How To Get Into Your Dream Medical School
November 28, 2022
Getting admitted into medical school is a massive dream for aspiring healthcare professionals. However, the road to admission can be challenging and highly competitive. With plenty of people also vying to get in, you’ll need to work hard to improve your resume, complete the entry requirements, and earn the required grades to qualify and get accepted into medical school.
But don’t let the tight competition and the entry challenges dampen your spirits. You can do several things to boost your likelihood of getting into your dream medical school. So, start your medical career journey with these steps to take your application and profile to the next level and help you get accepted to your coveted medical school.
Study Early For The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)
When you pursue a medical profession, you’ll need to prepare as early as possible for the medical college admission test. Most medical schools mandate that applicants take the MCAT exam and achieve average MCAT scores and GPAs. You may browse for online resources and check their chart of well-known medical schools in the US and their average GPA and MCAT scores.
Knowing the average grades for each school can help you narrow down your options and focus more on the grades you must achieve for the application process. You can start studying for the MCAT exam six months before the exam date. The earlier you start, the more time you’ll have to read and study medical books, take MCAT preparation courses, do practice tests, and explore other study methods.
Acquire Some Medical Experience For Your Resume
One great way to elevate your profile and application is to acquire some medical experience for your resume. Naturally, admissions staff won’t expect their applicants to have experience dealing with patients, considering they’re not professional nurses or doctors yet. But if you invest your time in gaining experience related to your future job, it can make your application stand out.
So, if you can, make time to volunteer at your local hospital and job shadow medical professionals. Spending time with medical professionals and learning about their environments will help you understand and learn more about the future career you want to pursue. Don’t be afraid to ask the doctors or nurses questions and learn from their experiences.
Make Time To Serve Others
You don’t need to limit yourself strictly to medical-related experiences. Remember, being in the healthcare and medical industry means you’ll need to develop that sense of altruism within yourself. One way you can practice effective altruism is by making time to serve others.
For example, if you can’t volunteer at a local hospital or clinic, you can participate in eco-friendly movements in your community (e.g., coastal clean-up, tree planting, etc.). Another option is volunteering at a nursing home and spending time with elderly patients and professional caregivers.
If you’re passionate about rescuing animals, volunteer at your local animal shelter and invest your time in a good cause. If you want to help the struggling people in your community, you can donate to local food banks or volunteer at blood drives.
Being altruistic and demonstrating your willingness to help people can be an excellent way to improve your resume and prepare you emotionally and psychologically for your future medical career.
Do Research Projects
Another way to spruce up your application is by doing research projects. Considering that you’ll be doing many research projects during pre-med, taking part in research projects will prepare you for the more complex research work once you’re in your dream medical school. Plus, doing research projects will also show the admissions staff how dedicated you are to the medical field.
Learn Another Language
It may seem irrelevant for now, but being in the medical field means you must be ready to treat and care for people in rural or urban settings or foreign countries with limited healthcare and medical services.
Expanding your communication skills by learning another language can help you stand out, as it will show that you’re making an effort to broaden your capacity to help patients locally and globally.
Besides learning another language through language courses, you can sign up for medical volunteer programs abroad. Not only do you earn more medical-related experience, but you also get to broaden your language skills at the same time.
Focus On Your Real Interests
One of the mistakes some med school applicants make is trying to pursue and do everything at once. Although lots of extracurricular activities and volunteer work can beef up your application, it won’t be enough to make you stand out from the pool of other applicants, especially since others will also try to do the same thing. Instead of trying out everything, consider investing your time in experiences that align with your real interests.
For example, suppose your motivation to go to medical school is to become a paediatrician. Since you dream of becoming a doctor for children, you can focus on gaining experiences that target helping children and babies. You may volunteer at children’s adoption shelters or help at a local children’s hospital or clinic. This way, interviewers will see where your heart and passion lie, setting you apart from other applicants.
Although you still have a long way to go before becoming a medical professional, getting accepted to your dream medical school will be your first big step toward your career. So, go through these tips to prepare yourself ahead of time and start your medical career journey on the right track.
Featured image: Wavebreakmedia, iStock.