Med school is often regarded as one of the most difficult kinds of schools to get into. If becoming a plastic surgeon, doctor, or entering any other medical profession interests you, you’re probably wondering how to get into medical school. It can be a very strenuous process for prospective students, which is why, in this guide, we’ve covered medical school requirements, along with tips on how to get accepted into medical school
This article is perfect for pre-med students and aspiring doctors needing help with their school search and medical school application process. Know that it’s vital that pre-med students submit a compelling personal statement, maintain high GPAs, and get letters of recommendation to increase their chances.
How Difficult Is It to Get Into Medical School?
Getting into medical school can be very difficult due to the high-grade requirements, competition, and candidacy standards. You’ll need in-depth science, math, and biology skills to become a doctor, surgeon, plastic surgeon, or psychiatrist. Medical schools require you to master these subjects during high school or pre-med programs.
Future medical students will also need to pass their Medical College Admission and MCAT exams, and earn a high-enough GPA to be considered for any College of Medicine. These high expectations, paired with a long-term, intensive clinical residency and medical curricula, make the process of getting into and graduating from medical school a highly difficult one.
However, if you are equipped with a pre-med degree, excel at STEM subjects, and acquire relevant skills, your chances of getting into medical school will increase. You also need to submit an impressive personal statement and letters of recommendation to impress the medical school admissions committees.
Common Medical School Requirements
Below are common medical school requirements you must fulfill in order to get accepted into the program and eventually build a fruitful career in medicine. There might be additional requirements that will depend on the university’s candidacy and academic preferences.
- MCAT Exam. A universal requirement for any school of medicine is the MCAT, which you are required to pass to qualify for candidacy. This test covers biomedicine, physics, mathematics, chemistry, statistics, psychology, and biochemistry and lasts around seven and a half hours. You’ll need extensive preparation in STEM skills to pass it.
- Medical School Prerequisites. A pre-med degree isn’t the only undergraduate degree you can get to apply for med school. Your undergraduate career can have taken place in any subject to qualify. However, you will need to have completed several STEM-based courses to meet the school’s requirements.
- Minimum Grade Requirements. A prospective student’s primary application must include an official transcript with a high overall GPA. The standard GPA requirement across most medical schools is 3.5, although the higher the better. You’ll also need an A or A+ in the prerequisite courses to meet your medical school admission requirements.
- Personal Statement. Your medical school application will require a personal statement and resume covering your personal and professional capabilities. Medical school admissions officers use these application documents to gauge your candidacy. Along with your academic success and medical experience, it highlights your interpersonal skills, passion for science, qualitative skills, and any relevant extracurricular activities.
- Letter of Recommendation. Medical school admissions committees take professional and academic letters of recommendation into account when choosing you as a medical school student. You can ask your university advisor, biological science professor, or healthcare professor for letters of recommendation.
How to Get Accepted Into Medical School: A Step-by-Step Guide
The application process for getting into a prestigious school of medicine consists of several steps requiring you to have an excellent academic track record. You’ll need to showcase your passion for a medical career, complete the medical school prerequisite classes, and display your interest in the university’s healthcare program to get into your dream school.
Here’s a step-by-step guide you can use on how to get accepted into medical school. You can personalize these steps to match your medical career goals, educational background, and medical experience.
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Step 1: Research the Top Medical Degree Options and Schools
There are tons of medical schools with high school rankings, making the research process of finding your ideal school essential. You should begin by narrowing your top medical career choices, then finding the medical schools that excel in those specializations. We recommend making a list of schools and programs to get started.
When doing your research, you should look for application requirements, preferred academic scores, clinical requirements, average tuition, career services, and location on your list. You should also take note of the school’s career placement and graduation rates to increase your chances of success post-graduation.
Step 2: Prepare For Your MCAT Exam
The next step is to start preparing for your MCAT exams. The better you do in this standardized medical test, the better your chances of qualifying for the top medical schools. You can enroll in online courses and take mock exams to get prepared. Keep in mind that the test is seven and a half hours long, so prepare accordingly.
Step 3: Start and Submit Your Med School Application Process
Once you are equipped with your dream medical school list, undergraduate degree, and MCAT scores, you are ready to start your medical school applications. Similar to many graduate school applications, medical schools also require you to submit official transcripts, degrees, a resume, a personal statement, and your relevant medical experience.
Make sure to check the program’s prerequisite course list, GPA requirements, and extracurricular activity requirements before submitting an application. Your personal statement should cover your career goals, academic qualifications, interpersonal skills, and your reasons for choosing a medical career.
Step 4: Apply For Financial Aid and Medical School Scholarships
This step is vital for prospective students requiring financial aid. The entire educational track of a medical degree can last seven years or more. which can often make medical school tuition unaffordable. There are many scholarships, loans, and financial aid opportunities you can apply for to lighten the financial burden. Get in touch with the school’s admissions officers and finance department to find scholarship opportunities and payment plans that meet your needs.
Step 5: Get Letters of Recommendation From Professional and Academic Peers
Having two or three letters of recommendation is essential for medical school applicants looking to impress the admissions committee. Pre-med graduates can reach out to their biological science professors for a reference letter. You can also reach out to your university advisor or workplace manager to highlight your clinical skills and academic capabilities. If your extracurricular activities include volunteering, a letter from your supervisor would be helpful.
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Step 6: Get a Job or Internship Post Your Pre Med Degree
Having in-depth medical and clinical skills is a great application booster for medical school applicants. This will highlight your understanding of clinical environments, biomedical systems, patient care abilities, and overall familiarity with the health care system.
You can also apply for community service or volunteering positions at health centers that serve underserved communities to gain valuable volunteer experience and boost your candidacy while doing good deeds. This can be an extracurricular activity or a job after completing your pre-med journey.
Step 7: Prepare for Your Medical School Interview
This next step applies to students who get invited for an interview session. This round is your opportunity to showcase your passion for your dream medicine career, knowledge about the school’s program, and desire to be a medical student at their specific institution. You should practice answering common medical school interview questions and prepare a compelling elevator speech for your candidacy.
Getting in touch with the school’s current students prior to the interview is another way to enhance your understanding of the medical disciplines and their expectations. Make sure to mention any meaningful activities that have contributed to your growth as a student and as a person.
How to Choose the Right Medical School
When choosing the right medical school for you, it’s important to consider costs, application requirements, partner programs, curricula, acceptance rates, and scholarship opportunities. You should also look into the school’s rankings, career placement services, location, and graduation rates.
Top Tips for Getting Into Medical School
Although there are many factors affecting your chances of getting accepted into the medical school of your dreams, there are a few things you can do to enhance your candidacy. Below are our top five tips for getting into medical school.
- Practice for Your MCATs. Your MCAT score is one of the most important factors when it comes to getting accepted to your medical program of choice. You’ll need to invest a lot of time practicing sample papers and tests online to get fully prepared.
- Get a Pre-Med Undergraduate Degree. Although a pre-med degree isn’t mandatory for medical school, having one helps. Getting this degree over another will help you master biology, chemistry, biomedicine, math, and physics, all of which are vital to a medical degree. You’ll also need to score a 3.5 GPA or higher to meet the field’s grade requirements.
- Attend Medical School Information Sessions. Having useful information on the schools you’re applying to will help you make an informed decision when choosing one. You can attend information sessions offered by medical schools to get guidance for submitting an impressive application.
- Pursue an Internship or Pre-Med Job. Having medical and clinical experience is a great candidacy booster. There are tons of jobs for pre-med students that you can apply for. You can also volunteer at community hospitals or medical camps to earn valuable experience.
- Develop Your Medical Network. Getting into a medical school is a difficult process and having a personal connection with the school’s faculty and advisors will surely help your chances. You can get in touch with the program advisor or professor and introduce yourself and your passion for medicine and health care.
Will I Get Accepted Into Medical School?
If you submit a compelling school application with an impressive personal statement, letters of recommendation, and high academic scores, your chances of acceptance at a medical school are high. You’ll need to cater to individual school requirements and preferences to further increase your chances.
Is Getting Into Medical School Worth It?
Yes, getting into medical school is worth it for anyone who aspires to build a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for physicians and surgeons is $208,000. Along with competitive salaries, medical schools also allow you to lead a noble and rewarding career.
How to Get Into Medical School FAQ
The standard GPA requirements for medical schools differ based on the specific school, but most universities typically require a minimum GPA of 3.5 from their prospective students.
Some of the prerequisite courses for medical schools are biological sciences, physics, chemistry, math, psychology, and social sciences. You can find the list of required courses on each university’s program checklist.
Some of the top medical schools are The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Brody School of Medicine, and Stanford University School of Medicine.
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Yes, you need to pass the MCAT to get into medical school. Earning a high MCAT score will increase your chances of getting into your ideal medical school.
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