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Top 5 Tips for Medical School Applicants

This post is a contribution from our friends at .

If you are planning to become a physician, you are likely very aware that it is a long and difficult journey. The first major hurdle is getting into medical school. Most students who apply to medical school are not accepted. Some applicants who are not admitted lack the necessary academic and interpersonal skills. However, many people who do not get into medical school are well qualified candidates who had poor application strategies. This article will present some application tips to maximize your chances of being accepted to medical school.

Choose Your Schools Carefully

It is essential to carefully consider your school list before you submit your application. Each year, many students fail to get into medical school simply because they applied to too few, or to inappropriate schools.

You should always take into consideration geography, your personal academic statistics, and your career interests when choosing to apply to medical schools. The average medical school applicant applies to about fifteen schools. However, you may want to apply to more depending on your academic record. No matter how many schools you choose, you should always include a few lower tier options. If schools respond well to you, you will not need to consider the lesser schools, however, if things do not go well you can depend on these schools giving you a good chance of acceptance. Do not feel that you must attend a prestigious institution. Although attending a fancy school can certainly boost your ego, it may not be the best option for you. Ultimately, you can become a high-quality physician at any accredited school if you are willing to work hard.

Pick the Right Letter Writers

Strong letters of recommendation can really boost your application to medical school. However, to get optimal recommendation letters, you must choose the right people to write them. The ideal person to approach for a letter of recommendation for medical school has these attributes:

  • Knows you well
  • Taught a class that you did well in
  • Likes you
  • Established in their field
  • Familiar with medical school requirements

It may not be possible to identify multiple people who fit all these characteristics. However, you should try to find professors that meet as many of these attributes as possible. Once you have identified potential candidates, ask them as early as possible to write you a letter. You want your professor to have ample time to write you a glowing review.

Write a Strong Personal Statement

The medical school personal statement is a powerful tool. It provides a unique opportunity for you to demonstrate skills and talents to medical schools that are not evident in your grades or test scores. Your personal statement is the ideal space to discuss extracurricular activities, meaningful experiences, and research. If written correctly, your personal statement can improve your chances of getting invited for an interview. Once invited for an interview, your chances of admission improve drastically. Therefore, your objective during the first steps of the application process should be to secure as many interviews as possible.

Unfortunately, many prospective medical students do not use their personal statement to their advantage. Under these circumstances, their essays provide them with no benefit, or in many cases, hurt their application. For this reason, it is extremely important that you submit a strong personal statement with your application. It is also a good idea to have your personal statement reviewed by a to be certain that it will be an asset to your application.

Apply Early

Most medical schools have rolling admissions. This means that schools review and act on applications as they receive them. Therefore, applicants have better odds of being accepted when they apply early in the season. For this reason, it is vital for you to submit your application as early as possible. Even if you are a strong applicant, you will be unlikely to be accepted if a school receives your application after they have filled all their seats. Therefore, you should aim to submit your application shortly after the application system opens.

Prepare for Your Interviews

The medical school interview is usually the final step of the application process. If you perform well on your interview day, your chances of admission are very good. Studies show that if you make it to the interview stage, your chances of getting in at that school rise to 50%. For this reason, it is very important to perform well on interview day. Interviewing is a skill, and like most skills it takes practice. Therefore, you should begin your interview preparation well in advance of your first interview. Review your application and personal statement—some of your interview questions will be based on them. In addition, it is helpful to do a practice interview. Many colleges offer mock-interviewing sessions for their students.

Medical school applications are very competitive. However, if you have a good application strategy, you have a good chance of success.

How to get accepted into medical school

Alison Matthews, MD is the owner and founder of . Code Blue Essays provides exceptional essay editing services and interview preparation to medical school applicants. Alison is a board-certified pediatrician. She is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Afterwards, she matched into her top choice residency program at the Cleveland Clinic. When she is not helping the next generation of doctors write their medical school personal statements, she provides urgent care services for children.

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