1. You need a 4.0 GPA

Ah, the highly coveted 4.0 GPA that us “Type A” folks salivate over.

Yum…

Well, truth be told, many successful pre-med students got into medical school without having that “perfect”, shiny 4.0 GPA.

This should help you breathe a little better but don’t get too relaxed. I did not say or try to imply that you don’t need good grades to get into medical school.

It’s safe to say that you do!

The whole point is that you do not have to work yourself to wrinkles and bones for a few digits that in the end, do not equate to how good of a doctor you’ll become.

So, what GPA do you need?

A good one.

Okay, that wasn’t the answer you wanted right?

A great way to determine your goal GPA is by knowing the average GPA of students accepted into medical school. This will vary, but you’ll see the overall trend:

Good grades will make you more competitive but you don’t have to be perfect.

 

2. If you take a gap year, you’re “behind”.

Guess what…

You are exactly where you are supposed to be. Right here. Right now. Reading these words…

Whether you are new to the pre-med game, nose-deep, or making a career change, don’t ever feel behind, “too late”, or disadvantaged simply because you didn’t follow the exact four-year college plan to the T.

As a forever quote junkie, this one stands out in particular. I cannot remember where I heard it from to give appropriate credit, but I love it:

“Humans make plans and God laughs.”

Now, you don’t have to be religious to read between the lines. When has life ever really gone your way? Perhaps you still achieved your end result but did it happen the way you planned?

Think about this past year…

Would you have predicted the way it turned out?

Probably not.

So if you’re in a situation where you want (or need) to take an extra year (or more), don’t feel bad about it. Time and experience are very valuable tools to have so if you need more of either to boost your application, then go for it!

And do so proudly.

Remember, this is your marathon to run. Everyone is in their own lane running their own race.

 

3. You have to have a science major.  

College is such a unique time in your life. You get to meet new people, experience new things, and take yourself out of your comfort zone…if you let yourself (which I encourage you to do).

Here’s the $1,000,000 answer: MAJOR IN WHAT YOU WANT!

Wait, what?

Oh, yes…

You could major in:

  • Business

  • Theater

  • Afro-American Studies

  • Chemistry

  • Biology

Etc.

…as long as you complete the pre-med requirements. This is where planning is important. But don’t start getting overwhelmed.

Have an advisor that knows the major you’re interested in as well as a pre-med advisor. Touch base with them throughout the semester so you know you’re on track and so you can plan accordingly.

You’ll want to know things like:

  • How many credits you need to complete the major of your choice.

  • How many additional courses you need to take to fulfill the pre-med requirements if you chose a non-science major.

  • When you plan on taking the MCAT (guestimate).

So, do what interests you. Seriously! My second major was Afro-American Studies and I loved it!

 

Helpful link: View GPAs of matriculating medical students.

 

-Dr. Trot

@iamdrtrot

 

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