Contrary to popular belief, preparing for admission to the prehealth school of your choice doesn’t start in one’s junior year. For you guys, it starts right now! The habits you form or break now, and energy and work you put in during these two very important years will help to propel you to the future you desire as a full fledged doctor / dentist / chiropractor / pharmacist / epidemiologist, etc etc. Make this time count! Use these years well, and the requirements during your junior and senior years will be so much easier.
Freshman Spring Timeline
– Keep those grades up.
– Seek out opportunities to demonstrate your interest in the field of your choice. Shadowing and volunteering during this time period will also help you those who are still undecided about which path to take.
– Finalize your plans for the summer! Apply to summer programs that provide research experience, exposure to the health professions. Be sure to select summer opportunities or research programs that are related to your field of interest. If you opt for a program that is not overtly medical, be sure to pursue something that demonstrate a prolonged interest in another activity, but still make time for something healthcare related as well.
-Consider working as a CNA, scribe, phlebotomist, or volunteering at a hospital, clinic during the summer. This will provide exposure to the medical field.
– Start working on an activity journal where you document the health related activities you have participated in. This will serve as a good foundation when you prepare to write your personal statement. Start your journal now, and keep adding it to as you engage in a new activity.
Sophomore Spring Timeline
– Seek out opportunities for leadership on campus, preferably in an organization associated with your field of interest, but truly, any leadership role on campus will be regarded positively on your application.
– Keep your grades up! A good academic record is an important part of a competitive application.
– Finalize your summer plans!!!! If you don’t have any plans, make some immediately. Many students devote the summer after their sophomore year to test preparation, research, regular shadowing etc. The bottom line is to use this valuable time well! You do not want to be sitting at home doing nothing, or working at the Gap so you can get a good discount. This time is for doing something that will support your application to medical, dental, graduate, pharmacy school etc. There are many PAID research opportunities available. Check out this post for an extensive list, but be sure to check today because deadlines are fast approaching or have past for quite a few of them.
– If you are planning to devote your time to test prep, then devote your time to test prep, be that with a class or on your own. This is one of the most important tests you will ever take. You want to be prepared so you can get the best possible score! This may mean not working full time during the summer. Trust me, a competitive score on the MCAT, DAT, OAT, PCAT, or GRE is worth more than any summer employment can pay you.