It’s common knowledge that the medical field is rapidly growing, and shows no signs of slowing anywhere in the near future. Quite the contrary, with expanding waistlines – and thus, health and weight complications – on the rise, and new healthcare legislature being introduced, we are unlikely to see the medical sector retract in our lifetime.
With that development comes an enormous range of different careers within the general medical field, whether private, corporate, and government in nature. Additionally, the pay and difficulty levels vary immensely, from medical assistants that merely require a certification to highly specialized surgeons that require a decade of school and training, but also collect a decent paycheck in return. There literally is something for just about anyone considering to move into the medical field.
One additional benefit has to be the mobility and flexibility when the subject of moving or transferring is approached. Someone with, for example, an RN certification could move either next door or around the globe, and that kind of value is not available with a great many other career paths. Doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel are in great demand almost everywhere on the planet.
Perhaps the first item to prepare for is medical school itself. If you happen to know early on that you are wanting to pursue this type of degree, it helps immensely to aim for electives in that area as early as your freshman year of high school. Classes dealing with math or science, especially biology, anatomy, physics and chemistry go a long way toward establishing a base from which to jump into medical school.
Prior to high school graduation, the opportunity to take the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) will appear, and performance is essential. A score of 25 or higher will be looked at first. In addition, be prepared to show documented history of volunteer and intern work performed at a medical facility.
An opportunity interview at various medical institutions will present itself, and this is a process to take very seriously. Some questions to consider: Does the school interview only those who have gone through extensive screening or is the interview mandated by residency and certain threshold scores on MCAT? Is the interview a final step in the selection process or a preliminary step?
A few things the interviewers will be looking for include how well the applicant communicates, the various personality impressions that are projected, and whether the the person’s demeanor is one that inspires confidence and trust. Today’s world provides a number of logistical challenges, so you will find that more and more students are preferring distance learning, such as that provided by The College Network. Completing a degree or certification entirely online has its appeal, not the least of which is flexible hours to complete assignments.
While the more basic nursing certifications and degrees are relatively commonplace, admission to MD/PhD programs is highly competitive, with a heavy emphasis on research. Those seeking to apply will soon discover that most advanced programs require significant research experience and the emerging ability to translate what was learned in a laboratory into relevant treatment for a patient.
A great deal is also related to writing, as most institutions will request a statement outlining why the MD/PhD program was chosen, and also strong letters of recommendation from professors and other mentors in their field. You will want to plan on these requirements early, so as to ensure the admission process goes as smoothly as possible. For more information on MD/PhD programs, the AAMC provides a very helpful list of FAQs for MD/PhD Program Applicants.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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