< Become a Doctor
6 Questions to Ask Your Pre-med Adviser
Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara discusses important questions each potential med school student should ask his or her pre-med advisor.
One of the first steps you will take after deciding you would like to go to medical school is to meet with your pre-med advisor. This is a person at your college who well help guide you, acting as an advocate and mentor. The pre-med advisor will help you plan your coursework and your extracurricular activities, but to make the most of this valuable resource, you must be proactive. Prepare some questions ahead of time, so that you will be ready to find out as much as you can about preparing for med school. Here, we offer you a list of six potential questions to help you get started.

•    What can I do to make myself a stronger med school applicant? The best thing you can do to build your resume is to follow your passions. This means choosing a major in which you can shine, and volunteer experiences that really involve things that interest you. Follow your interests, find ways to help people and learn, and you will grow as a person and a student. That passion will show through your application, it will be apparent that you were not just checking the right boxes, and this will make you more impressive to medical schools.

•    How can I start making a difference and helping people before medical school? If you really want to have a major impact before you even start medical school, look for opportunities to use your talents and pursue your interests. Talk to your advisor about the things you really care about, and get advice about opportunities to pursue.

•    Is my portfolio well-rounded enough? Your medical school application has essentially five different parts, and this is what makes up your portfolio. The first two parts are the GPA and MCAT scores, which need to be strong. Shadowing is the next element, and to have a solid portfolio you need to make sure you make the most of your time shadowing, really getting to understand the role of a physician and the scope of their practice, so that you can confirm your own commitment to medicine. Next comes research, and if you can work in some evidence-based research, that will help your portfolio. Community service is the final element, and it is just as important as the others, because doctors need to be service-oriented. There are many different types of community service, and you should find opportunities that fit well with your areas of interest.

•    How can I make the most of the time I spend shadowing? Often, students just use their shadowing experience as a way of checking a box required for med school applications. However, shadowing is a wonderful opportunity for students, and it is important that you use the time wisely. Don’t just observe, but ask questions and try to understand the history and background of what you see. Think about alternatives to the choices being made, and take notes so that you don’t forget what you’ve learned. 

•    Can you give me some insight into the typical schedule of a pre-med student graduating in four years? As you would expect, the prerequisites for medical school are science heavy. Nearly every medical school requires biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics, along with the associated labs. To be a strong candidate for medical school, you will probably also be advised to take some additional upper level science classes. Talk to your advisor about the most practical way to accomplish this, and consider taking some courses during the summer. You will likely need to double up on science classes at some point, but it is not advisable to do this in your first year, because you don’t want to become overwhelmed and be weeded out of the program.

•    What specific additional courses would you recommend to help me prepare for the MCAT? The MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) is a strenuous, seven and a half hour long exam, required by all medical schools for admission. Because you will want your med school applications to be considered in the fall of your senior year, you must take the MCAT no later than the summer after your junior year. To prepare for this exam within the first three years of college, you should complete all of the science courses listed above, as well as human physiology, introductory psychology, and introductory sociology, by the end of your junior year. 

If you are looking for a medical school with a deep-rooted tradition of quality, look into Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara. The first medical school in Latin America to offer a US-style curriculum, we are committed to cultivating future physicians who have the skills and abilities necessary to meet the challenges of personal and community health. With the best facilities in Guadalajara, state-of-the-art laboratories, and a close working relationship with many of the hospitals in the city, we are able to provide an excellent educational experience for our students both on campus and in the field. With the goal of preparing graduates for careers as physicians where they can provide individuals, families, and communities with outstanding preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic services, our medical school offers a curriculum of excellence. We prepare our students to heal and serve their community, and we encourage them to strive for innovation, academic excellence, leadership, and commitment to society. For more information about our college of medicine, call 833-220-7645 or contact us through our website.


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