How to Become a Doctor
Part 1 of 5: Preparing in High School
In order to get into the best colleges and the best medical schools, you need excellent grades first and foremost. The better your grades, the more seriously you’ll be taken as a candidate for the programs you wish to get into and the more opportunities you’ll have along the way to make connections and network.
Take the complete science curriculum (and math) at your school. Those who do best in pre-med programs and in medical school have been dealing with math and science from an early age. Take all the courses your high school offers in math and science so when serious classes roll around in college, you’re prepared.
Many people desire to become a doctor because it seems like a great way to help people. Not only will volunteering give you a chance to help people, but it will also look good on your CV, if you do decide to pursue medicine. Consider volunteering at a hospital, free clinic, doctor’s office, or as an EMT. Medical work experience can be tough to find; write to your family doctor, and use family connections to find shadowing opportunities.
- If you’re 16 or older you can look at shadowing doctors abroad with schemes like Gap Medics. Also, be open to volunteer work that is not directly medical related, such as working in a soup kitchen or Habitat for Humanity.
- This can show you what departments appeal to you, in addition to looking good on a college application.
Start thinking about what kind of doctor you want to be while in high school.You’ll be applying to colleges/universities soon, so it’s good to know what kind of doctor you think you want to be. There different kinds of doctors, so colleges have different pre-med programs. Some doctors take a baccalaureate degree in biochemistry, biology, etc., and while your interests may change, you’ll still wind up at a good school, if you focus on what you’re looking for presently.
Take the ACT, or both, and nail it. A good score on the ACT or the SAT, in combination with excellent grades and volunteer experience will be hard for a good four year college to turn down. Submit your scores to a number of schools to up your chances of getting accepted.
- If you’re not happy with your score, opt to not send it, and simply retake the test. Now that you’re familiar with the structure, you’ll likely do a bit better.