Some quick dos and don'ts for premeds

By Aum

As an MD-PhD Candidate, I’ve spent a lot of time working with premed students on their journeys into medicine. Here are some dos and don'ts that I’ve gathered along the way - please note that this list isn’t all-inclusive! 

The Dos

  1. Build connections
  2. Have fun
  3. Keep a balanced diet and lifestyle (eat, exercise, and sleep!) 
  4. Take every learning opportunity you can, both within and outside of medicine
  5. Explore your interests, whether it be through coursework, hobbies, or something else
  6. Seek the advice of older students at your university 
  7. Be cognizant of premedical requirements and other aspects to build your application. The AAMC compiles really useful data every year, and you can find info for 2022 here.
  8. Make sure you incorporate research, clinical and non-Clinical volunteering, and shadowing gradually into your schedule
  9. Take advantage of leadership opportunities
  10. Take advantage of teaching opportunities
  11. Give yourself enough time to study for the MCAT (over the summer or a lighter semester)
  12. Stay aware of professors or mentors that you work with who you would like a letter of recommendation from. Stay in touch!
  13. Remember to thank those who got you where you are and who are helping you get where you want to go

The Don'ts

  1. Avoid taking important, but sometimes difficult, classes for the sake of GPA preservation 
  2. Kill yourself taking insane course loads. Play it smart: there are extracurriculars and other things you need to be on top of as well. 
  3. Become single-minded and only do things to boost your application
  4. Neglect building soft-skills
  5. Forget this is a marathon, not a sprint. You should take breaks and preserve/replenish your mental and physical health