So you know you want to enter the medical field, but right now, you’re “just” a high school student. What can you do? Well, there are several ways you can prepare for your medical career right now, and here are seven of them:
1. Investigate. While you may not know yet exactly what you want to become, try to narrow your search to a certain field, like cardiology or dietetics. Then research it (a lot). The field of medical careers is vast, so try to get specific now.
2. Learn to balance. “[A]nother big thing is to try to start building good study habits and time management skills…,” says one student beginning an intensive medical program. Health-related careers are rewarding, but it takes a lot of hard work and time. So, learning when to study and when to relax will be a great habit to develop now.
3. Grades… Grades shouldn’t consume your soul, but they can be important if you’re looking at medical programs. Try your best to succeed in your classes; the hard work will pay off later.
4. College-hunt now. Here’s where those grades can pay off. Research different colleges, medical schools and programs, and see what it will take to get into your favorite ones. Keep those schools in mind so that you can have a goal and a dream to work towards.
5. Chat with some role models. Befriend someone who has experience in a health career, preferably in the field you are interested in. Ask them about their stories and get tips on how to prepare for med school and internships. Your role model could very well become your best friend as you prepare for college.
6. Become a shadow. No, not literally, but you will be like a shadow. Find out what a career in health will be like by taking advantage of job shadow opportunities. Follow doctors and nurses and even get to help them. Not only will you be getting experience (which will look good on a resume) but you’ll also get a chance to see if becoming a medical professional is what you want to pursue.
7. Volunteer! Gain even more experience. Help out with blood drives; start disease-awareness campaigns at your school; visit people in hospitals and nursing homes. You could even help international communities improve their health through options like Global Leadership Adventures public health programs! These medical programs for high school students are designed to show you the way traditional health care blends with western-style care in developing countries. There are countless opportunities to volunteer, and you will be advancing your medical career and doing what you love to do: helping other people.
Do you have more tips to prepare for a medical career? Share them in your comments! We’d love to hear from you.
Contributed by Addie Davis