For young people aspiring to someday become the medical doctors of the future it should not come as any surprise that the sooner you start doing well in school the better your chances will be of someday reaching your career goal of receiving a medical degree and eventually practicing medicine. While the general concept of excelling scholastically is simple enough to grasp having a slightly more specific grasp on the process may be beneficial.
Before attending medical school a prospective doctor in the United States must first finish high school and an undergraduate degree in college before moving onto med school. Because medical school is so competitive to get into and every year there are more applicants than spaces available it is wise for the most ambitious future doctors to do everything they can to put themselves in the best position possible for being admitted into an accredited medical school.
A couple of factors that weigh heavily on whether a prospective medical school student is accepted into a program are how well he or she did in college and what caliber of college the student attended for their undergraduate degree. From a grade standpoint the issue is pretty straightforward. When graduate schools are allowed to be selective by having more applicants than positions available it is not surprising that one of the factors they look into when evaluating students is which students received the best grades while in college.
When it comes to comparing students with good grades extra weight is given to those students who attended top flight universities with at least part of the rationale being that it is more challenging to get straight A’s at a very academically focused school where students compete for grades against the brightest and most driven students as opposed to those students who merely excelled at a less selective school with open admission standards.
Simply because one student went to a college generally considered to be of higher academic standing than another student does not necessarily mean that the student who attended the arguably inferior school is less intelligent or less apt to be a successful medical student. However, due to the limited time and resources that medical school admission boards have to work with generalities often have to be made in light of having complete information about every student.
In an effort to keep qualified students from slipping through the cracks additional data is used to make admission decisions beyond collegiate grades and school reputation. Medical schools also consider essays, in person interviews, additional background activities (like volunteering), and a standardized test called the Medical College Admission Test or MCAT for short. The applicant with the best chance for acceptance into the medical school of his or her choice will be strong in all of the areas that are evaluated and not just one or two.