You’re pre-med. You’ve made the decision to include the 8-9 prerequisite courses in your undergraduate education thereby unofficially taking the first step towards becoming a medical professional. But you still have to get into medical school… What is going to prepare you for that? In addition to precise note taking, pro-active office hour visits, study groups and library time, I would like to make a few seemingly simple suggestions so that you can prepare yourself for the medical school application process.
The most important thing you can do to supplement a strong GPA and MCAT score (at this point probably just a twinkle in your eye) is to do stuff. At the risk of oversimplification, I’ll explain the importance of doing stuff and the unimportance of what that stuff actually is. Play an intramural sport, read a poem in a poetry slam competition, watch a movie with the French club, give campus tours for the football team, involve yourself in your university’s kids day, participate in a beach cleaning, run a race, go to a conference with friends, fill out the paperwork to be a part of your major’s honors society, something, anything, doesn’t matter, but do stuff. You must like something and there must be an outlet for you to explore, interact, take part in, or be around that something. Have the foresight to know that you will be asked, more or less, what it is that you ‘do,’ and at the age of 22 the answer is expected in list format with brief explanations and bigger picture connections. Stuff gives you the ammunition to answer this question, proof you have additional passions, and supplements your numbers (MCAT, GPA, etc) with some color. Stuff will lead you to finding out what it is that impassions you; one of the more difficult, and yet empowering questions to answer about yourself.