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Choosing career in medicine-preparing for pre-med/pre-health track

Updated: Aug 13, 2020

Author: Hannah Becker is a premed student at University of Maryland. She is passionate about art and science. She enjoys teaching painting to her community and wants to help younger students interested in pursuing the premed/pre-health career pathway.

Here is Hannah’s advice to middle schoolers as to how they can prepare themselves for the pre-med/pre-health track.

Why choose a career in medicine?

I am choosing a medical career because I want to help people and I find the human body fascinating! My journey into medicine was nonlinear and I actually went to college for art. My first job was in art restoration and conservation at a museum. I decided to pursue a career in STEM when I recognized the value of having healthcare providers with diverse backgrounds. Our passions and skills, no matter how unique, will contribute to STEM in ways never considered before.

Starting from middle school, how can students prepare themselves to apply for the premed/pre-health programs at different universities?

On a practical level, I think the best way to prepare for a career in medicine is to develop strong study skills. It is important to understand the way you learn and to make adjustments accordingly. As someone with ADHD and dyslexia, I recognized the skills that came more naturally to me and the tasks I had to put more work into accomplishing. It is important not to define yourself by your deficits and instead, develop tools to overcome those struggles. I think this mentality is crucial for the confidence and success of young learners.

On an interpersonal level of the application process, begin to think about the communities you are interested in helping. Once you have identified those communities, go online and begin researching--what struggles does this community face and why? See what volunteer opportunities are available for helping this community. If there are no volunteer opportunities available, find people to help you make opportunities. Feed your passion and curiosity. Not only are you giving to people in need, the knowledge you gain from these experiences will be invaluable. They will shape who you are as a person and who you are as a future healthcare provider.

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