Being a doctor is one of the most rewarding and outstanding professions in the world. However, applying for medical school can be highly competitive. One of the most critical requirements that all medical schools will ask from you is a strong academic performance. You can show this through your excellent GPA or MCAT exam score. Admission experts also suggest that you participate in extracurricular activities, but make sure it doesn’t overshadow your academics.
Applying to medical school isn’t something you should take lightly. It’s a big decision, so make sure to choose your school wisely. To help you get started, here are the most common requirements you must comply with when applying to medical school:
Get Experience Through Shadowing, Volunteering, or In The Lab
Medical schools won’t really expect their applicants to have real medical experience in treating patients since you’re not a doctor yet. However, it’d be a big plus to them if they see that you have experience involving shadowing medical professionals or volunteering in healthcare settings. That means you already have an idea of what it’s like to work in the medical industry.
Aside from that, you could also sign yourself up for summer programs like Health Professions Education Program. These programs are conducted for students who are interested in applying for medical schools.
Make Preparations For The MCAT
Everyone knows that all medical schools require MCAT scores from their applicants. Thus, preparing for the MCAT Exam is crucial if you’re determined to get accepted to medical school. Not only is it vital to make your application stand out, but the test is also known for being rigorous. You can refer to Medical Aid’s informative post about MCAT exams, so to learn more about MCAT sections and their time ranges. The more familiar you are with the exam, the less likely you’ll feel anxious during the test.
Take your time in studying for the MCAT. Remember, the best time to take the exam is when you’re ready. Don’t be pressured when your colleagues are taking it ahead of you. The more prepared you are, the greater your chances of passing the test.
Conduct Research Projects
Be proactive in doing science research projects. Undergraduate research experiences can help your application stand out from other applicants. Admission committees love to take applicants who show interest in conducting research. Being engaged in long-term research projects will also boost your critical thinking skills.
Ask Your Advisors For Letters Of Evaluation or Recommendation
To back up your application, you can ask your advisor or lab professor who has closely supervised you to write you a letter of recommendation. This letter will contain their assessment of your performance in several classes you’ve attended.
A letter of evaluation may also contain information on certain areas where you faced difficulties or challenges that eventually affected your grade. This will also help you determine which areas require more effort on your part.
Join Extracurricular Activities
While it’s good to show the admission committee that you’re doing very well with your schoolwork, it’s best if you excel in extracurricular activities too. Dedicate some of your time in pursuing your personal interests, skills, or talents. Being active in extracurricular activities will show that you’re a committed and devoted student, and also lets the admissions committee know that you can balance your life and academics at the same time.
Make sure to choose activities that work best for you. Remember, it’s more about quality than quantity. Exposure to extracurriculars will also make it easier for you to find people who can write recommendation letters. Moreover, investing some of your time in clubs or organizations, even if you’re not in a leadership role, can enhance your ability to communicate and interact with different people.
The Bottom Line
Keep in mind that medical schools are demanding and competitive. They read hundreds of applications year after year. That means they’re looking for an application that stands out from the typical ones. Carefully go through the mentioned points above to help you craft your application and pave your way into being accepted in your dream school.
However, if things don’t go the way you had planned, don’t be too hard on yourself. Instead, take it as another chance to improve yourself for the next application. Don’t easily give up on your dream to become a doctor because nothing worth it comes easy.