Medicine is one of the most respected and highly compensated professions in the world. However, being a doctor is more of a call than the desire to earn well and be respected in society. A career in medicine and to Enter Med School combines the desire to help others and the skills and knowledge to do so. That’s why there is more than one route to being a doctor today.
Your journey to being a doctor may start right from your high school. Students who want to pursue medicine are advised to take up more science subjects such as chemistry and biology. With these subjects, the students can have a better chance of joining a medical school. This method is known as the ‘going straight through’ path to Enter Med School.
However, as mentioned above, medicine is a passion and to Enter Med School you need passion. Therefore, it’s normal for people to realize their passion after completing a degree in a different field. Others may decide to pursue medicine without any pre-med training or exposure to science courses. The point is, currently, there are so many paths to joining a medical school of your choice. This has, in turn, created a very competitive process for entering medical school.
With that said, you still stand a chance to join medical school if you follow this Medical Aid’s informative guide for the Boston University medical college and other paths that this article will discuss for any other medical school of your choice. Keep reading to learn more.
How Can I Enter Med School?
This article is for you if;
- You’re a pre-med student looking to become a doctor.
- You’re a high school student who is considering pursuing medicine.
- You’re a parent or a career coach looking to learn more about the field of medicine to understand your child’s or client’s dream career.
- You’re a graduate or expert in a different field and considering a career change.
If you fall under these categories and you understand the commitment and discipline that comes with the medical course work and job, here’re four different routes to help you get enrolled into the medical school of your dreams:
- The Going Straight Through Path
As discussed above, this is the most traditional method of getting into med school. The ‘going straight through’ path can only work if you’re still in high school since that’s where it starts.
If you’re a high school student and you have a keen interest in pursuing medicine, consult with your teacher or school career coach. The coach will help you identify some of the requirements that you need to meet to join your dream medical school.
Once you know what’s required of you, for example, the need to achieve the set Grade Point Average (GPA) of medical school, you’ll also have to apply to a medical school after high school through the Bachelor of Science or Doctor of Medicine program (BS or Md program).
This program allows students to complete their medical degrees in six to eight years, depending on the medical course. Other than the GPA, you also have to pass your Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to enroll in medical school through this program. However, should you miss the target, don’t lose hope. You can still use the other paths discussed below to become a physician.
- The Pre-med Route
So, you didn’t make the GPA to a medical school from your high school exam; how else can you pursue medicine? If this is your situation, consider following the pre-med path.
As the name suggests, people who use the pre-med path are usually aware that they want to pursue medicine. They, therefore, enroll for A-levels (subject-based qualifications) and take up courses that are a prerequisite to joining medical schools. To follow this path, experts recommend that you consult with academic advisers. The adviser will help you select the medical school you’d like to join. The two of you will then learn the requirements for the given school, and your adviser will help you fulfill them.
Note that each medical school has a unique set of requirements. For example, while it’s common that one of the prerequisites to medical school is science courses such as biology and chemistry, this isn’t a must for other medical schools. Sometimes having a social science course such as art may set you aside from other applicants and give you a better chance of being enrolled in the school.
So be sure to mix up a bit of science and social life. Other than that, the best way to get into that medical university is by spreading good grades across all your pre-med courses.
2. Post-baccalaureate Pre-med Path
This path is for the people who would like to pursue a career in medicine after receiving a degree in a different field or after being experts in a different field. It’s also called the graduate entry path. There are many ways you could find yourself in this situation. For example, if you always wanted to be a dentist, pediatrician, oncologist, or any other career in medicine, but your parents pushed you into another career of their liking, such as law. Eventually, the desire to be a doctor may burn intensely enough to steer you onto this path of enrolling in a medical school.
When following this path, some universities may require your previous degree to be science-related while others may not. After being accepted into medical school using the post-baccalaureate path, you will study with students who came in using the “go straight through” method.
However, there’s an exemption where you can skip straight to the second year. This is only possible if you have subjects in your previous degree related to the classes you have to take in the first year. Using this path mostly takes five years, assuming there are no interruptions such as lack of school fees.
3. Special Masters Degree Program
This program is available for students who have successfully enrolled in a medical school, after which they choose to pursue specialized medical degrees. In most cases, the Special Master’s Degree Program is meant to strengthen the student’s profile as a medic. That, therefore, means that their previous degree must have a strong relation to medicine. For example, with a degree in environmental health, you can easily be admitted into medical school through the Special Master Degree Program (SMP).
The SMP program typically takes one to two years. This course is important since it exposes students to medical research, volunteer opportunities, and clinical experience. It also prepares the students for the MCAT to see to it that they successfully get admitted into their dream medical college.
Therefore, when choosing the post-baccalaureate (post-bac) pre-med path, consult with an expert to help you identify a post-bac method that works best for you.
To Sum It Up
It’s never too late to pursue your dreams. If you have just discovered your passion for being a doctor, use either of the four methods to secure a place in a medical university. All the best in your endeavors!