Many people want to go to medical school and become a doctor, and it’s not hard to see why.
Doctors have the rare opportunity to combine their passion for research with their desire to serve people directly. As clichéd as it may seem, the desire to assist others is essential if you want to be happy as a doctor. In other words, if you just cared about your future financial success or social status, you wouldn’t put in the time and effort it takes to get to this point. As an example, a career as a software engineer might help you reach the former goal more quickly.
If you’re reading this, you’re presumably in one of four groups:
Students in high school and college are exploring a career in medicine.
You want to be a doctor, whether you’re a premed student or a recent college graduate.
Even though you graduated from college many years ago, you’re still thinking about changing careers.
Parents who wish to know how their children may pursue a career in medicine are welcome here.
No matter whatever group you belong to, read on. To help students get into medical school, I’ve written a comprehensive guide that covers everything from degree programmes and extracurricular activities to MCAT prep, admissions essays, and interviews. I’ve been helping students get into medical school for nearly 20 years and have answered every conceivable question about how to get accepted to medical school.
Whether you’re a high schooler, a college junior, a nontraditional candidate, or anything in between, reading this article completely will help you appropriately approach medical school admissions.
Allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools are included in this guide. But the bulk of this advice applies to Canadian medical schools and Caribbean medical schools, especially for students with poor grades or test scores. International medical schools will also be included although many of these also require candidates to sit the GAMSAT test. We will discuss the Gamsat in further detail later including the use of a Gamsat quote generator.
There are several ways to get into medical school.
As a rule of thumb, a four-year college degree is required before applying to medical school in the summer between your junior and senior years. A few months after graduating, if you’re successful, you’ll be able to apply to medical school. “Going right through” is another name for this route.
As a result, many students wait until they’re 24 before applying to medical school, which means they’ll be taking a year off before starting. If you need to finish necessary courses, raise a low or so-so GPA, or expand your interest in other extracurricular activities, such as research, gap years are often utilised to augment or enhance your application. For those who aren’t ready to walk directly into college, having a gap year might be beneficial.
Additionally, it might take up to two years—and in some cases, even longer—for a person to get accepted into medical school. While there are no agreed-upon criteria, unconventional candidates are often individuals above the age of 24. They may be job changers or people who put their personal lives first before returning to school.
There are direct medical programmes, sometimes called BA/MD or BS/MD programmes, for high-achieving high school students who are confident that becoming a physician is their goal. BS/DO programmes have lately been attracting students interested in osteopathic medicine. The subject of osteopathic medical schools will be discussed in a minute. It is possible to finish an undergraduate and medical degree in six to eight years, depending on the specific school, although this is more frequent. There are several schools that provide “conditional acceptance” to medical school, which means that you must meet certain academic requirements to be considered for admission.
Some medical schools provide early assurance programmes to individuals who have shown exceptional potential and success in their first two years of college. Since the Medical College Admission Exam (MCAT), the feared standardised test for medical school, is not necessary for accepted students, they may devote their time and energy to their studies, research, clinical experiences, and other activities
There are a few medical schools that offer dual degrees, such as an MD/PhD or an MD/MPH or an MD/MBA. As a rule, these admissions procedures demand that you be accepted into each programme independently. You will still be considered for the medical programme even if you are rejected from the “other” programme.
Types of medical schools
In the United States, medical schools are primarily categorised as allopathic and osteopathic. The first awards the more commonly known MD degree, while the second grants the less well recognised DO degree. Both are highly respected in their respective fields.
Holistic care frequently referred to as “treating the complete person,” has long been a focus of osteopathic medicine. Osteopathy has received a lot of flak for using treatment methods that aren’t always backed by scientific data (i.e., research-supported).
MD and DO programs have become more comparable over time. Osteopathic doctors concentrate on evidence-based therapy, whereas allopathic physicians are more concerned with illness prevention, mental health, and systemic aspects. More than that, many are engaged in cutting-edge studies.
MD programs are sought for two primary reasons:
The MD is a more prestigious degree.
Higher-achieving students are often accepted into MD programs. In other words, getting into a DO program is usually simpler than getting into an MD program. As a result, the majority of prospective medical students choose MD schools and see DO degrees as a fallback option.
When it comes to medical professions, Perform students who do well in medical school and ace their board exams may have just as lucrative and meaningful a career as MD peers. The DO vs. MD argument rages on because many med school applicants can’t escape the prestige problem.