Pre-Med Academics

Finding a Mentor to Optimize Your Pre-Med Journey

Getting a mentor as a premed in college can be as important as excelling in academics, participating in extracurriculars and making friends. Here’s how to get a mentor.

Most undergraduates never even think about how to connect with someone who can mentor them to provide advice and support on their journey to become a physician. However, the right mentor can change your life. You should be on the lookout for one from the moment you start college. Here is how to make it happen.

Find an expert

The expertise you should look for usually relates to an area that you’re interested in, such as your major or future career. So if you’re a psychology major and you find a psychology professor to be a mentor, great! Or if you’re a psychology major who’s pre-med and you find a physician to be a mentor, great! That being said, if you’re a psychology major who’s pre-med and you think your English professor would be a perfect mentor, go for it!

Find someone you have good chemistry with

Even if an individual is the foremost expert in an area that you are passionate about, it is going to be difficult to cultivate a long-term professional relationship if you have a hard time connecting with that person. You must like and respect that individual. If you have trouble finding someone in your field, try looking for mentors in related disciplines.

Take advantage of classes, extracurriculars, and opportunities outside of college

Taking classes or joining extracurriculars increases your chances of finding a mentor. Additionally, you may find a mentor beyond college, such as a physician you are shadowing. The bottom line is to always be on the lookout, because you never know when the opportunity will present itself.

Set up a meeting

Once you identify a potential mentor, request a one-on-one meeting. Be prepared and take the lead during the meeting, discussing the reasons why you want this person to be your mentor, your academic and career interests, and how you hope to cultivate a relationship with this individual, such as periodic meetings and/or working on a specific project.

Do not get discouraged

Not everyone will agree to be a mentor. Do not take it personally. Usually, the individual is already very busy and does not have the time to needed to be a dedicated mentor. If this occurs, see if that individual can recommend someone else.

Do you need a mentor to help navigate and optimize your pre-med journey? MedSchoolCoach has a team of physician advisors ready to guide you. Schedule a free consultation with a MedSchoolCoach enrollment advisor today!

Ziggy Yoediono MD

Dr. Yoediono was a Duke University pre-major advisor, and an adcom member for Duke University School of Medicine, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Program. Today, he is an Associate Director of Advising at MedSchoolCoach.

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