The new school year is gearing up, and whether you’re a freshman or an experienced student who’s new to the premed path, you might be wondering what to do. What matters? How do you succeed? What’s expected of you as a premed? Hopefully, we can answer those questions for you here.
Tip #1: Get Clinical Experience Early
Before you devote a ton of time and energy to heading down the premed path, take time to make sure this is what you actually want. The only way you can really know if you want to be a physician is to get exposure to the field. We generally advise that you prioritize clinical experience above shadowing when it comes to the number of hours, but you need to do both. They serve different purposes, and both are important. Clinical experience will show you whether you want to care for others, and shadowing will show you whether you want to be a physician specifically.
You can get started by signing up for free eShadowing!
Tip #2: Focus on Becoming a Good Student
This tip is especially important if you’re starting college for the first time or taking a full course load for the first time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed between difficult classes, clinical experience, and other extracurriculars. Choose one or two things to focus on outside of class, and if you find yourself getting overwhelmed, it’s okay to let things go until you’re ready to come back to it.
Check out our study tips and strategies here!
Tip #3: Build a Supportive Community
You’ll need a support system to get you through the stresses of being a premed. Build relationships with your classmates, and you can support each other through all the highs and the lows. Students a year or two ahead of you might also have great advice and resources to give you.
Like we always say, collaboration, not competition, is the key to your success. Find other premeds to connect to in The Premed Hangout.
Tip #4: Don’t Obsess Over Grades
There’s so much more to being premed than getting great grades, and there’s so much more to being a person than being premed. Make time for hobbies and friendships, and you’ll be happier and more successful in the long run.
If you’re wondering what else could matter besides grades, we covered that for you.
Tip #5: Build Relationships with Your Professors
Your professors can be one of your greatest resources during and after your time in their class. They can help you succeed in their class if you take the time to reach out and attend office hours. They can also help connect you with research or other extracurricular opportunities. Good relationships with your professors can also be key to a successful application when they write you a letter of recommendation.