TOP 6 best practices to get started studying medicine with great medical schools
What are the best practices when studying medicine? What if you decide to study medicine abroad?
Studying medicine requires not only good will but an intense preparation and a strong mental disposition to face pressure and a big load of study material.
Having said this, we should clarify that anyone, and we mean it; anyone can become a successful medical student and a certified doctor in the end of the day.
From years of experience in training medical students and helping students in general with their medical education, we can tell that we see a correlation between seriousness and success regardless of the background of the student.
For example, when studying medicine in Europe, usually the basic entry requirements are merely a high school certificate of completion and passing an admission criteria which usually involves a written exam and/or oral interviews*
*I must clarify that not all schools have written admission exams and not all schools select students based on the same criteria but as we see it, most of them have similar ways of qualifying and admitting students to the different medical degrees.
Facing admission exams and oral interviews is challenging for everyone, even for those who come with a scientific background from school, however, we see over the years that the most successful applicants to a medical degree are those students who are highly committed to study medicine and these are not necessarily students with previous scientific background but rather those who have a clear intention in succeeding and achieving their dream of becoming medical doctors.
We enumerate below what we consider the TOP 6 best practices when deciding to go for a medical degree and start studying medicine at a good university*.
*As a disclaimer, we must mention that each student is different and each person may have a different opinion and that different results may turn better for different students. The below list is based upon our own experience and it should be taken as reference for consideration only and never as a definitive certainty.
Prepare for Admissions in Advance!
The TOP 6 Best Practices List
- Prepare for admission in ADVANCE!
- Start shopping for possible medical schools
- Apply for more than one Medical University
- Don’t get disappointed if you’re not accepted to your number one choice.
- Embrace the schools that accepted you and start studying with maximum energy.
- Don’t start a degree thinking about switching schools halfway the completion of your medical degree.
Apply to more than one Medical School
Prepare for Admission Exams in Advance
It may sound almost too obvious to mention, however, believe it or not, most applicants for medical studies when preparing for studying medicine anywhere, DON’T PREPARE well enough, believing that what they have done in high school and especially if good grades were achieved in school in scientific courses, is good enough to do well in the admission exams as well.
This couldn’t be further from the truth for most students!
The reality is that out of the total number of applications received every year for medical schools worldwide, a merely xx% is accepted each year and we suspect we know why.
Admission to medical schools is strict and highly competitive. This means that if your scores from school are not better than the average applicant and you have an “OK” knowledge in science, you may reconsider your application.
But who’s average you may wonder? When speaking of medical university applicants, a great number of them will be somewhat, or very good in science (considering background brought from high school and/or some university degree in science).
Considering our previous statement, you must start thinking on higher levels of training in scientific courses but also on your capacity to study more and respond faster.
You must keep in mind that the average accepted applicant did better than the rest of all non-accepted applicants which can be hundreds or even thousands each year.
Our strong advise to all applicants is to prepare as strong as possible and if possible for you to get professional help from tutors or a dedicated pre-medical course, then do so.
Start searching for Med Schools while preparing for studying medicine and not before
The second step as we see it, is to search for medical schools once you are being prepared.
The reason for this, is that while you are already preparing for several months, you start understanding the level you currently have and therefore, make more rational decisions on which schools will be a better suit for you.
You have to keep in mind that not all universities will be a good fit for your personality, study preferences and other factors so we advise strongly to start searching for possible candidate medical schools after 3 or 4 months having started preparing for your medical education.
Apply for more than One Medical University before starting to Study Medicine
A common misconception is that you can choose a university before you are even accepted there.
Students tend to select one or two schools and are convinced that they will be welcomed where they want.
Unfortunately, this is not always the truth and a student should select at least 3 to 4 different universities to be on the safe side. Once a university has given you an offer to study, then you may choose where to study.
At King Charles Medical College we encourage students to apply to at least 3 medical faculties and we prepare students accordingly.
Remember that studying medicine in a prestigious university will demand more from you and possibly, you’ll face fierce competition that in order to be overcome, you’ll have to prepare, train and do more than others.
Don’t get disappointed if you’re not accepted to your number one choice
Failure is always hard to accept and in most of your life failure will come more often and in bigger numbers than success, however, there will be no success if failure is not taken as a lesson for improvement.
If you fail a test, then get yourself together, keep studying strong and take the next exam in line. You will do better and better with each exam.
We encourage all students that did not pass their examination/s to study more, take things more seriously and apply again.
With King Charles College, you can always re-take our courses without having to pay anything extra and this is also part of the encouragement to keep on studying for as long as is needed to succeed and get accepted where you want to be.
Embrace the schools that accepted you and start studying with maximum energy.
Once you are accepted and welcomed to start your medical degree take it as a sign to start with your maximum energy. Now it’s the time to put on the table all your options from the schools that accepted you and select the one that is giving you the most for what you need, a bigger city, more opportunities for rotations or a quiet student life; the choice is yours.
Don’t start a degree thinking on switching schools halfway the completion of your medical degree
The last point is not the least important.
I get a lot of students asking me all the time what if I start at some university that accepted me and then try to switch to the one that didn’t accept me for the second year or third year?
Well, in theory, this is a possibility and it may seem at first like a good strategical move, however, switching from universities in the middle of the degree means that most likely you’ll have to take an entrance exam again for that school, which means studying again the subjects that you studied 1 year or 2 years ago just to pass a test; in other words, diverting from what you’re currently studying but also, you must keep in mind that this move may mean that you miss one whole year trying to pass to a different school.
In my eyes, this is not smart, and I don’t recommend it unless it is necessary.
My suggestion is to stay where you are until the end of your degree and if you consider the rotation years from the 4th and on, then you won’t even feel the classes so much once you’ve passed the first 3 years which are the most demanding ones (or so they say).
To summarize, we wish you a successful medical degree, and hope you keep all these suggestions with you and we hope that these also help you when choosing where you’ll be studying medicine and to achieve your dream of becoming a medical doctor in a few years!
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King Charles Medical College is an official foundation medical course with Charles University, The First Faculty of Medicine in Prague.
The staff at King Charles College is trained to guide you and help you with a medical degree in the Czech Republic. Programs accredited in the US, UK, EU and more..