A career in medicine is pursued by many, because it is indeed one of the most exciting and dynamic professions in the world. However, the process of becoming a doctor is quite demanding, and requires you to commit to a rigorous period of study and training. Especially considering the large amount of applications every year, admission to universities is extremely competitive. Hence it is imperative that you prepare well in advance for this.
Even though the universities do not necessarily look for work experience in all their applicants, they give preference to those who display a certain level of engagement and first-hand experience in the field as it evinces your commitment towards studying medicine. Of course, it is not always easy to find such opportunities. This is where volunteering comes in.
Volunteering at a hospital, at a free clinic, with a doctor or even with a medical researcher can give you a significant exposure. You can even volunteer at a community service, a charity or a civil society organization working at the grassroots on public health. This will not only give you a broad understanding of the community and its necessities, but also help grasp the attention of those who review your application, since most universities appreciate applicants who demonstrate leadership abilities and motivation to contribute.
Practice makes perfect.
Entrance to medical schools is extremely competitive, and requires you to sit for the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admissions Test (GAMSAT) and attend an interview. This test is used by the schools to assess your capacity, specially pertaining to cognitive ability, knowledge and skills. It may seem tough, but proper GAMSAT preparation can take you a long way. Therefore it is always better to start as early as possible, giving you ample time. You can talk to your teachers or an advisor on how you can practice GAMSAT exam, and start right away.
Finding the perfect match
It is imperative that you find the university that best suits your interests. Medical schools offer different curricula and interest fields, and it is therefore important that you first understand what best suits your ambitions. It is recommended that you also consider the geographical location, cost, reputation, the size of the class and even other extra activities they offer. For example, if you are a student who requires more attention from the lecturers and find it hard to concentrate on the lecture among a large crowd, you need to look at universities that offer smaller classes.
Medical schools demand a significant commitment of time and effort from its students, and it is therefore necessary to consider all such aspects prior to making a decision. This, of course, requires a lot of self-reflection. Before you apply, make sure that you are very well aware of what your priorities are, and whether the university you select is indeed the best option.