Most of the time, medical school admissions are swamped with so many qualified applicants that a majority of them are rejected. Most of these students apply with high GPA and MCAT scores, but getting noticed by the committee takes some effort. If you are planning to apply, you need a strong application strategy.
The question is, how do you stand out? Regardless of whether you are applying for your first, second, or third time, you need to have a competitive application package. This post is going to guide you by offering you some essential tips on how to stand out on the medical application.
Choose Recommendations Wisely
The trick here is not to get recommendation letters from professors who gave you high grades. While these are still useful, it may be more effective if you get a letter from one who saw you struggle at first them improve later on. It’ll be easier for them to emphasize that you were determined, and you finally achieved your goal. It’s much better when the committee can see progress.
Do Community Service
Involving yourself in community services will not only show what a committed person you are, but it’ll show altruism. Doctors need to have concern for others, and having compassion for others will be a great part of your job. It’s important that you show the panel that this is who you are. Volunteering at an organization or a local non-profit agency is a good start. You stand to gain from volunteering because apart from standing out, you’ll have a great experience.
Spice Up Your Personal Statement
Your personal statement is highly relevant because you get the chance to introduce yourself. This is where you show your personality traits and strengths that are bound to make you an amazing doctor in the future. Rewriting the things on your resume will not cut it. Instead, focus on the experiences in life that made you desire to be a doctor. Maybe you had a medical condition, or a family member that you had to take care of and you decided that you were going to make a change if given the chance. Avoid controversial topics or try to gain sympathy,
Send a Total Package
While sending in your application, you need good grades, experience in medical or research, and a solid background in the sciences. Most medical schools are looking for well-rounded individuals with diverse interests. In your application, include extracurricular activities that are related to medicine and those that don’t. Sports, instruments, theater, among others, show the things you are interested in.
Your MCAT and GPA Scores Matter
Your MCAT and GPA score matter a lot, and you’d be surprised at how much they are broken down to determine whether you get in or not. This makes it very important for premed students to study very hard for their qualifying exams because they could make all the difference. Students are encouraged to take the MCAT prep test prior to the exam in order to prepare themselves. The ideal MCAT score stands at 127 in each section and 508 overall so students should not overlook this aspect.
Research Matters Just as Much
Research seems intimidating to most students, but it’s a matter of understanding what it entails. Volunteering duties such as recording data in a study or washing Petri dishes is usually sufficient. Of course, you can do a lot more, and the trick here is starting as early as you possibly can. This way, you’ll get more merits and a higher chance of being accepted.
These are some of the things that will make your application stand out. Some of these things should be done when starting grad school, so by the time you get there, you have enough information for a qualifying application.