Thinking about a career in medicine? How about dentistry, optometry, or veterinary
medicine? These professional schools each entail four years of education beyond your
undergraduate degree. It may seem a long way off, but there are things you can do
in high school to prepare for that eventual journey.
What should you do?
Challenge yourself during high school so you can be prepared for the rigors of college
and professional school. Take AP, Honors, and/or IB courses to build core competencies
in reading. writing, communication, and complex math/science curriculum.
If you are planning on becoming pre-med or pre-health in college, it is strongly encouraged
that you take all pre-requisite coursework for your professional school at a four
year institution. So that might mean it would be better to take an AP history or calculus
course for college credit rather than take an AP biology course you will re-take in
Choosing to go to medical school or a health professional school is a huge decision
that requires a lot of time and money. Start early with your exposure to the career
by taking advantage of shadowing/volunteering/internships at your high school to see
what the career is really like and if it fits your interests. Some long-term internships
(1+ years) from high school can even be used for your medical school application.
Join organizations within your high school to start your leadership development and
community service efforts. This will assist you in your applications to college, and
also help to give you a foundation for joining clubs and organizations once you get