Helping your child enter medical school is an aspiration that many parents hold, but fulfilling it is not always straightforward. Thankfully, you can do a few things to help make this process as painless as possible, so here are just a few steps that will see them take this important step on the road to becoming a fully qualified physician.
Encourage proper preparation for entrance exams & interviews
Applying to medical school is stressful for prospective students, and thorough preparation is the ideal way to minimize jitters and increase success chances.
This is particularly relevant in the context of taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), which is a necessity if your child is hoping to study at the best institutions around. The good news is that with MCAT preparation courses, you can formalize this as much as possible and ensure that there is a structure to the way that your child faces this first hurdle.
You should also familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the MCAT so that you understand its implications in the context of gaining admission to medical school and, more importantly, getting an interview in the first place. This, along with a good GPA, will be instrumental in attaining interest from sought-after medical schools.
Choose appropriate extracurricular activities
While it is definitely a good idea for your child to also pursue pastimes outside of their studies that will demonstrate them to be well-rounded individuals on their medical school applications, it should be a case of quality over quantity.
For example, medical schools will be looking out for people who have volunteered on community projects, participated in healthcare-related programs, and generally focused their attention on extracurricular activities that are relevant to their future ambitions.
Likewise, you should not let extracurricular activities take up all their time; it is all about striking a balance and making sure that they can perform well academically while still having a life away from the books.
Do not pile on too much pressure
Parents who want their child to enter medical school should certainly aim to provide all the support and guidance they can muster. This should not come at the expense of heaping on pressure and expectations that could ultimately be detrimental to their success chances.
This is not just important from a mental health perspective, but also comes into play to prepare your child for entering into the wider world. They will be more independent and capable if they have not had their hand held every step of the way during the application process, so be sure to give them room to breathe.
Outline the realities of life as a doctor
Would-be medical students should be made aware of the challenges and stresses they face in training, and also the rigors and responsibilities of actually being a physician.
Not everyone is a good match for this career path, and it is better to find this out now than in several months or years. Parents should talk to their kids to give them as much information as they need to make the right decision.
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