Begin Obtaining Recommendations As Soon As Possible
Begin gathering recommendations as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to receive a letter of recommendation from your premed or post-baccalaureate department if it’s offered.
An academic reference and a letter from someone who has observed you do clinical work are also highly recommended. Getting a job is much easier if you’ve already had a reputable one. To be considered for a June application, you must make contact with your recommenders by January of the year in which you want to apply. To ensure that everyone is pleased, you should give them plenty of time to write it, and you should remind them each month.
Most people will be happy to send you a letter if they know you, but it’s best to pick individuals who know you well and who you can open up to. Someone that you can sit down with and say, “This is what I believe should be in my letter, blah, blah,” is the perfect person to have as a recommendation. The only way for your recommenders to feel invested in your success is if you establish a personal connection with them, and that can only happen if you can compose your letters.
Go ahead and hire someone (anyone) to write your letters of recommendation if you don’t have personal contact with any of your referees! Just having people who know you better than your name is better than nothing.
Make a statement by doing something different!
The top candidates are those who stand out from the crowd.
Even while getting into medical school isn’t the only thing that matters, it turns out that doing something unusual and noteworthy (which need not be medically related) is what gets people’s attention. There are 7,000 candidates for only 100 spots in the class, so you have to make an impression to get in.
“Most significant events” are included in three places on the application. Medical and/or research-related examples would be ideal, but a third non-medical example would pique the interest of app users.
Experiment with the Real Thing!
To show that you’ve been in a doctor’s office, get some hands-on experience. What matters most is that you’ve had the opportunity to spend time with doctors when they are at work, not that you’ve done something particularly interesting in the field. Schools need to make sure that you understand what medicine entails and have reasonable expectations.
As a student, it is important for schools to make sure that you not only like the notion of being a doctor but that you enjoy the reality of it as well. This isn’t Grey’s Anatomy or Chicago Med; being a doctor is the real deal. Do your research and demonstrate your familiarity with the field on your application.
Inquire about the matter
Do some type of scientific investigation! It’s wonderful to know that your application has been well researched. When applying for an MD/Ph.D. program, this advice should be at the top of your list, but if you don’t need to perform a lot of research, you don’t need it.
Of course, your experience should represent your research interests. Every big hospital has a plethora of clinical research taking place. So get engaged if you want to do something more directly linked to patients.
Prepare for Admissions Tests
If you need to sit an admissions test such as Gamsat then be sure to prepare early on, remember everyone will be also and scoring a high mark will count in your favor. Gamsat section 1 is usually the part of the test with most potential to improve your score.
Your Application Essays Are Important
The essays you submit as part of your application are just as important as everything else you’ve done to get there—at school, in extracurricular activities, obtaining letters of reference, etc.
If you don’t know how to write about what you’ve done, how will the folks at the admissions office know? Premed advisors and a few physicians who know the current application procedure should evaluate your writings before you submit them for consideration. This will provide you with a wide range of viewpoints from which you may choose.
You should keep in mind that everyone has their ideas about what colleges are searching for when making admissions decisions. As a result, each school and admissions officer will have their own unique set of requirements. Ultimately, you must pick how your writings will read. It is important to remember that this is your essay and not everyone else’s. The most essential thing is to get as many eyes on those essays as possible and to ensure that they are flawless.
Perform Role-Playing Interviews
Do several practice interviews to be ready for the real thing. I learned a lot from my mock interviews. Practice interviews should be conducted with existing physicians and premed advisers. It’s far easier to explain why you want to be a doctor to your buddies who have no idea what you’re talking about than it is to explain it to a doctor.
Preparation is key. Be prepared to discuss all of the activities listed on your application and why medicine is a good fit for you before the interview stage. In addition to that, and yes, this is a cliché, be yourself. The bottom line is that if the interviewer likes you as a person, you have a strong probability of being accepted.
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