After completing four years of pre-med, it is now time for yet another daunting task in an aspiring doctor’s life: applying to your dream medical school. Medical school is hard to get into, and with admissions being highly competitive, an application that stands out from the crowd can go a long way in helping you get into a good medical college. A strong application may not guarantee admission into every college you apply to, but it certainly is an added advantage. Even if you have some gaps in your resume, you can create an application in a way that makes up for these gaps.
Moreover, college admission committees don’t just look at test scores and GPAs; they also look at the skills and the overall persona of an applicant. This makes an application your best chance of showing the admission committees what makes you not only a good medical student, but a competent doctor. Check out some of these tips for creating a medical school application that admissions officers can’t say no to.
Tips to Improve Your Medical School Application
- Write a personal statement that truly reflects who you are: Spend an ample amount of time on writing your personal statement. A well-written statement that is genuine can have a lasting impression on the admissions officer. The personal statement should reflect qualities you possess that academic scores and numbers can not. A statement that encompasses who you are, and is an authentic reflection of all the things that make you ‘you’ is sure to make you stand out. Find out what your dream school is looking for in an applicant, and tailor your statement accordingly. Make sure you carefully think about what you want to include in your statement.
- Gain necessary experience: Find out what your preferred school wants in a candidate, and work towards gaining experience that makes you the ideal applicant. For example, some schools may prefer candidates with experience in research, so work towards gaining the required experience in research to have an advantage over other applicants. Check out experiences such as paid jobs, clinical trials, research opportunities, etc. to give yourself the edge.
- Build your resume: Make sure to include in your resume only necessary information about your work history, awards, certifications and other achievements. Create a customized CV for each school you’re applying to based on what they’re looking for in an applicant.
- Get strong letters of recommendation: Strong letters of recommendation can have a significant impact on admissions officers. Maintain a good rapport with your supervisors and professors, so that any one of them will be happy to recommend you.
- Be honest about any gaps in your academic or work history: If you have failed an exam, dropped a year or have any other unexplained gap in your academic history, be sure to explain your reasons as candidly as possible. Admission officers are humans too and would understand and appreciate the honesty behind a student’s reasons for the gap.
- Nail the interview: Interviews give the admission officers a chance to get to know you on a more personal level, and evaluate whether you would fit into the school well. Wear appropriate professional attire to the interview, and don’t be late. Have mock interviews with yourself in front of the mirror to prepare for common interview questions. Speak clearly and avoid using “uhh” and “mmm”. Interviews also give you a chance to explain anything negative on your application, so be prepared with appropriate answers. During the interview, be polite, maintain eye contact, and thank each person in the room for their time.
Applying to medical colleges is no doubt arduous and time-consuming, but showcasing yourself in the best light possible in multiple different ways is sure to give you that added edge. It all comes down to who you are as a person and being able to exhibit that to the college admission officers.