Got your eye on becoming a doctor, or a dentist? Then you need an action plan!

The Best You PAL Academy pre-med and pre-dental

Your goal … your dream … the future you see for yourself: to become a healthcare professional – it’s a beautiful, wonderful, helpful, service-giving future, and it’s a dream you can make come true!

But you’re going to need an action plan.  You need to align your actions with your intentions.  You need to set specific stepwise goals that empower your larger goal.  And you need to take stock as you go, which is you regularly checking back with your action plan to make sure it’s working, and when it isn’t, you need to troubleshoot and regroup, making adjustments to your plan as you go and as you need.

So, first we start off with the basic, yet all-important, question.  Who do you need to become to be the right candidate to get into the professional school of your choice, or more specifically, who do you need to become to be the right person for your future patients?  Whether you are thinking medical school or dental school, they each have their requirements (many of which are similar, so that’s helpful for our conversation here), and as your healthcare professional school of choice is the next big stepping stone to achieving your dream, you must first develop yourself into the desirable candidate they seek.

So, next logical question – what do they seek?  Because when you know that, you know what you need to develop yourself into.  In the big picture this breaks down into some specific task groupings:

You need good grades (both in your overall academics as well as in the sciences).  You need good standardized test scores (MCATs or DATs).  You need patient care experience and demonstrated altruism, which is usually consistent with volunteerism.  And you need the personal attributes, lessons learned, and values embodied that are desired in healthcare professionals, and these come from your introspective reflection and growth and development as you engage your education and your experiences.

So let’s turn these into more actionable items:

How are you doing in your coursework?  Are you eagerly learning and soaking up all the knowledge you can to ensure you bring awesome competence to your future patients?  Are you loving your education, but maybe needing some help with your study skills?  Are the science courses throwing you off course?  What can you do to help you engage your coursework with the vigor you need to meet the rigor and comprehension challenges you face?  It’s more than just getting good grades for the sake of having good grades.  It’s about building the foundation that will help you succeed when faced with the speed and rigor of medical or dental school, and it’s the foundation you need to support all that new learning, so you will be awesomely competent in helping your future patients.  Actionable items for this task grouping: find the joy in your education, find and get the help you need when you need it, and seek out additional opportunities to enhance your coursework experiences and apply what you are learning (like research or internships or shadowing).

Which pre-req courses have you already taken? Which pre-req courses do you still need?  And with this knowledge, have you outlined your course of study from here to ensure you learn everything you need to learn to prepare for your MCATs or DATs?  Will you study on your own for your test, or will you take a prep course?  The choice is up to you and should be based on your needs: how do you prepare best; do you need new perspective and insight; do standardized tests fall into the category of “not my strong suit,” etc.?  Action item: plan out which pre-req courses you will take each term/semester between now and the time you plan to take your MCAT or DAT to ensure you master the material you need to succeed on your test.

Have you begun volunteering?  What are you volunteering in?  How do find out which volunteerisms are the right ones for you?  Have you found experiences that afford you direct patient care opportunities?  What are you learning?  How do you feel about these experiences?  Actionable items: seek out and engage in volunteer and clinical patient care experiences that call to you.  Assess what you like and don’t like about these experiences and examine whether you can see yourself providing healthcare as a career.

As you engage your education and experiences, reflect, learn, grow, develop, mature, … become the person you need to be the right person to care for your future patients.  Which personal attributes, lessons learned, and values embodied do you need to be this person?  Which ones have you mastered?  Which ones are you still learning?  Which ones do you still need?  Action item: learn who you need to become (which personal attributes, lessons learned, and values embodied), and then seek out and engage in the education and experiences you need to learn, grow, develop, and mature into this person.

With these action items, you can develop your action plan making sure to align your actions with your intentions to become a healthcare professional.  You can set up the steps you need to empower your larger goal.  And by regularly checking back with your plan, making sure it’s working and troubleshooting it and regrouping as needed and necessary, you will make sure to turn your goal (your dream) into a reality!  And you will become the healthcare professional you want to be and that your future patients need you to be!

And that’s beautiful, wonderful, helpful, service-giving awesomeness!!!  It’s your dream coming true!!!

For more information about developing and enacting your action plan, check out these courses and more offered by The Best You PAL Academy:

Application - How to Apply to Medical School And Actually Get In - menu pic

Personal - Making Good Choices - menu pic

Personal Attributes - Personal

My Incredible Experiences Journal

Experiential - How Much Time Do I Need to Volunteer - Menu Pic

Academic - Choosing A Competitive Major - Menu Pic

Best wishes for you and for your success, always!

Big Hugs,

Mary Kate :0)

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Mary Kate Kopec · Copyright © 2018. All rights Reserved.

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