Do you want to be in medical school in Fall 2014? Then resolve to:
- Sign up ASAP for an MCAT course so that you are fully prepared to take the test early. Ideally you want to ace it no later than the April 27th administration because then your scores should be released by May 29, 2013. See 2013 MCAT Registration Deadline and Score Release Schedule.
- Continue or begin clinical exposure. If you are going to be a doctor, you need to have experienced the hospital environment – working under pressure, dealing with sick people, responding to family members, and interacting with tired and even more pressured colleagues.
- Develop a relationship with faculty members and supervisors who can provide letters of recommendation. You will want people who know you well to write your recommendations. Nurture relationships with TAs, lab supervisors, research sponsors (who work closely with you) for their intrinsic value, and you will also have strong recommendations.
- Clarify what’s important to you in a medical school. Are you primarily interested in primary care? Or do you find research attractive? Do you prefer an urban, suburban, or rural setting? Which approach to medical education appeals to you, and why? Yes, I know that you will be happy to go where you get in, but you really can’t apply to every school in the country. Once you have determined what would be your ideal, then consider if those schools are feasible. For example, cost is frequently a constraint, or if you aren’t competitive at every medical school, then your qualifications are a constraint. While it’s easy to apply to more rather than fewer schools through AMCAS, it could get pretty expensive. Choose based on what’s important to you. You’ll save time and money.