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Things to do as a first semester premedical student

11th September 2018 Print

Applying to medical school starts a long time before you submit the application.  There are lots of things that you need to do to prepare for medical school, and you should be checking off some of these tasks as early as your freshman year for the best chance of getting accepted.  We have listed some tasks that you should be completing as a first semester premedical student to heighten your chances of success, in an incredibly competitive field.

Think About Extracurricular Activities

Medical schools are looking for well-rounded students.  You should be taking a look at the extracurricular activities that are available within your college or university.  You will normally find sports and clubs as well as interest groups or even hospital volunteering.  There are usually some spring fairs hosted where you can get a better idea of what there is to offer and to also meet new contacts that could be helpful in your progression.

If you are contemplating joining a sports team, be aware that there are lots of time demands made on athletes in season, and that you may need to allocate more time during summer for studying.  

Prepare yourself for the Application Process

The application process for medical school can also be more involved than you think.  There are lots of things to consider, including your MCAT’s.  There are some great study guides that can help you on your way to MCAT success. Medical schools will look at your MCAT grades when considering your application, and resources such as the Princeton Review is a great asset in terms of study preparation. If you’re not up to date with what The Princeton Review is and how it can be beneficial to students, you can learn more about the Princeton Review here.

You will also need to think about letters of recommendation.  These should contain much more information than your attendance, attitude etc.  It should have details about your overall attitude n terms of how determined you are as an individual, and how committed you will be to the field. 

Make Sure there is an Academic Plan in Place

You should have an academic plan in place for both your premed courses, and what you are going to major in.  it can come as a bit of a shock to some students that there isn’t a true premed major. This means that you should plan out your coursework for each semester.  Think about how many classes you will need to take to complete your major – all the will noting the core requirements needed for your major. 

Some of these requirements may only be available to students who are in specific years of their learning, or that they can go across 2 semesters.  Make sure that you check if there are any areas of overlap that you need to consider.  

It’s definitely easy to think that freshman year can be a year for simply settling in – but in actual fact, there is still a lot of preparation required at this time.