How do you balance working and having a social life?
If I could get a degree in time management, I probably would. In order to live this lifestyle and have a poppin' social life, it takes some time management and organization. Being organized is the key component to making sure everything on your handy dandy "To-Do List" gets done. As they say, work hard, party harder... or maybe that's just me. However, the truth is sometimes you have to make sacrifices. Maybe going out two nights in a row when you know a 10 hr shift awaits you the next morning is not the best idea. It is all about being honest with yourself and knowing what you can handle.
I'm in high school, what are some things that I could be doing now to better set myself up for my future?
Great, you're starting early! This is the perfect time to shadow. Shadowing is when you follow a physician to gain a better understanding of what they do on a daily basis. These are great ways to see surgeries, learn about communication between doctor and patient, and immerse yourself in the medical world. There are so many facets of the medical field and you have plenty of time to choose one. Volunteering is also a great way to gain experience while giving back to the community.
I am stuck in the cycle of getting unpaid internships, what do I do?
Unfortunately, this comes with the territory. Unpaid internships can be draining and a tad bit frustrating, but believe me they are rewarding. You may not be getting a salary, but the experience and knowledge you gain is worth it. These are a great way to build your resume as well. Application reviewers love to see commitment and consistency.
I went to undergrad for something that is not medicine, can I still go to medical school?
It is never too late to change your career. If you are committed and willing to put in the hard work, you got it! There are programs called Post-Bac programs. Many universities and colleges around the country have these programs were students who went to school for something other than biology (or if you want to improve your grades) can take the required courses needed for medical school applications. The plus is, if you do well in this program, many schools will give you priority into their medical school.
Are grades the most important thing for medical school applications?
Grades are important (don't get me wrong) but they are not the only thing that draws an application reviewer to your application. Being well rounded is essential. Being in sports, clubs, or other campus organizations make your app so much more appealing. Along with extracurriculars, clinical experience and research make your application more competitive. Medical Schools don't just want to see a person that has good grades and thats it. They want to see that maybe you volunteer at a clinic on the weekends, or you're an athlete, or that you've been involved in research for the past year. Spread your wings and get involved!