3 Medical School Requirements You Need To Know In 2021

You can’t deny that attending medical school requires every ounce of your physical and mental energy. Medical schools have some of the most intensive curriculums in the world as it takes enormous mental and emotional stability to become a doctor. 

Nevertheless, a challenging medical school journey can be highly rewarding and culminate into some of the best memories of your lifetime. 

However, getting into medical school is easier than done. Majority of medical school requirements can be quite stringent and difficult to fulfill. Reading up on the eligibility criteria and talking to the alumni can give you a reasonably accurate idea of what medical schools look for in their prospective students.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has laid down a list of 15 ideal traits that should be seen in a medical student. They can be further broken down into three categories—pre-professional skills, academic competencies, and thinking and reasoning competencies.

Keep reading to get an insight into what could be expected of you as you get admission in a reputed medical school.

1. Pre-professional Skills

The pre-professional skills comprise of the behavioral traits and attributes that you need to possess to sustain your medical studies. You can build these important social skills through community service, volunteering at a doctor’s office or NGOs.

The group of below-mentioned skills are the most expansive and broadly interpreted in the list.

  • Resilience and adaptability
  • Social skills and empathy
  • The orientation and attitude of servitude
  • Cultural acceptability and competence
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Teamwork
  • A strong sense of ethical responsibility for others and yourself
  • Reliability and dependability
  • A positive attitude towards constructive feedback and capacity for improvement

2. Academic Competencies

As a medical student, you would be expected to already be well-versed in subjects like microbiology and human anatomy. Under this, your previous academic coursework is analyzed in-depth to determine if you can cope up with an intensive medical curriculum.

Although expertise in subjects like anatomy and physiology, biochemistry and genetics is generally preferred, broad general education does not frown upon either. Many medical schools encourage students to complete coursework in broader disciplines like philosophy, social sciences and literature.

As a part of this section, you can also be judged for your fluency in the English language, especially if you are joining a medical college in the USA, Canada, the UK or the Caribbean.

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3. Thinking And Reasoning Competencies

Navigating through medical school can also require you to be adept at critical thinking or scientific curiosity. Thinking and reasoning competencies include the following qualities.

  • Scientific curiosity
  • Quantitative and objective reasoning
  • Critical thinking
  • Capability to express clearly in written or oral form

Besides these criteria, some medical schools in the USA and the Caribbean might also look for standardized exam scores like the MCAT. Whether it is a mandatory requirement or a recommended one varies from college to college. Be sure to check the medical college website or talk with the admission staff about the same. 

A stellar previous academic record, the above-mentioned qualities, and recommendation letters aside, attending medical school can also require immense mental preparation. Read up accounts of previous students and make a list of your motivations to be a doctor to get started.

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