5 Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Medical School

By eLearning Inside
September 06, 2019

Making the decision to go to medical school is one of the biggest decisions of anyone’s life. In fact, it’s such a big decision that the average person has to make it a full four years in advance.

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Medical school is part of a long, tough road for potential doctors and students alike. Not only are there plenty of schools to submit applications too, but there are plenty of steps that need to be taken.

While you’re likely to find tips on bettering your medical school chances or what to do once you make it into medical school, we’ll be focusing on something different. Below are a list of things you avoid doing when you’re applying for medical school and getting ready for the next phase of your life.

Having A One-Track Mind

You might have an idea that you’re going to be accepted by X school, go there, and continue on your medical career. Having a one-track mind is a dangerous strategy for your medical career. This is the case not just because you’re putting all of your eggs in one basket, but also because that school may not be the best fit for you.

It’s important that you do your research about certain schools. You need to go beyond just looking at their information online. It can help to reach out to current and past students about their experiences. Every school looks for different experiences or past highlights. You’ll want to make sure you’re applying to a school that’s going to be the best possible fit for you.

Not Tailoring Your Resume or Personal Statement

As you’ll eventually learn when applying to jobs, you can’t simply send a blanket statement resume and cover letter to every employee. Employers look for different skills and qualities and want to know how your experience will translate to their workforce. The same mindset applies to medical school applications.

Similar to the above section, schools are going to value different characteristics. You need to find out what schools are looking for and make sure you’re tailoring your own personal experience to show how you can be the best student possible.

Relying Solely on GPA

We’re not going to tell you that you shouldn’t strive for a 4.0 GPA. That’s an incredible accomplishment and one you should be very proud of. It’s something that plenty of people strive for but few actually accomplish.

But one of the biggest mistakes medical school applicants make is relying solely on their GPA to propel them to their dream school.

GPA is a big part of the application and having a 2.4 is going to ensure that your application is tossed to the side. However, you should make sure you’re gaining work experience and extracurricular experience as well. Schools want to know they’re admitting a real human and not just a robot who does nothing but study all the time.

Assuming You’re the Best of the Best

As a future doctor and A+ student, you have a lot to be proud of. You’re standing out among your peers and on your way to perform one of the most difficult, stressful jobs out there.

That doesn’t mean, however, that you are on top of the applicant list. More and more people are applying to medical school each year, meaning the field is only going to get tougher and tougher. You should be proud of yourself, but you shouldn’t assume that all your accomplishments will automatically grant you entry to the medical school of your choice.

Borrowing Too Much to Pay For School

Medical school is incredibly expensive and everyone knows that. The majority of applicants are going to be looking at six figures of debt once they complete schooling, requiring a payment plan stretching over a decade or even more.

Many applicants solely rely on medical school loans as the only way they’re going to pay for medical school. The truth is there are plenty of other scholarships and opportunities that applicants can seek out in order to lessen their medical school burden.

Be on the look out for various grant and scholarship programs to lessen your financial burden and don’t simply rely on loans to make sure you can pay for it all.

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Featured Image: stem.T4L, Unsplash.