The last couple of years has driven home the importance of healthcare and medicine. Throughout the pandemic, selfless healthcare practitioners have mobilized their knowledge and efforts to care for countless people. And that’s on top of the everyday services they provide.
Medicine is one of those evergreen fields of study. The world will always need bright young people to devote their mental efforts to caring for others. And the job market will probably always have spots available for doctors, nurses, and specialists. Not only is it a richly rewarding career option, but it’s a lucrative one too.
If you’re a high school student interested in pursuing a medical degree, let’s first start by congratulating you on the decision. Next, let’s get you ready. In this article, explore a few tips to prepare you for a post-secondary academic career in helping others.
Learn the Fundamentals
Naturally, you can’t apply to post-secondary medicine programs without a solid foundation in the sciences. As you round out your high school tenure, pay special attention to fulfilling the scientific prerequisites you need. You could even look into something like one of these Oxford Summer Courses by Summer Schools.com to continue your learning during the summer and get an idea of what life studying at one of the most prestigious universities in the world would be like.
If you’re unsure what courses to take, pick a university program that interests you and check out their “required courses.” In all likelihood, you’ll begin with a related undergraduate degree before graduating from a “post-grad” medicine program. In either case, these courses will require courses in biology, chemistry, physics (usually), and mathematics.
Don’t Skip the English Courses
It shocks some high school students to learn that they need English courses to advance to a degree in medicine. In virtually every pre-med and medical program, you are required to demonstrate proficiency in language and critical thinking. After all, a large portion of your job as an eventual practitioner will be communicating with patients and colleagues.
As you prepare for a medical degree, don’t forget to enroll in ENG4U (Grade 12 English). If you still need to complete ENG4U, enroll at an online school to flexibly complete the course at your own pace.
Volunteer at a Hospital
Hospitals always need volunteers, and many offer volunteer programs specifically catered to high school students. Volunteering is a great way to familiarize yourself with a healthcare setting and learn the rhythms, terminology, and soft skills that go into caring for others. It’s also a fantastic way to bolster your university application; university admissions officers love to see an eager, community-oriented prospect come across their desk!
Read through this sample list of interview questions before applying to volunteer.
Practice the CASPer Test
The CASPer test isn’t used universally by admissions officers, but many institutions make it a requirement. Nevertheless, it’s good practice.
Essentially, the CASPer test is a Situational Judgment Test (or SJT) designed to evaluate how you respond to tough scenarios and situations. Evaluators in several people-facing programs use SJTs to determine the behavioral suitability of candidates. You can find free practice CASPer tests online.
Finally, research the reading list for the pre-med and medical programs that interest you. There’s a good chance that some (or most) of it will sound entirely foreign (that’s the nature of post-secondary specialization!), but you may be able to extract some value from the readings.
Good luck on your journey toward care and knowledge. As the next generation of helpers, the world will rely on your studiousness and dedication.