including sample medical school application essays, visit Accepted.com.
Find the best medical schools for your specialty
It's never too early to start contemplating your medical specialty and investigating the top medical schools in that arena.
offered by medical schools in the United States and Canada by visiting the AAMC’s Specialty Pages. To get a sense of which specialties might match your skills, take University of Virginia’s medical specialty aptitude test.
Consider online medical schools
Although online medical schools don't offer a medical degree that will allow you to practice medicine as a physician, they do offer healthcare programs in nursing, medical billing, medical transcription and more.
Stay current after medical school with continuing medical education programs
Any medical professional will tell you that your education doesn't end with medical school. Seminars and workshops abound to help physicians stay up-to-date on new medical research, technologies and techniques.
continuing education for physicians in the Business.com directory.
- While you're still an undergraduate, ask your favorite professors (particularly those who are in scientific fields) for a letter of recommendation that you can include with your medical school applications.
- Prepare for your Medical College Admission Test by taking the practice tests that are available on the AAMC Web site. There are also many independent MCAT prep programs, including several from The Princeton Review.
- If you're already in medical school and are worried about falling behind, you can relax. More than 95% of medical school students earn their medical degree.