The demand for highly-qualified medical professionals has increased over the past few years, prompting some people to take on the call and enter or advance within the healthcare industry. If you’ve felt compelled to pitch in and do more to enhance the health and well-being of American citizens, you’ll need more than a compassionate heart to be successful. Ultimately, you need to have the necessary experience, skills, and education to fulfill the required responsibilities.
Whether you’re trying to get an entry-level position or move up the ranks, you may be required to attend medical school. Getting accepted is challenging, and completing the program will have physical, emotional, and financial impacts on your personal and professional life. Fortunately, there are tips and tricks you can use to get through med school so you can see your dreams of being a healthcare professional actualized.
Passing The Test
Just as many colleges and universities require applicants to complete the SAT or placement exams, you’ll need to pass a test to get into medical school. The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is an extensive exam that measures your knowledge and experience in Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills, Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, and Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior.
The MCAT score range is between 472-528, with 500 being the median score. It’s a rigorous test that you shouldn’t take lightly. You’ll need to study hard and prepare for weeks or even months in advance to ensure you get a passing score.
After passing the MCAT, you’ll need to apply to accredited medical schools. Your application should be organized, detailed, and spell out why you’d be an excellent fit for the program. It should include your degrees, resume, awards, certifications, and recommendations from employers or healthcare professionals. The competition is stiff, so you’ll want to ensure you apply to more than one medical school to increase your acceptance rate.
Prioritize Your Health And Wellness
Some students get so wrapped up in succeeding that they overlook the importance of their health and wellness. They might sleep less, eat unhealthy foods (or skip eating), fail to remain active, and even rely on prescription medications and illegal drugs to cope with the mental overwhelm. Doing this is a surefire way to throw your studies off course. Therefore, you must ensure your health and wellness remain a priority. Get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep, consume a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, and most importantly, turn to mental health professionals or other support and treatment solutions to cope with the stress.
Simplify Your Home Life
Unless you’re a young adult fresh out of college, you probably have outside obligations while attending medical school. Getting your education will require a lot of time, so it’s essential to simplify your home life to avoid frustration. Adjust your daily routine to accommodate your school schedule. If you have children, enlist the help of friends and family to help ensure their needs are met when you can’t do it yourself. Finally, pencil in time to stay connected with your family to avoid relational strain and emotional hardship.
Put Your Employer In The Loop
Most med school students have a job to provide for their needs and take care of other obligations. While quitting isn’t an option, you don’t want to lose your job due to your education demands. Therefore, once you’ve been accepted into medical school, you should inform your employer. Let them know that you’re interested in advancing in the healthcare field but are still committed to doing your job.
Notifying your employer gives them insight into how your work life might be impacted so they can develop feasible solutions to support you while keeping the business afloat. They might offer remote hours, tuition reimbursement, or reduce your workload by delegating tasks to other staff members. Either way, it ensures you can keep your job, perform well, and focus on your education.
Getting accepted into medical school is an accomplishment by itself. However, the real work begins after acceptance. If you’re going to achieve your goals of advancing in the healthcare industry, you’ll need to find balance, set standards, and implement practices like those listed above to complete the program and take your place in helping society.