What parents should know about medical school

If you have a child who is hoping to head to medical school and eventually start a career in healthcare, you are probably feeling pretty proud of this prospect.

Even so, it makes sense to get clued up on what attending medical school involves, and what it takes to get there. Here are just some of the most important things to keep in mind.

Preparation is essential

Successfully applying to medical school is a challenge in its own right, with admissions rates varying and some top schools being much tougher to get into than others.

That is why it makes sense to make sure your child is properly prepared for the applications, tests and interviews that they will face. According to Crush, this is particularly important when it comes to the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test), so finding the right prep course should be a top priority. 

Education & training takes years

While all college courses occupy a significant slice of time in a young person’s life, medical school is exceptional in terms of how long it takes to complete on average.

In addition to the four years of the initial educational process itself, any student who wants to become a fully fledged physician will also spend anywhere up to 7 years in residency before they are completely qualified.

This is a reality that you need to make sure your child is acquainted with, so as to avoid any misconceptions about how much dedication it takes to work in medicine in any capacity.

Financial aid is available

Medical school is unavoidably expensive, but there are various ways to get financial support for your child which should help to ease this burden.

As well as federal aid programs, each medical school will usually offer a suite of packages aimed at assisting those who need it. From full blown scholarships to grants and loans, different schools will take different approaches to this process, and for parents the most important thing is to make sure that applications for financial aid is applied for well before any relevant deadlines to avoid disappointment.

Focusing on research is an option

Taking a patient-facing role in healthcare is something which many medical school applicants want to eventually do, but it is also worth remembering that there are plenty of careers which are instead aligned with research.

This is relevant when it comes to choosing medical schools, because some institutions are more research-focused than others. Parents can use this information to guide their children towards the medical school that fits their ambitions and existing skills.

There is life beyond medical school

It might seem like a child that gets into medical school will spend the next decade in the all-encompassing pursuit of becoming a doctor, but it is important to remember that there is a whole world outside of the institution that they are attending.

Encouraging your aspiring medical school graduate to have fun, make the most of their time there and keep in touch regularly is a good idea. It will set them up to face the challenges ahead with eagerness rather than any trepidation.