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!
- Build connections
- Have fun
- Keep a balanced diet and lifestyle (eat, exercise, and sleep!)
- Take every learning opportunity you can, both within and outside of medicine
- Explore your interests, whether it be through coursework, hobbies, or something else
- Seek the advice of older students at your university
- 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.
- Make sure you incorporate research, clinical and non-Clinical volunteering, and shadowing gradually into your schedule
- Take advantage of leadership opportunities
- Take advantage of teaching opportunities
- Give yourself enough time to study for the MCAT (over the summer or a lighter semester)
- Stay aware of professors or mentors that you work with who you would like a letter of recommendation from. Stay in touch!
- Remember to thank those who got you where you are and who are helping you get where you want to go
- Avoid taking important, but sometimes difficult, classes for the sake of GPA preservation
- Kill yourself taking insane course loads. Play it smart: there are extracurriculars and other things you need to be on top of as well.
- Become single-minded and only do things to boost your application
- Neglect building soft-skills
- Forget this is a marathon, not a sprint. You should take breaks and preserve/replenish your mental and physical health