Route 1: Becoming a Pre-Med Student
Pre-med study isn't just about grades. There are many other activities that can add richness to your life, help keep you focussed on your goals, and remind you of the human side of medicine.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Pre-health professions club: Many colleges have a student organization for those interested in the health professions. You'll encounter other students with similar goals, hear some interesting presentations from health professionals and successful graduates, and eat lots of pizza!
- Part-time and summer jobs: You may be able to work as a nursing assistant, laboratory technician, or EMT, or you may volunteer at an area hospital. This lets you see health care up close, and may encourage you when the going gets rough.
- Sports: If you are an athlete, this is a great way to broaden your resume and keep fit. Just remember: when in doubt, academics come first.
- Overseas Travel: Studying abroad or participating in a missions trip in a foreign country can be great ways to broaden your perspective. Unusual experiences such as these add interest to a med school application, and may cause it to stand out from others.
- Music and the Arts: Special abilities in the fine arts add depth to your college life, and can give great satisfaction. Some students even try to take a double major in college (e.g., Biology and Music). This is extremely difficult to achieve without taking extra years to graduate.
- Student Leadership: Your involvement as an officer in student-run organizations can help establish your credentials as a leader. Admissions committees of med schools often look for this.
The bottom line? The focus of your college experience should be academic study, but extracurricular involvements can add meaning, depth, and richness. Choose a few such activities wisely, and don't over-commit your time and energy.