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Pre-requisites required when entering medical school

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Congratulations! You’ve aced your high school exams!

Now, its time for premed and medical school.

Everybody knows that you have to be intelligent and be a high achiever when you are on your way to medical school. You also need to have the motivation to work really hard, and the grades to show that you are the best.

Medicine is a program that not only has a high financial cost but also casts a high toll on health, intellect and emotions. The Caribbean medical school cost is not as much as those of their stateside counterparts whether its financial, physical or emotional.

But, how exactly do medical schools sort out the strongest from the weakest, among the ton loads of applications? Here are some
prerequisites most medical schools look for in detail – whether they are stateside or in the Caribbean:

Grade point average (GPA) & topics in undergraduate studies

Medicine is a post graduate qualification, which means that you need to ace your premed and high school studies with focus and precision. Your performance at this level gives medical schools a crystal clear idea of how determined you are and how consistent you can be as a student of medicine.

Having low grades in high school but acing MCAT is not enough. However, if you manage to perform exceptionally well in premed despite having bad grades in high school then you can be viewed as an exceptional student; provided you maintain your consistency in medicine.

Each college will be having a slightly different set of subjects or courses studied as requirements from applicants. But you can expect most of these colleges to favor students who have studied courses pertaining to biology, biophysics, biochemistry and mathematics.

Some colleges will look at students who have a strong communication side, such as debate champion in high school.

Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)

MCAT is a standardized test needed to enter medical school. It is given by students aspiring to be in medical school and is taken in the summers a year early when students hope to start.

It is a good aptitude indicator for students wishing to apply for medical school. It is also of huge importance.
Admissions committees of medical schools will be looking at those applicants who not only aced the MCAT but also had good grades in high school & premed.

Extracurricular Activities

Apart from your grades and academic performance, admissions panels of medical schools are usually interested in what activities you performed outside of the classroom. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the HOSA chapter of your high school.

It could be anything that shows dedication and hard work. It could be your exceptional performance as goalkeeper for the high school soccer team, a volunteer who ended bullying in their respective community and an overseas missionary participation.

Your performance on the high school musical band, or your performance on a musical instrument shows that you are self-motivated & a creative person.

Participation in a committee or a council proves your interest in people and helps improve your communication, networking & interpersonal skills. They are as important as having sound medical knowledge.

Work Experience

Work experience is not an obligation, but it is worth to know that admissions committees examine ton loads of applications each year. Anything that will make you stand out from the rest is worth the consideration.

No one would expect the applicant to have practical experience (as it is seriously out of ethical boundaries and against the rules). However, students who volunteered in healthcare setups under the guidance of a recognized physician helps the student understand the realities of the job. This makes them more likely to succeed in their studies.

Over to you

You should not be discouraged if you are falling behind in any area of the needed prerequisites. In fact, you will learn all you need to know at medical school. Focus on showing your desired medical school your motivation and eagerness to learn.
The clinical rotations, clerkships and residencies in your Doctor of Medicine (MD) program will help you learn vast aspects of the program.

Be certain about your spirit to study medicine in their school. I wish you all the best in your endeavors.

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