Early Preparation

This guide, while not exhaustive, is meant to provide general guidance for students in college and high school, who are interested in perusing a career in medicine.

During College

Attend Graduate School
Consider applying to graduate programs such as Geisinger Commonwealth’s Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) program to help boost your academic profile and gain more clinical exposure, research experience, and professional development.

Complete your undergraduate degree
You must complete a bachelor’s degree at a US or Canadian accredited institution in order to apply to Geisinger Commonwealth, but you can major in anything you choose as long as you have the pre-requisite coursework.

Conduct research
This shows your ability to think critically and interact as part of a team.

Determine your “Fit”
Each medical school has its own unique mission and will seek to admit students who meet the mission and requirements of that specific institution. What may make an applicant appealing to one school does not necessarily translate to other schools. Familiarize yourself with the mission and academic profiles of the schools to which you’re applying so you can make a preliminary determination about whether or not you “fit”.

Gain experience in the clinical setting
This will help you show medical schools that you have an interest in medicine, provide you with exposure to what it’s really like to work in the medical field, and also provide you with valuable activities to add to your resume.

Know your Pre-Health Advisor
Get to know him/her! Pre-Health Advisors are a valuable resource for students seeking acceptance into medical school. Many colleges also have pre-health clubs on campus for students interested in attending medical school. It’s a great idea to get involved!

Participate in community service
By giving back to the community, you can show your desire to help others, which is a major part of being a physician.

During High School

Academics
A strong foundation in math and the sciences will help you prepare for the rigors of collegiate coursework.

Clinical Experiences
As a high school student, opportunities may be limited, but still valuable experiences that provide insight into the world of clinical care.

Community Service
There is never a bad time to start giving back to your community! Starting on your service hours while still in high school will help to show your commitment to helping others.

Visit Colleges
Beginning at the end of your sophomore year of high school, it’s a great idea to start visiting undergraduate schools. This is a great way to learn more about where you want to study, as well as how different undergraduate institutions can help you prepare for the medical school application process.

Sample Time Line

Educational Timeline
High school diploma (4 years) 17 or 18 years old
College degree (4 years) 21 or 22 years old
Medical school (4 years) 25 or 26 years old
Residency training (3 years) 28 or 29 years old
Specialty training (2+ years) 30 or 31 years old
Life-long learning