4 Things to Consider when Completing Your Med School Application
We know the application process can be long, stressful, and time consuming, but we think these tips from our admissions staff will help your application stand out to our admissions committee members in a good way.
Know Your Dates & Deadlines
This one seems obvious, but there is a reason it is first on the list. Medical school admissions is a competitive world. For the entering med school class of 2017, there were over 51,000 applicants for just 21,338 spots. Since many schools review applications on a rolling basis (that is they review the applications as they are received), there is definitely truth to the old adage “The early bird gets the worm.” In this case, you don’t necessarily need to have your application submitted on day one, but it is a good idea to know when the important dates and deadlines are for your top choice programs and submit your application as early as you feel comfortable doing so.
How To Tell Your Story – Be Real
For virtually all programs you apply to, the only information an admissions committee will know about you is what is in your application; therefore, it is important for applicants to highlight the experiences and activities that they have participated in throughout college and during gap years if applicable. By giving as much detail as you can, the admissions committee will be able to form a better picture of you as an applicant and make the most informed decision that they can regarding your candidacy. When it comes to the application essay, you’ll want to make sure that it could only be used for applying to medical school but is not so specific that it targets a specific school since this essay will go to all of the medical schools that you apply to. The secondary application essays are where you can get school specific and share why you think that particular school would be a good fit for you.
Be Spiky – Be a Sea Urchin
While it is often said that applicants to medical school should be well rounded and be involved in many different activities. The truth is that many admissions committees like to see applicants who are a little more “spiky” and are strong in areas that they are very passionate about. Of course, you should have experiences in leadership, research, and service, but demonstrating passion in something (medically related or not) through your application can help committee members distinguish you from all the other applicants they are reviewing. Use your 15 experiences to highlight your unique experiences and passions for the admissions committee so they can get to know you better.
Check, One, Two, Three
As you get ready to submit your AMCAS application, we recommend that you have someone who is not as familiar with your journey review your application and personal statement. This review can catch spelling and grammar mistakes, as well as give feedback on the overall flow of the application. You may find after the review that there is a gap in your application or that the way you describe one of your experiences is confusing to someone who is not familiar with the activity. This also allows you to make any changes before you submit your application for AMCAS verification. Once your application has been verified by AMCAS, you will not be able to make very many changes; however, many schools will accept application updates and add them to your application file for review and consideration by the admissions committee. You will want to reach out to the schools that you are applying to and see what their policies are on this.
Good luck in the application process, we look forward to reviewing your application in early July!
This is the first post in our series about medical school admissions process. Check out our second post, 2 Things You Can Do Now to Prepare for Interview Season and our third post, 3 Things That are Essential to a Positive Interview Day Experience.