3 Skills Premeds Must Develop Before Applying to Medical School
Every pre-med student knows there’s a lot of planning to do before applying to medical school. Oftentimes, you’re so caught up with requirements that you neglect other aspects of your life. There are challenges you face during premed related to your attitude toward others and life in general. Developing certain skills now helps you overcome them before moving on to the next phase of your future medical career.
Looking for ways to improve your attitude before taking on the hectic life of being a medical student? Premed courses are very effective tools that help you gain clinical experience and knowledge, as well as how to pass the MCAT. To make it in this industry, you must equip yourself with certain core values to succeed as a med student in the future.
Here are three core qualities every premed should possess before applying to medical school:
- Independent learning
- Time management
1. Skills Premeds Must Have: Empathy
Empathy means the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. Every medical student needs to develop this skill. This is because, at the end of the day, you will be spending a lot of time with patients.
For med students, empathy goes beyond interactions with patients. You also interact with classmates and instructors. These interactions happen during class and in clinical environments. Don’t let the pressure of attending medical school make you forget to be empathetic to the people around you.
How Empathy Makes You a Better Future Med Student
Socializing with like-minded people helps you get through all the stress of learning medical terminology and techniques and preparing for the USMLEs US medical exams. You and your classmates help and encourage each other within your learning environment.
When you empathize with others, this helps you understand and appreciate the views of the people around you, including patients. Many people will have different opinions from yours in med school and clinical environments.
As a med student, these are opportunities to create important dialogues with like-minded people on your team. For a premed, learning the art of teamwork is something you must master if your want to fulfill your dreams of becoming a doctor someday.
How to Learn the Art of Empathy as a Premed
There are various ways to practice becoming an empathetic person. Take courses like anthropology to help you understand the lives of people from different walks of life. Make friends with people from diverse communities to help you appreciate the reasons people have different viewpoints. This helps you relate with others better, which comes in handy when dealing with different patients every day.
Traveling helps you achieve empathy whether your travel locally or internationally. This opens your eyes to different cultures. That way, you understand different backgrounds and lifestyles and how they differ from yours. Understanding how to exercise empathy towards different types of people before applying to medical school is key to becoming a good doctor someday.
2. Skills Premeds Must Have: Independent Learning
Things are changing a bit in the clinical medicine industry. Physicians are urged to depend more on research evidence and guidelines to make clinical decisions.
This has caused most savvy medical schools to adjust their curricula so it motivates self-drive in med students. The idea is to motivate them to conduct research of their own while helping to improve medical guidelines in the US.
How Independent Learning Skills Help Premeds
Problem-based teaching is very common in medical education. Medical cases are presented to give premeds and medical students more hands-on clinical experience. You must figure out the conditions presented in the cases.
Your job is to find the answers to a series of questions on your own.
This independent learning teaching technique equips medical students with lifelong skills. That way, you gain a more well-rounded medical education than you would be simply focusing on teaching facts alone.
See Also: Become a Doctor, Not a Dreamer: Study While Others Sleep
How to Gain Independent Learning Skills as a Premed
The best way to acquire independent learning skills as a premed is by conducting research. You will encounter a number of issues you’ve never handled before as a med student. Finding the resources required to answer your own questions is how physicians solve medical problems. Developing that skill now as a premed is key to your future success in this industry.
Another way of acquiring independent learning skills is through premed coursework. Go far beyond studying your lecture notes. Find resources and conduct your own research when you come across something that’s not clear to you. Do what it takes to learn more about the topic before applying to medical school.
3. Skills Premeds Must Have: Time Management
Time management is an important skill to learn as a premed. It will help you balance your med school life with your personal life. You’ll also need to balance your various duties as a medical student to stay on the path to becoming a doctor.
As a pre-med student, it’s not easy finding quality time to go over notes and study for tests and US medical exams, such as the MCAT. In time, life for you will be about going to classes, learning clinical skills, and preparing for the USMLE exams and BLS/ACLS certifications.
You need to start developing good time management skills now during your premedical career. That way, you’re ready for the grueling hours that come with being a med student when the time comes.
See Also: 10 Tips for Developing Good Bedside Manner as a Med School Student
How to Manage Your Time Better as a Premed
Create a plan each week. Determine how much time you spend studying each particular premed subject. Designate time for participating in extracurricular activities that help boost your pre-med career.
Be disciplined and stick to your schedule. However, keep your schedule flexible, so you can modify it whenever necessary.
Develop good studying skills early as a premedical student. That way, you have quality time available for your personal life and taking care of family, friends and yourself. Try out different study methods to determine which ones work best for you.
Always try to read ahead of the instructor. That way, you grasp things faster in class because you’ve already done your own research on things you didn’t understand at first. Now, if you still have questions, you’re already prepared to ask them.
This practice makes it easier to balance your school work with other responsibilities on your plate.
Medical school may seem like a lot of work. Just thinking about all the tasks you’ll have to do deal with to succeed may make you feel like giving up even before it all starts. Learning to use time management skills now will help you throughout your future medical career.
Prepare for the MCAT Before Applying to Medical School
As a premed student, your dreams of becoming a doctor are right on your path. Now, it’s time to prepare for attending med school. This is key to tackling the next step on your journey toward practicing medicine in the US.
That means preparing for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). You must pass this US medical exam to get into a med school in the United States. The best way to prepare for this test is with MCAT preparation courses.
MedSmarter provides MCAT tutoring in the Atlanta, Georgia area for premeds. Learn in a hands-on environment from industry experts in Atlanta who know what it takes to pass this US medical exam. The goal is to help you learn how to get the highest score possible on the MCAT.
Check out the MedSmarter MCAT Test Prep Course before you apply to medical school. Click the button below for details. You won’t regret it!