5 TIPS FOR APPLYING TO MEDICAL SCHOOLS
The national average for admissions into medical schools in the United States is between 41%-43%. This means at least 1 out of two people who apply for any admission cycle will not be admitted. Prospective medical school applicants must put their best foot forward to ensure they have a greater chance of being admitted. This article presents five tips to make your medical school application more competitive.
- Get Relevant Work Experience: Medical school admission committees have more preferences for candidates who have demonstrated their interest in medicine through relevant work experience. These experiences may include volunteering in a non-clinical role at a hospital, volunteer emergency medical technician, volunteering in a nursing home or even caring for a sick family member. This experience will prove your interest in patient care even when you are not yet qualified to practice.
- Conduct Scientific Research: Scientific research is the bedrock of medical practice; scientists are always looking for better ways to improve individual and population healthcare. Adding a research experience to your portfolio will enhance your chances of being admitted. A good place to seek research opportunities is by asking professors in your college for available undergraduate research opportunities. You can also sign up for summer undergraduate research programs or take a year off to participate in full-time research.
- Study Well for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT): Although performance in MCAT is not enough to guarantee admission into medical school, it is an important requirement. It is safe to target a minimum score of 509, which puts you in the 80th percentile to guarantee your admission. To score this high, you must commit enough time to study for the exam as consistent efforts will be required to put up a good showing.
- Excel in Your Pre-Med Education: Though not a definition of your abilities, your pre-med GPA is an important factor considered by medical school admission committees. It is important to have a good GPA. The good news is there is no single major that is necessary for medical school admission, but you have to ensure you take all prerequisite courses that are required by the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).
- Apply to as Many Schools as Possible: Applying to as many schools as possible increases your chance of getting admitted. After submitting your primary application through the AMCAS, it is necessary to submit a secondary application to your desired medical schools stating that your skills, goals, and competencies match their goals will also boost your application.
In addition to the tips above, it will also be more helpful for applicants to engage in philanthropic activities such as community service, charitable activities in low-income communities and neglected populations. Following these tips will go a long way in enhancing your profile, making you stand out in your medical school application and fulfilling your dream of becoming a doctor.