Aspiring medical students are usually choked up with tons of information on how to get into medical school.
This is usually because of the highly rigorous medical school admission requirements.
So it is just natural for medical school aspirants to look for any information that will help them easily pass through this rigorous admission process seamlessly.
It is usually difficult for aspiring medical students to find all the information they need to get into a medical school on one page.
And of all these resources that teach you how to get into med school, the best are usually compiled by people who are already medical students, since you will be learning from their own personal experiences.
In this post, I have outlined some things every medical school aspirant should know in their pursuit of a medical career.
This is based on my own personal experience of how medical school is in this present time.
In the course of sharing these, I will as well be answering some of the most popular questions that medical school aspirants ask.
After reading this and you could not find the answers to the questions you are searching for, then kindly include them in the comment section below and they will all be attended to.
Table of Contents
The 12 helpful tips for aspiring medical students explained
- 1. Do not study medicine for money
- 2. Learn the medical school admission requirements on time
- 3. You will find mentorship to be very useful
- 4. Medicine is not a do-or-die affair
- 5. To enjoy Medicine, get your med school essentials
- 6. What GPA do you need for med school?
- 7. Are Nigerian Medical Schools any good?
- 8. What is the hardest year of medical school?
- 9. How many years does it take to study medicine at the university?
- 10. Open your mind to opportunities in medical school
- 11. Hone your already existing skills and learn new ones if possible
- 12. Your whole life will seem to revolve around medicine
- Final Words!
Here is the best advice for medical school aspirants:
- Do not study medicine for money
- Take new courses and be open to volunteering opportunities
- You will find mentorship to be very useful
- Medicine is not a do-or-die affair
- To enjoy Medicine, get your med school essentials
- What GPA do you need for med school?
- Are Nigerian Medical Schools any good?
- What is the hardest year of medical school?
- How many years does it take to study medicine at the university?
- Open your mind to opportunities in medical school
- Hone your already existing skills and learn new ones if possible
- Your whole life will revolve around medicine
The 12 helpful tips for aspiring medical students explained
1. Do not study medicine for money
Yes, doctors are graded among the high-class professionals.
But if you are studying medicine and surgery primarily for the money, then chances are that you may never be fulfilled studying medicine.
The highest-paid doctor in the United States barely earns above $800,000 per annum.
And, this doctor is a consultant who has had many years of experience in his field. And it will take an average medical school aspirant nothing less than 25 years to attain this level.
So if you are looking for a quick way to make money, then you should definitely not look at the medical profession at all.
However, doctors live an average and comfortable life.
So if all you want is just enough money to cater to your basic needs and that of your family members, then you may go for the medical profession.
This does not necessarily mean that there are no doctors that are worth millions of dollars today.
But most likely these persons do not rely solely on the medical profession to give them such an amount of money.
These doctors will most likely earn their money through business, politics, and other ventures they are combining with medical practice.
2. Learn the medical school admission requirements on time
As an aspiring medical student looking to gain admission into medical school, you must take out enough time to study the medical student admission requirements of any medical school you want to enter to help make your admission process easier.
Some medical schools will not accept students who do not have a first degree, while others do accept both first-degree holders as well as fresh high school graduates.
Aspiring medical students should as well pay attention to the admission cut-off marks for the medical school entrance exams and use this as a target while preparing for their own medical entrance exams.
Also, Read: Kaplan MCAT Prep Course Reviews
3. You will find mentorship to be very useful
There is nothing as relieving as having someone who explains what you are to expect for every segment of your medical school journey.
4. Medicine is not a do-or-die affair
I have met and heard stories about a good number of people who have made up their minds to study medicine no matter the cost.
Even though these persons keep failing to meet the minimum admission requirements for medical school every year, they keep re-applying to make sure they get admission to study medicine.
If you find yourself in this category, I wish to remind you that medicine is not a do-or-die affair.
Even as you read this, there are countless doctors who are quitting the medical profession after spending years in medical school and some through residency.
You must have heard of the likes of Kebbin Jubal; the founder of Medschool insiders who quit plastic surgery residency after many years of practicing medicine and helping other medical school aspirants to get admission to study medicine. You can read his story here.
Or Ali Abdaal, who quit medicine in the early months of 2022 after he figured out how that it was stopping him from doing the work of his dreams that made him more than USD$27,000 monthly.
Now, this is the yearly salary of some doctors in the United States. You can as well read his story here.
The point here is that you should regard medicine as just one of the health-related courses anyone can study to contribute to the healthcare industry.
If all you really care about is just saving lives, then you can as well consider other medical courses like nursing, medical laboratory science, and physiotherapy if you are finding it too hard to get accepted into medical school.
5. To enjoy Medicine, get your med school essentials
Med school essentials are those items you need during your stay in medical school.
They include things like stethoscopes, reading desks, medical school textbooks, laptops, phones, etc.
Just things that will help make learning easier and more efficient for you.
There is another post on this blog where we listed all the medical school essentials you need to make your journey worthwhile in medical school. You can go ahead and read it now.
6. What GPA do you need for med school?
You need a minimum of 3.5 CGPA to get admitted into medical school.
But this is for those medical school aspirants who are taking medicine as a second degree, and people who are on exchange programs.
If you have a GPA lower than 3.5, then you should consider boosting your curriculum vitae with research and volunteer experiences.
Medical school is highly competitive, such that even people with GPAs way above 3.5 may still find it difficult to get admitted into med school.
So your aim should actually be to score as high as possible to stand a chance.
7. Are Nigerian Medical Schools any good?
Studying medicine in Nigerian public universities has its demerits, especially with the incessant strikes and uncertainty of the student’s actual year of graduation.
However, students in the various private universities offering medicine in Nigeria are more certain of their actual year of graduation due to well structured academic program and fewer strikes.
Studying medicine in Nigeria is actually worth it when you consider the fact that medicine and surgery is one of the few skilled courses that give a graduate the leverage of working independently without having to rely on the government for livelihood.
Also, studying medicine in a Nigerian public university is relatively affordable compared to studying medicine in western countries where students have to keep repaying loans even after graduation from medical school.
Although it has its own demerits like increased burnout and low pay, you can always choose any other country of your choice to practice if you pass their medical council exams.
8. What is the hardest year of medical school?
The 1st and 2nd years are usually the hardest years of medical school.
This is because medical students write their first medical professional exam which is the rate-limiting exam that will determine if they will continue or get kicked out of medical school.
The first medical professional exam usually has just one attempt for you to pass anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry. Meanwhile, other medical professional exams have as many as 4 attempts before you get kicked out.
The first professional exam (2nd mbbs exam) is one that every aspiring medical student should be wary of.
So many new medics are engrossed with the fear of being sent out of medical school which they have fought so hard to get into.
And it is this fear that makes the 1st and 2nd years of medical school troubling.
9. How many years does it take to study medicine at the university?
It takes a minimum of 4 to 6 years to complete medical school depending on your mode of entry.
It takes 6 years if you enter medical school directly from high school, and a minimum of 4 years if you already have a first degree in any of the medical-related courses.
This is a question that many aspiring medical students tend to ask, and just as I have answered above, it actually depends on a lot of other factors and your mode of entry is a major determining factor.
However, it may take more than 4 to 6 years for you to complete medical school, and this is influenced by some factors like;
- Failing your medical school exams
- Loss of accreditation by your school
- Deferring of admission due to one or more personal issues, and so on.
You can learn more about how long it takes to complete medical school in different countries in this post.
10. Open your mind to opportunities in medical school
There are different kinds of medics that pass through medical school.
The first kind is those medics whom I refer to as “bookish”. This set of students cares about nothing else apart from their books.
The next group of medical students is the “care-free”.
This group barely has no interest in other things aside from movies, video games, and parties. But somehow, they still manage to pass their medical school exams.
The last group is the one I urge every aspiring medical student to belong to.
I call them the “dauntless medics”.
They manage to find time for every opportunity they find to better themselves in medical school; politics, volunteering, business, and of course they also manage to pass their medical school exams.
As an aspiring medical student, you should learn on time that you must open your mind to opportunities in medical school.
You never know where you may find yourself in the future, and the relevant skills you acquire hen will help you stand out in whichever field you find yourself in.
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11. Hone your already existing skills and learn new ones if possible
As you open your mind to new opportunities in medical school, also, try to learn as many skills as you can lay your hands on in medical school.
Not every aspiring medical student is told this, but you should know that even if your life seems to revolve around medicine, you can still choose any life you desire whenever you want just like Kevin Jubal and Ali Abdal.
But how will you survive in another field if you only spend your whole youthful years in the 4 walls of the hospital?
It is by finding time to sharpen your already existing skills, and by learning new relevant ones that could shape your career.
12. Your whole life will seem to revolve around medicine
Yes! Your whole life will seem as though it revolves around medicine.
And if you are not careful, you will get so absorbed in this career that you may never have time for other beautiful things life has to offer.
As an aspiring medical student, you should learn how to balance your life so that you will be able to see other beautiful things apart from saving lives.
Also, Read: Advice For First Generation Medical Students
Above are but a few of the advice we have for all aspiring medical students who manage to come across this post.
If you will need more advice, then you should subscribe to receive notifications from this blog, and join our community on Whatsapp.
Also, if you have more questions as an aspiring medical student, you can go ahead and ask them all using the comment section below. I will be waiting o attend to them all.