Here is my advice for the ambitious Pre-Med student. I have broken it down into different sections, see what is most applicable to you.
FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS THINKING ABOUT GRADUATE MEDICINE:
- Consider a non-science undergraduate program as an equally relevant pathway to medicine. Here is why.
- Increased time benefits could allow you to gain increased exposure to the healthcare workforce.
- Pursue a ‘backup‘ degree that you are also interested in, this is a wise safeguard in event that you don’t matriculate.
- Plan around specific school requirements and stay on top of the admissions process.
FOR STUDENTS IN NON-SCIENCE DEGREES AND LOOKING TO PURSUE MEDICINE:
- It is possible, hundreds of pupils before you have successfully enrolled and graduated with diverse backgrounds. You can too.
- Understand your weaknesses, it is likely that you need more preparation for GAMSAT Section 3, plan appropriately and practice routinely.
- Anticipate school-specific requirements (eg. prereqs) and complete them if you wish to apply to those schools.
FOR THOSE MISERABLE OR STRUGGLING IN MEDICAL SCIENCE/TRADITIONAL PREMED DEGREES, AND LOOKING TO PURSUE MEDICINE:
- Consider switching to a degree that you would enjoy, excel in and also provide a good backup plan. In the event of non-admission to medicine, is there a career you’d rather be doing instead of medical science research work?
- Utilise flexibility in a new undergraduate program to advantage. Select a degree that you feel confident will provide you with the highest academic standing. More often than not, this program genuinely interests you.
- Utilise the extra time to gain insights into the healthcare field. This will assist your application, interview and general resolve to study medicine.
- Do not switch degrees just because a course is easier than another.
- Poor study habits will haunt you in whichever degree you choose. Let it be known that not all students excel even within ‘easier’ degrees such as Arts. Let this be a time to build upon good study habits.
FOR THOSE ENJOYING AND EXCELLING IN MEDICAL SCIENCE/TRADITIONAL PRE-MED DEGREES AND LOOKING TO PURSUE MEDICINE:
- Congratulations, your study strategies are paying off.
- Much of my advice on studying a non-science degree would be irrelevant to you.
- Continue cultivating and improving upon study habits.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE:
Any increase in GPA would do wonders in increasing your application strength. This is due to the nature of GAMSAT scores being normally distributed, even small increases in GPA are significant to overall academic ranking. Make choices accordingly.