Today, more doctors are needed to meet the increasing demand of the healthcare industry. In turn, more students are becoming interested in entering the field. However, not everyone gets to be admitted to a prestigious medical school. Medical school acceptance rates consistently show that only a small percentage of students are admitted annually.
Medical schools have always been incredibly competitive. If you’re an aspiring medical student, this may leave you feeling discouraged. However, getting into a top-notch medical school isn’t simply about talent and intelligence; it’s also about planning.
While many students traditionally apply to multiple schools, you can narrow down your options and submit your applications to only a few. There are a growing number of top medical schools providing comprehensive programs for potential students.
You can learn more about these schools by asking for recommendations from medical students and doing your research. These initiatives might help you compare and select the right medical school for you.
Moreover, preparing for the long admission process can be your best move in gaining a spot in your dream university. By planning, you can know how to excel in each phase.
If you’re eyeing a spot in a top medical school, follow the steps below.
Grab Shadowing Opportunities
Admission panels don’t expect aspirants to have actual experience in treating patients. However, they count and applaud students who show dedication and a strong desire for learning. While having consistent good grades reflects this, getting involved in real medical settings is a better way of showing your vigor.
Apart from learning different practical skills, shadowing gives you insights into the daily life of a doctor. It helps you establish clear expectations for the role while getting to know your future job. This might even help you discover whether or not a career in medicine is the right path for you.
After graduation, start seeking shadowing opportunities by speaking to your advisor. Your pre-med teacher might have exclusive connections to a network of experienced physicians. Alternatively, if you have a physician in the family, you can ask them if they have colleagues looking to mentor aspirants.
Prepare Early For The MCAT
The next step to prepare for is the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Even if the MCAT is scheduled next year, enroll with a review center, purchase resources, read on MCAT tips, and study ahead. You can reach out for help from your pre-med advisors and ask for their recommendations regarding study materials.
To know your weaknesses, mimic the actual testing environment and take practice tests. Don’t let the first few results worry you. Instead, take these as opportunities to improve and concentrate on your low points so that you can ace the exam. Practice tests help you see your progress and develop confidence in taking the actual test.
Each top-notch medical school will have its average MCAT score. It’s best to aim for a score within the passing range of your prospective medical schools. In this way, you’d have more chances of getting accepted.
Write Your Personal Statement
While studying for the MCAT, take this time to write your medical school essay. Typically, personal statements are often required in the last stage of the primary application process. However, preparing ahead gives you time to polish your piece.
Your test scores will speak for themselves, but your personal statement allows you to shine among the rest of the qualified applicants. As you’ll be explaining your interest and experiences in a limited number of words, have a plan on how you’d approach your narrative.
Brainstorm and recall the lessons you’ve gained during your internship and shadowing experiences. After, settle on a worthwhile topic that outlines these experiences, reflecting your unique characteristics and enthusiasm to be in the field. Compared with others essays, how you narrate your story will truly make a difference.
Ace The Interview
Once you’ve passed the primary application of the admission process, it’s time to focus on acing your medical school interview. This interview allows the admission committee to get to know qualified applicants better. It gives them insights into the kind of person you are, evaluating whether or not you’re a good fit.
While it can be tempting to tweak your answers to impress the panel, it’s best to answer their questions genuinely. Present your best self, learn proper body language, and dress appropriately. You can also share a few selected accomplishments and showcase the qualities you’ve written in your personal statement.
Getting accepted into a prestigious medical school this year may be a long and demanding process. However, by preparing ahead and seeing each stage as an opportunity to shine, you can increase your chances for admission. Good luck!