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Is Pre-Med Right for You?

The phrase “preparing for Pre-Med in high school” is one abounding in apprehension and anxiety. Aspiring to become a health-care professional can be an extremely rigorous process, but there are several ways to gain the upper hand and start the journey early. The first step in doing so is determining if medicine is right for you.


It is important to remember that medicine is not for everyone; there are key red flags that students must take into consideration when applying to a pre-med program.


Poor Grades/Low GPA


Having a poor report card is a substantial sign of an unsatisfactory work ethic. Academic regression does not directly correlate with decreased admission chances

into college, but it is an important element. A student with academic under-performance will have to place a distinct

emphasis on their studies, such as attending summer school or taking lower level courses.



A lack of passion

A lack of passion is a strong indicator of poor medical performance. A student lacking motivation will not be able to stomach the career path of medicine. In spite of making an honor roll or excelling at biology/chemistry, you should select a career you have tremendous interest in.

Passion is vital in pursuing a medical career, and college professors offer this piece of advice: “If you can be happy doing anything other than medicine, do that,”.


Not satisfied with irregular work hours

Medicine is best characterized as “needy,” the long and irregular work hours are sufficient to sway the career paths of numerous students. Barring the time put into research and study, students will have demanding on-call shifts and obstinate

sleep cycles. Needless to say, medical practitioners do not have a profusion of downtime. They will spend their time serving others, and career flexibility is

uncommon to say the least.


Cannot follow orders or do not want to practice medicine.

The hierarchy of medicine is interminable, ranging from the medical students to the attendings to the government regulators and hospital board, each individual must report to their senior. Medicine extends far beyond caring for patients, accounting for the substantial burnout evident in medical students. Furthermore, if you would rather teach medicine (or not attend med-school) than practice it, there are career opportunities better fitted for you. Not all medically inclined students will go to med school, and that is okay. For more information about alternative health careers, click here.


You do not have the proper skills and knowledge required

NYU School of Medicine has stated, “To successfully complete our medical school curriculum students must possess all of the abilities and characteristics listed in the following six categories:

  • Behavioral and social attributes

  • Communication

  • Ethics and professionalism

  • Intellectual-conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities

  • Motor

  • Observation


To excel at healthcare, one must follow these six crucial categories, medicine is not merely intellectual knowledge, it is the full range of activities (mental, social, physical, etc…) that individuals can have. Additional skills encompass

  • Teamwork

  • Communication

  • Compassion + Empathy

  • Receive and give constructive criticism

  • Prioritize and do not Procrastinate




Lastly, all healthcare providers must adhere to ethical principles and standards of moral judgement. These include

  • Autonomy

Autonomy refers to respecting the capacity of rational people to self-determination and serves as the basis of “informed consent.” Healthcare providers are taught the alert and oriented x4 method: person, place, time, and situation.

  • Justice

Justice means treating others fairly and equitably. Treat each patient the same regardless of your personal opinion about them.

  • Nonmaleficence

Nonmaleficence is a term meaning “do not harm;” a physician has a responsibility to not cause needless harm and injury to a patient. Each action taken must be in accordance with the acceptable standards of practice.

  • Beneficence

Beneficence is a term meaning “do good;” actions must be taken if and only if they are or will be of benefit to others. The health care provider must weigh the good of the actions versus the bad.

  • Veracity

Veracity or honesty refers to not withholding information from the patients. Each patient has the right to the truth, not deceit.

  • Fidelity

Fidelity or “keeping promises” must be followed, regardless of the payment, expectations for payment, and personal characteristics.

  • Confidentiality

Confidentiality means that all medical and personal information are private and classified as confidential information. This information is not to be released without the patient’s permission.





What is Pre-Med