Becoming a health professional is among one of the most challenging and noble careers you could pursue. It is a lifelong commitment to education and whether you are pre-med or in medical school, you will require extreme tenacity in order to succeed. As a result, many who start out pre-med in their undergraduate studies often have to choose another path as they cannot cope with the pre-requisites for medical school. At the University of Miami, almost every other student you come across in your first year is Pre-Med. Here are 4 things you should keep in mind as you pursue this track at the U.
1. If It’s Not For You, Don’t Force Yourself To Do It
Yes, becoming a doctor promises a job but so does every other major. Keep in mind that the Pre-Med track is among one of the hardest that you can pursue. Therefore, you need to weigh the costs and benefits of following through. If you’re not passionate about the classes you’re taking and are completing them merely for the sake of fulfilling Pre-Med requirements, you should probably reconsider. The path to medicine is long and arduous. Without passion, commitment and belief it won’t be worth it in the long run.
2. There are Hundreds of Students in the Exact Same Boat as You
If you’re finding Pre-Med tough, chances are that so is the rest of the Pre-Med population. The University of Miami has an extensive Pre-Med cohort and contrary to popular belief the atmosphere is not cutthroat or competitive. Rather, collaboration (especially in organic chemistry), teamwork and a willingness to share contribute to a fantastic camaraderie. Brothers in arms, it is to your advantage if you actively seek out other Pre-Med students and work together.
3. Volunteering, Shadowing, Research – The Critical Trinity
In addition to balancing a tough course load, volunteering, shadowing and research are a few extra demands made of Pre-Med kids that are required for successful applications to medical schools. Having each aspect of this trinity is critical as they demonstrate indispensable qualities of a health professional. Volunteering demonstrates empathy, shadowing demonstrates curiosity and research demonstrates technical knowledge and academic capability. That said, these activities should be undertaken out of passion and not obligation.
4. There Are Plenty of Resources at The U To Help You
One of the most important resources that you should take advantage of is the Pre-Health advising office. The faculty in the office understand all the struggles you are dealing with as a Pre-med student and can help with a myriad of issues. Whether it be a challenging class, finding volunteering opportunities or advising you on next steps so as to make your application more competitive, make sure to take advantage of this resource. Another great resource are your science professors. Especially at the U where research is always taking place, getting to know your professors can both help you in class as well as create a network upon which you can rely on for opportunities.
At the end of the day, Pre-Med and medicine is about passion. You have to be committed and driven in order to succeed. It is a tedious, arduous process with many moving parts but the U has great resources and people that can guide you.