A compiled list of my most frequently asked questions. Don’t see your question or need an even more in-depth response? Fill out a contact form to ask, or comment below and I will answer as soon as possible!
- What courses do I need to take as a pre-med?
- Each major has its own required courses, so check with your university in that regards. Pre-med perquisites vary slightly from each medical school but the basics include some level of biology, chemistry, physics, and english. For a more detailed list, you would have to check with each individual medical school. Such a list can be found on the AAMC website HERE.
- What GPA do I need to be accepted into Medical School?
- There is no “golden” G.P.A that would guarantee admission into any medical school, however there are cut offs for some schools. Therefore, it is important to check each individual medical school of interest for their requirements as well as averages to see where you stand. What I recommend is to aim for a 3.5 G.P.A and above. However, some people with G.P.A’s below a 3.5 have been accepted into medical school while some people with a G.P.A well above a 3.5 did not receive admissions. It honestly varies as most school have a holistic approach to reviewing applicants. If you’re at the stage of taking the MCAT and applying to medical school, then you might want to purchase access to the Medical School Admissions requirement site HERE
- What major should I choose? /Do I have to be a science major to get into medical school?
- You DO NOT have to be a science major to get into medical school! In fact, I have been told that medical schools welcome applicants form a wide range of majors other than the sciences. Keep in mind these applicants still need a strong foundation/G.P.A in science courses and pre-med prerequisites. But bottom line: Do what you want and are interested in. After all, you’re paying for it!
- Are minors important?
- This is a yes/no answer for me personally. You can and will get admittance to medical school without having a minor. However, there are plenty of applicants out there that will have one. Minors are meant to support your major/broaden your knowledge but also to allow you to explore other interests. So, if you’re interested in it minor in it! However, don’t minor in something simply because you think medical schools will look at you differently because of it.
- What are medical schools looking for?
- This is quite a loaded question as the answer varies form medical school to medical school. As a summary, I think most medical schools desire applicants with a strong interest in medicine, great academic standing (good GPA/MCAT), and a desire to attend their school. Therefore, you really need to look at the requirements, mission statements, of each medical school of interest. Check out the AAMC for a list of medical schools and requirements HERE.
- Is shadowing better than research for getting into medical school?
- No. I would even say that shadowing is more important than research. Think about it. Shadowing allows you to get more inside knowledge and experience on what it’s like to be a physician and thus what will be required of you as a physician. Research is great, but only do it because you’re interested in it, not because you feel you have to.
- What kind of extracurricular activities do I need to have?
- This varies based on interest, but there are a few types of activities you should be sure to be involved in: volunteering, leadership, and shadowing. You might also consider joining a pre-med club/organization and others for fun. But, be careful not to overwhelm yourself by committing to too many organizations. Remember, medical schools like quality over quantity!