5 Ways to Get Pre-Med Experience While Still in High School (2023)

5 Ways to Get Pre-Med Experience While Still in High School (1)

If you're a high school student interested in pre-med and a career in medicine, it's a good idea to take a "drive test" in the medical field.

Medical school is rigorous, time-consuming, and expensive, and working in medicine can be emotionally and physically draining. Gaining experience in the medical field now can help you determine if this is truly the right career path for you.

In addition, you will develop valuable skills, knowledge and experience that will benefit you in the future. Gaining experience in the medical field now also shows that you are serious about medicine and can make your college applications more competitive.

Who knows? An experience you have now may even be the perfect anecdote for your future.Personal statement from the medical school..

Of course, you are not sure how to gain experience in the medical field as a high school student. Here are five options to follow.

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1. Volunteer at a hospital or health clinic.

One of the best ways to gain experience in the medical field is to volunteer at a local hospital or health clinic.

Of course, volunteers don't perform the same functions as medical professionals or medical students, but they may greet patients and provide customer service, answer phones and file documents, or help put patients at ease.

Volunteering in a hospital or clinical setting allows you to interact and observe doctors, work with patients, and experience a real-life medical environment. Based on this experience, you can assess whether you really want to work in the medical field on a daily basis.

To find a volunteer position, visit the websites of the local clinics or hospitals where you would like to volunteer. Then find information about their volunteer programs. You can also call and ask if they are looking for volunteers and if they accept high school students. Your career advisor is another helpful resource for finding suitable volunteer opportunities.

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2. Apply to a research or internship program.

Many medical associations, colleges, and universities offer internships and research positions for students. These include the National Institutes of Health, Stanford Medicine, the Mayo Clinic, the American Cancer Society, the University of Chicago, and more.

These programs usually take place in the summer. Their responsibilities and experiences vary, but many programs include aobservation of professionalscomponent, as well as hands-on skill practice or research alongside recognized scientists and medical professionals.

Taking these steps now can make your path to a medical career smoother and easier.

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You have to apply for these programs and many of them are very competitive. Research opportunities online and make a list of programs that interest you. Consider factors such as cost, travel, and living arrangements. Is the program near you or in another state? Does the program help you find an apartment or do you need to find accommodation?

Capture important application deadlines for the programs you're interested in and start applying. These are not only some of the most valuable experiences out there, but they are also extremely impressive when applying to college.

3. Participate in a summer medical program.

You can also attend less competitive summer medical programs on college campuses or through organizations like theNational Student Leadership Conference.

These programs are essentially summer camps for high school students interested in studying medicine. They may include attending workshops, meeting with medical students and/or professors, participating in simulation labs and research studies, learning basic surgical and medical examination techniques, and more.

While these summer programs may not be as impressive on your resume as a competitive internship or research position, they offer valuable experience. It's also fun to experience life on a college campus and meet students who share similar interests and career goals.

Why Job Shadowing Is Secretly The Smartest Way To Spend Your Summer

4. Job Shadow to a doctor.

observation of professionalsallows you to spend a day or more shadowing a professional in a profession that interests you. You may have the opportunity to perform some basic job duties and you can discuss the career with a professional and learn more about your schedule, experiences, and day-to-day responsibilities.

To accompany a doctor, first ask your careers adviser if he or she knows of organizations you can contact. You can also call or email a local hospital or clinic and ask if they would allow you to tail someone.

(Video) How to get Clinical Experience/Hours as a Premed for Medical School with examples!

Once you've set a date and time, prepare a few questions to ask the doctor you're following. For example, you can ask:

  • Why did you decide to be a doctor?
  • What makes a successful doctor?
  • What do you like and dislike about your career?
  • What advice would you give to a medical student/physician?
  • What else can I do to prepare for medical school and a career in medicine?

Ask anything else that interests you and immerse yourself in the experience. Be aware of the general environment, the pace of work, and the tasks the doctor performs throughout the day. Would you be ready for work? Do you think you would enjoy it? Try to put yourself in the shoes of the person you are following to see if the medical field is really right for you.

5. Volunteer at a nursing home or homeless shelter.

Doctors must be compassionate, empathetic, and able to communicate with and care for people from all walks of life. Therefore, any volunteer experience in the service of other people is useful. Even if your experience is not directly related to the medical field, you can begin to develop and practice the qualities necessary to be a successful doctor.

If you know you want to practice medicine in rural areas or underserved neighborhoods, volunteer in communities that reflect the populations you will be working with in the future.

These volunteer opportunities can be found by asking your career advisor for help, searching online, or by contacting community organizations directly.

The final result

No matter how you go about it, gaining experience in the medical field is extremely beneficial for aspiring medical students. You can assess whether medicine is the right career for you and even find a specific population to work in or a type of medicine to practice.

You can network, gain knowledge, skills, and experience that will be useful in medical school and in your future medical career. They will also make your college application more competitive.

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So, volunteer at a hospital, apply for a research position or internship, join a summer medical program, shadow a doctor, or even find other volunteer work that serves others. Taking these steps now can make your path to a medical career smoother and easier.

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5 Ways to Get Pre-Med Experience While Still in High School (2)

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What should you do in high school if u are interested in medical? ›

High school students interested in medicine should take math all four years (including calculus senior year) and four years of science (including biology, chemistry, and physics). If you've maxed out your school's STEM offerings, perhaps consider taking advanced STEM courses at a local college or even online.

What is the best volunteer experience for medical school? ›

It is highly recommended that students volunteer for opportunities, directly and indirectly, related to healthcare. Some examples of direct healthcare opportunities include working at a local clinic, nursing home, or hospital. Indirect options include Habitat for Humanity, soup kitchens, and tutoring.

How do high school students get experience in the medical field? ›

So, volunteer at a hospital, apply for a research or internship position, attend a summer medical program, job shadow a doctor, or even find other volunteer work serving others.

Is AP stats good for pre-med? ›

If you are going to be a humanities major or a business major, then take AP Stats. Stats is important for all business majors, and even for psychology or political science and Pre-Med as well. Alternatively, you can take AP Calculus or a dual-enrollment Calc or online college calc.

What is the easiest premed major? ›

If you're looking for the most straightforward path, biological sciences, including majors like molecular biology, cell biology, and neuroscience, feature several courses that overlap with your medical school prerequisites. That's why nearly 60% of all applicants choose this major.

What is the minimum GPA for pre-med? ›

What is a Good GPA for Med School? It is extremely difficult to get into medical school with a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0. Here's how med school applicants compare to enrolled students (i.e. matriculants).

What GPA do you need for pre-med? ›

Admissions experts advise aspiring medical school students to aim for a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Dec. 3, 2021, at 9:00 a.m.

What GPA do doctors need in high school? ›

GPAs can vary significantly across different medical schools, so it pays to do your research before applying. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reported an average GPA for medical school of 3.60 across all applicants for the 2021-2022 application cycle.

What is a good age to start med school? ›

Most med students are around 24 years old when heading into their first year. The average graduating age is 28, but it's never too late to go to med school. Non-traditional applicants often fear it may be too late to attend medical school.

What age is too late for medical school? ›

There is no age limit for medical school. You can become a doctor in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and even 60s. In the end, medical schools want students who will make good physicians.

How many hours a week should I volunteer for pre med? ›

Quantitatively, medical schools suggest AT LEAST 10-15 hours a month (give or take). Medical School Admissions also view service work as a long-term commitment, where a prospective applicant has committed at least 6 months to a given organization.

What age are most medical interns? ›

Research Summary.

There are over 605,143 medical interns currently employed in the United States. 75.1% of all medical interns are women, while 24.9% are men. The average age of an employed medical internship is 36 years old.

Is 1000 hours of clinical experience good for med school? ›

There's no universally applicable set of clinical hours that will get you into medical school. However, generally speaking, about 100 to 150 hours of meaningful clinical experience completed in a consistent schedule over a few months can give your application a competitive edge.

How can I get medical experience at 16? ›

Work experience at hospitals

You will need to be at least 16-years-old for a work placement in a hospital. To find out whether your local hospital accepts work experience students, try contacting a work placement coordinator or the medical staffing department (also known as human resources).

Can a 15 year old do work experience in a hospital? ›

Medical and Hospital work experience placements for students under 16 will be very difficult to gain. Most medical settings set a minimum age limit of at least 16.

Do medical schools care about high school activities? ›

It's not just high school students who need to wow admissions committees with their extracurriculars. Your GPA and MCAT will get you to the door but your extracurricular activities will set you apart in the medical school application process.

Do you need Calc 3 for med school? ›

No health professions schools require multivariable calculus. A small number require two semesters of calculus but they will allow you to substitute college courses with advanced placement credit or credit from other college-level exams taken in high school.

Does taking AP boost your GPA? ›

While honors courses usually add 0.5 points to your GPA, AP classes often add 1 point. In other words, a 3.5 GPA would be boosted to a 4.0 in an honors class and a 4.5 in an AP class. This boost can prove particularly useful if you want to challenge yourself with more difficult training without punishing your GPA.

Does pre-med require a lot of math? ›

A: Over 50 medical schools require one or two semesters of mathematics (college math, calculus, and/or statistics). At many of these schools, any two math courses (including many statistics courses) would meet this requirement. Some medical schools will accept AP credit in math if it is listed on your transcript.

What should I study before pre-med? ›

All pre-med students have certain core science classes they need to take. (The AAMC published a list of requirements for each medical school in the country.) These always include biology, chemistry (general and organic), biochemistry, and physics, and often include math/statistics, psychology, and sociology.

What math should I take in high school for pre-med? ›

A: Over 50 medical schools require one or two semesters of mathematics (college math, calculus, and/or statistics). At many of these schools, any two math courses (including many statistics courses) would meet this requirement. Some medical schools will accept AP credit in math if it is listed on your transcript.

What should I major in for pre-med? ›

Most Popular Pre-Med Science Majors

Biology ( general and other) Biochemistry. Neurobiology. Physical sciences.

What do you do before premed? ›

10 Things to Do to Prepare for Applying to Medical School
  • Partner with your advisor. ...
  • Attend career/health professions fairs. ...
  • Seek out on-campus resources and mentors. ...
  • Increase your activity and responsibility in clubs. ...
  • Get experience in the lab, volunteering and/or shadowing. ...
  • Prepare for the MCAT.


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