Growing up, we all have that dream job that we hope to pursue one day. For some, it’s a career in medicine. Whether you recall playing doctor as a kid or always aspired to be a nurse, it’s a calling that you’ve been wanting to answer for some time.
As you prepare to leave high school for college, it’s important to know the steps that it will take to find the right place in the medical field for you. Let’s take a look at what you need to do as you begin the college application process.
As you explore the colleges you wish to apply to, you’ll want to make sure that you have the best college counseling. The right counselor will take an assessment of more than just your GPA and your SAT scores. They’ll look into your extracurricular activities, your passion for a particular field, and overall life experience to point you towards safe schools, dream schools, and even universities you never thought were a possibility to get into.
While you may go into the college admissions process knowing the medical field you want to pursue, studying pre-medicine can open doors beyond just the basic requirements like organic chemistry and biology. It’s best to get required courses out of the way early to focus on the specialties. For example, if you decide to pursue pediatrics, you may want to consider courses that focus on child psychology or adolescent development. By expanding your horizons early, you can afford to find yourself a niche that can make you an ideal candidate for a competitive residency later on.
A medical school admissions consultant will help students determine the right landing spot. Prospective medical students should prioritize finding a school where they can not only excel academically but be matched up to the field they may have found best suited for them during their pre-med program. Counseling can help to lay off the strengths of each program on a residency match list. When going through the college admission counseling process, you might find it best to look into schools that offer a comprehensive package of specialties in case something else piques your interest in the pursuit of a medical degree.
Medical school is a long-term commitment. It’s important to weigh the options for the greatest success in the field. You’ll want to seek programs with the greatest hands-on approach to the field that you are looking to get into. For example, some nursing programs will place students into hospitals for better training, and an understanding of what each shift is like in a particular wing. This can range from the treatment of patients to understanding machine operations used in surgical procedures or elsewhere.
Beyond the degree that you’ve been dreaming of since you were plucked from a pool of high schoolers by a college admissions officer, certification programs can help candidates stand out more in the medical field. For example, if you wish to pursue a career in hematology or oncology, you’ll want to make sure that you’re working with a counselor or mentor to be able to assist in providing treatment to cancer patients through cancer immunotherapy.
Selective colleges offer these certifications that allow for a hands-on understanding of a treatment plan, and a focus on what it may take to kill cancer cells in one patient as opposed to a different case. Programs will highlight the immune system and its response to immunotherapy as a way of treating everything from lymphoma to skin cancer. This can include specializing in treating pediatric patients or in the aftercare of treatment options to help patients build back better.