Everything You Need to Know When Applying to Medical School
There are several things you need to know before you apply to medical school to ensure you’re prepared and increase your chances of getting accepted. Multiple steps need to be taken at specific times to make yourself a great candidate as a prospective student. If you’re ready to begin the application process, there are a few crucial facts to understand.
Make Undergrad Count
Your time spent as an undergrad will be carefully reviewed by the schools that you apply to, making it necessary to make the most of your time. Work hard to earn at least a 3.5 GPA, which is not required but is preferred by most medical schools. There are also a few non-required courses to take like medical anthropology/history and a foreign language, which will show that you’re well-rounded, according to usnews.com.
Take the MCAT
Passing the MCAT is required to prove that you’re capable of working as a physician and have the ability to think critically. Register at least three months in advance to provide yourself with enough time for your exam prep for the MCAT. You can also take a prep course and practice exams to score higher with your exam prep for the MCAT. Obtain updated books and study materials to ensure you retain the correct materials that you’ll need to apply on the exam.
Research Medical Schools
Research the cost of each medical school and if any financial aid is available to determine where you can afford to attend and how much debt you may need to acquire. Look into the atmosphere of the school to determine if it’s cut-throat, competitive, or even collaborative to find a place where you feel at home and can thrive.
Consider talking to current students to get an idea of if they enjoy their professors and have research opportunities. Looking into the student to faculty ratio will also give you an idea of how much attention you’ll receive and if there’s room to ask questions.
Know the Application Process
Your application needs to include a personal statement, which communicates your passion for working as a physician and providing a high level of care to patients. You’ll need to submit a single application through one of three centralized application services: AMCAS (for MD admissions), TMDSAS (for Texas Medical Schools), AACOMAS (for DO admissions).
It’s also essential to include a few letters of recommendation from professors you had a good relationship with while attending college to ensure they can promote you as a prospective student. Applying as soon as possible allows your information to be reviewed before the admissions office is flooded with applications from other prospective students.
Make Your Application Stand Out
The admissions office at medical school reviews thousands of applications, which can make it easy to get lost in the shuffle. You can make your application stand out by having a wide range of interests, activities, and accomplishments. Find an opportunity to teach to show you can impart information to your students.
Make sure you are fully prepared before you apply to medical school to avoid being turned away. By creating a plan of action, you can prevent mistakes and stress before applying to your top schools.