Question: I’m looking to apply to medical school in the future and I am considering what would be a useful bachelor’s degree. In my research, I have found that it does not matter what your degree is. I’ve also seen that people who acquire substantial medical experience prior to applying for med school have better chances of getting into a quality school. Being a sonographer appears to be relevant to what skills a physician may need. What do you think?
Answer: Interesting question. You’re certainly right that it doesn’t matter much which premed major you choose. And you’re also right that the more “clinical experience” you have, the better that looks on an application.
Becoming a sonographer would definitely be something that would stand out on an application. However, it seems like a lot of extra school if you’re more interested in just getting into medical school. From the quick research I did, it looks like it would take a year to four years to be certified in sonography. It would help you in your clinical years because ultrasound is a little tricky to interpret. Having extra training in it would definitely be a bonus.
Being a sonographer would probably look about equivalent to being an EMT or working in a volunteer clinic for a year or more during college. It would definitely be at the top end of clinical experience. But, you might be able to do other activities that would be equivalent without having to take time between college and medical school to get certified. If you could get certified while in college, I guess that would work and not cost you extra time.
To explain further what it takes to get into medical school, medical schools look at 8 main categories to accept a student. Academic performance (MCAT and GPA), community service, research, extracurriculars, leadership, humanism/compassion, clinical experience and letters of recommendation. You’ll want to stand out in as many of these as you can to get into medical school. Being a sonographer would help you stand out in clinical experience for sure. You’ll want to make sure you’re developing solid activities in the other categories as well.
To understand how the whole process works and how to get accepted, check out my eBook 10 Steps to Accepted.
Best of luck!